Grand Rapids

Our Grand Rapids fly shop is located just North of I-96 next to the Twisted Rooster resturant.  1600 East Beltline Ave NE Grand Rapids, MI 49525.  616-805-4393.  We are located near the Rogue River, Grand River and Flat River.  We have a large selection of fly fishing gear and fly tying materials. 



Grand Rapids Fly Shop Staff

Erich Gross - erich@nomadanglers.com

I've been fly fishing for my entire life. In fact, my first experience fly fishing was before I could even walk. My dad used to strap me on his back in a baby carrier while he fished small spring creeks in Pennsylvania. The roots run deep. 

My passion really took shape during my early teens, when I could walk to Paint Creek in Rochester Hills, (my hometown), and catch trout after school. It provided a creative outlet as a teenager, and had a profound impact on the rest of my life. 
       
Eventually I moved to west Michigan to attend GVSU, and got my bachelors degree in advertising in 2011. It was here that I discovered steelhead. These fish were fascinating to me, and I spent countless hours pursuing them and trying to better understand their mysterious personalities. They continue to amaze me to this day, and each one I catch, I appreciate and deeply cherish. 
       
I've fished all over, both in the US and Internationally. The Bahamas, Florida Keys, Colorado (I actually fished there for 2 months straight once), Utah, Canada, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, etc. You get the idea. But my favorite fly fishing technique/scenario, is nymphing for large browns and rainbows out west. People always say they love dry fly fishing because it's so visual. To me, the most visually stimulating experience in fly fishing is seeing your indicator quickly sink, coming tight to a fish, and seeing a huge golden yellow flash at the bottom. It looks like a license plate undulating back and forth in deep water. Something about hooking a huge fish off the river bottom intrigues the hell out of me. 
 
 
When asked about some of his favorite gear...these were his picks:     
  • Trout: 9' 5wt Sage Accel, Sage 3250 reel, Rio Gold WF5F
  • Steelhead: 11'3" 7wt Mystic M-series Switch. Lamson Litespeed 3.5, Rio Switch line. 
  • Bass/warm water: 7 at Mystic Reaper, Lamson Remix 3, Rio 200 grain sink tip. (Essentially the same setup for trout streamer fishing)
  • As far as waders, Patagonia makes a phenomenal pair that's backed by one of the strongest warranty programs on the market. Patagonia, in general, is uncontested when it comes to technical clothing. They've got it figured out.
  • Simms makes the best boots. The G3 Guide Boots are basically indestructible. I've had a pair for close to 5 years, and they are still intact somehow. 
 

If you're ever in Grand Rapids, stop by the shop. I'm always in the mood for an intense fishing conversation.

Justin Wegner

Justin Wegner - justin@nomadanglers.com

I grew up in Michigan and have been enthralled with fishing for as long as I can remember. Summers spent at our family cabin on the Little Manistee River fostered my love for flowing water, trout, and anadromous fish. My Grandpa first introduced me to fly fishing in my early teens, and I never looked back.

Swinging flies for steelhead is by far my favorite type of fishing, but I am also an avid trout fisherman and I love chasing hatches in the summer and streamer fishing in the spring and fall.  

My passion for fly fishing and the outdoors inspired my field of study at GVSU. I got my bachelor’s degree in Natural Resource Management, and I am currently finishing a master’s degree in Biology. My masters research focused on Brook Trout movement and habitat use.

I fish all over West and Northern Michigan, there are so many incredible opportunities in this state, and so many rivers to fish I could never choose one.

Favorite Gear:

  • Rods: Echo SR switch rod for steelhead, Orvis Recon 6wt for big bugs and 7wt for streamers, and the Echo Shadow for nymphing.
  • Reels: Lamson Guru.
  • Lines: I really like Scientific Angler Lines: Freightliner Skagit for swinging, Amplitude MPX for dry flies, and the Amplitude Anadro for bobber fishing.
  • Simms G3 Waders and boots - When it comes to waders, I look no further than Simms. In addition to countless days on the water fishing, I have worn my G3s for all of my fieldwork and they are absolutely bombproof.
  • Patagonia clothing – when it comes to layering, Patagonia gets it right. Their products fit great, and will stand up to years of abuse. 

 

Justin Wegner

Graeme Zaparzynski

I began fishing as a toddler in Pennsylvania where I grew up. As a teenager my grandfather purchased me my first fly rod as a gift, and I haven’t been able to put it down since. As I got older, I continually found myself wondering what was going on in the streams and rivers around me. This drove me to pursue a bachelor’s degree in environmental science, and a graduate degree in aquatic resources from GVSU here in West Michigan. As a student, I was lucky enough to study salmon in Alaska, and spend countless hours throughout Michigan studying streams, bugs, and all things trouty.

I’ll fish for just about anything that will eat the fly at the end of my line, but trout are definitely my greatest passion. I’ve grown very fond of European style nymphing techniques, and I live for summer nights chasing big browns sipping big bugs in the dark. Something about not knowing what will end up on my line while I’m nymphing or fishing at night, makes it fun for me. 

If I had to choose one river to fish for a day, it would be a coin flip between the Pere Marquette and the Upper Manistee. Both rivers are extremely unique and present so many challenges. 

I love talking fishing, and seeing the joy that others get when they catch fish. I hope to see you in the shop or on the river! Chances are, my retriever Cortland will be with me, Just be careful she doesn’t lick you to death!

Favorite Gear:

Rods: The Orvis Helios 2 and new Helios 3 rods are the smoothest rods I’ve ever casted. The 9’ 5wt. will get the job done for most dry fly fishing situations. I also love my Echo Shadow II in the 10’6” 4wt. model for just about every nymphing situation.
Reels: Lamson, any model. They all handle well, and can put the brakes on when you need to.
Lines: Scientific Angler. The majority of my fishing is done with the MPX taper, but the Anadro series is unbelievable for migratory fish, and the Magnum Frequency Glow series is a must have for night time fishing. 
Waders and Clothes: Simms is definitely my go to for fishing gear. Clothing, waders, hats/gloves, they’ve got you covered from head to toe.

Justin Wegner

Lance Nelson

From my days of catching carp and smallmouth in various waters surrounding the Flint, MI area with my father, freshwater angling has always been a huge part of my life.  It wasn’t until I moved to Grand Rapids in the spring of 2010 that I realized how incredibly fascinating trout fishing really was.  

We are extremely lucky to have a large number of cold water rivers, streams and tributaries within close proximity to Grand Rapids.  But I think what makes West Michigan so exciting to many anglers is the friendly, tight-knit community that exists on the stream and inside the fly shop.

Throughout the year I can be found fishing rivers like the Muskegon, Manistee, Au Sable and Pere Marquette.  Not to mention any and every small creek and tributary that looks “fishy”.  I love to explore and employ new methods, tactics, bugs, etc, to each and every moment I spend on the stream.  

The best advice I could give to a new angler is to always keep an open mind - those who are willing to slow down, make mistakes, listen and be patient will learn the fastest.

Favorite Gear:

Small Creek Trout Outfit: Sage Accel 376-4, Orvis Battenkill reel, Scientific Anglers Ultimate Trout Line

Standard Trout Outfit : Sage VXP 490-4, Sage 2200 reel, Scientific Anglers Ultimate Trout

Streamer Fishing / Mousing: Sage XP 790-4, Hatch 7 Plus, Scientific Anglers 250 grain sonar / Rio Gold Lumilux 

Waders: Simms G4 (So comfortable it is insane!), Simms Headwaters boot (lightweight, comfy and perfect for the wading angler)

Drew Peklo
 
Drew Peklo

I started out fly fishing at the age of 13. I grew up learning how to fish on the East Side of Michigan on Paint Creek and the Clinton River for steelhead, trout and anything else that would bite a fly. I was fortunate to have some great mentors who brought me into this wild addiction of fly fishing. I was lucky enough to move to West Michigan after completing my BSN in Nursing at Michigan State University. If I am not working at the hospital you can find me in the shop or on a river.

I have fished all over the country primarily for trout and steelhead. I thoroughly enjoy fishing for all species of fish on a fly rod. If I had to pick my favorite way to fish it would have to be swinging flies for steelhead. There is nothing like a grab on swung fly! It is by far the most rewarding and exciting way to fish, and there are endless opportunities to accomplish this in our great state.

My favorite river to fish is the Muskegon in my Stealthcraft ATB. I also love to spend time on the Grand, Rogue, Pere Marquette, Manistee or AuSable.

When asked about some of his favorite gear/set-ups...these were his picks:

Swinging for Steelhead

  • 12’6 7wt Sage TCX with a Hatch Finatic 9 plus with a RIO Scandi Intermediate

Trout

  • Dry fly/Nymphing  9’ 5wt or 8’6 4wt Orvis Helios 2 with a Hatch 4 plus matched with a RIO Gold
  • Streamers 9’ 8wt Sage Method with Hatch 6 plus with a RIO 300grain sinktip
Waders/boots/Technical Clothing
  • I have owned many pairs of waders from Simms, Patagonia, Redington and Orvis. They all make great products but if I had to choose one it would be Patagonia.  
  • If you have ever seen me on the river I always am covered in layers of Patagonia fleece/down. It is hands down the best!
  • I love my Korker’s White Horse boots as they allow for versatility and versatility is a must in this great state!