Didn't want to hijack other dude's thread. So, Opry, on casting. 10-2 or 10/12 either way its not what most people think. Most move the rod in an Arc from 10 to 2. which is what that stupid "movie" shows. In reality, imagine a straight line from 10 to 2. If you move your hand on that path - DO NOT BREAK/ BeND your wrist - the rod does the flexing for you. Its like a golfer trying to make a ball get up instead of letting the club do it.
We have willows on every bank here, so the 10 to 12 or 1 puts a higher backcast which helps.
So, move your arm straight on that path, then give it a hard stop on each. The side arm suggestion is good too. When you do that watch the line unroll, and keep it going on a plane.
If you are ever in parker let me know and Id be glad to help. Like your passion for fishing and for your kid. Always help people like that.