We recently got to check out a new jacket from Simms called the Slick Jacket. It’s designed for steelhead and salmon fishing, and we think it’s a game changer.
Let’s start with how fishing for steelhead and salmon is different from fishing for trout – which is, by far, the market for which most fly fishing gear is designed.
When you’re steelhead and salmon fishing, usually…
- It’s cold.
- It’s raining.
- You don’t have as much small, tinkery tackle (i.e. no dry shake or 10 different tippet sizes – a fly box and a spool of Maxima will do).
- The tackle that you do have is bigger (ever try to fit a head wallet in a ‘trout vest’?).
Most fly fishing jackets are designed for trout fishing. They have a billion little tiny pockets, most of which are too small to hold typical steelhead and salmon gear, so you’re constantly zipping and unzipping them (with your cold, wet hands) to get at the tackle that you wind up just tucking into the front of your waders. Nice.
Enter the Slick Jacket.
The Slick Jacket is a 3-layer Gore-Tex Pro Shell jacket with a really nice hood. It’s got really comfortable cuffs with the same basic look as the old Classic Guide Jacket. Here’s where the fun starts.
There are two big pockets on the front of the jacket. They bellow in, not out – meaning that you don’t have a bunch of junk sticking out and hindering your spey cast. The front of the jacket stays flat.
Inside the big pockets are some stretchy mesh organizers that are the perfect size to hold…guest what…tip wallets, medium-sized fly boxes and spools of Maxima. Sweet!
There are also two big handwarmer pockets, which are nothing new…except for the fact that inside those pockets are pass-thru zippers – open them up and you can reach right into your waders. This is a great way to get at something like a camera that’s buried deep down, and also the best way to keep your hands warm, since inside your waders they’re that much closer to your body.
You stay warm and dry, your hands stay warmer and drier, and you’ve got much easier access to the gear that’s typically used when you’re fishing for steelhead or salmon.
The Slick Jacket is the best design we’ve seen for anadromous fly fishing. It’s not cheap at $499.95. It’ll be available at your local fly shop in August.
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