We looked at trout fishing in an earlier column, but, this week, we are going to briefly revisit the topic. The first item deals with equipment. A couple of years ago, my son built me a little, 5-1/2 foot fly rod. I had originally planned to use it for panfish, but a friend of mine gave me the idea of using it for trout, but with bait. Last season, I gave it a try. As far as terminal tackle is concerned, I used the same stuff as I would use with an ultra-light spinning outfit. I have a sinking line on my reel, but it doesn’t really make much difference, as the leader is about the only thing that goes in the water. When you hook a trout on this little rig, you have a good fight on your hands. It works equally well with redworms, mealworms, maggots, salmon eggs, or any other bait I may feel like using on a given day. If you want to add a bit of extra zip to your trout fishing, give this option a try.
When it comes to good eating, fresh trout are right in there, depending on the circumstances. Personally, I think that the best way to clean them is to filet them, just like you would any other fish. The skin of trout is actually rather tasty, so I sometimes leave it on. Now, I know that this next point might sound a bit bizarre. My very favorite time to eat trout filets is for breakfast. Just coat the filets with your favorite mixture and fry them up. Use them as a substitute for bacon, and eat them with eggs, home fries and toast. That is truly a breakfast fit for a king. Smoked trout is yet another delicacy that you owe it to yourself to try.
All of this, of course, brings up the whole catch-and-release issue. As far as I’m concerned, if you catch a fish, and it’s legal, what you do with it is up to you. Personally, I don’t see much sense in keeping a fish you don’t want to eat, but, even then, it’s up to you. I don’t see how eating a fish is any different from eating a squirrel, rabbit, pheasant or any other game bird or animal. I know I’ve had a lot of guilt free fish meals, and I hope to have a lot more.
I’ve seen and read a lot about eating trout heads. As just about anyone who knows me will attest, I’ll eat some pretty weird things, but, for some reason, fish heads of any kind, including trout, just don’t hold out much appeal for me. I have, however, read that if you simmer fish heads for a few hours in water, it makes for a really good broth. I might give that a try.
On another front, I read the agenda for the upcoming Game Commission meeting. There was no mention of lifting antler restrictions for senior hunters. That is sad. A buck is just as dead if killed by a little kid or an old man. The whole mentored youth program is a huge farce. Everybody knows that a seven year old can’t handle a 30.06, and that it would take an expert marksman to kill a deer with something like a 223. Who do they think they are kidding?
And finally, the Fish and Boat Commission reminds us that the water temperature is still frigid, despite the warm air temperature. They are correct in that statement. I have fallen into the water in the early spring, and it is COLD! Be sure to exercise the necessary caution.