Fishing on the Farmington River, on a beautifully sunny – lightly breezy – blue skied day is my husband Rick’s idea of a nearly perfect day. And catching the biggest, most beautiful rainbow trout he has ever caught in his whole life is perfection. And, with fishermen, there’s always a story…
Rick and his buddy Ray were both wading in the center of the Farmington River. They spent the most of their first three hours dodging scouts and college kids tubing and canoeing down the river (some in groups of nearly twenty). Rick turned to Ray and said, “This is like fishing on the LIE (a.k.a. Long Island Expressway)”. All the groups of kids and parents were extremely courteous and apologized for “messing up” the fishing. Some were nice enough to ask, “How’s the fishin’?”, in which Rick would politely reply, “Slow”.
Finally within the first few hours, Rick was able to land a 16″ rainbow trout – beautiful and strong. He then caught another – 15″ – that he ended up releasing. As time went by, Rick kept his line out, not paying much attention to it, as his fishing buddy Ray waded back to the shore to warm up his freezing legs, and a Merganser mother Duck floated by with half a dozen ‘baby Mergansers’ on her back, he happened to lift his pole and felt an unusually heavy weight and saw a huge rainbow trout on the other end shaking his head! As Rick played and reeled him in, and at about ten feet away from him in the water, the flash of the whole rainbow trout was so brilliant – like that of a crimson neon sign (in the photo, the bright red on the trout’s cheek is his natural coloring – just beautiful). Rick got nervous that he may lose him. But in the end, he didn’t – it actually barely fit in his net – a 19 inch, 3 pounds plus, gorgeous rainbow trout!
So nice to have a fisherman come home so happy, and to have freshly caught trout for supper.
Oven Roasted Whole Rainbow Trout with Lemon
1 large lemon
Handful of whole fresh thyme, dill, or parsley – optional.
Salt and pepper
(Note A: a 10″ – 12″ trout feeds one person, so a 19″ easily feeds two.)
(Note B: 3 easy tips on de-boning a cooked trout. 1. Remove the head. 2. Pull out all fins. 3. Take hold of the spine (where the head was), lift up gently and with a fork separate the lower filet from the fish skeleton – flip trout and repeat.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Gut and clean trout, including gills and bloodline along the backbone. Leave head on for flavor. Wash and then dry trout well with paper towels and set aside. On a baking sheet, lightly oil aluminum foil. Salt and pepper trout inside and out. Cut one large lemon into very thin slices and layer on both sides of the trout, leaving a couple of small slices for the inside. You can add a handful of whole fresh parsley or dill to the inside if you wish. Drizzle a little more oil on top of the fish (spray oil works really well). Seal the trout in the foil tightly. Bake for approximately 30 minutes. Serve with a side of wild rice.