Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Pat Lat, Sep 11, 2013.
Looks like its gonna be a good year for mushrooms,
lets just say I got these around MA13
Ah! A fellow mycophile. I'm planning a hunt for tomorrow evening here on Whidbey. The good rains brought them on, but this heat wave isn't going to do them any justice. Normally I'd wait for them to grow awhile longer. But the weather is telling me to get 'em now and hope for a second flush when it gets cooler and wetter again.
Nice haul. I actually took up mushroom hunting to fill in the gaps left by a lack of fly fishing here on Whidbey. As luck would have it I love mushrooms. Do you hunt anything other than Chanterelles?
I've tried coral but dont like the taste much or the texture for that matter. My friend told me about morels, but I don't have any good spots yet. I usually find good patches of huckleberries near by the chantrelles, but probably not for a few weeks.
I've never picked wild huckleberries. But I love huckleberry ANYTHING. Ice cream, jam, pie, etc. Just add utensils and I'm in.
I have one good morel patch here. Morels are usually harvested in the Cascades in April. If you like mushrooms I'd advocate learning about them. I've sure enjoyed it. It's not as dangerous as it's made out to be. I've eaten about thirty different varieties of wild mushroom without incident. What I've learned, mostly, is that there are a lot more edible mushrooms than there are mushrooms that are good to eat. Mushroom enthusiasts will eat anything just because they can. My lawn is technically "edible" but I wouldn't classify it as a vegetable. I only pick and eat about ten species now. They are all wonderful. There are others I'm looking forward to trying though.
Any good book will cover the cardinal rules on identification and safety. Nearly every mushroom poisoning incident involves someone who never read a thing on the subject and didn't know what they were doing. If you fish (and I know you do) your going to see a lot of mushrooms for the next two months. If your interested, I'll recommend "Mushrooms Demystified" by David Arora.
+1 . . . An excellent reference guide.
I think I see an azurescens in there
I don't think so Too early. But I'm no expert on the mind benders. Probably because I'm more interested in the edibles.
There is a really good book on the mushroom gatherer "industry" that just came out:
by Langdon Cook
It's been about 35 years, but I can tell you definitely not.
keep an eye open for Lobsters too
I think he was just teasing. Still, most of what I find on line for mushroom hunting sites has a lot to do with recreational fungi instead of edible. Sure, there is plenty of both, but most of the forums seem to focus on identification of drugs rather than food. At my age I'll skip the drugs. But give me a good plate of sautéed Macrolepiota rhacodes (also spelled rachodes), Agaricus augustus, Marasmius oreades, Clitocybe nuda or leccinum scabrum and I'm a happy guy. All are better mushrooms than you can buy in most markets and generally overlooked in the field by people hunting Chanterelles and Morels. My favorite discovery about wild mushrooms is how different they all taste. The term "mushroomy" doesn't even apply for me anymore. I guess I thought they would all taste like mushrooms. But just as vegetables don't all taste the same, neither do fungi. It's honestly been an adventure for the pallet. And that's a pretty great thing since food is at the center of so much happiness. Most people will never get to experience these flavors. Fine. More for me.
EDIT: I didn't make it out tonight for the chanterelles. Had to work late. I'm hoping to go tomorrow though. My favorite place is only five miles from where I'm working. Now if I could just get off before dark!?!
That was me teasing. I've always found it funny that because this area grows one of the worlds strongest "magic mushrooms", mushroom hunters are even more protective of their beats. You'd think the stuff was gold.
I'd love to find some shrooms. Only because of the novelty really. I've never found any on Whidbey. What's really funny is the guys that say they know where to find them. If you ask they'll name such n such field and say they kick over the cow pies to find them growing underneath. This is an old myth that is accepted as true by everyone that's never hunted for shrooms. Probably because of the other old myth that mushrooms are grown in manure. To the lay person these myths support each other. So when a guy starts coming on with that BS I just let them finish and excuse myself.
One big problem with many novice magic mushroom hunters is a lack of attention to the identification process and details. I think this just goes along with the demographic, dude. The good news is that there are only a couple of poisonous species that look vaguely like popular "shrooms". The bad news is that one of them can be deadly poisonous. Galerina autumnalis actually killed a girl here on Whidbey in the mid 80's. The boys she was with got off easy with only severe liver damage. I was getting to a point, but I can't remember what it was. I probably made it without the need to remember.
I went out yesterday and only found small ones around here, north Oregon coast range. I was about 800' up in a nice stand of firs. It's my first time picking shrooms, so I have a lot to learn. Just another reason to go out in the woods with the dogs.
I've got a buddy who has tracked down both Chanterelles and "magic" types. He absolutely has his secret stashes. I keep thinking I should join him for some Chanterelles. Magic? Not so much for me, thanks. My life is weird enough already.
Got mine. About 8lbs. I know another place where I can probably pick another 5lbs. It may seem greedy but no one picks these spots other than me. I was glad to find them since there are commercial pickers here on Whidbey that supply all the islands grocery stores. For the first couple of years I hunted them I found nothing but stumps, bits and ends from other pickers. I happily take non mushrooming people out to my spots because it's novel for them and I know they won't return. I would NEVER take another avid mushroom hunter to my spots.
Back on the Chanterelle note. Every year I remember what it is I don't like about them... Cleaning them. It's exciting to come home with fat sack of Chanterelles, until you realize you have to brush and scrape a fat sack of Chanterelles. What with their tacky, humus covered caps and ingrown evergreen needles. The only mushroom harder to clean would be Lobster mushrooms. Which I actually like pretty well. Very different from other mushrooms. But they're usually so hard to clean that I don't even pick them. Now Hedgehogs!!! Almost no cleaning, easier to pick (no bushwhacking and then getting on your hands and knees under the salal) and taste like a Chanterelle X2. One of my favorites. I only get about three pounds of these on GOOD years. On poor years I don't even pick them so that whatever does pop up can work on species propagation.
Lobsters are actually very easy to clean..
garden hose and some pressure,, most of the bad parts will disintegrate... then just around the edge of the flower of the mushroom if they are soft. after that look for round holes that indicate worms then simply shave the mushroom away until you find the worm.. in other words cut off everything that looks unappetizing.. I can do 15 lbs in 30 min. As a fallow mushroom hunter told me, they are tough you could play football with them
Maybe I'll try something like that. I usually only use wet cleaning methods for fairy rings and rarely morels. I'll be glad to add another worthy edible to my "free sustenance" list. Salmon and a chanterelle/noodle casorole for dinner tomorrow!
P.S. Found a lot of lobsters today that I just walked right past That's alright though. Going back tomorrow for a patch of shaggy parasols in the same area. Not to be confused with shaggy manes. Which are hardly worth picking IMHO. The shaggy parasol is one of my favorites.
Damn. I really need a mushroom ninja local to Tricities to show me the ropes. Hint hint....
Well I'm nowhere near there. But there are geeky mycological groups all over the place. You may be able to sign up with a local group for an outing or just join to find a mentor. But don't sit on your hands. The game starts now and is only hot into mid November.
EDIT: How's this?:
Tri-Cities Mycological Society Route 1 Box 525C
Richland, WA 99352
I don't know why there's not better contact info. I looked all over too. Maybe no one in the group wanted the responsibility and it's an inept organization. But their close to you and maybe there's a local listing. It can't hurt to try and you don't get anything if you don't ask.