I once was the proud owner of a fly reel. Just the reel mind you. I was 10 years old and I never did get a fishing rod for that reel. The fishing rod I did have came with its own reel, and was the type with which you used a little bobbing float, and a hook to attach something wriggly.
Hapless in the fishing department, I eventually gifted my gear to my younger brother, and stuck to collecting crawdads, tadpoles, and minnows. Over the years my brother regularly brought home trout (usually steelhead), salmon, and assorted other fish he caught in the American River, a short walk from our house in Sacramento.