Simms Montana Wool, Winter Steelhead, Fishing Mt. Hood Country, Fly Fishing In Cuba During The Winter, Cortland Liquid Crystal Saltwater Line

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Simms Montana Wool Mid-Weight Layering
You might think that with all of the research and development that has gone into making layering for under your waders that someone would have come up with something that is better than wool as a base layer next to your skin. Nope, it hasn't happened yet, and it may never happen. Not always being the sharpest tool in the box, it took me a while to figure out that synthetic materials are great for some formed of layering, but wool is the best next to your skin. When I did figure it out was when I forgot my wool base layer, and had to wade in very cold water during a winter steelhead trip and was much less comfortable without the wool. I won't forget it again. This stuff is no joke.
The clothing you wear under your waders will determine everything you can or can't do when the water is cold. I go through it all of the time. New winter steelhead clients regularly ask what rods, lines, and flies they should bring. They even ask if it is alright to wear studded boots in my boats. The answer is always yes. Then I explain that the water is cold and how to dress for it. Some take the advice, and others don't. The ones that do have more fun, catch more fish because their their muscles are warmer, and they cast and wade better. You can never be too careful about the way you layer under your waders.
Simms Montana Wool garments are made completely withing the United States. The wool is raised, and sheared in Montana; sent to South Carolina where the wool is turned into yarn and fabric, then returned to Montana, where the wool fabric is sewn into garments.

Simms Montana Wool Mid Top


When the outside beckons, slip into Simms’ Montana Wool Mid Top with the angler-coveted comfort and insulation of 18.5 micron, superfine fabrics. Shirt features include flatlock stitched seams that nullify next-to-skin chafing, in addition to a YKK® 9-inch front zip for convenient ventilation when the fishing fires up. Made in the USA performance, with Montana-sourced wool fibers, comes standard.


  • Made in the USA with wool fibers from Montana
  • 18.5 micron, super fine wool provides soft, next-to skin comfort and retains its insulation properties when wet
  • Flatlock stitched seams prevent chafing and wear well under a mid layer
  • YKK® 9” front zip allows for extra ventilation
Item Description Price To Top
10687-001-20 Simms Montana Wool Mid Top, Color Black, Size Small $139.95 Sale Ended
10687-001-30 Simms Montana Wool Mid Top, Color Black, Size Medium $139.95 Sale Ended
10687-001-40 Simms Montana Wool Mid Top, Color Black, Size Large $139.95 Sale Ended
10687-001-50 Simms Montana Wool Mid Top, Color Black, Size X-Large $139.95 Sale Ended
10687-001-60 Simms Montana Wool Mid Top, Color Black, Size XX-Large $139.95 Sale Ended

Simms Montana Wool Mid Bottom


Fine-tune your layering environment this season with best-in-class breathability meets the superior warmth-to-weight performance of Simms’ Montana Wool Mid Bottoms. Engineered to fish through weeks of bleak conditions, 18.5-micron, superfine wool is an aggressive insulator that also subdues stench- while flatlock stitched seams enhance comfort, thanks to next-to-skin smoothness that won’t leave you chafed. Stitched in the States, by Simms.


  • Made in the USA with wool fibers from Montana
  • 18.5 micron, super fine wool provides soft, next-to skin comfort and retains its insulation properties when wet
  • Flatlock stitched seams prevent chafing and wear well under waders


Item Description Price To Top
10689-001-20 Simms Montana Wool Mid Bottom, Color Black, Size Small $119.95 Sale Ended
10689-001-30 Simms Montana Wool Mid Bottom, Color Black, Size Medium $119.95 Sale Ended
10689-001-40 Simms Montana Wool Mid Bottom, Color Black, Size Large $119.95 Sale Ended
10689-001-50 Simms Montana Wool Mid Bottom, Color Black, Size X-Large $119.95 Sale Ended
10689-001-60 Simms Montana Wool Mid Bottom, Color Black, Size XX-Large $119.95 Sale Ended
Winter Steelhead, The Local Scene
There are many reasons to fish, and most are valid if you respect the fishery; also if you are having fun, and if you are allowing people around you to have fun. Be nice to other anglers, and they will be nice to you (on the average). There are many philosophical approaches to catching steelhead. I limit myself to fishing with a fly rod, as apposed to using live bait, jigs, plastic worms, etc. I have done all of that (there are rungs in the ladder of learning). Then I got so good at it, that I was a hazard to the longevity of the runs where I was fishing. Gear fishing was too easy. It isn't hard to outsmart something that has a brain the size of a pencil eraser if you use all the resources that are available to you. So I imposed the limitations of fly fishing upon my harvested-numbers mentality, and brought it under control. Besides fly fishing is a cool sport. It is fun, and can be educational as well. It places the soul more at one with nature, rather than opposed to it, or at war with it. I love fly fishing, and I really like most of the people who practice it.
Most of this last week our local rivers were low and clear. Steelhead were in the deeper water areas where they could find cover. My best system was Sage 7136-4 ONE rod & Hatch 9+ Finatic reel, and most importantly a RIO iFlight, with 11' of T14. The fly of choice, a regular old Egg Sucking Leech. My best client used the same system.
Now it has started to rain and the rivers are rising slowly. Maybe, by my next outing, the water will raise enough so that steelhead will be up in the classic "swing" water. Then we will be fishing with floating heads and short T-11 iMOW Tips. Steelhead rivers are forever changing. To get the best out of any river you need to be adaptive to it, and shift with its changing moods. It doesn't hurt to have a selection of different rod weights and line types to help fish different types of water. I carry five full set-ups in Harding Rod/Reel Cases, which are enclosed in a waterproof roll-top bag. This assortment changes with the time of year. The big fish season is starting now and runs into July. My favorite gear for the "big fish season" is designed to fish at all levels in the water column with large flies, and land large steelhead and/or Chinooks. My rods run from 13' to 13' 6", and are all 7/8/9 weight. This is the time of year to go up a size in tippet material as well. Maxima Ultra Green #12 is a good choice!
Don't forget your hook sharpener.
When conditions are perfect, and runs are at peak, fishing for steelhead still isn't easy. Ten percent of the anglers catch ninety percent of the fish. Successful anglers present their flies better. I'm a believer in the convenience factor. The closer your fly comes to a fish's mouth the more apt it is to eat your fly. Most winter steelhead hold within inches of the bottom most of the time. When it comes to winter flies, you will need a selection of weights as well as colors. If I had to narrow it down: pinkish orange, red, black, black & blue are my color picks; unweighted, medium and heavy weighted, will cover most of the situations you will encounter.
Above is a view of the back of my Ford Excursion, as it is getting ready to meet clients. Not shown are the extra G4 Stocking Foot Waders that are rolled up under the life jackets. My personal gear is already in a compartment in the boat, so is lunch. I'm wearing my Simms Bootfoot Waders and G4 Jacket. I've got a few dates open. Please check my Personal Calendar. Mark
Fishing Mount Hood Country

This book is literally written about our back yard (and our front yard too). We live and work in the middle of Mount Hood Country. Our store is nearly in the middle of Mount Hood Country. That is why we are the first shop to receive this book: Fishing in Mount Hood Country.
128 pages in full color.

Mount Hood is at once the most recognizable icon in Oregon- yet it is little known by the multitudes that live in its shadow. This book opens up the fishing opportunity available on the slopes of Wy'East, and in the rivers that flow out of its glaciers and gather water from its springs. In Fishing Mount Hood Country, award-winning authors Gary Lewis and Robert H. Campbell tell tales of water, trails, trout, steelhead and salmon, and provide a detailed, thoughtful look at the best fly- and gear fishing. The book is divided into two sections - Western and Eastern - by the Pacific Crest Trail. The story is told in over 40 chapters that contemplate 15 rivers and creeks and 30 still waters, illustrated with over 200 full color photos and maps. Some of the best fishing in the state is found in these rivers and lakes. Hike the trails that lead to rainbows and cutthroat in remote high country lakes, and drift the whitewater for steelhead and salmon. Now you are Fishing Mount Hood Country.

Item Description Price To Top
9761244-6-7 Book: Fishing Mount Hood Country $24.95 Sale Ended
Cuba Fly Fishing During The Winter
Jon Covich is a tackle rep for Cortland Line Company, Fishpond, Buff, and Outcast Boats. We have done a lot of business together over the last 25-years. John has a lot of contacts within the fly tackle industry, and he is in the enviable position of being one of the guys who checks out destinations for Fly Water Travel- a premier destination fly fishing travel booking service. That connection has recently taken Jon to Cuba, from which he returned last week. I learned about his adventures through conversations on the telephone, and also through his Blog - The Covich Files. Jon fished with the Avalon Cuban Fishing Centers, the same folks that Patty and I fished with last July (read our report). He spent more time in Cuba than we did, covered more destinations and had better luck than we did- probably because the water was cooler in January than when we were there in July. Jon reported that he landed two Grand Slams. Grand Slams are never easy, but they are probably more common in Cuba than any other destination, because there is simply less fishing competition than most places. The Cuban fisheries are also better protected from poaching and environmental degradation than most other places. The following is what Jon had to say about his Cuba trip:

"The first fishing destination of the trip was Jardines del la Reina- which is the first and most famous fishing location in Cuba. Travel to Jardines is not for the faint of involves an overnight in Havana, a 6 hour bus ride across the country, and a 5 hour boat ride before you finally arrive at the fishing grounds. Although we were all tired, we quickly realized the trip was worth the effort." 

"My first ever landed Permit, on the first day of our trip, and the first of two grand slams I had for the week!"

"Large bonefish were encountered every day. It is hard to think of any destination that has as many large bonfish as Cuba. Cuba probably produces more Grand Slams than anywhere else!"
Cortland Liquid Crystal Saltwater Fly Line
Liquid Crystal fly lines come in two versions, Clear and Sky Blue. We elected to go with the more popular Sky blue version. You don’t always need a completely invisible line, and some anglers (and their guides) prefer a line that’s easy to see. Visibility helps with loop control when casting and makes it easier to locate your fly when it’s underwater. The new Sky Blue Liquid Crystal™ line fades from stronger blue color in the center to a light blue tint on the outer edges, making the line easy to see from above, while providing a subtle, blurry profile when viewed by a fish from below the surface. We believe the Sky Blue Liquid Crystal is the perfect compromise, offering a line that’s nearly invisible to the fish, but easily seen by anglers and their guides.
LIQUID CRYSTAL™ FLY FISHING LINES incorporate Cortland's proprietary PE+ Tropical coating. Liquid Crystal™ lines are extruded with a blend of polyethylene compounds (PE+) over a monofilament core resulting in the toughest, slickest-shooting floating fly lines that have ever flown over the flats. The exceptionally hard, glass-smooth finish of the PE+ coating defies friction in even the most torrid heat, and the memory-free formulation resists tangling on the deck – or in the rod-guides. The core and PE+ are permanently fused to prevent delaminating. All of the fish pictured from Jon's Cuba trip (plus a lot more) were caught with a Cortland Liquid Crystal fly line.
Item Description Price To Top
473485 Cortland Liquid Crystal Flats Fly Line, Sky Blue, WF6F $90.00 Sale Ended
473492 Cortland Liquid Crystal Flats Fly Line, Sky Blue, WF7F $90.00 Sale Ended
473508 Cortland Liquid Crystal Flats Fly Line, Sky Blue, WF8F $90.00 Sale Ended
473515 Cortland Liquid Crystal Flats Fly Line, Sky Blue, WF9F $90.00 Sale Ended
473522 Cortland Liquid Crystal Tarpon Fly Line, Sky Blue, WF10F $90.00 Sale Ended
473539 Cortland Liquid Crystal Tarpon Fly Line, Sky Blue, WF11F $90.00 Sale Ended
473546 Cortland Liquid Crystal Tarpon Fly Line, Sky Blue, WF12F $90.00 Sale Ended
The Cortland Liquid Crystal lines are slick in the rod guides and have perfect tapers for fishing close-up or for throwing long bombs.
When you are chasing permit, you need a stealthy line and the Cortland Liquid Crystal Series are indeed that.


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1(800) 266-3971

P.O. Box 368 - 67296 East Hwy 26
Welches, Oregon 97067, USA
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We have been in business since April 21, 1981.

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