• Chris O'Byrne

Gifts to Get Them Outside

Originally Published in Coastal Angler Magazine, 2018

Imagine your Christmas feast; although they are small and delicate, the candle flames flicker gently in the still air. Although the music is soft, it can be heard behind quiet conversation. Although the large gathering of extended family spills out of the dining room, a grown-up sense of calm prevails. Quietly, from one end of the delicious smelling smorgasbord comes an unhurried question, “Where are the kids?”

“Outside. Down at the pond. Fishing.”

“Really? That’s great.”

We can get the youngsters in our life outside to play, exercise, and learn, and the gift giving season is the perfect time to begin. Let’s look at some gifts to get them outside.

What are those youngsters down at the pond fishing with? This summer, the organizers of the International Convention of Allied Sport fishing Trades thought that it might be the Dude Perfect Youth Fishing Kit.


Made by Anything Possible Brands, this pintsized spincast outfit is the perfect length and weight for kids. It is fishing ready, but also includes a hook-less plug and cornhole target for inside fun. The Dude Perfect kit is designed by anglers with thoughtful features. The rod is complete with a trigger grip and a hook keeper. The reel features an adjustable drag and is pre-spooled with nylon line and a simple system to string the rod.

For kids who are ready, the Bug Launcher by Temple Fork Outfitters is a perfect get-them-fly fishing outfit. Available in two kid friendly lengths, the line weight and flex are just right for a small person’s casting stroke. We not only sell the bug launcher at The Andy Thornal Company, we have used it in our youth clinics and public appearances where it has proven to cast plenty of line and fight strong fish.

As the magic is still in fishing, it is also still in reading. Down By the River demonstrates the power of both. An angler since the age of five, Andrew Weiner blended his love of fishing and family to write this story that “shows how a wonderful outdoor activity and cherished natural places can be shared with multiple generations.” This 2018 Abrams Books publication has been recognized by the angling community with a flood of positive comments on social media and with endorsements and awards from the International Fly Tackle Dealer Convention, Fly Fishers International, and Trout Unlimited.

Our goal does not have to be getting kids into the sporting life with our gifts. For youngsters who have not found the joy in fishing, Lowes Home Improvement Stores is offering kid wood working projects. The “Build and Grow” line of projects, where “some assembly required” is the point, feature materials, hardware, and blueprint style instructions with real words.

Whether your goal for the young ones at your Christmas feast is positive outdoor experiences, conservation of natural resources, improved physical and mental fitness, or gains in education, these thoughtful selections will help. Happy gift giving

The Author is grateful to Anything Possible Brands, and Andrew Weiner.

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All material Copyright 2019, C. O'Byrne                                        All Rights Reserved