The weather has been against me, the bite has been against me, the logistics of a young family, and time have all been against me. I want a fish dinner, a fish dinner that I have caught myself. Okay, I will cheat on that a little, at least a fish dinner of fish caught by guys in my fishing party. I can't seem to get it done though. The weather has been goofy as all hell, the bite has been really light and goofy when I am able to get out, I have a hole full of pike and bass when I am looking for bluegill and crappie, and time just ain't on my side. I have to admit, its really fun trying to make this quest a reality.
We used to eat a lot of walleye, perch, and panfish when I was coming up. My dad was out after the walleye and perch on Lake St. Clair on a regular basis. I learned to clean fish by helping my old man clean walleye after a successful outing. The other day, my kids grabbed their stools and looked on in wide eyed amazement as I cleaned up the few walleye that I brought back from the Saginaw River. It was a pretty good feeling as I walked them through the steps of cleaning a fish and explained to them the facts about where food really comes from. Hint: It ain't McDonald's.
I have this great bottle of homemade white wine that I got for Christmas. My wife is eastern European and the eastern Europeans still have this self sufficient streak in them. They grow gardens, pickle and can, make their own wine and sausage .... and they are generous with all of these things when it comes to their friends. So, I have this bottle of homemade white wine and I need some fish to make the meal complete.
I love food, it binds us all together because everybody has gotta eat. I like looking at recipes now; one of my favorite places for this is Georgia Pelligrini's site. Check out this venison tenderloin recipe. The discovery of a new recipe is like opening a brithday gift when I was eight years old; especially if I have the fresh venison, sausage, vegetables, or fish to make it happen in my kitchen.
The winter fish is the best though, in the summer the flesh can get soft and mushy but in the winter its always flaky and firm. The perfect compliment to some homemade fries, pickled red peppers, or maybe a nice rice with beans. I can't wait and my mouth is watering just writing this.
See, there is more to this lifestyle than just fly fishing with your buddies and putting them all back all the time. There is a the chance for a great meal, a great bottle of wine, a day in an ice fishing house, a newly discovered recipe, a chance to teach your kids to clean fish, and a chance to teach them about where food really comes from. You just can't get that stuff back if you let it slip away.
Live Free, Fish Hard