Enjoying your catch after fishing can sometimes be a challenge but here is a wild trout recipe that reduces the fishy quality of trout while enhancing flavor. The trout in this recipe are wild, fresh caught brown trout from Idaho’s Henry’s Fork of the Snake River. For anyone who has experienced trout as a meal, wild trout are vastly superior in flavor and consistency than farmed or planted trout. Wild trout flesh is firm and has significantly less fishy flavor. Stocked and/or farmed trout are mushy and, in my opinion, taste like mud. So if you like fish but dislike trout you probably have only eaten stocked/farmed trout and not a flavorful wild trout from one of Idaho’s pristine rivers.
Swimming upstream always makes a better, stronger, more flavorful trout – take whatever life lessons you want from that statement.
Here is the recipe and cooking method for these flavorful wild trout:
Hopefully this wild trout recipe can help you enjoy healthy, flavorful fresh caught wild trout for dinner. If you are going to keep trout or any fish you catch, make sure to eat them and not let them waste away in the freezer (and eventually the garbage).
Last weekend my friend Jared Stein and I hit the stonefly hatch on the Henry’s Fork’s Cardiac Canyon. Somehow we were blessed to dodge the thunderstorms that were rolling through the area and were able to have a decent day of fishing. The stonefly hatch was almost at its end in the Cardiac Canyon section but we were still able to catch a few hungry trout. I caught two brown trout in the 18-20″ range and some rainbows in the 15-16″ range. Jared landed a nice brown in the 20″ range along with some rainbows in the 16″ range. We didn’t get into any monsters but the brown trout put up a pretty good fight.
There were quite a few boats that were floating the river but they respectfully stayed on the far side of the river. The boat “ramp” (if you want to call it that) to access Cardiac Canyon is about 1/4 mile drop down a very steep incline so I was surprised to see so many boats on the river. The stonefly hatch motivates fisherman to brave even the most difficult conditions.
I gutted one of the brown trout and checked the contents of its stomach and found it full of adult stonefly nymphs (probably 15-20) and also 2 sculpin. Yes, this brown trout not only was gorging on stoneflies but was also eating other fish in between stonefly meals. It also had what appeared to be crane fly larvae in its stomach. Small crane flies were hatching early in the day. If you fish this section of the river after the stonefly hatch, you may want to bring some muddler minnows and a sinking line to try and catch the larger brown trout.
I caught my fish on a stonefly adult pattern and bead head prince nymphs. Jared caught his trout on an adult stonefly pattern.
Adult Stonefly Patterns (various)
Bead Head Prince Nymph, size 14
Cardiac Canyon is located between Lower Mesa Falls and where the Warm River joins the Henry’s Fork. It is fairly rugged and requires a lot of hiking to get to and from the river. The walk out after fishing all day can be challenging especially at the so called “boat” ramp, which could result in a “Cardiac” event if you are in poor physical condition.
Last Friday, after spending a little of time on Court in Malad, Idaho, I drove over to Weston Reservoir to spend a few hours fishing. I arrived about 12:00 pm which is a little late in the day for fishing but the Solunar calendar indicated that there was a Minor time for fishing between 1:00 and 2:00. For the first hour everything was really quiet and I was able to catch just one rainbow trout on a size 6 brown bead head woolly bugger. About 1:30 the fishing picked up and I caught 8 rainbow trout in about 30 minutes of fishing. I caught all of these rainbows either on a double renegade or single renegade. I had quite a few more strikes where I wasn’t able to hook up with the fish. I was just happy that I out-fished the two guys with Power-bait.
Weston Reservoir also has Bluegill, Yellow Perch, and Smallmouth Bass. I saw some 12-16″ Smallmouth bass cruising the shore line but they didn’t show any interest in any of the flies tossed in their direction.
Brown/Olive Woolly Bugger – Bead Head
Double Renegade, size 12
Renegade, sizes 12-14
My family and I went fishing on Hawkins Reservoir near Arimo, Idaho last Friday (April 22, 2016). The fishing was pretty slow. My wife caught one 12″ rainbow on a size 12 bead head prince nymph. I spent most of the time rigging kids poles or untying messes so my fishing was pretty limited. We used clear plastic casting bubbles (3-Pack Casting Bubbles 1 1/8″ X 1 3/4″) and a variety of flies – dark colored wooly worms, hare’s ears nymphs, damsel fly nymphs, and prince nymphs. Hawkins is a family friendly fishery that contains rainbow and cutthroat trout and is regularly stocked with rainbow trout. See http://fishandgame.idaho.gov/public/fish/?getPage=231 for a stocking schedule.
Size 12 Beadhead Prince Nymph
Early season water flow on the Upper Blackfoot River in Idaho is exceeding expectations after recent spring snow storms. The Blackfoot River is currently flowing at 677 cfs which is approximately 400 cfs above the average (and within. This is great news for fly fishing as the Blackfoot River has had low water the last couple of years. High runoff tends to flush out all of the sediment and other obstructions in the river making July and August fly fishing spectacular. Hopefully the high water will continue over the next month or so before tapering off to around 250 cfs by July 1. To check on the Upper Blackfoot River water flow visit http://waterdata.usgs.gov/id/nwis/uv/?site_no=13063000&PARAmeter_cd=00065,00060,00010.