Fishwest Monthly Staff Picks – Fall to Winter Steelhead Seasons

Editors Note:

Welcome to the first Fishwest Gear Guide! The goal of this guide is to provide you, the angler, with the recommendations and professional insight from the Fishwest staff in order to make your fishing adventures a success. Each month, we will be exploring different fisheries, species, the tackle and other gear we think you would need in order to find success on the water.

What sets our recommendations apart is that we will be featuring hand crafted selections for both male and female anglers. We hope you enjoy following along with these posts as much as we have enjoyed curating them. As always, please reach out to us with any questions that you may have. One of our friendly, professional, and fishy staff members would be happy to assist. We can be reached via email at or by dialing 435.783.6791

For our first edition, we wanted to highlight what we personally use while we’re out stepping in the river, waiting for that interruption from a steelhead. Whether you are getting in those last days of fall swinging or looking forward to the wetter coastal months, here are our gear picks for success in these transitioning seasons.

Men’s Waders – Simms G4Z Stockingfoot
What we love about the G4Z’s :

  • 3-layer GORE-TEX® Pro Shell upper along with zippered micro-fleece lined pockets for warming your mitts on those cold days.
  • A wader is only as good as its zipper – YKK waterproof zipper. Comfort & durability with  most abrasion, puncture & tear resistant wader. Makes things easy when Mother Nature calls.
  • 4-layer GORE-TEX® Pro Shell lower for rugged durability in the water and on the trail
  • New stocking foot construction not only for comfort but noticeably warmer. Let’s agree that we all like to feel our toes.

Men’s Boots – G3 Guide Wading Boot
This confidence pick comes down to many, many days on the water that have been put into this boot by fishwest staff and guides where support, traction and durability were never a compromise when designing and building the G3. We’d recommend adding the Simms Hardbite Start Cleats for added traction.

Women’s Waders – Simms Women’s G3 Guide Zip
Similar to the Men’s G4Z Wader specs, the Women’s G3 Guide Z makes layering easy and practical in the on/off process. We love these wader and want to highlight that Simms is dedicated to high quality U.S. based manufacturing.

Women’s Boots – Simms Women’s Freestone Wading Boot
Simms has created a women’s specific fit with all day stability and traction that we all count on during those long days navigating slick river bottoms.

Men’s & Women’s Jacket – Simms West Fork Jacket
We chose this jacket based off of cold & windy days swinging. It is a great lightweight option for blocking cold & light wet elements. This is a great layer to keep you warm out on the water allowing you to focus on the task at hand.

Rod – Sage X Two Handed Rod
Heartier winter runs call for some fighting backbone, to cast loaded lines and larger, heavier flies. Which is why we’re recommending the Sage X TH 8120 and what you drop in length you gain in versatility.

Reel – Sage Spey Reel
Apart from the classy aesthetics, this modern performing reel compliments not only the Sage X but any rod for us romanticizing about our next anadromous fish encounter. As a large arbor reel, the Sage Spey picks up line quick and features full line guards to assure your running line does not catch between spool and frame.

Line – Airflo Rage Head
Again winning in the versatile category. As a hybrid head, Airflo’s Rage is a bridge the gap we all need to have in our head wallet. The Rage is a fish effective, casting game-changer for casting light pollys to heavier tips.

Simms Dry Creek Z Hip Pack – 10L and Dry Creek Z Backpack – 35 L
A waterproof bag is crucial for keeping the essentials dry all day. The Dry Creek Z Hip Pack and the Dry Creek Z Backpack are both large enough for a rolled up rain coat and the rest of your necessities to hit the river – small enough to be convenient while remaining functional.

Gloves – Simms Guide Windbloc Foldover Mitt
Keeping your paws warm enough in-between runs offering the foldover option to help when needing to change up tips, tie knots, open the coffee thermos. These mitts are a great packable option when the forecast calls for cold temps.

Eyewear – Costa Sunrise Silver Mirror 580G
The Sunrise Silver Mirror are a great lens option for those low light conditions. These lenses allow close to 30% light transmission. That 30% is roughly three times the amount of the Green Mirror 580G lenses that feature a copper base. Since these lenses are designed to let so much light in they will allow the user to see in much darker conditions

Confidence Flies – Aqua Flies
What’s in your box? We are true believers in those “confidence flies” to get the job done, or at least leaving no doubt in our mind that we fished it effectively. So if you aren’t tying your own yet or need to restock check out the selection from Aqua Flies.

Other recommendations photographed above to check out:

Simms Pro Nipper
Simms Wading Staff
Simms Guide Plier
Maxima Ultragreen Tippet
Fishwest The Ranger Hat
Simms Dockwear Wool Beanie


All Things Fly Fishing:

Fly Fishing is our passion and it is a privilege to get to share and help each other as we expand in this sport. We’ve combined our years of knowledge and experience to bring you this gear guide as a resource to help in your next adventure. As we continue to develop and grow on this journey we wish all of you a great day on the water. From all of us here at Fishwest, tightlines and we hope to see you out there!!