Tuesday, July 22, 2008

All Hail the Lunch Brookie

If there was a fish designed...oops, bad word choice...that evolved just for kids to catch, it's the brook trout. A member of Salmonidae, or salmon family, the brookie isn't really a trout; this native of the Eastern U.S. is a char and is distinguished from a trout by its dark coloring and lighter-colored spots (trout, on the other hand, have darker spots on light bodies, among other things).

More important for our purposes, brookies are admired by anglers (and sometimes smack-talked) for their gullibility. Their willingness to take a fly or lure in almost any situation makes them ideal for the family camping trip. And if that's not enough, most anglers would agree the brookie, with its naturally pink-hued flesh, is the tastiest of our "trout."

On this occasion the brookie in question was a particularly welcome sight after Riley lost his favorite lure to a huge rainbow the evening before, in an oft-revisited turn of events in which it was roundly concluded by family consensus (with only a single abstention) that FOTL was ultimately at fault for not properly setting the drag on the venerable Scooby-Doo rod and then offering unsolicited advice to horse the hog right up on the dock. FOTL will refrain from comment.

The next morning, operating under the theory that our lure-stealing fish had retreated to the opposite shore to sulk, we tried the far end of the pond, a mosquito-infested corner with tall reeds known as the "Back Bay." First cast—fish on!

No, it wasn't the trophy with a gleaming lure dangling from its lip, but a fine lunch this brookie, taping out at 13 inches, did make.


Tom Sorenson said...

Oh man, how can a person not help but smile! That was awesome! "what do you think? "I want him for lunch!" That's classic! What great times to be able to share with your children!

Anonymous said...

I have these delectable fishing memories from childhood, the catching, (sometimes the endless waiting) and later the panful of fried fish. You're cooking up some good ones for your kids that they'll remember too. Sweet.

Anonymous said...

Oh indeed, my first fish were brook trout taken from the pasture brook that is only 6-inches deep and a foot wide.

We would bring the trout, still flopping on the hook, into the house for my grandmother to take off the hook. She put them in the kitchen sink with running water so we could watch them swim.

Fried in bread crumb batter, the crunchy tail is the best part!

Anonymous said...

The Berkshires, SW Massachusetts, 1973, Green River in late summer when the flow stopped, leaving the fish trapped in pools -- that's when I learned to tickle brookies and catch them with my hands. Subsequent efforts in the Swiss Alps (1975), the Rockies (1985) and Eastern Oregon (1995) established that trout tickling can be done with the right conditions: small stream, abundant cover, gentle touch. We enjoy reading your blog; it brings memories. Blog on!!

t-mos said...

finny, a thoroughly excellent post from top to bottom...that video is classic! i learned to fish back in northern MN, and brookies were the game...the video brought back a lot of good memories. your son made an excellent choice..."i want him for lunch!" thanks for the post!