BlogSeptember 2014

How to Increase your Kids’ Creativity in 30 Easy Casts

How to Increase your Kids’ Creativity in 30 Easy Casts

By Tom Keer

Sep 15, 2014

I enjoyed school.

I enjoyed school. True, I enjoyed some subjects more than others, but I didn’t enjoy the stress associated with learning. Getting good grades was always on my mind, and I got pretty stressed out. When my grades were bad I’d spend more time in the library, I would get extra help, and I would study with my friends. My approach back then was to work harder.

In one class, nothing I tried worked. When mid term grades posted the “Blame Game” was in full swing. It was the school’s fault, the teacher’s fault, my parents’ fault, my fault, my coach’s fault, you name it. Nothing good came out of that approach, and things were bleak.

One day I just said ‘forget it’ (what I said was much hotter but you get the point). I no longer gave a rip if I failed the class, and since I was good with all of my other classes I decided I would go fishing on Saturday afternoon after my football game.

We won the game and I went to the barn to grab my spinning rod and some spoons. I saw some teal and wood ducks light into the flooded timber on my walk to the pond. I listened to some bull frogs sounding when I reached the water’s edge, and there were small baitfish swimming into the inflow. The sun was warm enough to make me want to forget about fishing and take a nap.

Still, on my first cast I hooked a decent brown trout on a gold Kastmaster. I put on a Roostertail and a few casts later I hooked a small bass. Several casts later I had a small brookie and after that another bass. After releasing the bass I suddenly knew the answer to the question on the homework in the class that I had kicked to the curb. I smiled when I received my next test result.

It wasn’t that the material was too hard, it was that I got too worked up over it. And since then, when I’d get wanged out with school work, with regular work, with anything really, I go fishing. It’s the perfect way for me to chill out and refocus on what is important. I’ve started doing that with my own kids in high school, and they’re studies have improved as a result. If your kids are flat, if they’re having a difficult time focusing, or if they’re high strung, take ‘em fishing. They’ll relax enough in 30 easy casts and the rest will fall into place.

Tom Keer
Tom Keer
Tom Keer is an award-winning writer who lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  He is a columnist for the Upland Almanac, a Contributing Writer for Covey Rise magazine, a Contributing Editor for both Fly Rod and Reel and Fly Fish America, and a blogger for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing program.  Keer writes regularly for over a dozen outdoor magazines on topics related to fishing, hunting, boating, and other outdoor pursuits.  When they are not fishing, Keer and his family hunt upland birds over their three English setters.  His first book, a Fly Fishers Guide to the New England Coast was released in January 2011.  Visit him at or at