My boys love casting. You read right. Casting, not fishing. They don't really want to catch fish. They don't like trying to pull hooks out of mouths and tossing fish back...
But they love heading out to ponds every single spring as soon as the ice has melted and using their fishing poles. And the best part is of course the process, the ritual.
They really enjoy going out to the pond on a sunny day to listen to frogs, cast the line and reel it in (we use practice casting weights, not hooks), see who can go farthest, who has the best aim. Watch birds. Look at the clouds. Feel the breeze. Try to figure out what all the plants are. Sit in the grass and feel the warm sunshine. See if they can find any garter snakes. Have a picnic.
They like to find new ponds or streams. Explore the water to see what is living in there (their easter baskets will have water testing kits - can't wait!!). They call themselves the "litter patrol" and clean up whatever paper/plastic we find when we visit our favorite spots. It is all such a nice way to spend a sunny spring day. It isn't about the catching, it is about the fishing.
Many men go fishing all of their lives without
knowing that it is not fish they are after.
~Henry David Thoreau