Tag Archives: trade shows

Low Waters at the Orvis Game Fair

Last weekend was the 10th annual Orvis Game Fair at Sandannona in Millbrook, NY. Orvis Sandonona Shooting Grounds is the oldest permitted shooting preserve in the United States. These grounds have a lot of history on them and it is a special treat to visit every year. The last two years have witnessed warm beginnings to the autumn, as you would expect this delay of cool weather and rain adversely impacts the fall Trout fishing season.

This time of year, warm water fish are very prevalent.
This time of year, warm water fish are very prevalent.

This year a group of us grabbed a few campsites at the Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park off of the Taconic State Parkway. The park is over fourteen thousand acres and features two bodies of water, Canopus Lake and Pelton Pond. The location was perfectly situated between the West Branch of the Croton and Dutchess County rivers. Our logic was that we needed to focus on the tail waters of the Croton watershed due to the low level drought.

Camp Kitchen
Camp Kitchen

Fishing Report

The West Branch of the Croton below Boyd’s Corner was fishable, however mostly warm water species were hitting and flows were low. Mark had a swing and a miss out of the reservoir by a Brown Trout. The freestone streams of Dutchess County were all the lowest I have seen them over the past five years. They are still fishable for Smallmouth Bass when they are very low. I even managed to find a few Trout in one deep and cool pool.

A Dutchess county born wild Brown Trout.
A Dutchess county born wild Brown Trout.

The Game Fair

Every year we manage to find a new and exciting vendor at this expanding and vibrant event. This year we ran into the Merritt Bookstore and the Mid Hudson Trout Unlimited Club. The Mid Hudson TU is a finely organized club and their book on the waters of Dutchess County is a lucrative source of information. We also ran into the author of a new book, “The History of the Hudson Valley,” Vernon Benjamin.

You find the neatest artifacts at the game fair. This Hardy set is un fished and for sale.
You find the neatest artifacts at the game fair. This Hardy set is un fished and for sale.

Pequest Trout Hatchery

New Jersey opening day, slated for April 6, 2013 is fast approaching. Every year New Jersey Fish and Wildlife hosts a two day open house at the flagship Pequest Trout Hatchery. Spectators viewed fishing demonstrations, fly tying demos, shooting lessons, fishing lessons and a civil war encampment. Click through our pictures check it out for yourself.



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.

International Motorcycle Show

Winter is the season of the trade show; considering the ice in New Jersey is much too thin for walking. Last week, Moose Knuckle Fishing went to the Pennsylvania Farm show; we reported back to you on the engaging displays of livestock and ancient artifacts. This past Friday, the Moose Knuckle team piled in the Suburban with SJS racing and drove into New York to see the International Motorcycle Show.

Moose Knuckle is predominantly a fishing and outdoor related blog; we believe that motorcycles, especially dual sport bikes are integral to accessing the back country. One such motorcycle is the 2012 Husqvarna TE 449; this bike appears nimble enough to navigate tight trails while fast enough to haul down fire roads.

Now if you have a little piece of recreational property out in the woods and require a nimble yet powerful four wheel drive ATV; Yamaha had on display the 2012 Grizzly. We are happy to report this vehicle is assembled with pride right here in the USA. Judging from the sorry state of the US economy, not enough of that happens anymore.  Yamaha utility quads are the most reliable out there, this beast is loaded with horsepower to tow your deer corn or gear out to your favorite spot.

Getting back to brass tax, on Saturday we were fortunate enough to receive roughly six inches of snow combined with frigid weather. If conditions hold we will be featuring the first ice fishing blog this coming weekend.

More Pictures Here

Pennsylvania Farm Show

While we wait for the waters to freeze up in our area, my wife, Brother in law (fellow contributor to Moose Knuckle), and myself, decided to attend the Harrisburg Farm Expo in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. My wife and I have been wanting to attend this expo for quite some time now, and it was well worth the visit. We arrived early Friday and the place was packed already!

The first stop at the farm show was the food court. The foods being offered were from locally grown producers and other food entities. In addition, the vendors were offering food such as roast beef, pizza, grilled cheese, French fries, blooming onions, fried mozzarella cubes, fried mushrooms, chicken, fish, cotton candy, ice cream cones, delicious milkshakes, and apple cider were provided by local farm organizations. The prices were extremely reasonable, not like at a sporting event or even other county fairs I have attended in the past.

We checked out the farm equipment next, which I was a little disappointed in. I had hoped to see various hay equipment and large farm tractors to examine. However, there were only a couple of tractors on display. Most of the equipment was for home use. There were signs on the tractors asking people not to climb aboard. I suppose some parents as well as their children are unable to read, as one child was inside the cab of one tractor jamming the gear shifter so hard, I thought it would break off! I hope the individual who purchases that piece of equipment doesn’t go out one morning to plow his field and have his transmission fail on him. Thanks kid!

My wife, Lisa, had a great time taking pictures of all the animals, especially the cows, goats, and chickens. Unfortunately, all the pigs had gone to market prior to our arrival. The beef cows were missing as well.  We were able to view the cows being milked, goats being judged, and little baby ducks sliding down a sliding board into a pool of water. You name it, there were rabbits, chickens, turkeys, geese, ducks, all shapes, colors, and sizes.

There were many interesting displays including ancient artifacts, women weaving, giant pumpkins, hay, Christmas trees on display, and many other farm products to be viewed and tasted! Other vendors were selling products including bee’s wax, honey, various hot sauces, and even wine tasting. If you are on a low budget, you could sample many of the products on display at the expo and go home full.  Hard boiled eggs pickled in hot wing sauce, venison jerky, apple butter, apples, cider, Turkey Hill ice cream, chocolate, pretzels; people were anxious for you to sample in hopes of a sale.

As the day was getting late, it was time for us to leave. A shuttle bus took us almost to the spot where we parked our vehicle. We spent almost an entire day viewing all the farm products, animal judging contests, and tasting fresh food all for the price of ten dollars per carload. You really can’t beat that, especially, in these tough economic times. Next year, if you want to get out of the house, let your children understand that food isn’t produced at the food store, then check out the Harrisburg Farm Expo.

More Pictures Here