Last weekend after a nice breakfast at the Hilltop Restaurant we decided to take a mini-vacation for a few hours and drove further down the Elliot Highway to the Chatanika River. It was a nice 75° day, sunshine glowing through the aspens with a nice cooling breeze. We parked down by the boat ramp. While Scott played guitar and hob-nobbed with the various folks bringing their boats in and of the river, I stood on the bank and threw in my line.
Not that I caught anything, or even got a nibble. Small wonder, since for bait I was working with a dog biscuit called a Yummy Chummy, that just happened to be in my pocket. Even though it's made with a lot of salmon in it, the fish were not impressed. That's what I get for having my fishing pole but not my tackle box. After about 45 minutes I examined my "bait." Hunh. Pretty darn hard, even after soaking in the water all that time! When they are fresh, they are chewy. They'd make good cabin chinking after getting hard... It did spin admirably as I reeled it in, so I used it as a lure for a bit. Still no luck.
Then a fellow zoomed up and clunked into the boat ramp. His wife immediately got out and went to the car. I could have sworn they were only out for about the time I'd been there...guess she had little tolerance for boat stuff. The man asked if I'd caught anything, I told him no. He'd been luckier, and caught a nice-sized arctic grayling which he happily gave to me because his wife wasn't into cleaning fish.
So that explains why yesterday morning I had that same fish for breakfast. Sofia shared it with me, it was a pretty big fish. If you haven't seen grayling, they are very pretty. Like rainbow trout, pretty and iridescent, with a beautiful sail type fin.
They have a delicate smokey flavor. You have to eat them very soon after catching them or they just don't taste good, so I'm told. I fried this one in butter, added pepper and shook lemon juice on it after it left the pan.
Sofia would have gladly eaten it raw, but was hesitant until she had a few bites of the cooked fish. She's verrrrrrry careful and polite eating off a fork. Click on the small pictures for a larger look.