Friday, August 14, 2009

Smoked Wild Rainbow Trout

Yes, most of the fish we catch are released.
But we have to keep a few for the smoker. Or the frying pan or the campfire.

We use a 50/50 mix of salt and brown sugar for the brine and dried Sitka Alder (Alnus crispa) chips for the smoke. Wild smoked Rainbow Trout: the perfect beer snack. And don’t get me started on still-warm smoked trout with thinly sliced onions and crushed black pepper on toast.

Wild Rainbow Trout

Catch and Release
We catch a lot of Trout over a season. We practice “catch and release” : Use barbless hooks. Play each fish just enough to be able to unhook it safely. Make sure the fish is fully revived before gently releasing it.

So we release most of the fish we and our guests catch. These are wild stocks but trout populations in our area waters are very strong. Our lakes are rich in all variety of trout foods. Among the aquatic and terrestrial insects and other little creatures that trout eat, freshwater shrimp (Hyella and Gammarus) are a trout food staple.

Eating freshwater shrimp makes trout flesh taste rich and delicious. It also turns the meat the colour of a lobster in a boiling pot.

dogrose & fireweed

The Prickly Rose (Rosa acicularis) is a wild species of Rose that is native to the interior of BC. And has relatives all around the world. Blooming in July, the rose petals are edible and make a great garnish. The hips that ripen in the fall and are an important food for birds and animals. Black Bears (Ursus americanus), will wait until the rosehips have been frozen a few times before they pick them with their prehensile lips. Bears don’t really chew their food. So soft energy rich food is preferred. Freezing makes the rosehips soft and sugary.

Fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium) knows how to reproduce. It’s beautiful and everywhere. It also has far-flung relatives in Europe, Japan and Siberia. In late summer Fireweed release their fluffy seeds to the wind in great storms.

Photos by Rob

Captain Jill and Lou

I’ve heard it said that when the Clinton family was choosing a Presidential Dog, Black Labs were intially considered but then removed from the shortlist because they’re just too hard to take good photos of, especially in bright sunlight.

In this shot I played with using my polarized clip-ons as a filter.

Summer Days

During the July heatwave we were all jumpin’ in the lake. Here Jill’s cooling off with the Loon. The Loons cruise by the Lodge all the time, hunting bite-sized Trout. They give us the old loon-eye like they own the place.
Perseids Update
I didn’t catch any of the Perseids. Never looked very long on Tuesday night and Wednesday was cloudy. However Neil, a reader from Scotland mentioned witnessing a beautiful shower of shooting stars. Good on you, Neil. Thanks for letting us know.
See for a NASA composite of Perseid 130 fireballs.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Shooting Stars - Perseids Meteor Shower Tonight

The moon is over half so it will be quite bright. But if you have clear skies and you look away from the moon (face north) there's a good chance you'll see some shooting stars tonight.

And if you're up before the sun rises, watch for Venus rising in the northeast. It'll be visible from about 3am to sunrise. You could then see at the same time: Venus (E/SE), the Moon and Jupiter (S/SW).
Happy Nightwatching.

Omineca Dry Flies - the Simulator

This fly was developed by the laziest fly-tier in world, me. Deerhair based dry flies have always been effective. One pattern I tied and fished a lot was the "Stimulator". It is a great durable pattern but too much work to tie. So my slothful brain turned to cooking up a simple and effective dry.

This is it durable and easy to tie. The shuck/tail is optional. The body is thread, the wing is yellow, orange, green or black foam. Head and wing are deerhair. I like tying it on short scud or shrimp hooks.

Other names are "Omineca Orange" and "the Cheese Fly".

Omineca Dry Flies - Tad`s Mothra Popper

I've mentioned Tad in a previous post Return of the Giant Caddis. Tad is the one who called our big Travelling Sedges "Mothra Caddis". This fly is inspired by the Mothra. Big and obnoxious, the Mothra Popper a dry fly and the big deerhair "collar" lets you fish it with a hard jerky retrieve that pushs a wake and is very sexy to surface feeding trout.

Tad is Mr. Topwater. He loves fishing the surface, whether it's Rainbows in BC or Bass in Japan. He pioneered dry midge fishing for jumbo Japanese Carp.

Oshashiburi - Long Time No See

Although this guy looks like he might have just returned from an Amish barn-raising, he is in fact, my younger Japanese "brother", Tadao Hashimoto. And in this photo he's just come back from a good day of fishing at "Secret Lake". Tad is a beautiful and funny man and one of the best fly fishermen I know. This season, Tad returned to Omineca with some friends for a July fishing trip. It was just like old times.

He first came to Omineca as a guest, but Tad and I have been friends for over 20 years now. We consider ourselves brothers. And, like brothers, we have to test each other now and then. And since we both like food and cooking, that's how we've tested each other over the years. Actually in Japan it's a national sport: see-if-the-foreigner-will-eat-this? Tad has served me "kusaya" (the fish whose name means "smells bad"). It was OK. Tasted kinda burnt. But I've come to love "natto", a scary preparation of fermented beans. In return, I've introduced Tad to root beer, which tastes like medicine to the uninitiated. He says he likes it but I don`t believe him. In the battle of strange foods, I think I win because he politely refuses one of my all time favourites. I don`t understand why he won`t eat my beautifully stinky, aged-in-the-rafters, Esrom cheese. It's imported. From Denmark.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Moon follows Jupiter across the Night

The moon is just starting to wane. Jupiter has been very bright in the southern sky through the spring and summer. Last night the full moon was leading Jupiter but tonight the moon follows. I just took this shot with my Olympus 790 SW from a tripod using "night scene" setting.

Perseid Meteor Shower
Keep an eye on the the sky next week. The Perseids are coming August 11 & 12 (Tuesday night and Wednesday morning). There could be 100 or more meteors per hour. A good reason to spread out a blanket and enjoy the night sky.

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