Simms ProDry GORE-TEX Parka / Jacket, Bib and Pants

Last week, many different products were honored with awards at IFTD 2011, the International Fly Tackle Dealer show in New Orleans, LA. However, only two companies stood out by winning more than one award, Simms and Sage. This will likely come as a surprise to absolutely no one, as Simms and Sage are widely considered two of the finest manufacturers in the fly fishing world. Each manufacturer was honored for products they are best known for, Simms for outwear and Sage for rods.

Simms ProDry GORE-TEX Parka / Jacket, Bib and Pants

Simms not only received honors in two individual categories (Best Outerwear, Best Wading Gear), but also received Best in Show honors. Surprisingly enough, the product for which Simms received Best in Show honors -- their brand new Simms ProDry GORE-TEX Jacket, Bib and Pants -- isn't even targeted at the fly fishing community. Well, at least not primarily. The ProDry series is a new, waterproof outwear line Simms has been developing and testing in partnership with the folks at GORE-TEX for several years and which Simms is targeting primarily at the bass fishing community. If you're aching to run out and outfit yourself with the ProDry parka and bibs at the kindly retail price of $899, you'll have to wait. The ProDry lineup is only available via the Simms Pro Program for 2011. The rest of us rabble will have to wait till 2012 to get our hands on them.

September is knocking.

September is almost here and the anticipation of Salmon and Steelhead Season arriving in about 4 weeks is causing fly and spey rods to twitch. In other words, get ready! Salmon fever inflicts all types of ailments: brain cramps, delusions, and peculiar visual maladies that result in difficulty differentiating between suckers, salmon and even the shadows of overhead clouds.

I am sure you’re all wondering what the fall salmon season will bring, especially given the low water conditions due particularly sparse rainfall this summer. Though I don't have a crystal ball, I do have the benefit of having experienced several previous seasons on the Salmon River with similar weather conditions. The way these past seasons have played out, combined with the current conditions on the lake, suggest we could be in for a particularly good king and coho season.

Historic Penns Creek, a tributary of the Susquehanna River. (Photo: B. Kline)

Trout Unlimited issued to its members today a call to action regarding changes to gas drilling regulations proposed by the SRBC (Susquehanna River Basin Commission). According to Trout Unlimited, these changes pose a significant threat to water quality and aquatic life in the Susquehanna River Basin, which includes some of the finest trout rivers and streams in Pennsylvania. Many of the proposed changes identify an ease of administrative burdens on the SRBC, rather than scientific or case-proven rationale, as their motivating factor.

Applying side pressure when fighting a fish keeps the advantage in the hands of the angler.

Last season some time, a friend of mine and I were headed back to our cars from one of our favorite holes on the Farmington River. We were walking riverside when we came upon a young man who was hooked into a very large brown trout. He was very quiet and intensely focused. He did not want to lose this fish. My friend and I each commented on how nice the fish was and, as we both started walking away, heard the kid groan and subsequently blame us for "jinxing" his ability to land a fish he had evidently been fighting for ten minutes. My friend and I felt bad for the kid. It was, without doubt, a very nice fish. I didn’t want to be the one to tell him that it was his technique, and not our compliments, that caused him to lose that fish.

The Simms Guide Boot - $199.95

Simms' Guide Boot has become one of my favorite pieces of gear. Following is what is far from a detailed product review, but offers up a quick look at what I've come to love about these boots.

The Simms Guide Boot is one of Simms' higher-end wading boots. That said, it retails for just under $200, which keeps it well in line with boot offerings from other manufacturers. Though there are definitely cheaper boots out there, even from Simms itself, paying a reasonable premium for footwear can be considered good sense in many ways. Lousy boots can ruin an otherwise stellar day of fishing, and fast.

Simms Guide Boot