Made the trip out to Bozeman, MT for the ICE OUT event that Simms holds each year for its network of professional fishing guides. This year, Spotted Tail was a sponsor for the event, and we spent the weekend catching up with some of our existing clients as well as meeting new ones. The whole weekend was very well done…great job planning and organizing by Peter Vandergrift and the whole team at Simms. This event is a great opportunity for fellow guides to hang out together and spend time hearing updates on conservation issues, exploring new guiding/fishing techniques, learning business and marketing tips, and socializing/networking during the various parties and guide olympics events.
The first day consisted of factory tours at the new Simms headquarters, product feedback sessions, a cocktail party at the new Rivers Edge fly shop, and the viewing of the Simms Shoot Out film submissions – hosted by the ever popular Hank Patterson.
Day 2 consisted of a few morning seminars and the Guide Olympics, where participating guides pitted their skills against each other in the arts of trailer backing, cooler pulling, rod rigging, and casting. The other event sponsors where set up around the perimeter of the olympics arena, where we all enjoyed meeting and talking to everyone throughout the days’ events, as well as doing demos on our guide reservations system.
The final day included several more seminars ranging from business & marketing tips, to fishing techniques, to new product updates from Simms. The day ended with the Simms Super Sale and some more socializing at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds.
The whole event was very well planned and coordinated, and the events were all fun from the perspective of a vendor as well as participant. Or course, many of the guides that made their way to Bozeman opted for the local fishing instead…which I really can’t fault anyone for, on account of the great weather we had for late April. We stayed one extra day and did a little fishing of our own as well, down in Paradise Valley on the Yellowstone River. Despite the high winds that eventually picked up during the weekend, we managed some cutthroat trout – which are always a pleasant alternative to the saltwater fish we normally fish for.