In 1965 a proposal for the Tocks Island Dam was made before the United States Congress, this project would have created a dam on the Delaware River and flooded the majority of the Flat Brook valley. Fortunately the dam project fell through and all the land acquired was turned into the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. The Big Flat Brook is 15 miles long and originates in High Point State Forest flowing through Stokes State Forest it gathers speed through additional wild trout feeder streams. As the Big Flat Brook crosses under Route 206 it becomes a Fly Fishing only stream; the river widens near Three Bridges Road as the Little Flatbrook joins the Big Flat Brook. The fly fishing only designation continues until the Roy Tract Bridge several miles downstream from here. Moving down the river Sussex County Route 615 parallels the stream which at times can be 50 feet wide providing for large pools and easy access. Finally the brook crosses under the Old Mine road and begins its final rush to the Delaware River. The entire system is heavily stocked by the State of New Jersey with over 30,000 fish and many of the wild trout streams that feed the brook support reproducing populations.
“Walk On, don’t look back, don’t ask questions, don’t you try to understand.” John Hiatt
Egg Gobbling Bows
Late autumn in New Jersey opens up a wide world of outdoor sports for our densely populated state. The state dumps over fifty thousand breeder Trout into our small stream and rivers. Not to mention the holdovers which have been particularly good since the rebooted stocking began in earnest last fall. The local holes are teaming with eager Rainbow Trout that have been feeding actively since the spring or are former brood stock set loose. These Bows have a particular affinity for juicy eggs or imitation fly eggs.
The two rivers we at MKFF frequent the most are the Paulinskill and The Flatbrook, these two watercourses situationally exist in the last frontier of New Jersey. A land still graced with farm fields and forests within an hour of Manhattan. These two freestone streams, typical of of the mid-Atlantic region both flowing into the Delaware River, offer a surreal retreat from the Megalopolis.
If you confine your fishing to the best of day, ten AM to two PM and then take a lunch, you will be pleasantly surprised out here. The weather has been unseasonably warm, I suspect due to a congregation of factors (El Nino) and two brutal winters in a row. Needless to say, the recommendation is to tie on a size eight or ten egg fly, add some weight, tie on an indicator and locate some pools. The Bow’s are fattening up for a winter that may never come and gorging themselves on eggs.
Blairstown, NJ is a bucolic small town in a bustling state, surrounded by first class fishing and hunting opportunities. The working farms, hunting clubs, preserved land and overgrown bush combine to make this town and northern Warren County a sportsmen’s paradise. Even so, there has not been a sporting goods store in this town since Red Hawk Outfitters closed more than a decade ago.
Thanks to local business owner Valentino Mota, this has all changed, for the better. Val has opened Knot Just Flies at the Valero on Route 94. Conveniently located in front of the Paulinskill River as it meanders through Blairstown. Val has opened his store as an authentic general store of Fly Fishing, angling and hunting supplies. In the modern world of ecommerce, something that he has experience in, brick and mortar retail stores need to carry the items you need on the spot before a day of sporting adventures. This is what Val will provide to our community.
Knot Just Flies caters to a wide market of sportsmen or woman and the equipment they need. By stopping here you will be able to spend more time fishing or hunting and less time driving to far away outfitters. He is conveniently opened 7AM to 7PM Tuesday through Saturday and 7AM to 5PM on Sunday. Mondays the store is closed.
Knot Just Flies is a full service Fly Shop right in the heart of Warren County Fly Fishing country. Located less than half an hour from every major Trout stream in the area including the Paulinskill, Flat Brook, Pequest and the Musconetcong. Not to mention the Delware River Smallmouth and Shad fishery. Val spends a great deal of time cultivating the new entrants into the sport and creating the next generation of Fly Fishing. As such, he offers daily rental packages and you can arrange a Fly Fishing lesson through the store.
The location literally has a little bit of everything you need to pursue your hobby. It is a general store of outdoor sports, preventing you from ruining your day by forgetting gloves in the cold or sinkers for cat fishing. Freshwater angling supplies, wingshooting necessities, archery supplies, Bass baits, live baits, catfish baits, ice fishing supplies and some saltwater tackle are all here. To make it even more convenient for people in the area, Val is stocking some Salmon and Steelhead supplies at reasonable prices to prevent you from getting price gouged in upstate New York this fall.
Val got into fishing at a young age with his father introducing him to the sport. It has been his dream to open up a fly and tackle shop, when the opportunity presented itself he seized it! He has extensive experience selling products through ecommerce; therefore, you will find reasonable prices throughout the store. According to Val, “This shop is geared to the community, products I sell are effective in this community. Whatever is on the wall is here for our local anglers.”
Some name brands available at the store include, but are not limited to, Redington, Rio, CP Swings and Thomas Lures. Any item you could purchase at Bass Pro shops can be ordered right in Blairstown! We hope to see you in the store soon.
The trout seemed to hate me this day until I came to this back woods section of the Flat Brook. My Adams Parachute and Brown Drake were letting me down for the first time ever so I decided to put on a plain and simple black ant. Never was big into terrestrial flies on big pools, but I figured I might as well try something different. The sun was breaking through the trees now and the mist was just about gone as I entered the stream. The water was still dark and gloomy as I waded my way in. There was only silence to be heard except a little run from the river about a hundred feet in front of me. As I prepare to shoot my line I have an overwhelming sense of excitement come over me, and trust me this was completely unexpected. Just as my black ant hit the water, the fight was on. Out comes my net, in goes the fish. A 14 inch brook trout was the culprit of this wonderful catch. 27 fish later, I snapped this picture of my final trout of the day.