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Trouts Journal

Product Spotlight- Simms Montana TechWool

Ivan Orsic / Oct 1, 2014

For some, the end of summer means the end of fishing season. Hunting, football, kids returning to school/sports, holidays, skiing....all fine activites for the colder months. For others however, it's always fishing season. We here at Trouts, as well as many of our customers near and far, fall into the second category. One of my own personal mottos is, "There's no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing". This couldn't be more true in the months to come.

For the most part, getting a good Gore-Tex jacket and pair of waders has been made pretty easy- thus solving the issue of staying dry. But what about the equally important factor of staying warm? Being located in Montana, Simms has the perfect proving ground for testing and developing gear that can withstand the elements. If a piece of clothing can keeping you comfortable in a Montana winter, it can keep you comfortable anywhere.

When it comes to staying warm and comfortable, it all comes down to layering. I've known some anglers who obsess about their layering. They even consider it a "system", constantly tinkering and tweaking different lofts, and grams of insulation, wool, synthetic, etc. And to some degree, it's tough to blame them. For many anglers, days on the water can be a very coveted and hard earned thing to get. Being cold and uncomfortable is one of the quickest ways to put a damper on your day on the water.

That being said, if fishing through the Winter is how you plan on making it to Spring, you'd be wise to check out the Techwool series of layering from Simms. From a technical standpoint, wool offers superior warmth while also wicking away moisture when wet. We were first introduced to the world of Montana Techwool last year with their 1/4 Zip Top Pullover. For those who don't know, all Simms Techwool is made from locally sourced Montana wool and the garments are made in Bozeman. If you were going to use one word to describe these layering items, the first that comes to mind is "Quality". If you were going to come up with a second, it would be "Warm". I've actually had more than one person say the 1/4 zip is too warm. Having felt the items and slipped them on at the shop, I would have to agree. Techwool is definitely not the answer to your "mid 30's in the morning, sunny and 50 by afternoon" fishing pursuits. These items are going to shine on those days where the wind is blowing out of the north, they're predicting snow by nightfall, and releasing a fish means a break to warm up the hands before you can even think about re-tying a knot.

Many of you will be quick to note, owning these wool items costs noticeably more than some of Simms other imported, synthetic layering items. Fortunately, Techwool falls into the category of getting what you pay for. While these specific offerings are relatively new to the fly fishing world, wool has a very established track record of providing years of use. I have no doubt investing in these quality layering items turn into many years of performance and comfort.

Simms didn't make any changes to their 1/4 zip, aside from expanding the color offerings. This piece works great as a laying item, or as a stand alone garment. It's also just darn comfortable to throw on with a pair of jeans when you're running errands around town. This piece is the heaviest weight in the line up featuring 21 micron wool fibers.

New for '14, we get a more barebones 1/4 zip mid top, a long sleeve crew neck and bottoms. All three of these items are slightly lighter weight and use 18.5 micron fibers.

These quality items will be at the shop, so stop by and check them out! We're confident they will become the solution of many for their cold weather pursuits. As Simms puts it....they're straight from sheep to shirt!

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