I would like to share with you some of the best gear I have used in my guiding career over the past 18 years. I am on the river 220+ days a year and I can attest to the durability of the gear I choose. When you punish it like I do, it better be built to last!!!
Simms G3 Guide Waders:
Waders are one of the most important pieces of gear for me on the water. Staying dry is super important whether it is 90 degrees outside or 20.
The 5 layer lower construction Pro Shel Gore-Tex breathes well and it extremely durable, even on those super sharp rocks in Chesman Canyon. I have yet had a puncture in the lower legs of these waders!!!
The fit is outstanding and the pocket layout works well with a vest or lanyard/hip pack combo. The bottom line... This is one of the finest waders manufactured to date and I could not do my job without them!!!
Simms Guide Boot - Streamtread:
I have worn just about every boot made on the planet, especially all of the Simms models and this is the one I just keep coming back to. I will put 6 to 8 miles of hiking in these boots each and every trip and they just keep going!!! They actually get more comfortable the longer you wear them which is not the case with most boot. They will begin falling apart and creating hot-spots on your feet or heels.
The Vibram Streamtread sole is super grippy without the Simms HardBite Star Cleat and with, you feel like spiderman!!! The durability of this sole has amazed me as I can get an entire season of guiding on one pair of boots where I use to go through at least two if not three.
Bottom Line.... If you are in the market for a super durable pair of wading boots that will last you for years to come, look no further.
Simms G3 Guide Jacket:
When it comes to a protective shell to keep the elements out, I turn to my Simms G3 Guide Jacket. It keeps me dry in the worst of weather conditions and includes plenty of storage for small boxes, nippers and forceps.
Fit is good across the shoulders and the sleeves with water tight cuffs keep my arms dry when releasing a fish under water or when casting in the rain. One of the nicest features of this jacket is the hood, which cinches tight and has a draw cord in the back to pull the hood back away from your face for complete range of vision.
If you are looking for a durable, extremely waterproof fishing jacket, look no further than the Simms G3 Guide Jacket!!!
Sage VXP 9’ – 5 weight – 4 piece fly rod:
In my now 18 year guiding career, I have put a bunch of different fly rods in my client’s hands, which performed as expected. In 2011, I began using the Sage VXP 9’ – 5 weight for all of my nymphing applications with client’s and the difference was immediately noticeable. Clients seem to cast the VXP better and hooks sets were solid even when late!! The most impressive thing I noticed was how supple the tip was which protected light tippet during hard charges while playing fish.
Clients are not easy on gear and the Sage VXP has taken a beating and is still going strong!!!! My biggest fear was having this rod break so I purchased two more just in case!!!!!
If you are looking for a smooth casting, fish fighting machine that is not $700.00 dollars, the Sage VXP series is worth serious consideration!!
Sage 4250 Fly Reel:
Most of my days guiding and fishing have entailed me using either an Orvis or Ross fly reel with great success. When the Sage 4200 Series Fly Reel was introduced to me, my initial reaction was, “how is this any better than an Orvis or a Ross?” Only time would tell.
Spending 200+ days on the water guiding will take a toll on fly reels and require proper maintenance to keep performing at their best. With the Sage 4250 reel, I can honestly say that they have never been serviced, cleaned or given me one sign that I needed to do so. They have been dropped on the rocks, drug through the sand and submerged more times than I can count and still performing like the day I took them out of the box.
The drag system in super easy to adjust, completely sealed for protection and remains strong to this day with well over 300 trips on it!!!!
If you are looking for a fly reel that will stand the test of time, you owe it to yourself to check out the Sage 4200 Series fly reels.