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GEAR REVIEW: Simms’ GORE-TEX® G3 Guide™ Jacket & R.L Winston Boron III SX, 9’ 7WT Fly Rod

There’s something about cold weather fishing that draws me in. I get the river to myself every time and the snow muffles out all sounds, shutting out the rest of the world. Knowing it was going to be a wet weekend with rain and snow in the forecast, I planned on sneaking a bit of fishing time into my weekend schedule. Before heading out I hit up the team at Front Range Anglers in hopes I could test some cold weather gear. Without hesitation they set me up with a Simms’ GORE-TEX® G3 Guide™ Jacket. I’ve been eying those jackets for years, so it was pretty hard to hide my excitement as I headed out the door to the river! Although the price of $399.95 will put a dent in your wallet, Simms did the right thing by not sacrificing any quality and adding smart fishing features for the price.

The G3 Guide Jacket has all the features you'd expect out of a dedicated wading jacket.

The G3 Guide Jacket has all the features you’d expect out of a dedicated wading jacket.

As the rain and snow mix started to fall, the G3 really stepped up and showed me how a fly fishing rain jacket should perform. The Gore-Tex shell repelled every bit of precipitation, while the exceptional breathability kept me fully dry underneath. My favorite feature was the wrist cuffs, which have the ability to cinch down and create a gasket-like seal around your wrists, so no water sneaks up your sleeve. Just to test the seal, I netted a nice rainbow and reached into the river up to my elbow. Sure enough, no water got through, but I was left with cold, wet hands. Those are not to be overlooked however; cold hands can bring an early end to a day. The micro-fleece lined pockets provided a warm refuge from the elements, and my hands quickly regained feeling. On top of all that, the G3 has a ton of storage with five pockets (2 even with sealed zippers) as well as 2 built-in gear retractors.

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Jason Eagle Rainbow

The G3 cinches tight so my arms stayed dry and I was only temporarily left with cold hands. A few minutes in the fleece lined pockets and my hands were back to fishing!

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Jason Rainbow Closeup

Having the right gear lets you get out when others aren’t on the river!

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If I’d explored the jacket a bit more before heading out, I could have left my hip pack and lanyard at home and fit everything I needed for the afternoon in or on the jacket. Another feature that I originally overlooked, but was thrilled to discover, was the built-in net mount on the back. Normally I attach my net leash, via carabiner, to the suspenders of my waders, but any time I put a jacket over my waders I have no way to hold my net. Although it’s only a minute design detail, it’s an exceptionally well thought-out feature. Returning this jacket to the shop was not easy, they may or may not have had to pry it out of my hands when I finally returned from the river.

Jason Boron III SX Fly Rod

The Winston Boron III SX makes a great Colorado streamer rod.

I thought I had lucked out getting to test the G3 Jacket, but I must have had some good karma to cash in because they also let me test out an R.L Winston Boron III SX, 9’ 7WT. So, naturally, I did some streamer fishing while I was out there. The river is running higher and faster with the melting snow pack, so I wanted the fastest sink rate possible for my drift distance. I tied up a heavy streamer rig using a Scientific Anglers’ sink tip line with a tungsten leader and a double Sculpzilla streamer rig. The Boron III SX handled the heavy streamers exceptionally well. The B3 has a fast response and great line speed as you shoot out your final cast stroke. I am by no means a pro angler, but the B3 allowed me to more precisely hit my targets. Due to some user error I threw a few huck and duck casts, but the streamers still managed to get there. On top of all that the B3 is a nice light weight rod, so you won’t have noodle arms after a long day of fishing. Streamer fishing is heating up as the water rises, so grab your favorite heavy-weight rod and get out there!

All photos copyright Allison Cech Murray

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