Discussion in 'Camping, Hiking, Cooking' started by kingpuck, Mar 11, 2008.
sounds like I really need to go and pick the brains of the park ranger I know and see if he can give me some more tips on alpine lakes.
Of course you guys know what this means... less beer more squats to get in shape for hiking to the upper lakes. Ugh, the work of being a fisherman.
You really need to be very aware of which "ranger" you talk with, and how specific you are about where you are going to be camping....
oh, wait a minute...my bad - I thought you said "brokeback fishing trip"
sorry that shouldn't have made me laugh but it did, I'm sorry to say. It's good I happen to know one of the rangers really well, so info is not a problem. Haha, "brokeback camping trip" sounds like a camping trip in Enumclaw.
I too reccomend getting obscure, but it's been my experience that once your at 5500 feet(for example, long gone/coney/cyclone/blum) and above (unless your in the pasayten) there's a very good chance the lake will have no fish or very bonsai like trouts.You can stop in the marblemount ranger station and read peoples comments on their hikes this can be a good way to sift information.
Okay now that we've cleared up how to catch the little alpine lake fish, I've got another question. Once I've gotten the nice fish, cleaned it and am ready to eat it. How do you guys like to prepare your fish?
So let's hear those recipes. Nothing to spicy though if you please.
Most of the alpine lakes I've visited had plenty of fish and few fishermen, if I'm spending the night sometimes I'll keep and cook a brace of trout. High country fishes always taste so good and help you dream good dreams so in the interest of fishin', smilin', and snoozin' in the clouds I'll share.
Take a large piece of foil with you in your gear, it's one of the ten essentials for the fisherman. In a quart size ziplock bag mix a couple of tablespoons of Ms. Dash and lemon pepper, insert your cleaned fish one at a time and shake. Place your fish on your alum foil and close them up in a foil packet, place foil packet in a cool (cooking coals) fire. Fish cooks fairly fast being a soft hydrated meat, turn the packet over after ten minutes. Cook both sides about ten minutes each or according to your fire. Remove the foil packets from the fire, open and let cool for a few minutes then enjoy.
When your meal is finished bury the skeletons, rinse the foil, fold it up and bring it home. There are other variations to this theme, let your creativity be your guide. One can make adjustments with cooking over a stove in areas where you can't have a fire. Hope this helps...man I can smell the aroma now!
my all time favorite is the following:
If you are fishing in a place where you are allowed to have an open fire - try this:
* The smaller the brookie the better - 6 to 8 inchers you don't really have to deal with bones. Just peel the spine out from head to tail and eat what's left.
* Get a sharpened stick like you would for roasting hot dogs or mashmallows.
* Put the stick into the gutted fish mouth, through the cavity, and into the flesh at the tail end keeping close to the spine.
* Fish over the fire like you would a hot dog.
Bigger fish - you may need to build a spit. Then watch closely. As the fish starts to get done, the meat will want to start to fall away from the bone. Keep your plate close or you may end up with a nice fish in the fire...
The smokey flavor from the open fire is just awesome.
But if you want to get 'fancy', bring some lemon juice and a little salt and pepper (a stop at your local fast food joint will often provide packets of said ingredients, including disposable forks, knives, and spoons...).
The best thing about the above is that you don't really need to bring anything to cook with. On those trips, I only bring a light weight pot for boiling water and dishes of some sort for eating and drinking. No extra cookware. (and less dishes to wash)
But if you do need to use your camp stove and a fry pan - bring some real butter, lemon, and salt and pepper. No need to get any fancier than that.
Some lakes offer lots of casting room, but in my experience the majority don't. So floatation is a good thing to have along. If you don't mind toting a 60# pack, then your choices are many. I don't enjoy a heavy pack, so I have a Curtis raft, which sadly is no longer made. The next lightest choice appears to be the nylon raft at REI that's about 3 1/2# if I recall. There may be some lightweight float tubes, but that still requires waders and fins that add to the weight and bulk of your pack. The next best alternative to the REI raft is an Alpaca at about 6 1/2#, but they're expensive. And there are plastic Sevalors at about 6# which don't last very long.
Fishing from any of the small rafts is less comfortable that from a float tube, but it's a necessary compromise if pack weight is an issue.
About the lakes, I've had my best fishing in lakes that don't have a Green Trails official or maintained trail to them. If there is an official maintained trail and campsites, expect mediocre fishing at best.
Since the better fishing requires off-trail bushwhacking, I prefer a smaller lighter backpack for that reason as well. Keeping to that concept, all my high lake fishing gear (except the rod) fits in a small waist pack that weighs only a few onces. I can't believe that when I was younger I actually rolled up my fly fishing vest and stuck it in my backpack.
Another pratical compromise that is even more light weight is to bring 2 small items in your compact fishing gear pocket.... A lightweight spinning real filled with 4lb mone and a few small clear casting bubbles :thumb: If you find there is no back casting room, switch out your fly reel for your spinning reel. It takes a little getting use to, but you can fish that way just fine, cast a good distance, and present both dry and wet flies.
You're making my mouth water!!! Love those "brookies on a stick"! :thumb:
While 'brookies on a stick' sounds great and is the simplest suggestion for cooking requirements, frying fish in a pan can be messy and there is no good way (in my experience) to keep them from curling and becoming difficult to cook uniformly. Unless you are testing the fates by not taking any other food and planning to eat trout only (in which case you should also be prepared to either go hungry or go home early), here's an alternative preparation for back-country trout. Try poaching them in a little water in your fry pan or cook pot and then peel the flesh off the skeleton and put it into whatever you were planning to prepare for dinner that night. This can turn your blah dried dinner preparation into a gourmet meal. Season to taste! No extra cleanup.
I bring a lightweight backpacking stove that simmers (my favorite is the MSR Simmerlite), a lightweight non-stick fry apn (not too thin so you don't have major hot spots) a little bottle of vegetable oil, and a little corn meal with only salt and pepper in it.
I find lemon overpowers the delicate taste of trout.
Bread those brookies and fry 'em up. If they curl a little, no worries...they will still taste great.
Fry until done to your preference.
I like 'em a little crispy and the simple breading makes em real savory.mmmmm...eat 'em, skin and all (peel out the bones of course, easily done when the fish is cooked)
Clean up is pretty easy with non-stick.
I've looked into buying our REI backpack boat but don't really feel like packing a boat along. I may just bring along my spinning rod as an alternative. For cooking the fish I've bought the new Chefware set that REI just came out with. Suppose to be a great cookset and it's non-stick!
My mouth started watering when you guys started talking about lemon juice and breading. That sounds awesome. I so look forward to tasting fresh, clean fish. I'm looking at trying to get up to a place called Necklace Valley. It's a 7 mile hike with 2500 feet vertical gain in the last 2 miles. Needless to say I'm going to have to start hitting the gym as much as the vice if I want to land some fish up there. The water is incredibly clear and clean up there. This should be a great summer.
There are awesome lakes with similar fishing that are less than 4 miles, but also 4,000 vertical feet. The death marches lead to some very fine alpine lake fishing.
My favorite fish recipe....
Quick-clean a fish. (cut the little piece of skin on the bottom between the gills and pull)
put some salt and pepper and butter if you have it...maybe some lemon.
Wrap tightly in tin foil and throw in the fire.
Remove after a few minutes, unwrap and enjoy.
I went to Necklace Valley about 3 summers ago. The last 2 miles was tough (but I was 56). When I got there the mosquitoes were pretty bad and I got disgusted and left the next day and didn't fish... I would say there is probably some nice trout there tho. It was very beautiful. About 5 miles in at the creek before you climb is a nice camping spot.
The Trail Blazers have a page that talks a bit about the history of the Necklace Valley cabin.
Yeah that cabin looks cool to go explore but wouldn't want to sleep in it.
Seeing that picture reminds me of that guy who gave up living in the city and moved out to a place in Alaska and built a cabin out of trees he cut down. Super handy guy and all around gentleman. PBS shows the documentary he made about his adventure every so often. That would be a sweet life but one of loneliness. Guess a man would need a dog.
Kingpuck, his name was Dick Proenneke, and the documentary is called "Alone in the Wilderness." Its an excellent video. You can order it on-line. Just Google "Dick Proenneke." Sorry, thread drift.