by Madison Kahn
Outdoor retail expert Rick Stagner worked with Eddie Bauer for 18 years before opening his own authentic field and stream brand nearly a year ago, in August 2012. Based in the Ozark Mountains, Mollyjogger celebrates the Midwestern region’s rich recreational history and folklore, with everything from hatchets and make-your-own-knife kits to hand-printed T-shirts and fishing journals.
The name Mollyjogger came from the loose term for a minnow that is thrown around by locals in the Ozark region. "What was unique about this fish was that it's considered worthless when used as bait for fishing," says Stagner. "It’s described as a horny-headed spotted fellow that wouldn’t even tempt the versatile appetite of a gar—which is a big, ugly nasty fish—or a turtle when used as bait." The second part of the story is the Mollyjogger hunting and fishing club, which was believed to have started in 1850 in southwest Missouri. Every fall, a small group of businessmen from Springfield would load up wagons with gear and hunting dogs and head down to the James River for a week of fishing, hunting and drinking a lot of local moonshine. The locals called them Mollyjoggers for being a worthless, though merry, crew.
Stagner's family farm on the James River also just happened to be the old Mollyjogger clubhouse, and once he started unearthing the Mollyjogger history, he became determined to incorporate it into his inventory of outdoor goods. Stagner's mostly-online shop is based in Fayetteville, Arkansas, though his best customers are from Brooklyn and San Francisco. Mollyjogger has done a few pop-ups shops around the Midwest and hopes to have a brick and mortar storefront in the next couple years.
Though unrelated to the Mollyjoggers, Stagner says most of his goods are inspired by things he inherited from his grandfather. "One of the greatest treasures was his tackle box," Stagner says. "It was just chocked full of everything from lures, bobbers, extra fly lines and, of course, his fishing journal."
Mollyjogger's own fishing and hunting journals have been extremely successful thus far—which is why Stagner is now releasing a complement to Draplin Design Company's Field Notes notebook: a memo book hook-clip.
The Harrison & Bartleet Hook Clip design is a Mollyjogger collaboration with renowned fisherman and hooksman, Ronn Lucas Sr. Using exotic feathers, ties and fly patterns, Lucas is one of the last artisans out there who creates hooks like these by hand. Heirloom quality, the classic hook-clip helps manage pages and photos for pocket-sized journals, and can also be used for decor and as a money or card clip—or even mounted as a piece of artwork.
The Harrison & Bartleet Hook Clip is available at Mollyjogger starting today for $34.
Images courtesy of Mollyjogger