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Funny fishing shirts make a great fishing gift for men or women who love the outdoors. Great for Father's Day gifts, Birthdays, Anniversaries and the Holidays!

Fishing, Hunting and Outdoor Blog for Stories, Tips and Reviews

Fishing, Hunting and Outdoor Blog for Stories Tips and Reviews from Outdoor Men and Women.


Filtering by Tag: fishing life lessons

Things to Consider When Buying a Fishing Rod For Your Kid(s)

Troy Thomas


If you fish and have young children, it’s just about certain that you want to introduce your kids to the sport. You’ll have a chance to spend time on the water with your son or daughter, and if they take to the sport, you’ll wind up having a fishing partner for life. And that’s a gift you can’t buy.

But you can buy the gear that your kid will use…and the rod and reel you choose will have a big impact on whether or not those first few trips are enjoyable. Here are three tips to make sure you choose the right outfit:

Make the rod itself fun and compelling


Some kids take to fishing from the very first cast. Others need some time. To increase the odds of your child liking the sport, choose a rod that is fun in and of itself. You already know what cartoon or movie character your kid likes, and chances are, there's a youth-model fishing rod adorned with that character's likeness. While you may think that it's wrong to meld an outdoor sport with an animated character or a popular line of dolls, the kid won't think so. The rod itself is automatically something that's made for your kid's enjoyment—and he or she will look to you to learn how to use it.

Give the kid tackle to go with the rod


A Plussino rod and reel package with lures, hooks, and other terminal tackle signals to your kid that he or she is old enough to be trusted with "grown-up" gear.

Your child has probably seen all the fishing tackle you own---tackle boxes and bags, lures and hooks, sinkers and swivels and pliers. By giving the kid some tackle, you're signaling that he or she is an angler too. It gives the kid something to carry and be responsible for, just like you are with your gear. And if your kid catches a fish with her own fishing rod and with her own tackle? That's an adult accomplishment he or she will brag about all week. Some youth-model rods and reels come pre-packaged with gear, making the selection easy.

Introduce spinning gear at an early age


The Plussino spinning rod for kids is lightweight and scaled down for use with smaller hands. It's easy for a kid to learn how to use a spin casting rod. But that kid will be growing up quickly, and will eventually be clamoring for an "adult" rod like yours--which is probably a spinning rod. You can ease this transition—or skip that push-button stage entirely—by getting the child a downsized spinning rod and reel, one that is bigger than a typical kid spin caster but still easy to hold and manipulate. Such outfits are ideal for teaching how to cast a spinning rod because the kid won't feel physically overwhelmed by it…and when he or she outgrows that downsized version, you can get adult-sized rod with the confidence that your child will know how to use it.

Bonus tip: Buy a backup outfit

Those first few fishing trips will determine whether or not a kid will take to the sport, so it's important to make the experience as pleasant as possible. Even the most responsible kid can accidentally jam a reel, break a rod or drop the whole thing overboard, which can quickly generate tears and ruin a trip. Kids fishing rods are inexpensive, and keeping a backup on hand will ensure that you'll be able to keep on fishing if the first rod breaks or disappears. If it never gets used, you can always give it to another adult to give to his or her child.

This post was first published in Field and Stream

Five Questions with Artist Brandon Finnorn

Troy Thomas


By: Phil Monahan

Dr. Brandon Finnorn discovered his passion for creating art when life threw him a curveball back in 2016, but he hasn’t looked back since. (You can get the full story of his remarkable journey by reading his blog post “Stethoscope to Sketchpad.”) In the short time since he first launched his Etsy shop TheBonnieFly and his business Finnorn Illustrations, he has become one of the premier fishing artists along the Gulf Coast. Brandon was kind enough to submit to our “5 Questions” grilling and explain how he has arrived at his current situation.

1. Where are you from, and what do you do for a living?

I grew up on the Gulf Coast of Alabama, and I currently reside in Madisonville, Louisiana, a small town on the other side of the pond from New Orleans. As a full-time fine artist and illustrator, I create digital graphics for brands and clothing companies, as well as work on my own original fine art, focused mainly in charcoal, pastel, and digital painting.

2. Where and when did you start fishing?

I spent most of my childhood on Mobile Bay and Dauphin Island, Alabama, fishing for inshore saltwater species. I started fishing at age two on the Dauphin Island Pier with a Mickey Mouse rod with a push-button reel. I still spend every other weekend driving from my home in Madisonville to fish with my dad and brothers in Alabama. Although there is legendary fishing here in Louisiana, I still find myself preferring the time spent with family in my home waters.

3. When and how did you start drawing/painting? Did you study? 

I remember my dad teaching me the basics of drawing a horse, which then turned into sketches of saltwater fish in the margins of every notebook from grade school to medical school. Prior to 2016, I had never given my sketching much of a second thought. It was just something to pass the time in lectures.

After graduating medical school in the spring of 2016, I was preparing to start pediatric residency in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. There was a month or so gap between finishing school and starting in the hospital. So naturally, like any obsessed fisherman does, I decided to attempt to learn fly fishing around southwestern Pennsylvania.

Up until that time, I had grown up in shorts and short sleeves, fly-casting for saltwater fish on the beach or from the family boat. I had no experience with wading streams, nymphing, or tossing dry flies to freshwater species. After a week of fishing various streams in the area and catching my first brown and rainbow trout, I was hooked! But there was something that I didn’t account for . . . something that I knew to be a classic and easy medical exam question.

Northeast United States. Outdoors. Deer. See those words in a question and the answer in the multiple choice is easy: Lyme disease. I never found the rash or spotted the deer tick that bit me. After weeks of unexplained night sweats, chills, and finally Bell’s Palsy, I found myself spending the majority of my first year of residency on medical leave with arthritic joint pain and suffering from memory loss. As a medical student, you thrive on memorization under pressure. Suddenly, I could hardly find my way to the grocery store or remember the day of the week. During that time away from patient care, I started sketching old fishing photos to pass the time. Eventually, daily sketching kept me going through those trying days. It became apparent that I had a real passion for the work.

On December 1, 2016, after making a full recovery, I decided to leave medicine and pursue a full-time career in fine art and illustration.

4. What is your connection between your love of art and fishing? When did they come together?

Fishing has always intrigued the scientific part of me that enjoys understanding the different bird species, crustaceans, and life that thrives in coastal environments. It’s hard to accurately describe the unique sights and sounds that accompany spending time in the outdoors. Fine art has given me the opportunity to bring to life the epic and beautiful things I’ve witnessed on the water.

5. What’s up next for you?

I currently am working on a series called “Moments of Tension,” highlighting the moments before or after a fly is taken by a fish. Thus far, the series has been a lot of fun to create, and brings to life the moments when you aren’t sure of a successful hookup. This year, I am also working on my second year with the largest fishing tournament in the world, the Alabama Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo. Each year, they pick an artist to do their featured print. They have featured artists such as Guy Harvey in past years, so it’s a huge honor to be able to do it consecutive years. ­

This article was first posted on Orvis’s website.