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Caught Alberta Brook Trouts Hanging in a Tree

Ah, the Shore Lunch. Nothing is more traditional, more sacred and or more looked forward to than the afternoon break while fishing to head to shore and enjoy a lunch. The best shore lunches simply must consist of some of your freshly caught fish from the morning; anything else pales in comparison.

During our fishing adventure shore lunch happened around one in the afternoon, only because we realized that we were running out of time for the day and that if we were ever going to eat, we had better just git ‘er done.

We got to shore, anchored the boat and proceeded to take our fish with us, hanging them in the closest tree. In the middle of bear country you keep your bear spray close, but your fishing haul closer.

Caught Alberta Brook Trouts Hanging in a a Branch of a Tree

Jackets were quickly shrugged off, raindrops flying in every direction and our wet gear hung in pine trees so thick that Mother Nature provided the perfect barrier from the rain over our heads during our lunch respite. Muscles that were sore from hours of sitting in the boat were stretched out, arms raised to the sky in the traditional salute of the boat weary fisherman.

green and violet jackets hung in pine tress

The smallest of our brookies were culled to be lunch that day, the larger ones were destined to be vacu-sealed up and hit the freezer, a gorgeous treasure to be eaten another day with friends and family.

Darcy was on prep duty that day; and rightfully so. He has far more experience filleting fish than any of the rest of us. At least that’s the reason we gave him.

The meat of these Brook trout is as dark as salmon,something I have never come across before. It’s a deep, blood-red orange shade just like the salmon however the taste is not the same.

man slicing the brook trout

Darcy had brought deer sausage to complete our feast and we cooked each on the gas stove that he had brought.

This right here is a true Alberta dining experience, utterly beyond anything that the trendy phrase “field to table” brings forth, beyond eating local, beyond anything that you can find anyone else doing for profit. A true Alberta Surf N’ Turf meal.

Because you simply have to do this yourself.

You have to get in the boat for hours.

You have to catch your own lunch.

You have to clean it. (fine, Darcy cleaned it).

You have to cook it.

cleaned and sliced brook trout in skillet with butter

We savoured the delectable mild trout in a simple fish sandwich,watching the rain coming down in sheets all over the lake from our spot, ourselves dryly ensconced in Mother Nature’s arms. The wind was drying off our gear, readying it for another go at the lake,tempting us to see what delights we could fish from the dark watery depths the rest of the day.

As we stood around satisfying the rumbles in our hungry fisherman bellies with deer and brook trout culinary delights, no one broke the silence. We watched the birds fight over the fish remnants, leaving nothing for the bears but a scent they might follow later. Saw the rain slowly stop, little by little, until the sun broke through,a welcome sight that we hadn’t seen all morning.

bun with fish sammich using brook trout

We finished our meals, packed up the gear and it was time to hit the lake again.

I’ve been asked how the brook trout tastes and if it has that trouty “mud” flavor to it. Yes, the large trout have the typical trout flavor, which you either love or hate. The small ones however, were so mild flavoured it was incredible. Mike ate it plain, something that never happens with fish of any type.

The larger one I made last Sunday had the typical trout taste to it, which also might have been due to the fact that I cooked it with the head on. I will be trying it in different manners to see what works the best.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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  1. Lance Wiebe says

    I’m not a fisherman looking to out fish your secret lake, and I’m not asking for specifics, but could you tell me about what region? it looks very pretty. East of Edmonton?

  2. ACanadianFoodie says

    You are living my dream life. What a wonderful experience for your family… I LOVE camping and all outdoor pursuits. I had such a wonderful childhood filled with back woods hiking, camping, biking, skating – did it all… did not fish. Wish I did. I know I would love it. Completely enjoy living through you vicatiously.


  3. Seretny says

    My husband and I took our 3 1/2 year old boy girl twins fishing for the first time two weeks ago! Same place my husband fished at when he was a boy!! Great memories!

  4. Jonnie Hartling says

    We were out fishing last Saturday and Sunday and have plans to go back out tomorrow morning.

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