Chasing the Salmon in Rosario Strait

We wake up early, for me, at 5am, make coffee, sandwiches, check our gear for licenses, navigation tools, poles, tackle box, cell phones, gloves, the net, you gotta have a good net, a bucket for me to pee in because I am a girl and have not mastered the bend-over-pee backwards over the rail method…yet. Then we drive to the boat launch, put our $5 in the box, make sure the plug is tight, straps are off, motor is tilted up, and slide our 18 ft. white Weldcraft into the channel.

It takes about 30 minutes to hit the strait and after that I can’t tell you where we go, I have been sworn to secrecy…but if you fish I am sure you know where to put it in neutral, drop your lines, and bring the kicker up to 1.6 knots, try to relax and watch the poles for the jigglies. Sometimes we have an extra passenger.

All these activities are subject to the tides we are trying to catch. As water moves through the strait and pushes up against islands, fish move along the inlets and around the points and  there is where we want to be.

There are three types of salmon out there right now: King, Silver, and Humpy. Or as some refer to them: Chinook, Coho, and Pinks. This is a 22lb. King salmon which was fileted and grilled with garlic and butter.

This turned out to be a white king, which we think might be part of the Frasier River Run up in B.C. White King have a delicate flavor, olive oil or a bit of melted butter are a nice addition, I like to add old apple tree prunings to the coals for more flavor. Traditionally, alder wood smoke is used.  Below is a 8lb. Coho, fileted out. Again, this can be grilled, open faced. We use two grills the same size, that fit our little Weber. Lay the fish out flesh side down on one oiled grill and cook for about 5 minutes. Place the other grill on top, grasp both grills with heat proof gloves and turn the grills over. The fish now lays on the new grill, skin side down. Carefully release the top grill from the beautiful marked flesh. Cook for a total of 10 minutes….this all depends on the thickness of the flesh. The rule of thumb is 7 minutes for each inch of flesh.

This last photo is of a 7lb Humpy we caught a few days ago. Bruce cleaned it, left it whole, stuffed it with lemon slices and roasted it for about 20 minutes, 10 per side, with some Hickory chips on the coals as an experiment. The flesh is very tender and after cooking simply open up, remove the lemon, and pull gently at the back bone and all bones come loose in one slow movement. Traditionally, Humpies, or Pinks are smoked. Some folks think Humpies are not worth the trouble…..this fish is delicious.

So, we’ve been having fresh caught fish and beets, salad greens, cucumbers and green beans out of the garden. I am going to get some pistachios, a couple of limes, and make my sisters cold beet and pistachio salad with lime dressing soon.

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5 Responses to “Chasing the Salmon in Rosario Strait”

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