© 2019 by J. Nicholl Fly Fishing Co.


Joseph Nicholl

Our story began when a single rod guide snapped off of a cheaply-made conventional rod when bass fishing. Not knowing anyone within two hours that could repair rods, and not wanting to pay big dollars to have the rod shipped to a repair shop, the task was undertaken myself. From that point on, I was able to repair my own rods whenever the same thing happened. Then family heard about it. Then friends. Then captains of charter boats. Then friends of theirs.

Meanwhile, conventional fishing methods became mundane and a new challenge was needed. A family trip to northern Michigan’s Au Sable “Holy Waters” was planned for September of 2013 and wanting to fish the restricted waters, a fly rod and lessons were required.

The new equipment and terrible technique was enough to land a few creek chubs and a tiny trout that weekend. Little was known about what just happened. I couldn’t get the trip out of my mind.

Not having a fly shop nearby, a cheap fly tying kit was purchased to save time and money (or so I thought) so that I could fish for panfish and small bass near the house. Tying, itself, was an enjoyable recreation activity. As long as time allowed, flies were tied for at least an hour every day.

Storage was an issue and I only knew so many fly anglers that wanted hand-outs. In the Spring of 2014 I approached the closest fly shop to see if they wanted to purchase some flies. Not only did they take some off of my hands, they also placed an order. That was the first unofficial order of the J. Nicholl Fly Fishing Co.

Within two years, the largest fly fishing shops and lodges in Michigan were placing orders.

How did we grow to include fly rods? The most time consuming process in building a rod, wrapping the guides, was previously learned. Learning how to assemble the reel seat, inserts, how to make grips, and countless other nuances was needed. Navigating through various suppliers and trying new techniques were streamlined into the business it is today. All of our custom rods already have hours of work done before any physical labor is started to ensure a strong, comprehensive, and one-of-a-kind rod that will be enjoyed for years.

Every year, thousands of commercial flies are tied, some new patterns created and tested, and dozens of fly rods built and shipped all over the world. We take pride in each and every order and share the passion of the sport with all of our customers.