As you probably know, portions of Montana flooded heavily last year, after a unique runoff/rain event. One of those places was Absarokee, where rivers jumped their banks and bridges washed out. I visited the area in September and saw, firsthand, the devastation. I also fished the area rivers and, thankfully, found a bunch of willing trout that survived these wicked high flows.
The area isn’t out of the woods yet, and any assistance is greatly appreciated by local business owners and the trout. Simms Fly Fishing has climbed aboard the recovery project and is now offering its bad-ass Watershed wader for sale, with up to $50,000 in sales headed to the Yellowstone River Stewardship Campaign, which is based out of Livingston, Mont. Those funds will positively impact the Yellowstone River and its various tributaries.
If you are in the hunt for new waders, this would be a good time to lock up a new set for the spring and summer seasons ahead, and while doing so you can contribute to a great campaign that has the future of Montana’s wild trout in mind.
Here’s the skinny from Simms and directions on wording the Watersheds.
In association with Montana Freshwater Partners, Simms Fishing Products is excited to launch the all-new Simms Watershed Stockingfoot Wader – a wader designed to lend financial aid to the Yellowstone ecosystem in response to the devastating floods that occurred in the spring of 2022. In early June of 2022, a combination of an unusual atmospheric rain event and warm overnight temperatures coincided with Montana’s peak runoff, resulting in a devastating 500-year flood event. Due to the catastrophic flood, all five entrances to Yellowstone National Park closed, thousands of park visitors were evacuated, bridges, houses and roadways were completely swept away leaving millions of dollars in damages behind, and 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.
Regarding the damage and destruction, Simms immediately leaned into their longstanding heritage of making waders and embarked on a partnership project conceived to generate significant funding support towards a campaign designed to revitalize the iconic Yellowstone ecosystem.
Available now, the all-new Simms Watershed Stockingfoot Wader is patterned after Simms’ multi-award winning G3 Guide Stockingfoot Wader and utilizes excess GORE-TEX® Pro Shell fabric in a 3-layer upper and 4-layer lower portion of the wader. This lightweight fabric is breathable, durable, waterproof and offers an unhindered range of motion. Featuring an oversized stretch-woven zippered chest pocket and a microfleece lined, zippered, pass-through handwarmer 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 their patented front and back leg seams. To round out the feature set, the wader includes integrated gravel guards and anatomically correct left and right stockingfeet with an antimicrobial finish.
Available in eight sizes, Simms Watershed Stockingfoot Waders are available now in limited quantities and can be purchased for $599.95 at www.simmsfishing.com and also through Simms’ vast retail network. Through Watershed sales, Simms will make a $50,000 contribution to the Yellowstone River Stewardship Campaign, a campaign developed to engage the community, out of state visitors, and business to give back to projects that support the overall health and vitality of the Yellowstone River. The $50,000 will be in addition to the $10,000 contribution Simms made in November of last year when they announced the partnership with Montana Freshwater Partners.
The total contribution will go through a fund that’s been established through Montana Freshwater Partners, a 501c3 non-profit organization based in Livingston, Montana. Funds earned through this campaign will be invested in conservation and restoration projects that will improve water quality, fish habitat, late season flows and floodplain connectivity. Allocation of Simms’ contribution will go towards priority based, on-the-ground projects implemented collaboratively with local nonprofit organizations such as Montana Freshwater Partners, Upper Yellowstone Watershed Group, Park County Environmental Council, Trout Unlimited and others working in partnership with the Department of natural Resources, Natural Resource Conservation Service, Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks, Custer Gallatin National Forest and Bureau of Land Management.