Monday, January 15, 2007

Busch Wildlife stocker trout- success!

Just a photo of a trout taken last weekend- caught it on a silver "Super Duper". fished all day, weather pattern was moving in so had to deal with some rain.
Most of the bait people were not catching a lot either, so I did not feel as bad. I am starting to figure this "stocker trout" thing out- you need to fish the lakes within a week of stocking if you want to catch a large number of trout.
However, I will say this- I like the challenge of catching trout when the fishing is not as "easy". When you are throwing artificials, it teaches you to do a better job of selecting quicker and more efficient. Kind of like fly fishing, almost a "match the hatch" concept. The weather has been so bad here, it has been over a week since I have fished. Hopefully we can change that real soon!


Thursday, January 4, 2007

Roubideaux Creek- Are there any trout? Not in the spring!

This is a photo of Roubideaux Spring in Pulaski County, Missouri. If you are familiar with Hwy 44, it is right off 44 in Waynesville, which is very close to Ft. Leonard Wood. I got a chance the other day to fish this spot on the way down to Springfield. You know, it is interesting- the temperature was around 50 degrees, and I parked by the spring and walked down to fish it. I visited this spot this summer, and the actual spring had a ton of trout in it. It has a platform sidewalk that you can actually look right into the spring (this is one of the top diving cave/springs as well, so the access is good). Well, I took a look- not a trout visable, so I walked down to were the spring hits the creek and fished the structure- my usual favorites, Super Dupers, Little Cleo's and Rooster Tails- not bad structure- had some trees in the creek and deep holes- not a bite. I brought my waders and probably should have "gotten in the drink" and fished it a little more extensively. Time was short, so I decided to go hit another part of the creek.
Check out the photo of the ducks. I need to find out what type of ducks these are. I was smallmouth fishing this summer down on the James River, near Springfield, and we came across some of these ducks. They have quite the "personality". It appears people come to the park and feed these ducks.

I drove north of Waynesville and fished the area close to where the creek enters the Gasconade River. Once again, tons of structure- caught (3) very small rock bass on white rooster tails. Makes me think- I bet there are a ton of smallmouth there in the summer- I will have to check that out.



Monday, January 1, 2007

Cooking and Smoking fresh trout- very good!

Happy New Year everyone! If you look back a couple of blogs ago, you noticed that we had a good couple of days worth of trout fishing and a whole stringer of fish- now to cook them! We now have a new holiday tradition for the new year- smoked trout! The photo next to the text is my brother-in-law, Charlie Hankins. I caught them, and he cooked them- my compliments to the chef- they were awesome.
I think it is important to note how they were cleaned before we start with how we cooked them. I learned how to clean trout down at Roaring River State Park, in Southern Missouri quite a while ago. It was my first time trout fishing, and I really did not know how to clean them. I have friends who like to leave the head and skin in place (in certain trout areas, you will need to leave the stream area with the fished cleaned as such). I had a gentleman from Arkansas show me how to do it- he cut the bottom of the fish from the head to the back. You then remove the cuts, snap the head back, and use your thumb to clean out the mudline along the spine, and while pulling the trout head back, use your thumb to seperate the skin from meat. Once that is done, get a towel to hold the "meat section" and pull down on the head and skin- like peeling a banana- very easy!
I keep them in freezer bags, fill the bag with water, and drop in the freezer- ready for whenever you would like.
Charlie had a smoker-BBQ set up (I had a photo, but it was to dark to display). He cut the trout into two pieces following the cut along the spine. Once the trout were "halved", he put lemon pepper dry rub and a cajun rub (had some cayenne pepper in it). It was interesting because when I cook trout in foil, I use a lot of butter and such, but when you smoke, you really do not want to use this on the trout. The charcoal was spread out once it was white, and a tub with 1/2 water and 1/2 white wine. the trout were placed directly on the grill, and mesquite and hickory chips that had been soaked in water were added to the grill. We smoked them for about 2 1/2 hours- meat fell right off the bone and the taste was incredible!
Last thought: as much as I enjoyed the trout, and the harvesting of the trout, I enjoy the pricipals of selective harvest- which means out of all the fish I caught this year, I probably released about 2/3 of them- keep our resources pure for the next generation.
To Our Success,