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Simms CEO: ‘Gallatin River restoration shows companies can make a difference’


Brands can help when it comes to political issues that affect the future of angling, says Simms Fishing Products CEO Casey Sheahan.

Speaking in an interview with ForbesLife, the former Patagonia chief says that while individuals in companies should have their own views, companies can make a difference in matters like access, natural resources and habitat. “As a company we need to stand for something, or we stand for nothing. We try to fight for issues, like habitat or maintaining stream access, in a non-partisan way,” he says.

Simms recently contributed $250,000 to Trout Unlimited to restore and maintain its home water, the Gallatin River (pictured) in Montana. Last year the company launched its ‘Fish It Well’ initiative, a rallying call to anglers to get the most from their sport.

“The access issue in Montana is a big one for me,” adds Sheahan, who took over at Simms in 2017. “Some large landowners are trying to get legislation though the state House and Senate that would preclude thirty-year agreements on public access, from bridges and roads and the high-water mark of rivers. 

“Any erosion of that access is bad for our business. We don’t buy into the fact that these things are always a Republican-Democrat battle. Occasionally, we’ll have a dealer who will tell us to stay out of politics, but that’s generally because they are on the other side of the issue. Brands can help when it comes to these issues. When we attach the Simms name, it can help, and we’re conscious of that. We are fighting for our customer.”

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