Tag Archives: product review

Knot Just Flies

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.

The sales counter at Knot Just Flies
The sales counter at Knot Just Flies

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.

Flies geared to your local waters.
Flies geared to your local waters.

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.

Deer corn and shooting clays are in stock.
Deer corn and shooting clays are in stock.

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.

Fly tying supplies, enough to get started on most local patterns.
Fly tying supplies, enough to get started on most local patterns.

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.

Angling supplies for Bass and Catfish.
Angling supplies for Bass and Catfish.

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.”

We have famous Thomas Trout lures.
They have famous Thomas Trout lures.

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.

Contact Info:

Orvis Game Fair and Country Sporting Weekend

Orvis Sandanona

Two weekends ago, the MKFF crew saddled up in the old FJ riding up to Orvis Sandanona Grounds in Millbrook, NY. The Sandanona Shooting Grounds is the oldest permitted shotgun range in the United States; it was built during the presidency of Thomas Jefferson. We like to keep our readers apprised of trade shows and other industry developments; the 6th annual Orvis Game Fair and Country Sporting Weekend presented an excellent opportunity to explore the fishing and wing shooting community in more depth.

Wing Shooting Training

Orvis hosts a world renowned wing shooting school at their flagship store in Manchester, Vermont and the Sandanona Grounds. Visitors were able to experience an abbreviated version of a lesson. There were two stations with instructors; they assisted students with shooting form and tactics.

Land Rover Driving School

Generally, when test driving a brand new Land Rover, you are not expecting a very advanced or technical course. I figured, we would go over a few bumps and roll over a log or two. The MKFF crew was pleasantly surprised, the off road course and training was borderline “expert level.” There are several pictures in the gallery for you to browse through, I’m pretty sure we had multiple wheels of the ground in a few places on the course.

Fly Fishing

An Orvis event would not be complete without Fly Fishing. Complimentary casting lessons were available for the revelers. Further, check out the Striped Bass one of the exhibitors had preserved caught off of Chelsea Pier.


The event was geared towards the upscale shooting and hunting community; this segment representing the Sandanona Ground’s target market. Several Orvis affiliated Fly Fishing Lodges were represented with their guide staff. We met up with and immediately took a liking to the Glendorn Lodge in Pennsylvania. Mark and I were promised that they could hook us into a Walleye on the Fly this spring! We may have to take them up on their offer in the spring.

Sparse Grey Matter – Fly Tying Fest

The winter of warm, sunny Sundays continued into the last weekend of February. The fly shops are a buzz with discussion of active Trout, taking into account the time of the year. I suspect, Trout fishing will start on a strong note this year.

Taking advantage of the weather, Moose Knuckle Fishing headed down to Califon and met our fishing pal George Wasaleski for the second annual Sparse Grey Matter – Fly Tying Fest sponsored by www.ShannonsFlyTackle.com, www.DetteFlies.com and www.sparsegreymatter.com.

The Califon, NJ Fire Hall was ablaze with fly tying, fishing and all things Trout! The sponsors who cobbled this event together did an impressive job attracting several commercial tying operations, authors, product representatives and fishing enthusiasts from across the region.

George and I stopped first at Anthony Giaquinto’s B&R Custom Flies, conveniently seated next to Lenny Ruggio; our other friend from Sundays at Shannon’s Fly and Tackle. Anthony demonstrated his Rainbow Scud, a fly that I find particularly colorful and lifelike. Lenny was kind enough to instruct Moose Knuckle Fishing on the Mohair Leech pattern. Later on in the week we will do a Favorite Patterns featuring this superb opening day fly.

Next stop was another recurring instructor at Shannon’s Fly Tying Sundays, Matt Grobert author of, “Fly Fishing New Jersey Trout Streams.” He was tying a miniscule brown and yellow Caddis Pupae, which I was informed, is a hot fly this time of year. Further note, the second edition of Matt’s book will be on book shelves soon, I will be sure to pick that up.

St. Croix Rods was on premise demonstrating their new Kelly Galloup series High Stick Drifter rods. The representative did not have to sell me on this product, I am already a satisfied owner of the 7wt Bank Robber; we landed a fish on this rod during the Maine trip last fall. I recommend that any angler into modern nymphing techniques should consider purchasing one of these fine American made rods. Also present was G. Loomis rods; unfortunately I was unable to slip in and have a discussion with the representative.

Galvan Fly Reels, a family owned company that manufactures in northern California had a representative present. In an upcoming trip, Moose Knuckle Fishing is headed down to Sanibel Island, Florida and I had important questions regarding Salt Water Fly Reels. The Torque Tournament series, held in one of my photos, is exactly what is required for Fly Fishing for Ocean species.

To wrap up George and I stopped in Shannon’s and purchased the material required to tie Lenny’s Mohair Leech. Then I walked to Califon’s picturesque Island Park for a few casts and to enjoy the weather. Without my waders, it was impossible to make a quality presentation to the Trout. I abandoned my efforts and went for a hike along the river instead.