Spring Flyfishing

12 03 2010

What a week we’ve had: sunny days that pushed 60 degrees, a little rain, the mud drying up.  Spring is finally arriving!! With everything else on the ranch in full swing, I’ve been waiting patiently for the little streams to rid their ice and reveal a bonanza of fish jumping at a fresh protein source: flies.
I’ve been fishing most every day this week, catching a multitude of small trout up and down the stream.  After settling in to some of the deepest pools, I’ve managed to confuse just enough eating-size fish to have a modest trout dinner four days thus far.  It has been nice to arrive at a place that doesn’t take much in the way of deception or intricate fly patterns to catch so many fish.  So many, in fact,  that your cats wonder if they will ever get to accompany you after smelling your clothes, fingers, and tackle. Of course, those hungry post-thaw fish will likely feed on anything you throw their way, making it doubly fun for novice and expert alike.

One of my favorite, simple, post-catch recipes  includes a sauce made from charred lemons, capers, parsley, almonds and brown butter.  Charring the lemons is a process by which you place a halved lemon flesh-side down in a semi-hot pan with a teaspoon of canola oil and allow it to caramelize.  This intensifies and deepens the lemony flavor and adds just enough twist to make it interesting and new.

To finish the sauce, remove the lemons from the pan to cool slightly, add 3 tablespoons butter, 1 tbsp. capers, and 1 tbsp. chopped parlsey.  Allow the butter to just reach the smoking point. At this point, the parsley and capers will appear to be “fried,” that’s perfect!  Remove from the heat and quickly juice the lemons through a strainer into the butter, capers, and parsley.  Swirl all together, taste, and salt and pepper to your liking.  Pour over sauteed or baked fish.  This would also work for any flaky white fish that you may have the opportunity to catch where you live: bass, whitefish, pike, walleye, etc.

Bon Appetit

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