02 Feb Round Up: Giving Back to the Yellowstone
Simms joins forces with Montana Freshwater Partners to repair and restore a vital and iconic watershed
In association with Montana Freshwater Partners, Simms Fishing Products — the preeminent manufacturer of fishing waders, outerwear, footwear, and technical apparel — is launching the Simms Watershed Stockingfoot Wader to generate financial aid to the Yellowstone ecosystem in response to the devastating floods that occurred last spring.
In early June of 2022, a heavy rain and warm overnight temperatures coincided with Montana’s peak runoff, resulting in a devastating flood. Due to the catastrophic event, all five entrances to Yellowstone National Park were closed, thousands of park visitors were evacuated, and bridges, houses, and roadways were completely swept away, leaving behind millions of dollars in damages, with years of rejuvenation ahead.
To the residents of southwest Montana, the Yellowstone River is not only a vital economic resource, it’s an ecosystem that’s essential to their way of life. Following the flood, Simms immediately embarked on the wader partnership project to support the Yellowstone River Stewardship Campaign’s Give Back to the Yellowstone, an endeavor designed to engage the community, out-of-state visitors, and businesses in projects supporting the revitalization of the iconic Yellowstone ecosystem. Patterned after Simms’ multi-award winning G3 Guide Stockingfoot Wader, the Watershed Stockingfoot Wader utilizes excess Gore-Tex® Pro Shell fabric in a three-layer upper and four-layer lower portion of the wader. Offering unhindered range of motion, this lightweight fabric is breathable, durable, and waterproof. Featuring an oversized, stretch-woven, zippered chest pocket and a microfleece-lined, zippered, pass-through hand-warmer pocket, the wader also comes equipped with adjustable suspenders with opposing buckles that allow for a waist-high conversion. For mobility and durability, Simms has incorporated patented front and back leg seams. To round out the features, the wader includes integrated gravel guards and anatomically correct left and right stocking feet with an antimicrobial finish. Offered in eight sizes, Simms Watershed Stockingfoot Waders are available in limited quantities and can be purchased at simmsfishing.com or through Simms’ vast retail network.
“It’s hard to put into words what the Yellowstone River and ecosystem means to us here at Simms,” says the company’s vice president of culture and community, Diane Bristol. “On the surface, it’s a picturesque, iconic trout fishery, but, in reality, it’s so much more than that. It’s where we unwind, recreate, create unforgettable memories, and forge lifelong family bonds and friendships. The surrounding communities and lifestyle that comes with it truly embody our ‘Fish It Well’ philosophy. We are thrilled to collaborate with Montana Freshwater Partners and couldn’t be more excited to utilize a product that’s so synonymous with our brand to help restore this national treasure that runs through our backyard.”
To announce the launch of the Watershed Stockingfoot Wader, Simms made a $10,000 donation on Giving Tuesday to Give Back to the Yellowstone. The waders were made available in February and Simms will donate an additional $50,000 generated from the waders’ sales.
Campaign funds will be invested in conservation and restoration projects that are designed to improve water quality, fish habitat, late-season flows, and floodplain connectivity. Simms’ contribution will be allocated to on-the-ground projects, and implemented collaboratively with local nonprofit organizations, including Montana Freshwater Partners, the Upper Yellowstone Watershed Group, the Park County Environmental Council, Trout Unlimited, and others working in partnership with the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, Custer Gallatin National Forest, and Bureau of Land Management.