Simms Fishing Products, manufacturer of waders, outerwear, footwear, and technical apparel in fishing, announced it has acquired Bozeman, MT-based specialty retailer, The River’s Edge Fly Shop.

Established in 1983, The River’s Edge has two locations in Bozeman, offering full-service experiences, including guided Montana fly fishing trips, fly tying and casting instruction, to product and fishing advice.

Simms said this transaction does not change The River’s Edge’s primary focus, which is to carry a full range of categories for its customers. The change in ownership will give Simms “better insight on the retail landscape, allow it to explore new and innovative merchandising strategies and receive direct product feedback from consumers to serve a vast wholesale and retail network better.”

“Fly shops are so much more than just a place to purchase gear. They are sources of information and intel. They are the catalysts that build unique communities. They are not only the heart and soul of our business, but they are also the heart and soul of our industry,” said Simms CEO Casey Sheahan. “This transaction is the next logical step for Simms to get closer to, and better understand, the wants and needs of all anglers. We couldn’t be more honored to carry the torch and continue the legacy The River’s Edge has built right here in Bozeman.”

In October 2019, Simms announced an initial investment in the specialty retail, and with increased interest in fishing seen over the course of the past two years due to the pandemic, Simms said the time was right for it and The River’s Edge to finalize a plan that had been in place following initial conversations.

“Since the first day we opened our doors, Simms has been a critical partner in our success,” said Dan Lohmiller, former co-owner, The River’s Edge. “In addition to consistently designing and developing the best fishing gear and apparel, Simms has also served as an invaluable consultant. Their approach, expertise and commitment to providing anglers with the best experience possible have greatly contributed to the longevity, growth, and reputation our business has achieved.”

“Partners like The River’s Edge have been a significant component to Simms’ success over the last 40 years,” said Simms Chief Revenue Officer Mike Moore. “We are so lucky to have over 500 valued specialty partners across the country. Our goal is to learn more about enhancing the consumer experience through our unique partnership with Simms at The River’s Edge and bring those findings to specialty fly and conventional retailers across the country. To do so with great, fishy friends like Dan, Daniel and Steve is a real treat. Their experience as guides, outfitters and retailers will benefit Simms and Simms retailers across the globe.”