Thanks to the good old British weather, on Thursday I found myself behind the keyboard instead of drifting Clatworthy with clients. This little wedge of unexpected time can help me to follow up on overdue emails and other “clerical” type duties, but not far away will be an idea. Something going around my head which means I am probably not doing what I should be doing!
So whirring around what little grey matter I have, no doubt inspired by the wind & rain lashing at the shop windows, was clothing. In particular I was thinking about all the stuff that I wear while guiding and by late afternoon gave in, sat down and typed up a list of the stuff I use on a regular basis. I can be a geek like that sometimes.
I was shocked. Within a few minutes I had listed over 20 items. OK I have to admit that this included three different types of jacket, a bunch of layering and some gloves but in any event everything on that list gets used regularly. Not all at once of course although the thought crossed my mind that I could try it all on at once! I can be an idiot as well as a geek.
Third confession, I have OCD. This list could not be 23 items long, it had to be two dozen and so the 24th clothing item is in fact a bottle opener in the shape of a fish that goes with me everywhere. Perhaps I could describe it as a clothing accessory? It’s always in a pocket somewhere, ready for that post fishing/guiding cold beer that tastes so much better of course when opened with a SIMMS Thirsty Trout Keychain!
Fourth confession, everything on the list of 20 is made by the famous Bozeman, Montana outfit. Yes it’s expensive in the UK. Yes it is cheaper in the USA (isn’t everything?). Yes there are other great products out there. But I am lucky enough to use & abuse this stuff, as do guides all over the world. For sure we don’t pay the full price, but we do pay. Simms don’t just give guides gear. So why do I choose to wear Simms?
Well for starters obviously I am a shameless tackle tart! Even now whenever I pull on a set of waders, zip up those brilliant gore tex jackets and adorn my bonce with one of many caps, I feel like a part of what Simms are all about. Let’s be honest not many companies have the ability to do that and if you don’t believe me, go take a look at their company website, Flyfish Europe or pick up a brochure. I did just that last year while at the Apalach Outfitters in Florida and during the remaining car journeys hardly a minute went by when one of the group (you know who you are so admit that you are just as much of a hopeless Simms addict as I am!) I was travelling with wasn’t composing a mental shopping list from that publication or salivating over the moody, you MUST go fishing now fishography within. If Simms can’t turn you on and make you want to go fishing, no matter what the weather is, nobody can!
But I definitely don’t just wear Simms gear just because I think it’s cool. An average year for me is over 100 days taking clients fishing so my clothing has to work and after my initial introduction to their waders, during 4 months guiding in Argentina back in 2000/2001, I have worn Simms ever since. Well that was up until I became a consultant for a well known tackle company and was contracted to use their kit which wasn’t that comfortable and often leaked. Actually that’s not fair of me, the company also made some exceptional wet weather gear, which was much cheaper than the flagship brands attempt at it. My main gripe with the cheaper brand was that it was always Green and even worse it is now Poo Brown. Meanwhile the flagship brands attempt at waders and such like just didn’t work, well that’s unless you count the inboard testicle cooling system as a benefit. Anyway, no matter, they sacked me a few years ago and I have been wrapping myself up in Simms ever since.
The G3 waders are cut perfectly. My Rivertek boots feel like slippers. Beneath them I maintain warmth through their enormous variety of layering and the elements just don’t have a chance against a Fall Run Jacket or their windstopper fleeces. And then there are those amazing Gore Tex jackets, like the brilliant G3. Great big pockets, loads of room to ensure unrestricted casting, hoods that work and cuffs which don’t instantly leak the moment there is an outbreak of drizzle. But it does have a competitor. The Simms Slick jacket is fast becoming my new best friend, incorporating a super clever pocket system without any outside snags. Hence its name. Not everyone will be keen on the Black and even I would think twice about the Fury Orange. I would also like to see the cuffs replaced with the G3 style design.
Damn. I have just realised that I need to add two more items to the list which I already use. Wading socks and the most comfortable pair of shoes I have ever worn, Simms Mariners. For some reason I wound up with 2 pairs of them and forget the last time I wore anything else, other than back in December when I had to slip into something smart for a Christmas party, secretly wishing all evening that it had been fancy dress so that I could have gone as a modern day fly fisherman and wear something more comfortable than my horrible pair of John Lewis Desert boots. Perhaps one day my dream will come true and I will get to spend part of my life in Bozeman, enjoying Christmas kitted out from top to toe in all the very latest Simms.
Anyway, if you are interested here is the list of the Simms I use:
1 – Simms Pro Guide Gore Tex Jacket
2 – Simms Pro Guide Gore Tex Bib
3 – Simms Slick Jacket
4 – Simms G3 Jacket
5 – Simms G3 Stocking Foot Waders
6 – Simms Rivershed Wading Boots
7 – Simms Backsaver Belt
8 – Simms Waderwick Fleece Pant
9 – Simms Waderwick Fleece Top
10 – Simms Rivertek Top
11 – Simms Rivertek Bottoms
12 – Simms Coldweather Pant
13 – Simms Fall Run Jacket
14 – Simms Montana Shirt
15 – Simms Kenai Shirt
16 – Simms ExStream Jacket
17 – Simms ADL Vest
18 – Simms Windstopper Hoody
19 – Simms Caps – assorted – my fave is the Trucker Style!
20 – Simms Trout Visor Beanie
21 – Simms Stretch Neck Gaiter
22 – Simms Freestone Half-Finger Glove
23 – Simms Windstopper Half-Finger Glove
24 – Simms Thirsty Trout Keychain
25 – Simms Socks (late addition)
26 – Simms Mariner Shoes (late addition)
In fact I have just realised that there are several (could be approaching 10?!) late additions, some of them still in my wardrobe from the 2000/2001 Rio Gallegos trip. But by now, I am sure you get the point! Now what cap shall I wear today…………………?