For 44 years Nordic Sports has been serving fly fishermen and outdoor enthusiasts as Northeastern Michigan’s fly shop. Our goal is to offer excellent products with unmatched customer service and to be your resource for fly fishing and other outdoor activities in the Huron National Forest - AuSable River - Tawas Bay area. From teaching and equipping the beginner to assisting the experienced angler, each relationship is important to us. We offer a fully equipped fly shop for the angler and fly tier. We have TFO and Redington fly rods, Lamson and TFO reels, Rio lines and leaders, Simms waders and boots, Fishpond nets, packs and slings. We also carry a complete selection of fly tying supplies and tools from Wapsi and Umpqua. Our fly selection is extensive and all tied with great skill by Umpqua, Rio and Rainy’s artisans. In addition, we have a good selection of men’s and women’s outdoor performance clothing from Simms, Patagonia, The North Face, Under Armour and Royal Robbins.
The fly fishing opportunities in our region of northeastern Michigan have to be experienced to be believed. We are blessed with numerous cold water creeks, streams and the world famous AuSable River. Iosco County has 44 inland lakes and borders the gamefish abundant water of Lake Huron, Tawas Bay and Saginaw Bay. This diversity of waterways creates the perfect habitat for a plentiful variety of species. Brown trout, rainbow trout, brook trout, steelhead, lake trout, atlantic salmon, coho salmon, chinook salmon, pink salmon, smallmouth bass, panfish, carp, walleye, northern pike and musky are our targeted species. This is a place where trophy-sized fish are well fed with good insect hatches and a variety of bait fish. The opportunity to catch a powerful exciting fish happens at every cast. Locations with history and storied names like AuSable River, Rifle River, Cooke Pond, or Reid Lake could be the site of your next adventure.
Our staff looks forward to serving you as stewards of this great tradition in the "Land of the Fishing Legends” - Boyd Senter and Roxey Roach - anglers of a previous generation who taught us our craft.
Boyd Senter (1898-1982) was born to a Nebraska farmer. At an early age Boyd decided to become a musician. He became a renowned band leader and recording artist in the 1920’s and performed on stage internationally. He could play 33 instruments, was extremely accomplished on saxophone and trumpet, and his clarinet playing made him famous.
Boyd Senter’s band provided the first musical outlet for Glenn Miller, who could not even read music when he was hired at age 18 to play in Boyd’s band. Senter also helped launch the careers of Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey when they also were hired as band members. Boyd was billed as the “Jazzologist Supreme” and later, when he purchased his own airplane, was billed as the “Jazz Pilot”.
As big bands began to fade and the depression was gripping the nation, Boyd retired to Mio, Michigan, where he ran a combined rock, jewelry and fly fishing store. It was located in a pink log cabin, kitty-corner across the street from the former A&W Drive In. It was here that he resided and developed and sold his flies.
Boyd ended up in Mio because he traveled from Chicago to Lupton to perform at the Graceland Ballroom for the Purple Gang. He liked the hunting and fishing in the area so well that he agreed to become the house band and set up permanent residence in Mio. In 1959, he was performing in Detroit when he was approached by an executive of Ford Motor Company who asked him to tie a series of flies named after models of Ford automobiles, and so, the Thunderbird, the Fairlane, the Falcon and the Galaxie were born. Other popular flies to come out of Boyd’s vise were the Teacher and the Squirrel Back. Boyd captivated and encouraged a teenaged boy, who would eventually establish Nordic Sports, with the nuances and skills of fly fishing and the tales and stories about his colorful career in the music industry.
Boyd Senter passed away in Oscoda, Michigan in 1982.
He was born in 1882 and his real name was Wilbur Roach, but he eventually became better known by the nickname “Roxey.” A native Pennsylvanian, Roxey was a pretty astute businessman, owning both a bowling alley and pool hall, and before Ted Williams came along, he was perhaps the best fly-fishing baseball player ever born.
At the age of 27, Roxey broke into the major leagues as a baseball player. He played short stop from 1911 to 1915 for the New York Yankees (Highlanders), the Washington Senators and the Buffalo Blues.
He also continued pursuing his favorite sports, which were fly fishing and hunting. Earlier in his career, he had purchased some land in Iosco County, Michigan to serve as his private fish and game preserve. When his baseball career ended he moved to Tawas City, opened a Ford auto dealership and pursued his passions. He became one of the best Michigan fly tiers of his era. Roxey’s Fox Squirrel Tail and Gray Squirrel Tail (aka Roxey Roach Special) streamer patterns became very popular and are still replicated today. Roxey was an innovator. He used to weight his large streamers with old coil wire from Ford cars. He also is credited as the first person to come up with the idea of tapered leaders. A nighttime trophy hunter, he was not interested in any trout under 20 inches. Roxey was also proficient in another area as well. He fathered 14 children. He suffered a fatal heart attack the day after Christmas in 1947. We were fortunate to spend many years fishing with his youngest son, Roxey Roach, Jr. who often reminisced his youthful adventures fishing with his famous dad. And like his patriarch, Roxey Jr. rarely got to the river before 10pm. We are forever grateful that he taught us his secret skills of after dark fishing.
Please don’t fish for trout when the water temperature gets near 70° or higher.
As water temperature rises, trout become more stressed due to their slowing metabolism. Additionally, oxygen levels decrease as the water temperature increases. The fish exert more effort due to the increased water temp and less oxygen is getting to their muscles and heart. Because of this, the trout can not regulate the effects of exertion without oxygen and death occurs.
A water temperature of 60 degrees is ideal for trout, and as the temperature rises, so does the mortality of those same trout. Some studies indicate that there is significant hook mortality when the water temperature is 65 – 68 degrees. By 70 degrees the chances of surviving catch and release are very low and when water temps reach 75 degrees, many more trout will die whether caught or not.
How can you help reduce trout mortality?
Carry a thermometer with you and take water temp before fishing. If the water temp is 70 degrees or higher, choose not to fish that waterway.
If you do catch trout in warm water, take your time in releasing it. Keep the fish in the water and hold it by its tail while facing the fish upstream. Move the fish in a swimming motion (side to side). Keep doing this until the fish begins to kick and try to get free from your grip. This is not a guarantee the fish will survive, but it’s chances are increased.
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