- John Frazier
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In Depth with the Creator of Simms Cloud Camo, a Pattern Designed to Up Your Odds Against the Most Distinguishing Flats Species.
Ask any bonefish or permit junkie their favorite aspect of flats fishing, and you’ll get the same response: It’s like hunting. And they’re right. Hunting and flats fishing are one in the same. Whether it’s sneaking around in the mountains for elk, or getting into to casting range of a tailing permit, both types of stalks place the utmost importance on stealth. Hunters have been wearing camouflage to blend in to their surroundings since the beginning of time, so doesn’t it make sense to do the same when hunting fish? We think so, which is why we partnered with the best in the concealment business, Veil Camo. Check out our conversation below with Veil’s founder, Joe Skinner and learn a little bit more about his obsession, his company, and the design and development of Simms’ latest salt water concealment pattern, Cloud Camo.
Simms: So tell us how your journey into the world of concealment began?
Skinner: Hmmm, well I guess I’d have to say it started when I was in the military in 08. But it wasn’t until around 2010 that I really started to get into hunting and outdoor activities. So I guess it was during this span that I really started to get into the game. At the time, the US army was using that pixelated digital stuff that was very monochromatic, grey/green color. For the life of me, I just couldn’t wrap my mind around why they went with this pattern because it was really only operational in gravel pits. It really kind of bothered me and sowed the seeds of what I guess you could call an obsession.
Simms: And your thoughts were similar in the camo you were seeing being marketed to hunters?
Skinner: Pretty much. When I got into hunting, I immediately jumped in to what I thought to be the most challenging type, being bow hunting. Like today, back then there were just tons of camo companies and patterns to choose from but I just felt like all of the camos out there were extremely limiting. It was just all what’s referred to as mimicry patterns, you know, patterns depicting realistic tree branches, or leaves and things like that. That’s all fine and good for very specific backdrops but nothing out there offered the versatility I was after.
Simms: Was there any one moment when you made a conscious decision to make an attempt to create a better solution?
Skinner: Yeah. I was sitting there in a treestand, just waiting as you do in a treestand. I was just kind of looking around paying close attention to the surroundings and I started to make associations with design ideas relating to nature. I started to wonder, are there any camo patterns out there that incorporate these ideas? Can I do it? Maybe I should try it…I’ll just try it for fun. So from there, I really just kind of started tooling around with software that allowed me to plug in different mathematical concepts and ideas into patterns that I could manipulate. So in essence, I was able to create imagery based on math found in nature.
Simms: So when exactly did you start Veil Camo?
Skinner: You know, it really wasn’t long after I initially started fooling around with the idea. I created a few more patterns and in 2012, I really felt like my ideas and patterns could affect the market and that’s when Veil started.
Simms: How would you describe your camo creation process?
Skinner: Veil patterns are based on the way nature is built rather than copying nature with photo real imagery. It’s about organically creating camo that works in a way that fools the eye.