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Fishing gear manufacturer launches initiative to protect waterways




On March 3, Simms Fishing Products, the Bozeman-based manufacturer of waders, outerwear, footwear and technical fishing apparel, launched a campaign titled Save Our Streams to raise money and awareness for the protection and preservation of America’s most iconic waterways.

Across the United States, a multitude of watersheds beloved by anglers and relied upon by fishing-focused businesses face threats in the form of mines, pollution, closure and more. Anglers have a special appreciation of these bodies of water, but the reality is that their health has a direct effect on more than just the fishing community.

“The health of our rivers and streams doesn’t only have an effect on our business here at Simms, it has an effect on any and all businesses that rely on clean water,” said Simms owner and CEO K.C. Walsh. “It’s my hope that the fishing industry as a whole, and the greater fishing community, can come together, take action and make a difference so that future generations can enjoy the same privilege that we have.”

Through Save Our Streams, Simms aims to lead by example. Each month, Simms will launch a limited edition T-shirt of a threatened river or stream, designed by renowned artists from across the country. A portion of every T-shirt sale will go back to a non-profit partner fighting on the front lines toward the conservancy of that particular body of water.

Save Our Streams will first focus on a river very near and dear to Bozeman-based Simms Fishing Products, the Yellowstone. Presently, two foreign-backed gold mining companies, Lucky Minerals and Crevice Mining Group, are planning to explore along the banks of the upper tributaries of the Yellowstone River. Both exploration and large-scale mines would put hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs that rely on this river at risk and could threaten the ecological health of the river.

To bolster efforts against the proposed mines on the Yellowstone, Simms has partnered with the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. Founded in 1983, GYC is the only locally based group that advocates full time for the 20-million-acre, Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

“We’re honored to be working with Simms to protect the Yellowstone River,” said GYC’s executive director Caroline Byrd. “Anglers are passionate about protecting their home waters and they understand that gold mines and the Yellowstone River don’t mix.”

Simms will shift their Save Our Streams focus to Minnesota’s Boundary Waters in May, followed by Montana’s Smith River in June.

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