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John Sherman of Simms talks about what the company has in store for both Fly and Conventional Anglers (continued)

Zander: Simms is also now addressing the bass market with new offerings, can you talk about these and why Bass Anglers should be interested?

John: Bass, and other ďconventionalĒ 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

Zander: Is there any one particular piece in the Simms offering that you are most excited about?   

John: StreamTread is the hottest product in fly fishing right now, so itís pretty hard to not get excited about that.  Given we already covered that topic; I would say itís 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 donít 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. 

John is part of a team called Bass N Fly Promotions that promotes the world of fly fishing through Americaís most popular fish the Large Mouth Bass

Zander: Now letís 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?

John: Itís going very well. Iím part of a team called Bass N Fly Promotions and weíre promoting the world of fly fishing through Americaís 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.  Weíve 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 itís only getting started.  In our 2 Bass N Fly Delta Challenges weíve 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 itís 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!

John lives right on the California Delta and tries to get out whenever his busy schedule allows for it

Zander: Are there ever times when you fish conventional tackle or are you totally dedicated to fly fishing?

John: I started fishing for the first time when I was 3 years old for catfish with my momís 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. 

Zander: So how often do you personally get to go fishing these days and what is your favorite species to pursue? 

John: 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 donít get a chance to fish that much.  But I make up for it in other seasons and Iím 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.  Iím 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.   Iím married (my wife loves to fish) and we have a daughter who is 1 Ĺ 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 ďwalk the walkĒ and not just ďtalk the talk.Ē

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 donít think I could pick just one so hereís my top 4 in no particular order.  Iím 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.

Zander: You are also one of the featured anglers in ďBass Ė The MovieĒ produced by Howard Films and also stars Bobby Barrack and premiered Oct 17th in Hollywood. Can you tell us more about this project?

John: 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 Americaís 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 here.

Giant Trevally on the flats ranks as one of John's favorite species to pursue

Zander: 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?  

John: Thanks again for including me in your interview!   Iím 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










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