Trout fishing from boats on beautiful wild northwest lakes is a team sport in my family. We all have a stake in the outcome, so we work together to find where fish are biting, lure them to bite our hook, land, them in the boat, then clean and preserve our catch.
My sister Diana, and brother-in-law Les, provide the gear; accommodating boat, motors, fishing poles, down-riggers, lures – the works. They spend much of the summer in their RV at a nearby campground and host other family members as we trek to the mountain for fresh water fishing and outdoor fun.
By the time I arrive for a week-long stay in July or August, Diana and Les have located where the fish are biting, though fish being quite fickle, there is no guarantee we will find or catch any! When someone gets a strike and reels a fish up to the boat, someone else nets it; a job as important as keeping the line taut without ripping the hook out of the fish’s jaw.
Marie insists on kissing her fish. An old tradition, this ritual centers around respect for the fish, and the idea that the kiss will bring you luck. Marie and I had great fun with Les and Diana last July, and I must say her instinct is correct as I believe she was the champion Mac fisher for the week!
Kokanee were not biting when I visited this past summer, however as you can see from the above photo, there have been years when we came off the water with our limits. Cleaning stations (and appropriate tools) make the job of gutting and prepping the fish a reasonable chore, one we all participate in.
Marie and Diana place clean, slabs of brined Mac on smoking racks. Les inserts the racks into the smoker as Marie and Diana supervise. After the smoking process, we either vacuum pack the fish for storage in fridge or freezer, or can it in jars for shelf storage. I love opening a jar of fresh or smoked canned fish and making a meal of it!
At the end of our day, we sit around a fire with our beverages of choice, and then have a delicious home cooked dinner. Diana is an excellent chef, and I am a willing dishwasher! By dark, I am tuckered-out and since we arise early (before sunup) I am off to shower and get my beauty rest by 9:00 pm.
As we enter the holiday season, please be kind and stay safe.🐾
Thank you Amy, for this opportunity to highlight a favorite family activity. Lots of good memories and laughs accompanied the making of this composition!