As we round out another year, it is time to look at what lies ahead for 2014. We think it’s going to be a pretty great year!
The year 2013 was one great year. And as we sit on the precipice of a new year, it is exciting to look ahead at the possibilities that await us in the New Year. Today we are going to take this opportunity to gaze forward at what we think are the most intriguing story lines of 2014.
While it officially kicked off in early December 2013, the Spring 2014 line of products has been wildly popular in its first few weeks here at Simms. Angler-driven design is rampant across the line and we haven’t even seen some of the sexier products like the new Simms Plier, new G4 Boa® Boot.
At the end of this year we successfully filled our open position of VP Sales here at Simms with industry veteran Steve Bendzak. Steve doesn’t start until January 2014, but he has been around here recently and he is going to be a great fit here at Simms–avid angler, passionate about the brand, and ready to take us to the next level.
In February, the angling world turns the focus to Lake Guntersville in Birmingham, Alabama and to the 2014 Bassmaster Classic. The Simms Pro Team is represented at the Classic by 2013 Angler of the Year Aaron Martens and 2013 Bassmaster Classic runner up Brandon Palaniuk along with perennial stalwarts Ish Monroe and Gary Klein. We feel good our team is going to have a great tournament.
This past year we wrote about our summer fishing goals. It was a seminal moment here at Simms as we really placed more official emphasis on fishing. We are continuing that momentum into 2014 and have some great internal goals to both get onto the water more often, but also get out into the community as part of our jobs. This has us all even more proud and excited to work at Simms in the upcoming year and beyond.
In April, Simms is sponsoring a trip to the Bahamas with our buddies at Gink & Gasoline. You can join a representative from Simms on a week-long excursion to Deneki Outdoors’ Andros South Bonefish Lodge. This is a great way to catch a bunch of fish, learn about the new Simms line of flats gear, hang out with the guys from Gink & Gasoline and have a blast. Go here to learn more.
The Fall 2014 line is already fully baked and it is, frankly, super awesome. You will start to see some snippets soon (some cool photos and write-ups) and the line will launch in July 2014. You are going to really like it.
Regarding environmental issues, we are hopeful on several fronts. With the Pebble Mine project getting dealt some blows in 2013 (such as Anglo American deciding to exit the Pebble Partnership), we are hopeful that increased pressure by organizations like Sportsman’s Alliance for Alaska can help to finally end the threat to that precious salmon fishery.
David Hallac, Chief, Yellowstone Center for Resources, met with the staff here at Simms to discuss the status of the Yellowstone Cutthroat as they fight for survival in Yellowstone Lake. Well, it seems there is some good news in the fight as researchers are seeing some evidence that the Cutthroat numbers are slightly improving in key age groups. There is a long way to go, but any good news is welcome in that story.
The Taimen Fund has been reorganized under new leadership and we met with their new Executive Director Charlie Conn in December. Their fundraising efforts are underway and their programs to control poaching of wild taimen in Mongolia appear to be working. Charlie was looking forward to the 2014 season and the Fund’s future to protect critical taimen populations.
The best part of 2014? The unknown. Going into the year there are so many things that are bound to happen that we have no idea about and that is, perhaps, the thing that is most exciting from where we stand right now.
For now, all of us at Simms want to thank you for a truly great 2013 and for joining us on this journey into 2014. Here’s to getting out on the water as many times as you can in the upcoming year, finding even more reasons why fishing continues to be your passion of choice and sharing that journey with the people closest to you. And thank you in advance for taking us with you on the ride!
How about you? What are you looking forward to in 2014?