John Sherman of Simms talks about what the company has in
store for both Fly and Conventional Anglers
Simms is also now addressing the bass market with new offerings, can you talk
about these and why Bass Anglers should be interested?
Bass, and other “conventional” fishing, may be considered a much more demanding
environment than Trout fishing when you consider the mixture of nasty weather
and fast-running boats. The demand on fishing gear when the weather is bad
(that can range from cold & wet to windy to extreme sun) is the same - anglers
need gear that provides protection and allows them to stay out on the water,
regardless of the conditions. We offer many products (Windstopper Jackets, Rain
Suits, Sun Protective clothing etc.) that are very relevant for the Bass world
and we have the team in place to create new exciting products geared
specifically to conventional anglers.
Simms is pushing into the bass
market and is designing apparel that is designed for both conventional and fly
anglers pursuing bass
Is there any one particular piece in the Simms offering that you are most
StreamTread is the hottest product in fly fishing right now, so it’s pretty hard
to not get excited about that. Given we already covered that topic; I would say
it’s our SolarFlex Shirts! SolarFlex Shirts are extremely comfortable,
lightweight, and provide total protection from the harmful rays of the sun.
Anglers in all forms of fishing are discovering the importance of sun protective
clothing. Also, as a mid-30s angler, I don’t necessarily want a collared button
up shirt to go fishing. Who says you have to wear a collar to go wet a line?
Not only do these shirts protect you from the sun and look great, they wick
moisture incredible well! I also find myself wearing them as a
base layer in cold conditions.
part of a team called Bass N Fly Promotions that promotes the world of fly
fishing through America’s most popular fish the Large Mouth Bass
let’s shift over to you personally, we met a year ago in Sacramento and you are
an expert fly caster and one of the drivers behind getting bass anglers to adopt
fly techniques to pursue bass, even in tournament situations. Can you tell us
more about this effort and how it is going?
It’s going very well. I’m part of a team called
Bass N Fly Promotions and we’re
promoting the world of fly fishing through America’s most popular fish the Large
Mouth Bass. The team consists of Captain Kevin Doran (Delta Fly Fishing Guide),
Keith Kaneko (Owner of Fly Fishing Travel Business and Guide), Ken Hanley
(Fishing Author and Teacher), Jerry Siem (Sage Rod Designer) and I. We’ve put
on educational expos, hosted 2 fly fishing only delta bass tournaments, written
articles, competed in conventional bass tournaments with flies and designed
specific bass related equipment. It has been a great ride thus far and it’s only
getting started. In our 2 Bass N Fly Delta Challenges we’ve had 32 teams in 08
and 39 teams in 09 coming from as far away as Wisconsin, Arizona, Colorado and
New Mexico. Our goal is that someday 10% of bass anglers have at least one fly
rod on the boat for tournament use. We think it’s possible, and in the right
environment a fly rod might even have an advantage. I believe fly fishing for
bass is still in its infancy, the techniques, flies and equipment are starting
to develop rapidly. It often takes competition to accelerate that development
and we are starting to see that. We still have an extremely long way to go but
we are committed for the long haul and I do think it will happen!
right on the California Delta and tries to get out whenever his busy schedule
allows for it
there ever times when you fish conventional tackle or are you totally dedicated
to fly fishing?
I started fishing for the first time when I was 3 years old for catfish with my
mom’s family back in North Carolina. I picked up a fly rod for the first time at
the age of 8 and a passion for the long rod was sparked. During my teenage
years I dabbled with both conventional and fly tackle and made the full
conversion to fly at about 17. I only fish flies now, but still love to share
the water with conventional angles, I feel there is a ton to be learned from
both sides by fishing with the other.
how often do you personally get to go fishing these days and what is your
favorite species to pursue?
My fishing time varies greatly depending on the time of the year. I travel a
ton as a Sales Rep in a GIANT territory and there are seasons when I don’t get a
chance to fish that much. But I make up for it in other seasons and I’m
fortunate to do 3 to 4 destination travel trips a year. I live in Discovery Bay
on the banks of the California Delta, so when I am home I often get out for a
morning or evening session. I’m also an avid outdoor photographer as well and
shooting photos while fishing provides good synergy. You can view my work
here, I also take some gear
with me on the road and have the ability to fish with key shop staff and guides
on their home waters. I’m married (my wife loves to fish) and we have a
daughter who is 1 ½ year old so I choose to spend time with the family. Fishing
has been a passion of mine since I was 3 and I make sure that I still get out as
often as I can even with my new family commitments. In my line of work the
dealers and guides want to know that you “walk the walk” and not just “talk the
John with a
nice Roosterfish caught right on the beach
As far as
favorite species, there are so many incredible fish species out there and I
don’t think I could pick just one so here’s my top 4 in no particular order.
I’m drawn to challenging big fish that require time and persistence to catch,
throw in sight fishing and precision casting and you have it all!!
1. Sight casting to Giant Trevally on the Flats.
2. Swinging flies to steelhead.
3. Sight Fishing to Roosterfish from the beach.
4. Sight Fishing to Tarpon on the flats.
are also one of the featured anglers in “Bass – The Movie” produced by Howard
Films and also stars Bobby Barrack and premiered Oct 17th in
Hollywood. Can you tell us more about this project?
Bass the Movie is the latest Howard Films project in which they tackled the
giant topic of Bass Fishing. The film starts with an overview and America’s
obsession with the Largemouth Bass, and moves into selecting California as the
perfect venue to host the film. There are interviews with Kevin Van Dam, Mike
Iaconelli, Bill Dance, Ish Monroe and others. The Film incorporates both fly
and conventional anglers fishing at the same time and shows the team work and
learning that takes place from each side. I was one of several featured fly
anglers on the shoot which also included Kevin Doran and Larry Kurosaki. The
venues were the California Delta and Lake Casitas. There is some incredible
aerial, underwater, and blow up frog footage that will get your heart pounding.
This should be a classic for years to come and put an entirely different spin on
bass fishing! Bobby Barrack and Mike Mitrany show off their home waters and some
of their specialized techniques. Hundreds of anglers made it out to the world
premier in Hollywood in mid Oct and there is talk of a Nor Cal Premier next
spring. The DVD will be available early this month and will retail for $34.95.
You can view the trailers
on the flats ranks as one of John's favorite species to pursue
Sounds exciting. We really appreciate you taking the time to tell us more about
Simms and the new offerings. Is there anything you would like to say in closing
to our readers?
Thanks again for including me in your interview! I’m very excited to see Simms
move more into the conventional fishing market and I think the conventional
fishing market will be fired up to see what Simms can produce!!
TackleTour would like to
thank John for taking time out of his busy schedule to talk about Simms push
into the Bass market as well as his passion for fly fishing