John Frazier is the Community Specialist at Simms Fishing Products. Fresh or salt, John loves being on or around the water. When he doesn't have a rod in hand, chances he's watching the action unfold through the view finder of his camera while mentally crafting a story.
Have you ever gone down the Google Earth rabbit hole? You know — when you scroll past miles and miles of water and terrain until a certain zone catches your eye and makes you stop. From there, you zoom in, and then you zero in. Ultimately, that’s when your imagination takes over and you begin selling yourself on all of the unpressured possibilities that await. These spots aren’t casual one-beer strolls away from the truck — to access these locations and revel in remoteness, you’ve got to be willing to pay the price of strength, stamina, and endurance. To bring these hard-to-reach places into focus, Simms is proud to release the all-new Flyweight Collection — because the fish aren’t coming to find you.
Designed and developed for high output anglers, the Flyweight Collection delivers durability in a lightweight package that offers a completely unhindered range of motion, as well as the ability for anglers to customize how they comfortably carry all the necessary gear for sunup to sundown missions. The Flyweight Collection as a whole arguably features more innovations than any other collection that Simms has ever released, but there are a couple standout features to highlight that directly address mobility and cargo carry.
GORE-TEX® STRETCH For the first time ever, Simms has incorporated stretch fabric into the construction of a wader. The all-new Flyweight Stockingfoot Wader features 3-layer GORE-TEX® Stretch fabric in two critical zones, the crotch gusset and zipped side gussets underneath the arms of the upper portion of the wader. The stretch crotch gusset provides a little extra give for long uphill strides and/or leaps from one boulder to the next. Underneath the arms, stretch fabric has been incorporated in order to give anglers two performance-focused options — relaxed mode (unzipped), and athletic mode (zipped). When in relax mode, anglers gain 4 extra inches of ease in the top of the wader, a great option that provides enhanced mobility for actions like rowing, but also offers extra ventilation after long hikes to the water’s edge. When it’s time to get back on the move, simply zip the side gussets back into athletic mode and start searching for the next spot.
5.11® HEXGRID® Now, for the most eye-catching aspect seen throughout the Flyweight Collection, 5.11® HEXGRID®. This is the first time this technology has been utilized in the fishing arena. Sure, 5.11® HEXGRID® adds a unique and cool aesthetic, but it also serves an incredibly valuable purpose — the ability for anglers to customize their kit and gear to their own personal liking. In short, 5.11® HEXGRID® is a multi-angle load-bearing platform that allows anglers to securely attach their choice of Flyweight accessories in a way that makes the most sense for their style of fishing. The attachment process is simple and once accessories are attached to the angler’s liking, there’s no need to detach and reattach later. It’s a set it and forget it type model. The 5.11® HEXGRID® is most prominently featured on the wader but can also be found and utilized on many of the other pieces within the Flyweight Collection. See how 5.11® HEXGRID® works here.
In the coming weeks, we’ll be providing deep dives on the wader, all the great packs, jackets, and accessories, but for now, let’s just take a quick look at the entire collections so you can start scheming about your perfect Flyweight setup.
This year our friends at Casting for Recovery are celebrating their 25th Anniversary! The mission of the organization is to enhance the lives of women with breast cancer by connecting them to each other and nature through the therapeutic sport of fly fishing.
CfR started with the idea to take women with breast cancer out of a clinical environment and teach them to fly fish. Breast cancer impacts all of our families and communities and sadly, for each woman CfR serves, they are turning 3 women away. Women in the US face a one-in-eight lifetime risk of developing breast cancer. In the United States alone, 250,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year.
This year CfR is planning to host 52 retreats in 45 states with the generous help of over 1800 dedicated volunteers. SIMMS is proud to support Casting for Recovery and the 10,000+ women they have served but there is still plenty more work to be done.
To celebrate this monumental milestone and to honor all of the women CfR has served over the years, Simms has donated 150 MidCurrent jackets (men’s and women’s) with a custom embroidered Casting for Recovery fly. 100% of the proceeds of every jacket sold goes will go directly back to CfR and the great work they do to connect more women with breast cancer to the healing power of nature.
In honor of the 25th Anniversary use coupon code: SILVER25 for 25% off your purchase.
If you would like more information, want to apply to attend a retreat or know someone who would be interested visit castingforrecovery.org Check out this recent CfR video HERE to see the magic of a CfR retreat.
The Lackawanna River in Northeastern Pennsylvania was called a “waking giant” in a recent Fly Fisherman feature article (Aug-Sep 2018), was included in the most recent edition of Trout Unlimited’s Guide to America’s 100 Best Trout Streams, and in 2020 it was named Pennsylvania’s River of the year. But it wasn’t always this way. Fifty years ago it was hopelessly polluted with acid mine drainage. There seemed little hope for recovery. And things got worse. In 1972 the river was devastated by flooding from Hurricane Agnes, at that time America’s most costly and damaging hurricane, and still Pennsylvania’s wettest tropical cyclone on record. In the aftermath, the Army Corps of Engineers straightened the streambed, built miles of levees to contain floodwaters, and turned the river and its floodplains into a drainage ditch. The Lackawanna was also a junkyard for discarded tires, washing machines, and televisions. It smelled of sulfur, and wasn’t even recognized by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as a trout stream.
Anthracite Coal For more than 200 years, coal mining was a way of life in Pennsylvania, and it put food on the table. The Lackawanna Valley is home to the largest vein of anthracite coal in the world, and while coal companies and American industry prospered from it, Pennsylvania’s rivers and streams did not. Textile plants, tanneries, and the iron industry also contributed their share of water pollution, to the point that when Scranton became a city in 1888, the water was unfit for human consumption. It stayed that way until the late 1960s, when the coal industry began to dwindle. In 1966 the Lackawanna River Basin Sewer Authority and the city of Scranton’s Sewer Authority were formed to handle wastewater, and the federal Clean Water Act of 1970 provided some hope that the river might have a future. There were centuries of damage that need to be undone, but the Lackawanna River story is evidence that with help, rivers can come back. But it takes groups like Lackawanna Valley TU, the Lackawanna River Conservation Association, and the Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority. And it takes energetic, pivotal individuals like Charles Charlesworth to make it happen.
Due in part to his efforts, much of the Lackawanna River is now a Class A wild trout stream, the backbone of a growing group of recreational users, and an educational springboard for high school and college students who use the Lackawanna to learn how to fly fish and/or study best practices for river restoration.
As a kid, Charlesworth ran a trapline along Pennsylvania’s Schuylkill River, and he remembers vividly the cold mornings he spent removing fouled toilet paper from his water traps. He also remembers how a bleach and dye plant upstream discharged effluent that discolored the water and made it stink. These early experiences made a huge impression on Charlesworth, and for the rest of his life, environmental stewardship was part of his character.
His formal involvement with river restoration started 30 years ago when he worked with Schuylkill County TU chapter members to create limestone diversion wells in the headwaters of Swatara Creek. The diversion wells used crushed limestone to reduce the acidity of the water, and created 7 new miles of trout stream where the Swatara was heavily impacted by heavy metals from acid mine drainage.
Charlesworth later moved to Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania (a few miles north of Scranton) where he worked with the Stanley Cooper Sr. Chapter to restore and rehabilitate Bowman Creek, a tributary of the Susquehanna that was devastated by Hurricane Agnes decades earlier. The chapter spent a whole year working with the Army Corps of Engineers to stabilize riverbanks, create instream habitat, and to reverse the effects of channelization. It was his first successful experience in working with a government agency to reverse and repair the damage done by the same agency. It was also a glimpse of what needed to be done on a larger scale in the nearby Lackawanna River watershed.
To make that happen, the Lackawanna needed boots on the ground, so working with local fly shop owner Greg Nidoh and many others, Charlesworth started Lackawanna Valley TU (lackawannavalleytu.org) to work with existing organizations to improve the overall water quality and increase and manage trout populations. Not only did Charlesworth get the new chapter off the ground, he has served as a board member, vice president, and then president during the chapter’s most pivotal years. When LVTU first got started in 2001, most of the river was not even listed or recognized by the state as a trout stream, and therefore had none of the protective regulations that go along with it. According to Charlesworth, just filing the paperwork and getting adequate recognition and regulations from the state was an important part of the battle. The first step was to have the entire river listed as trout water, and now almost 18 miles of the Lackawanna are designated by the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission (PFBC) as either Class A Wild Trout Water or as Trophy Trout Water. There is another 8 miles of designated Stocked Trout Water above that, in flowing water that was once too toxic to even hold trout.
“Sometimes I catch hell because I talk too much about the Lackawanna,” said Charlesworth. “Some people don’t want anyone else to know about the Lackawanna, or hear about trophy trout regulations, but this is how rivers get saved. It seems like the more attention this river gets, the better the fishing becomes.”
According to Charlesworth, the designations are a chicken-or-the-egg question. Part of the designations are due to actual habitat and water quality improvements, but part of the reason why the Lackawanna is getting better is also because of the special regulations that come along with Class A Wild Water or Trophy Trout Water. And under the leadership of Charlesworth and LVTU, the Lackawanna has gone from zero to hero in about a decade. “Sometimes I catch hell because I talk too much about the Lackawanna,” said Charlesworth. “Some people don’t want anyone else to know about the Lackawanna, or hear about trophy trout regulations, but this is how rivers get saved. It seems like the more attention this river gets, the better the fishing becomes.”
Charlesworth admits that special regulations are only a small part of the success story of the Lackawanna. Before they could worry about limits on harvest, LVTU had to ensure the water quality and habitat were adequate to support a Class A Wild trout population. Hurricane Agnes in 1972 badly damaged the Lackawanna and its tributaries, and the flood control measures implemented by the Army Corps of Engineers afterward included miles of levees and river channelization.
Under Charlesworth’s leadership, LVTU asked a habitat specialist from the PFBC to study the river and make recommendations on specific improvements to create trout habitat in places where the river was little more than a chute altered to move water downstream as quickly as possible. “We did a lot of research on flood mitigation, and we had to explain to the Army Corps of Engineers that reducing the velocity of the river is actually a good thing,” said Charlesworth. “Increased velocity only creates more problems downstream. It doesn’t solve anything.” In one instance, LVTU developed a plan for staggered boulders through a 500-foot section of river to slow the current and provide habitat for trout. Charlesworth personally arranged for a quarry to donate eight massive boulders, a half ton or larger. Charlesworth also convinced a logging company to donate eight mature split logs with the root wads still attached. And he secured a crane company to donate a 105-ton crane and operator to move all the structures into place. In the end, the completed project cost LVTU just $1,500 in engineering costs, because all the materials and equipment were donated.
Charlesworth also started a water quality monitoring program on the Lackawanna in a partnership with LVTU and Dickinson College, and that program helped trace source pollution in two cases that led to fines by the DEP against two polluters. “We were out on the river diligently testing water quality with monitoring stations above and below every well pad in the watershed, so we had a baseline and could identify even very small changes in water quality,” said Charlesworth. “In all those years, we never discovered any chemical or toxic discharge directly from a gas well. There was frequently a lot of soil erosion at the sites, but not much else. However, in one case our monitoring station revealed that one of the companies was washing their diesel engines down with a degreaser, and that contaminant was leaching into the water. Even if it’s a very small amount, our water quality testing can detect it.”
In another instance, someone stole a brass valve from a 6,000-gallon oil storage tank, and oil started flowing into the Lackawanna. But the monitoring program caught it, and the PFBC and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Quality were on site within the hour to shut down the flow of oil.
Charlesworth sees the watershed as the lifeblood of the entire community, but he’s enough of a realist to know that it has to be fixed one piece at a time, and when those opportunities arise, he takes action. One of those opportunities was an abandoned parcel of land along the Lackawanna that was once the site of a municipal incinerator. The soil was tainted with toxins, the land covered in invasive knotweed, and the channelized riverbed was inhospitable for trout. Working with the Lackawanna River Conservation Association (he was a board member at the time) and LVTU, Charlesworth led an effort to restore both the land and the river. Under his leadership, the groups removed contaminated soil and replaced it with clean topsoil, repaired the streambanks, and provided instream structure for trout. They replaced knotweed with a rain garden and a flowering butterfly garden, and built a pavilion for educational events.
“For instance, we did some study areas with different types of streambank restoration, like logs and rip-rap, and what we found was that one of the best ways to stabilize the bank and prevent erosion was to weave willow branches and use them as sort of a blanket along the bank. The willows sprout upward naturally from that blanket.”
Now called the Sweeney Beach Environmental Education Center, the site is a study area, with ongoing test sites to determine best methods for reducing knotweed infestations, and the best methods for streambank stabilization. “We’ve learned a lot at the site we can use in future projects,” said Charlesworth. “For instance, we did some study areas with different types of streambank restoration, like logs and rip-rap, and what we found was that one of the best ways to stabilize the bank and prevent erosion was to weave willow branches and use them as sort of a blanket along the bank. The willows sprout upward naturally from that blanket.”
The Lackawanna River Conservation Association now hosts an annual river festival at Sweeney Beach with kayak races and educational programs. High schools, local colleges, and LVTU all host educational events there, including the Stream Girls program, fly-tying classes for children in the pavilion, and casting lessons on the Sweeney Beach property.
Sweeney Beach is also a frequent home to another Charlie Charlesworth project, the Keystone/TU Teens Conservation Camp—a partnership between Keystone College and Trout Unlimited. The summer camp is for kids aged 14 to 18, with instructors from three different universities and colleges, professionals from agencies like the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Fish & Boat Commission, Department of Environmental Protection, county conservation districts, and the Penn State Agricultural Extension office. The campers are housed on campus at Keystone College, but some of their field work is at Sweeney Beach or other sites on the Lackawanna River, where they participate in conservation projects. Charlesworth didn’t just help raise the funds to get the project off the ground: He participates as a TU volunteer at each camp.
Getting youth involved in fishing and river restoration is Charlesworth’s biggest passion. He also helped start the LVTU Teens Fly Fishing Club for high school students and also the Keystone College 5 Rivers Fly Fishing Club. The Keystone College club model was so successful Charlesworth worked with former LVTU Teens club members to also start clubs on their campuses at Pitt-Bradford, Juniata College, St. Francis University, and Mansfield University. There are now 11 different 5 Rivers Fly Fishing Clubs on Pennsylvania campuses, and 150 clubs across the country.
In addition to his volunteer work with youth groups and with Lackawanna Valley TU, Charlesworth has served on the board of directors for the Lackawanna River Conservation Association, he’s been a director with the Lackawanna County Conservation District, a member of the Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority, a member of the Pennsylvania Environment Council, and he’s a graduate of the Penn State Master Watershed Steward Program. Through his efforts with all these groups, the Lackawanna River was named Pennsylvania’s 2020 River of the Year.
He’s also had important roles as president of LVTU, president of Pennsylvania TU, and also as part of PATU’s Legislative Action Committee, which makes monthly visits to the Pennsylvania House and Senate, speaking to members about environmental issues important to coldwater fisheries. In 2019 he stepped down as Pennsylvania TU president and was appointed to the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission. As a commissioner, he has been involved in the classification of more than 180 new Class A Wild Trout stream sections and more than 600 new Trout Waters designations. In that role, he’s also been involved with significant dam removals in Pennsylvania and in land acquisitions and fishing leases for restoration and/or public access.
His previous awards include the Pennsylvania Environmental Council’s Thomas Shelburne Award for Conservationist of the Year (2015), Pennsylvania Trout Unlimited’s Inky Moore Award for Environmental Excellence (2016), and nationally, the Trout Unlimited Award for Distinguished Service (2016). He received a citation from Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf in 2015 for his conservation efforts.
Because of his legacy of successful environmental and educational efforts, Charles Charlesworth has now also been named as Fly Fisherman’s 2021 Conservationist of the Year, and Simms Fishing Products will make a $10,000 donation in his name to Lackawanna Valley Trout Unlimited to continue its work in river restoration, water quality monitoring, and youth education.
After many decades of fishing Pennsylvania streams, and seeing both their beauty and their many ailments, I can attest that few people have made the kinds of significant improvements that Charlesworth has. And his successes have come mostly in places that at one time were barely recognizable as trout streams, and with young people who wouldn’t otherwise have an opportunity to get their feet wet in a trout stream, let alone explore it with a seine or fly rod. Hopefully they will follow his leadership and make similar watershed impacts, not just in Pennsylvania but wherever their careers and their lives take them.
So here we are in the midst of holiday shopping season. This time of year is branded as fun and festive, but often times, the gift giving aspect takes away from what’s advertised – especially when the time comes to check the angler in your life off your shopping list.
Hardcore anglers seemingly already have it all. Newbies might not know exactly what they need. Not to mention – obvious necessities like rods, reels, waders and boots don’t exactly reflect stocking stuffer prices. So what’s a shopper to do? The answer is simple — lean on an old holiday standby — socks and underwear.
We’re not talking about Fruit of the Loom and we’re not talking about argyle gold toes. We’re talking about the unsung (and unseen) heroes of any proper fishing kit. We’re talking about technical, performance-driven gear that keep extremities warm and functional, toasty layering options that offer mobility, and prolong the life of waders and/or fishing bibs. So sit back, relax, enjoy a stiff glass of egg nog and hook up the angler in your life with a gift they’ll be thanking you for all fishing season long.
Even in our day-to-day lives — shoes fit better with quality socks. When wearing any kind of technical footwear, such as a wading boot, the way your sock fits and feels directly correlates to how your boot fits and feels. Not to mention, quality socks keep your feet warm. Simms’ Merino Thermal OTC Sock (also available in Women’s) provides an outstanding fit, comfy next-to-skin feel, and incredible warmth. Extending all the way up past the calf, the OTC socks are naturally wicking, feature reinforced midfoot supports as well as a reinforced heel and toe. Best of all, because we all know just how funky fishing socks can be after a day of hard use, anglers will be glad to know that the OTC Socks are odor resistant. If you like what you hear about the Merino Thermal OTC Sock but are one of those anglers that prefers a thinner sock, Simms also offers the Merino Midweight OTC Sock as well.
But maybe you’re looking for something that doesn’t run so high up your leg. We get it — for some situations, a shorter sock is needed. Simms Merino Midweight Hiker Sock ( also available in Women’s) has become a fan favorite ever since it was introduced. These socks run up to the bottom of the calf. Just like the OTC, the hiker socks are also naturally wicking, odor resistant and feature cushioning in high impact areas. And once again, if you prefer a thinner variation, we’ve got you covered with the Merino Lightweight Hiker Sock (also available in Women’s).
Now that we’ve covered some of our favorite socks, it’s time to move on to the unmentionables. What you wear under your waders really depends on how warm you want to be throughout your fishing day. Before we make our recommendations, we’d like to offer the following: PLEASE — DO NOT WEAR JEANS UNDER YOUR WADERS! Trust us, you will undoubtedly be uncomfortable and you will be killing the life of your waders. Plus, we make killer pieces specifically designed to be worn under waders and bibs! Some of our favorites are below.
For chilly mornings that promise rising temps throughout the day, the Lightweight Core Top and Bottom (also available in Women’s) are our go-to next-to-skin layering option. Soft, warm, but not too warm, this layering combo boasts a super low profile that won’t hinder rowing, casting, hiking, or any other angling motion. Constructed from moisture wicking, anti-odor fabrics, the Lightweight Core Top features raglan sleeves and flatlock seams for added comfort and stellar on water performance.
Fish in colder climates or deep into the winter? If so, the Lightweight Core Top and Bottom simply isn’t going to cut it. Here in Montana, on the days we know most anglers will stay home due to the cold, we opt for the Midweight Core Top – Quarter Zip and Bottom. Once again, this fishing focused underwear features anti-odor, wicking fabrics that help generate heat by moving moisture away from your body. Yes, it’s slightly bulkier than the Lightweight Core Top and Bottom, but every bit as comfy and mobile.
We understand and love the fact that plenty of women also like to get after it despite bitterly cold conditions. For maximum layering warmth for women, we highly recommend the Women’s Fleece Mid-Layer Half Zip and Bottom. Fully functional on the water but also unmatched when it comes to post fishing lounging.
Simms Fishing Products announced today a multi-year partnership with conservation group and non-profit Trout Unlimited (TU). The partnership will focus on TU’s Home Rivers Initiative, a multi-regional program that places full-time TU staff member(s) in a watershed to live and work with, and within the local community in order to bring the full range of TU’s scientific, policy, education, and legal expertise to bear on watershed-scale restoration and protection. Over the next three years, Simms is committed to a quarter million dollar investment in the Home Rivers partnership with Trout Unlimited in an effort to protect Montana’s Gallatin River.
“Three cheers to SIMMS for stepping up to help Trout Unlimited protect and recover the river that defines their community. Restoration of the Gallatin and its tributaries will provide high-paying, family wage jobs in rural communities across Montana. It will also help improve an already great fishery in a state that many consider fishing Mecca,” said Chris Wood, President and CEO of Trout Unlimited. “We look forward to working with SIMMS and their employees to bring people together to recover the Gallatin.”
Beginning in January of 2021, SIMMS and TU will launch a dedicated restoration initiative to improve trout populations and fishing opportunity in the Gallatin River. The initial efforts aim to protect instream flows and essential water supplies, restore and reconnect critical fish habitat, and engage local communities in citizen science and angler stewardship programs. Over the next three years, a dedicated Gallatin River Project Manager and Outreach Coordinator will work in tandem with local conservation organizations to design and implement on-the-ground habitat restoration projects in critical tributaries in the Upper and Lower Gallatin River watershed. In addition, this Coordinator will work with partners to improve river access sites, engage local students and SIMMS employees in citizen science projects and volunteer efforts, and work with growing municipalities to restore and protect cold, clean water sources to ensure healthy fisheries for generations to come.
“With this support of TU’s Home Rivers Initiative we are committing to a legacy of stewardship for one of our most important Montana rivers,” stated K. C. Walsh, Executive Chair. “Suburban development, irrigation demands, and angling pressure will continue to challenge the Gallatin River, and Simms is proud to partner in this effort with TU to drive conservation and restoration efforts.”
The Trout Unlimited-Simms Gallatin River HRI will capitalize on existing powerful partnerships with the Madison-Gallatin TU Chapter, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, the Gallatin River Task Force, the Gallatin Watershed Council and Custer-Gallatin National Forest to increase our collective capacity to do effective, watershed-scale conservation work.
“We’re thrilled to join forces with TU and support the Home Rivers Initiative here in the Gallatin Valley,” said Casey Sheahan, CEO. “The Gallatin River gives so much to our local community and is such an important fishery, it feels great to form such a meaningful and impactful long-term partnership with TU to ensure a healthy fishery for years to come.” To learn more about the partnership and how to get involved, please visit the donation page here: https://gifts.tu.org/gallatinHRI
Simms Releases the Next Evolution of the Ultimate Foul Weather Fortress
After its initial release, Simms’ Pro Dry Jacket and Bib (Pro Dry Suit) quickly earned the reputation as the ultimate foul weather suit. So much so, serious anglers began looking at the suit less and less like clothing and more and more like mission critical gear they wouldn’t leave the dock without. But Simms does not rest on our laurels. Since technology and performance are part of the Simms DNA, the product team spared little to no time thinking about how the Prodry should evolve and become even better. So, after countless hours of design, development, and field testing in torrential downpours, choppy open water crossings, rough seas, and high winds — the all-new Pro Dry Jacket and Bib were born.
In Depth with the Creator of Simms All-New Riparian Camo, a Pattern Designed to Up Your Odds Against Distinguishing Trout.
Ask any angler who chases spooky fish what their favorite aspect of the game is and you’ll get the same response: It’s like hunting. And they’re right. Hunting and this type of fishing are nearly one in the same. Whether it’s sneaking around in the mountains for elk, or getting into to the perfect casting position to present a dry fly to a sipping brown trout — both types of stalks place the utmost importance on stealth. Hunters have been wearing camouflage to blend in to their surroundings since the beginning of time, so doesn’t it make sense to do the same when hunting fish? We certainly think so, which is why we partnered with the best in the concealment business, Veil Camo. Since this partnership started, Veil has cranked out a handful of fish focused camouflage patterns. Check out our conversation below with Veil’s founder, Joe Skinner and learn a little bit more about his obsession, his company, and the design and development process of Simms’ brand new pattern, Riparian Camo.
Finally — prime hike/wade season is here. Before you ditch the oars, take a tour of some of our favorite footwear options tailor made for hike/wade enthusiasts.
With steady flows, clean water, and most importantly, good company — floating down your favorite river comes with advantages aplenty. From a tactical standpoint, fishing from a boat allows you to cover tons of water, which almost always enhances the catching aspect of your day. On the social side, floating is a great time to fish in close proximity with your best buds and of course, razz them when they miss a fish. Not to mention, even for anglers who seemingly bring every piece of tackle and equipment they own — in a boat, there’s always ample room to conveniently stash a day’s worth of gear and a cooler full of cold beers — always. On the flip-side, there’s something to be said about leaving the boat at home, throwing all your gear on your back, and bushwhacking your way into spots that would otherwise be inaccessible. Yes, hike/wade fishing comes with a bit of labor but the rewards of connecting with a fish of a lifetime with your feet planted in the riverbed tip the scale in every possible way.
So let’s discuss the main engine that powers anglers who choose to use their own two feet instead or oars to find a piece of untapped water that’s all their own — hike/wade footwear.
Benshi Creative’s Latest Film Showcasing the Power of Community in a Time of Need.
So here we are – over half-way through 2020. It’s interesting to look back at the tail end of 2019 and think about just how much life has changed from then to now. Back in October, we were shaking hands, fist-bumping, and hugging industry friends at the IFTD show in Denver. As December approached, we were hard at work balancing inherent holiday chaos with all the work that goes into launching a new product line. Nothing out of the norm. Obviously, a lot has changed since we said goodbye to 2019 and welcomed the arrival of 2020. Since then, we’ve all had to adapt in at least one way, shape, or form.
In March of this year, along with many other brands in the outdoor space, Simms recognized a void in Personal Protective Equipment for medical professionals on the front lines in the fight against Covid-19. In short order, Simms’ product and leadership team set out to utilize the skills of our staff, our equipment, and manufacturing space to help fill this void. By the beginning of April, the men and women who under normal circumstances, painstakingly build our GORE-TEX® Waders began production on reusable medical gowns. Throughout all of the challenges the world has been faced with over the last few months, for those of us at Simms, our PPE efforts have been a true bright spot.
About the same time we were finalizing the patterns and process of our medical gowns, a young and hungry crew from Bozeman, Montana’s Benshi Creative was en route to Alaska for the assignment of a lifetime — a multi-week heli-skiing filming adventure.
As many people and businesses had to do, the Benshi team made the tough decision to cut their trip incredibly short. In fact, as soon as they landed in Alaska, they turned around and headed back home to Montana. Upon their arrival, the team immediately quarantined. During that time, they realized they had to adapt and asked the question “What’s an impactful story that we can tell in our own backyard?” As the days of quarantine passed, Benshi became aware of Simms’ PPE efforts. Inspired by Simms’ ability to adapt and launch a project designed to help so many people, Benshi knew this was a story they wanted to tell. In their latest film, Adaptive Waters, Benshi’s goal was to showcase the power of community and highlight what kind of outcomes are possible when support for the greater good is motivated by humanity rather than profit.
How to Measure Yourself for a Perfect Fitting Wader
You know what’s a pain? Getting fitted for a suit. However, when you take the time and accurately take all the appropriate measurements, you end up looking pretty sharp. You know what’s more fun than wearing a suit? Wearing waders. Interestingly enough, the process of selecting the perfect size wader is actually pretty similar to finding a suit that fits you just right. Just like a suit, you want the fit of your waders to be as tailored as possible. This is why when it comes to Simms waders, you’re never going to see a size chart that offers run of the mill sizing like: Small, Medium, Large, X-Large, XX-Large.
At Simms, we take fit very seriously. Sure, we want you to look good on the water but more than that, we want our waders to perform at the highest level day after day, week after week, year after year. What we’ve found is that one of the best ways to achieve this goal is to really dial in the fit of our waders for all kinds of body types. For example, this is why when you look at the size chart of our Men’s G3 Guide™ Stockingfoot Wader, you notice that you have the option to choose from 19 standard sizes. Again, those are standard options – we also offer a half dozen or so custom options as well.
When you take the time and properly measure yourself for a wader that fits perfectly, you’re going to be more comfortable, you will have a much better range of motion, and yes – you’ll look good. But, in addition to performance, you’re also going to add to the longevity of your waders. When a wader has a tailored fit, you’re not going to have material that’s weakened by bunching, creasing, or rubbing against itself.
In short, the better a wader fits, the better it’s going to perform and the longer it’s going to last. So when it comes time to purchase your next wader – do yourself a favor and check out the video above and take the time to accurately measure yourself for that perfect fit.