Last days fishing

I took Samuel Conteh fishing yesterday and we got 3 of the brightest fish we’ve caught at Sheep Creek.  We got a single which we didn’t even know was on there. Then got another, for which I grabbed the rod, and when I asked Samuel if he wanted to land it, we got a second on the other rod.  So I got that Rod into Samuel’s hands while I played my fish and alternated playing my fish and coaching Samuel.  I landed mine then we landed his.  A nice evening. Today, Samuel and I went out for a couple hours and it was the first time this year at Sheep Creek, I think, that we got skunked so that may be it for salmon fishing.  Samuel’s father said their freezer is plugged with all the fish we’ve caught, and we are good on fish for the year, too, so on to deer hunting it is. –

Endless summer

I took the Conteh family fishing this morning.  We caught a hog coho as soon as we put the gear in, then another big one in about the same spot an hour and a half later.  DIPAC tried a release from net pens at Sheep Creek last year and the return has been big fish and people are taking home fish by the wheelbarrow load both from boats and from the beach.  Jeff, Kurt, Ben and Chris got 8 at least twice, and got 5 after we left today.  The Conteh’s came home with me and we butchered and vac packed the fish in short order and all three of them had their hands full of coho salmon to put in the freezer. I pulled the fish out of the smoker that I caught a couple days ago.  It is fabulous.  I added an electric frying pan I got at Salvation Army to add to the hot plate with the pan of wood chips on top to finish the fish after they’ve dried and smoked.  2 cups salt, 2 cups sugar and 2 quarts of salmon berry juice brine two coho nicely in 50 minutes.   5 new ebola cases in Sierra Leone after getting to 0 for a short time.   Hopefully they can contain it and get some of the vaccine over there that apparently has worked in testing. –

Smoked salmon berry salmon

I just got coho out of the smoker last night from this recipe and it is really good.   Brine is 2 cups salt, 2 cups sugar and 32 oz of salmon berry juice.   (I can’t remember if I added water or not – if you don’t have enough liquid, add more juice would be my suggestion!)   Mix brine and then put about 1/2 thick strips of coho salmon in for 50 minutes.  I didn’t rinse the strips after taking out of the brine.   Smoke fish   

Last smoker load

Took the last smoker-load of salmon from the refrigerator smoker this morning.  Fish looked great.  About half of it was the frames – the backbone and meat left on it after filleting – from our sockeye dipnet trip.  The rest were coho.  I used the hotplate with a pan on top to smoke.  For the last part of the process when you want to finish the cook I put in an electric fry pan from the Salvation Army and that seemed to be just the trick, and I didn’t have to finish the batch in the oven like I did the first time. –

Time to tie up loose ends

Finally just about finished replacing the cedar beveled siding today that I’d started during hooter season.  Then pulled out all the frames I saved – the backbone part of the fish left after filleting – along with the cohos I had that weren’t taken by others, from the freezer.  I cleaned off the smoker racks, then got together the salt and sugar for brining the fish to go in the smoker.  Got everything in order, and then loaded the smoker after brining the fish. I tried using some of the salmon berry juice saved from the berries in the brine for smoked salmon strips so we’ll see how they come out.  Fall is on it’s way.  We have been making a fire in the woodstove.  Lots of coho salmon showing up to a new release site from the local hatchery.  I drove by there today and a couple was bringing up a stringer made from a tree branch of about 10 nice coho.  My buddies got 8 this afternoon.  I’ve got plenty of fish but have a feeling I’ll be over there trying soon.  The fish aren’t gonna catch themselves. –

Tongass Pesto

With the jam put up and several pies under my belt from all the berries I thought I try pesto with the nettles, fiddleheads and devils club buds picked this past spring. For the fiddleheads, devils club buds and nettles, I took them out frozen, chopped them up a little so I could measure them in a measuring cup to see what I was doing, then blanched them. Fiddle Heads:  4 cups frozen, choppedStinging Nettles: 4 cups frozen, choppedDevils Club buds:  1.5 cups frozen, chopped4 cloves garlic1/4 cup lemon juice6 oz. almondsOlive Oil 1.  Blanche each of the 3 greens, then shock them in cold water and put in a colander to drain.  2.  Grind the almonds in the vitamix, and remove. 3.  Put the cloves of garlic and lemon juice in the vitamix. 4. Add some olive oil  5.  Then add a handful of each of the greens and the almonds. 6.  Pulse or turn on the vitamix low and add some more olive oil to get it to mix. 7.  Continue adding handfuls of each item and oil until it’s all in there.  My vitamix got hot so might have done better in a food processor or I should have added more oil. 8.  Pour the pesto into a bowl and add more olive oil for your desired consistency. 9.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Tastes pretty good off the spoon and looks like pesto.  We’ll see how we like it. I think you could add more garlic to taste, and maybe more almonds or another nut like pine nuts.  –