When I was a kid, the idea of catch-and-release fishing was simply foolish. Why put a perfectly good dinner back in the river?
And, of course, I and my brothers and cousins were encouraged by our grandfathers to harvest our limit—fresh trout fried up on the grill back at camp was part of the experience. I was reminded of those care-free days as I watched the Bushcraft and Fishing video below, where a father and son go to great pains to make a tasty meal of a rainbow trout caught at what appears to be a British fishing club. While the parallels are missing between how and where the fish was captured and dispatched, the meal at the end of the day is still pretty similar.
Today, I’ll occasionally keep trout for the frying pan—it just depends on where I’m fishing, and what I’m catching. Here in the West, it’s rare that I’ll return a non-native brook trout to the water. Native trout, and, in trophy waters, browns and rainbows will almost always live to see another fly. But brookies fried in butter and white wine are tough fare to beat in the woods, and I don’t feel the least bit guilty for enjoying wild fish alongside a salad and an ice-cold beer.
Check out the video, and see if it doesn’t bring back memories of trout fried over the flames. I can almost smell it cooking.
— Chris Hunt