Thinking Outside the Boat

Time to Hit the Trail and Find the Fish of a Lifetime

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.

Trump Jr. says what anglers and hunters have been saying all along

The President’s son tweets in opposition to Pebble Mine, noting the headwaters of Bristol Bay are too fragile to risk.

On Tuesday, the president signed the Great American Outdoors Act into law. This law, widely supported and celebrated by anglers and hunters across the country, will provide important funding for stewardship projects on public lands and will help tackle the maintenance backlog on trails, roads and buildings in our national parks and other public facilities. 

While the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act doesn’t have a direct impact on Bristol Bay and the Pebble mine, it’s important to note that sportsmen and women were instrumental in speaking up to see this bipartisan bill become law. Now, it’s time to channel this energy to see that denying the permit for Pebble Mine is next on the President’s agenda. 

Just after the signing of the Great American Outdoors Act, Donald Trump Jr. retweeted former Chief of Staff to the Vice President, Nick Ayers. In the tweet, Ayers opposed the Pebble mine and called on mine’s key permit to be denied. The president’s son, an avid hunter and angler tweeted: As a sportsman who has spent plenty of time in the area I agree 100%. The headwaters of Bristol Bay and the surrounding fishery are too unique and fragile to take any chances with. #PebbleMine” 

Sportsmen and women have been saying what Trump Jr. said today for the better part of two decades. As Bristol Bay sits atop the bucket list of hunters and anglers from across the country and around the world, the region is too unique to risk by building a massive open-pit mine in the headwaters of the planet’s most important salmon-producing region. In May, over 250 fishing, hunting and outdoor recreation businesses, alongside 31,000 individual sportsmen and women signed and delivered a letter to the President calling on him to deny Pebble’s permit.  

With the July 23 release of the Final Environmental Impact Statement for Pebble, the Army Corps of Engineers could now issue a record of decision to grant or deny Pebble’s permit in the next 3 to 6 weeks. The president talked a lot about being the “conservation president” when he signed the Great American Outdoors Act into law this week. If that’s a legacy he wishes to craft, there’s no better way to do so than to deny a foreign mining company a permit to trash one America’s greatest landscapes.

In the final stages of the permitting process, the sporting community must once again call on the President to safeguard this national treasure by denying Pebble’s permit. 

It’s critical that the roar of the sporting community comes out loud and clear once again for Bristol Bay.

Tell the President and Congress to deny Pebble’s Permit.

Simms Pros Take Over the Podiums


Last week was a big week in the tournament circuit for the Simms Professional Anglers. Multiple events, multiple trophies.

It’s been a big few weeks for the professional angler circuits. Because of the crazy start to 2020, fishing tours across the country are in full swing due to the delayed starts. From Walleye to Bass, professional anglers have been grinding away the summer doldrums, chasing trophies across the nation. For a few individuals, the chase was fruitful in the form of huge cash prizes and hoisting trophies on the big stage.

Bassmaster Elite is Back in NY, and Simms Pros take the top two spots

Entering the final day at Lake Champlain, the field was insanely tight. The top 10 anglers were separated by a meer 2lbs 12 oz., and the weather pattern that held for the first 3 days was finally breaking. Enter, Brandon Palaniuk.

Palaniuk went into the final day sitting in 5th, 1lb 1oz off the leader Jamie Hartman, but he was feeling good. A lot of Palaniuks practice fishing was done under similar windy, overcast conditions, so he knew leaving the dock he stood a chance, a real one.

“I had a really good practice and I felt like I could literally drive around, look at my (Humminbird) LakeMaster charts, pull up on a spot and catch big ones. I think the wind this morning helped push those baitfish up and it moved a lot of those fish up. Those fish aren’t resident fish; they chase schools of bait,” recounts Brandon after the final weigh in.

And boy did he catch the big ones- lots of them. Palaniuk finished the final day with the biggest bag of the entire tournament at 21lbs 6oz, earning him his first Bassmaster Elite Series trophy in over 3 years. When he went up on stage to collect his cup, he also collected a total prize purse of $100,000 dollars. I’m not a betting man, but I have a feeling that trophy felt priceless…

Not to be outdone, fellow simms pro Seth Feider put up a stellar performance at Lake Champlain, falling short of Palaniuks mark by 1lb 3ozs to claim the second spot. Feiders approach to the tournament was far more centered around flipping docks chasing largemouth in the early stages of the event until Sunday when he shifted his whole focus towards smallmouth. Feider kept himself in the running by scoring some monster fish, stating “I got really lucky and caught two great big ones that gave me a chance. It just wasn’t enough.”

While Feider couldn’t close the gap on the last day, he did go home with the Phoenix Boats Big Bass title, scoring a 6lb 6oz largemouth on day 2. Two anglers, two trophies, and a one, two finish- not a bad showing for the boys up in Champlain. Onto the next one.

Sprengel crushes the competition on Green Bay

Just like everything else in 2020, the start of the National Walleye Tour was off to a rocky. Originally scheduled for mid April, the anglers waited patiently for the revised start date- July 23rd. No one was more excited for the opener than Simms pro walleye angler Korey Sprengel, perennial Walleye champion. Since the National Walleye Tour’s inception, Sprengel has won 5 of 29 events, and has been in all of the top 10s of the Angler of the Year since 2013. 2019 was still a stellar year with a 4th place AOY finish, but his season’s success was overshadowed by a few other story lines, namely fellow Simms pro John Hoyer’s three tournament run of two first place and one second place finish.

As you could imagine, redemption was on Korey’s mind. And when he saw that the opening event was to be hosted on Green Bay, he knew only he could beat himself. Time to reclaim the unofficial title of the greatest walleye fisherman the tour has ever known.

And wouldn’t you know it, that is exactly what he did. Korey had a good grip on what to do in Green Bay, and his plan played out perfectly. “The whole key this week was my first bite on day one,” recalled Sprengel. “With the northeast wind, I knew it was going to be a needle in the haystack. But I also knew the recipe. I just needed to know if the recipe was going to work. That first fish bit twice, if not three times. It was only like a 20-incher, but I knew if they were going to bite multiple times, there was something to be had. From there, it was all about fine tuning it.”

After putting up a huge bag the first day with 5 fish to 42.13lbs and his closest competitor scoring 36.03lbs, he was in great standing for day 2. Come weigh in time on the last day, the victory was nothing short of comprehensive. Sprengel finished the tournament with 77.48 pounds, obliterating the rest of the field. His margin of victory was 17.17 pounds, the biggest margin in the tours history. With that win, Sprengel took home a purse of over 92K dollars. Not bad a few days work.

Welcome back to the top, Korey. Go get that throne.

A Win For All Things Wild

In a great showing of bipartisanship for the sake of our national parks, equal outdoor access, and preserving the wild places that we hold dear, the Great American Outdoors Act cleared its final hurdle. Let’s all raise a glass and celebrate this monumental win for conservation.

A signature from the president putting the Great American Outdoors Act into legislation — for all outdoor enthusiasts, is a big deal. In fact, some are calling it the biggest win in conservation since the days of Theodore Roosevelt.

After passing through the Senate in mid-June and through the House of Representatives at the end of July, POTUS made the legislation official today by signing the historic bill into law. The bill, which has been in contention for years, can be thought of in two major parts. On one side, the bill will provide permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), and at the same time, the bill will also create a separate fund to improve a drastically underfunded national parks system.

The goal for the national park fund is to make sure that parks have adequate support, ranging from fixing access roads to maintaining trails, all the way to bathroom access. With the LWCF, this will be the second time since its inception in 1965 that it is fully funded. It will help ensure access to public lands for recreation- including fishing, while protecting and expanding the public playground from the most remote wilderness areas to local municipal parks. This is helping access and usage for all, no matter where you live, using zero taxpayer dollars.

The LWCF has been a highly contested fund for years, and Simms has been on the front lines in support of full and permanent funding of LWCF for decades. Since his earliest days at Simms, K.C Walsh, Simms’ Principal Owner and Executive Chairman, recognized the significance of conservationism and the importance of working towards maintaining clean air, clean water, and protecting wildlife habitat for all to enjoy. During his tenure as Board Chair for the American Fly Fishing Trade Association, Walsh became intimately familiar with LWCF and its significance to the fishing industry from longtime conservation lobbyist and founder of Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (TRCP), Jim Range. From that point forward, Walsh and other leaders of the Simms team have leaned into the conversation wherever and whenever possible.

This is a step in the right direction. The world is a crazy place these days, and nothing is going to get fixed overnight. This, however, is a huge win that warrants celebration. It’s a win for public land access, a win for bipartisanship, and most importantly, its a win for natural resources.

The administration feels it is such significant news that from here on out, August 4th will be known as the “Great American Outdoors Day.” That means that entrance fees will be waived on public lands managed by the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. As a special bonus, Wednesday, August 5th will also be a fee-free day on all the aforementioned public lands.

So remember- the next time you’re on the water or recreating on public land, give toast to the Great American Outdoor Act and be grateful it passed.

For information on this historic milestone for the outdoors, click here.

The Next Step in the Fight for Bristol Bay

The fight against the proposed Pebble mine has reached another critical milestone with the release of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (Final EIS) on Thursday, July 23, 2020.

Produced by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Final EIS is the risk analysis document that should review all the potential impacts the project could bring to the people, fish, and fish-based economies in southwest Alaska. More importantly, the Final EIS serves as the basis for the record of decision, which will grant or deny Pebble its most important federal permit. This decision could come as soon as August 19, 2020.

In 2019, Trout Unlimited, multiple federal and state agencies, and 685,000 individuals submitted comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, all noting the inadequacies in the Corps’ initial document. Alaska Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan even weighed in, saying that if the Corps doesn’t address all the issues raised in agency comments in the Final EIS, they should not issue the permit.

Even from reading the executive summary, it is clear that the Corps has not evaluated Pebble beyond a conceptual level plan, and hasn’t fully accounted for every way Pebble would impact Bristol Bay, which is a failure of their duties under the Clean Water Act.

See the FEIS here and TU’s analysis here.

With a record of decision issued as early as next month, we are nearly at the end of the permitting process. We’ve called on the Army Corps, our Senators, and even the President to stop Pebble, and now they need to hear from people from across the country again. Head over to www.savebristolbay.org/ to send a note to the White House -yes, again- asking them to do all they can to stop Pebble in the permitting process.

Layering Under Waders

Unlocking the puzzle of what to wear under waders

Today’s the day. You’ve got big plans to spend a long day hiking around in waders, looking for risers, and playing in natures’ playground. You pull out your rod and reel, some flies, maybe a libation or two, and you’re ready to go. You’re about to step into your waders, look down at your blue jeans and think to yourself, “there’s got to be something better than this.” And wouldn’t you know it- there is.

From the hottest days on the Henry’s Fork to the coldest days swinging for steelhead, base layers are essential items to stay comfortable in your waders. That part is obvious. However, choosing the right layer for your particular fishing situation might be less obvious.

Continue reading below to hear what we think are some of the right clothing options for layering up under waders for different fishing scenarios throughout the year.

Something to keep in mind when layering up before putting on your waders- despite the season- you are likely to sweat to some degree. Whether it’s a long hike in through the snow or baking in the sun on a hot summer day, you get hot in waders. Wearing clothing underneath waders that breathes and wicks moisture away from the skin is key. Look for base layers that contain polyester, which is a tried and true moisture-wicking material. Other materials to consider are nylon, merino wool, or a blend of all of them. One thing to always, always remember- Cotton in any form is your enemy! It sucks up moisture, keeping you damp and uncomfortable all day long. 

Socks

Let’s start at the bottom- the socks. Simms offers a whole line of merino wool socks for any season and any scenario. It is always a good idea to wear socks that go above your ankle to prevent rubbing against the neoprene in the booties of your waders. Longer socks also give you the option to tuck your leg layers in to prevent bunching and cold spots where the skin is directly against the waders. 

For the warmer summer months, the Guide Lightweight Crew Sock is going to be your best friend. In the cooler months when air temps are more variable and the water temps are on the chillier side- Guide Midweight OTC Socks are going to be the perfect fit. For any cold-weather fishing or water that’s constantly below 45 to 50 degrees, we recommend the Guide Thermal OTC Socks. You have to be careful about layering socks when the weather gets cold- constricting blood flow to your feet in cold weather is only going to make you get colder faster.

Leg Layers

During the warmer summer months, you can usually get away with a pair of light pants under the waders rather than a core bottom. Since wool is a little more insulating, focus on the quick-dry pants like the Superlight Pants or the Fast Action Pants. For the lady anglers out there, the Bugstopper Leggings and the Mataura Pant are the perfect options for this time of year. This way you will still have a barrier between your legs and the waders to draw a bit of moisture away from the skin, but won’t insulate heat towards your legs.

For the remainder of the year, you are going to want to focus more around the baselayers and thermals we have on offer. Even on hotter days when the water is on the colder side, you will always be more comfortable with some level of insulation. The Men’s Lightweight and Midweight Core Bottoms as well as the Men’s Fleece Midlayer Bottoms are the perfect options for the intermittent weather and water conditions. On the women’s side of things, the Women’s Lightweight Core Bottom and the Women’s Fleece Midlayer Bottom‘s apply to the same scenarios. The fleece midlayers are on the warmer end of the spectrum, so those are best served in the early spring and fall temps.

If you are anticipating spending the day in freezing air temps and frigid water, finding bottoms that have multiple layers is going to help with trapping heat close to the body. This is the point where you should start looking towards our Men’s Exstream Core Bottom, Fjord Pants, or even the Midstream Insulated Pants, as well as the Women’s Coldweather Pants. The exstream core bottoms are going to suit you well for that late fall/early winter situation where you need insulation, but also might be moving around quite a bit from spot to spot. The Fjords and the Insulated pants are for those extreme conditions where you know it’s going to be cold the whole time. Consider combining layers if you are going to be spending long days wading rather than hiking. For anyone that has spent a day swinging for winter steelhead knows that the heat slowly gets sucked away from your legs the longer you spend standing in 35 degrees water. Combining a few layers together like Midweight Core or the Fleece Midlayers under one of the heavier Fjords or the Midstream Insulated pants will give you optimal warmth without adding too much bulk under the waders.  

It often takes a bit of time coming up for the perfect layering formula for each fishing scenario, so mix it up until you find what you are most comfortable in. Nothing is worse than trying to take your waders off to adjust your leg layers during the middle of a freezing cold day, so do your best to plan accordingly.

Beat the Heat

With long days on the water, treat your body right and cover-up in the sun

Written by Ross Robertson

In my younger years, well before spray tanning, the “cool thing” was to go shirtless and see how olive you could turn your skin. This was a problem for me even thirty years ago because I can get burned by just thinking about the sun. Society’s shift and technology have made it so that these same fishing guides and professionals now more closely resemble a mummy than a bay watch lifeguard. Nowadays function and fashion are mixing, and here is how.

Microfibers

Microfiber pants and shirts that almost completely cover your skin actually help lower your core temp while avoiding damaging sun rays. Companies such as Simms have clothes literally labeled “super light” that keep you from getting burned and at the same time keeping you more comfortable. Easily my favorite piece of clothing is the lightweight sun hoodies Simms labels under Solarflex. These stretchy and super light and cool fabric can totally change your outlook on warm weather fishing. The hood makes it very nice to keep your neck and ears from getting exposed to harmful rays. Yes, sunscreen helps…but most of us don’t hit all the spots, reapply nearly enough, if even use it at all. For me, it is much easier to just flip up the hood. The Solarflex series hoods stays up much better than other brands I have used, enough that they typically stay on even while driving 40mph down the lake. Simms even has a series of clothes entitled “Bugstopper” in the Solarflex lineup which helps reduce those pesky buzzing creatures. While I prefer the aforementioned sun shirts with a hood and a regular old ball cap, if you have a bunch of shirts without hoods, look for a full brimmed hat that can help shield your face, neck, and ears.

Sungaiter

This same microfiber material is crafted into neck gaiters or masks that make completely covering your face around sunglasses a breeze. When facing tons of bugs, big winds, or driving down the lake at Mach 1, a Simms SunGaiter is a must-have. I literally have them in my truck, boat glovebox and pockets of my raingear to make sure I’m never without. They also do wonders when it comes to windburn.

Glove Up

While sunglasses, hats and even sun gaiters have become no brainers in recent year’s, one area that typically gets overlooked is your hands. Many people that work outside develop skin cancer on the tops of their hands where sunscreen either wears off or is never applied. I know I am guilty of this myself. In recent years I have started to wear sun gloves for just this reason. Another added benefit is that my hands don’t get as chewed up from nicks and cuts in the boat and from fish handling. Simms alone offers three different types to cover a multitude of situations.

Accessorize 

While sun gloves aren’t an everyday item for those that work outside, even fewer people know about sun sleeves. Essentially these are microfiber sleeves you can place over your arms allowing a short sleeve shirt to still have complete coverage. Many anglers like them because they feel less inhibited than the pulling effect long sleeves can create. Regardless, they seem like a neat item to carry in case you are getting too much sun or keep you from having to get more long sleeve shirts.

Simply put, we all know the sun is bad for us, and if you fish enough you know that it can make you just plain uncomfortable. Since I’m on the topic of acting motherly, make sure you all drink A LOT more water while fishing. I know I fish better when I more comfortable and it’s no longer cool to look like a lobster!

To see more from walleye extraordinaire Capt. Ross Robertson, check out some of his videos below or head over to his website for more great articles and videos.

The Modern Surf Fisherman: A Different Breed

It can take months to get proficient in the surf fishing game. It takes years, if not a lifetime, to master catching large striped bass from the surf. Unlike the boat bound anglers, the surf fishing crowd is a different breed. They spend countless nights sleepless and skunked, even going as far as dawning a wetsuit and swimming out to normally unreachable structure. If you ask around, you will hear all sorts of surf fishermen stereotypes, but the one that always comes up- they have a screw loose. That’s what these fish do to this dedicated group of anglers. They are tight-lipped, scientists of their craft, and constantly pursuing that next epic bite.

We decided to pick the brains of Simms Ambassador Frank Goncalves– plug builder and big fish enthusiast – on what it takes to be successful from the surf. Frank spends his whole spring, summer and fall targeting large striped bass from the beach and rocks, often in the middle of the night. He is a bit of a jedi knowing where to be on what tide, what moon cycle to fish, and which hand-built plug is going to serve him best on any given night. If you want to learn about what it takes to be successful from the rocks, check out the conversation below with one of New England’s best.

Simms: Hey Frank, good to hear from you man. We are sitting down for this talk at the end of June, which means your season is already well underway – how’s it been so far for you? We just have to know…

Likewise! As for the 2020 season, thus far, it’s had its solid nights followed by some really slow nights. Which is expected, of course. It seems to be another season, where some serious dedication and sleepless nights are the only thing that yield solid results. Which, of course, I’m all for but I won’t argue stumbling across some easy bites. Hoping as we enter summer, patterns from previous seasons mixed with what has been working for this season all comes together. Fingers crossed!

Simms: Alright now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, tell us a little bit about you- who you are, how long you’ve been surf fishing, what you spend your fishing time doing, what you are targeting, etc.?

Frank: I’m a surfcaster living in South Eastern Massachusetts, where I was lucky enough to be born and raised. Although I fished most of my childhood, from boat and shore, I was drawn to surf fishing about fifteen years ago. If I wasn’t already addicted enough to fishing, the combination of targeting striped bass from rocks and doing it through-out the night, made for my perfect recipe.

Simms: Now let’s get into the knitty gritty of it all. Can you give us some insight into fishing during the day versus the night game? I have a feeling I know your preference, but I’d love to hear your thoughts about your favorite conditions?

Frank: Like most surf rats, I primarily fish nights, dark ones preferably. I do, however, really enjoy day time fishing early spring and late fall. Hard to beat topwater after a long winter or after a long, tiring season.

As for conditions, it’s mostly dependent on the spot. In saying that, it’s tough to beat a big tide around the new moon. I love finding light wind out of the southwest and just enough swell to drown out any noise. The fish just seem to feel much more comfortable in tight to structure during those times. There’s always a balance with the wind though- I like just enough to cause some surface disturbance but not enough to dirty up the water.

Simms: The fishery changes a ton throughout the season. Aside from the obvious- hotter/colder longer/shorter days- what changes do you see throughout a fishing season? 

Frank: Fish behavior for sure. Often spring and fall, I feel like I’m targeting a completely different species than in the summer. They often take up residency wherever they feel comfortable for the warmer months and they’re a lot less charged up than the migratory months. This makes targeting them a little less run-and-gun and a lot more finesse fishing. For me anyway. 

Simms: You mentioned the big tides and the structure around your home waters; what factors are you looking at when deciding when and where to go? Is there a golden formula?

Frank: Our tides aren’t as large as some other places so I try to take advantage of the larger tides each month. If you can pair those tides with structure where that already fast-moving water is being forced through, you can usually find larger fish. They tend to be lazy looking for easy meals, so you’ll often find them using the same structure in the same types of choke points.

Simms: Okay, hold on a second here- we need to know more about this whole moon tide situation. We hear people talking about the new moon bite, the flood tide full moons, and all sorts of strange lingo about tides. Please enlighten us.

Frank: The tides around the moons (full and new) are generally larger, therefore faster, which bass seem to use to their advantage and maybe more so tight into shore. However, if you asked any surfcaster, they’d most likely tell you they despise fishing full moons. The full moons are a love-hate relationship- if you get some cloud cover the bite can turn on, but for whatever reason the bass don’t like feeding under the bright moon light. This leaves the new moon, ideal for most surf rats. 

Simms: So conditions and locations aside, surf guys love their gear, to the point where they often start making their own. I’ve seen the plugs you’ve built over the years, and it’s left us drooling over at Simms. Tell us a bit about what got you into plug building?

Frank: Since I started surfcasting, I’d use a variety of plug styles from various builders. Most from small volume builders that I grew to respect. While most were great swimming plugs that were extremely well built and caught, I thought I could build my own and make them specific to the spots I fished. Much like tying flies, I guess.

After toying with the idea of building in the off-season, I built my first few plugs about thirteen years ago after buying an old lathe. I had success on some and each winter, I’d try to improve on those styles while creating new ones. I’d also clone classic styles and fish them to see what made them popular for so many years. Not much has changed in design over the years, so you can learn a ton from any plug.

Simms: I need to know, do you still have the first plug that you built? Did it actually work or was it just a throw away?

Frank: I actually do! Well I have the first plug that actually caught fish from the first set I built. It was no eye-catcher, but I did manage a handful of fish on it including a 22lb bass. Before losing it, I decided to fish a duplicate and hang that one up. I’ll spare everyone a look at the monstrosity but it still hangs on my shop wall, slightly hidden.

Simms: If you had one lure/bait to fish for the rest of your life, what would it be? Swimmers, Jigs, eels ? 

Frank: Tough one here, BUT, I’d have to go with a darter. A rigged eel would be a very close second! Although, it’s still early on in the season, and metal lips have produced more for me than any other plug- I’d be surprised if that holds true all season. Season after season, darters just produce for how and where I fish.

Simms: By your standards, what is the mark of a trophy striper?

Frank: I mean, I consider a fifty-pound Striped Bass a “trophy” like most, but I always feel some amount of luck comes into play with a fifty. I won’t say a forty pound fish is considered a trophy but I’d be just as happy with a forty that I targeting used wind, tide and some experience over a blindly caught fifty.

Simms: What’s your most memorable fish that you have taken from shore to date? Can you give us a rundown of how that experience went for you?

Frank: Ah, another tough one. A few stand out but most of my memorable fish wasn’t the largest, actually. It was more so just how everything played out. The most recent was topwater fish at dusk last fall. Not sure a day time fish gives a surfcaster the same satisfaction as a large fish in the night, but this particular fish did. It was late season, I had dropped two or three fish that weren’t huge but I would have been happy landing. Right before I was thinking about throwing in the towel and taking a break until the night bite, I made a few more casts hoping to raise another. After feeling almost certain it wasn’t going to happen, my plug got absolutely crushed. It was one of those times when you’re actually watching it and didn’t just catch it out of the corner of your eye. BUT unlike the previous fish, I dropped it. I feel like I didn’t really have pinned- it almost seemed like it clamped down on the plug so hard it took drag before letting go of the plug. After throwing my head back and rolling my eyes with frustration I started to burn my plug back in. Two fast cranks in, it came back and hammered it. All shoulders and tail and twice as angry. I’m almost positive it was the same fish as they’re certainly weren’t many around that size and like I mentioned above, I don’t think I ever hooked it, as it’s rare a hooked large fish comes back. Anyhow, after one of the grittier fights I can remember, I got her in and I remember mumbling while out of breath “I freaking love this stuff”. 

Adaptive Waters

Benshi Creative’s Latest Film Showcasing the Power of Community in a Time of Need.

Benshi Creative Presents: Adaptive Waters

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.

The Perfect Fit

How to Measure Yourself for a Perfect Fitting Wader

A Few Basic Measurements Will Help You Select a Wader With the Perfect Fit

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.   

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