Dick's Story

From fishing with Merle Haggard to patrolling California's Highways
to Managing a Successful Fishing Guide Service
to Developing His Own Unique Tackle.
Dick’s Mountain Tackle is an extremely efficient and productive line of fishing tackle. The various pieces were created by legendary fishing guide Dick Nichols.

Naturally being interested in what enticed Kokanee Salmon and trout to his line, he experimented with a variety of spinners, flashers, and lures.

Dick was born in Tulare, California on July 21st, 1946. His fishing career started at age four. His folks owned a sporting goods and market at Lake Success in Tulare County. His father was a great fisherman and taught the young boy well.

However, Dicks says “My mom was as good a fisherman as dad, and my dad was very good.”

He attended Porterville High School and helped with the family business. At 17, my dad asked me to take a group of TV country and western entertainers fishing on Success Lake. They all gathered on our family pontoon boat. I knew all the band except members except one guy. When I asked him his name, he answered Merle. He was the famous singer, Merle Haggard.

He became great friends with my family. I guess he and the band were the beginning of my fish guiding career.

During his years at Porterville High, he met classmate Diane. They began dating and were married in 1966. The two have been loving partners for the past 56 years.

“Yeah, one fine fisherman lives here, with the catch of his life,” chuckled Dick.

“I fished Lake Success, streams, and ponds six days a week during my younger years,” said Dick. “It seems I was born to have a fishing pole in my hand.”

Dick served with the Army and was stationed at Fort Ord, California. Then he joined the California Highway Patrol in 1968, from which he retired in 2004, after spending parts of five decades.

After retiring, he spent a lot of his free time fishing. Since he always caught fish, his friends loved to accompany him. He helped them catch fish too!

So, in 2005 I realized my dream job of serving as a fishing guide on Shaver Lake. For the next 17 years I helped the old and young alike to enjoy a day on Shaver Lake trying to outwit fish.

During his time as a guide, Dick started making various types of tackle and tested it while taking customers fishing. His creations worked great.

“Everyone that fished with me used the fishing tackle that I created,” boasted Dick. “Dave Hurley, the iconic Fresno Bee fishing report writer, suggested I market my tackle.”

Dick decided to try his suggestion and thanks to old sporting goods managers like Bob Scharton, at Herb Bauer's, Karen Newman at Valley Rod and Gun and Debby Dixon at Shaver Lake Sports, he got a chance to offer his line of tackle to the general public. It worked!

“At present, Dick’s Mountain Tackle is offered at 10 stores in Fresno, Tulare and Madera counties.

It has been estimated that over 13,500 Kokanee and trout were caught by Dick’s guide service guests over 17 years.

“They all used my tackle,” stated Dick. “I am totally confident in my tackle. I think you’ll have the same success we experienced on the right days!”

So, these days Dick is busy measuring leader line, tying hooks and assembling his line of tackle. Click herein to see the products available. Try them out. Soon both you and the fish will be hooked.