Driftless Trout Anglers

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Life of Riley  
#1 Posted : Thursday, May 24, 2018 10:32:52 PM(UTC)
Life of Riley
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When out on a stream for a few hours at a time what is the best way to keep trout to eat? Are the state stocked rainbows any good to eat and what's the best way to prepare them?
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NBrevitz  
#2 Posted : Friday, May 25, 2018 2:05:36 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Life of Riley Go to Quoted Post
When out on a stream for a few hours at a time what is the best way to keep trout to eat? Are the state stocked rainbows any good to eat and what's the best way to prepare them?


Stringers/fish baskets can and do work, but I generally gut immediately, then place in a creel with a cold pack or two. This will keep fish pretty well. You can always transfer them to a cooler later. Wrapping them in wet grass also creates evaporation, further cooling the fish. With whatever method you’re using, once it’s clear that the fish has expired, immediately gut them out. The Kidney in particular will go bad long before the meat does and will subsequently give your meat an off taste and speed up decomposition

That said, if I’m fishing very cold water in the fall for migratory salmonids, I’ll generally bonk and gut immediately, then place on a stringer in the cold water if I’m wading. You don’t want 40lbs or lively Chinook pulling you downstream when you’re crossing a deep rapids. If I’m posted up on a push of fish on a Lake Michigan trib, then I’ll leave them alive on a stringer tied to a streamside tree until I’m ready to leave.

Stocker Rainbows are pretty meh imo. If you brine and grill them they aren’t too bad, but they’ll have a faint liver taste. Like anything above shoe leather, they’re good smoked. I’m sure holdover Rainbows are great, but I have too much respect for a fish that can hold over in Whitewater to bonk it, but that’s just me. Wild Browns and Brookies taste much better assuming they’re relatively small fish from quality systems. Don’t try to eat a Brown from something like Money Creek and expect Upper Kinni quality😂😂
"I fish because I love to: Because only in the woods can I find solitude without loneliness."
Guillermo  
#3 Posted : Friday, May 25, 2018 4:22:28 AM(UTC)
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I carry an old wooden creel to keep them in, which I dunk in the water every so often to keep the fish cold and wet. And definitely wrap them in grass, or better yet Ferns if you can find them. Wet ferns seem to keep them fresh and colorful until you're done fishing.
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