Simms is a brand founded on the pillars of innovation. It was the brainchild of visionary angler John Simms who saw a need to develop better waders and accessories than what was then available on the market. That quest led to the development of Simms Fishing Products in 1980. During that era, Simms was one of the first companies worldwide to introduce neoprene waders, which provided enhanced warmth and waterproofing armor for serious anglers pushing the limits of their fishing pursuits.
The brand continued to progress under the Jackson-based Life-Link International banner through the ’80s. But it took a giant leap in 1993, when current owner, K.C. Walsh, a passionate angler and entrepreneur, acquired the company and relocated it to Bozeman. Walsh grew up in a flyfishing family and it was his life-long dream to live, and work, and play in Montana.
Under Walsh’s leadership, Simms introduced breathable waders in a trailblazing partnership with W.L. Gore & Associates (makers of GORE-TEX® fabric). That seismic shift breathed new life into wader innovation and has since powered the sport to new levels of comfort and performance. Today Simms continues to mature as a brand with a trained eye on fisheries conservation and inspired product development over a wide swath of technical apparel offerings—from state-of-the art sun protection and wind-blocking outerwear to pioneering CleanStream™ footwear technologies.
What remains unswerving, however, is Simms’s commitment to U.S.-based manufacturing and business ideals. When Simms relocated headquarters in 2012, it cemented its Bozeman roots with a new 60,000-square-foot facility housing corporate headquarters, warehouses, and its production plant. This 15,000 square-foot expansion provides elbowroom to drive product evolution in a more efficient and effective manner. It also solidifies Simms as the sole fishing wader manufacturer in the country. Simms currently staffs nearly 120 locally based employees and is a recognized Montana economic ambassador and community contributor.
Although Simms continues to strive for new heights its vision—that stems back to that misty Jackson morning and reverberates through the halls of its new Bozeman stronghold—remains the same: To produce the highest quality products to keep you protected from the elements in any and all fishing conditions.
"Last year I went fishing with Salvador Dali. He was using a dotted line. He caught every other fish."