Well that was a horrifically long time to go without wetting a line. Car trouble, boat trouble, job trouble and then the fact that we decided to start growing chickens (the process of building a predator-proof coop has been fun) have conspired together to keep us off the water. And you know what? That's ok. I figure that my absence has given the poor fish a much needed break from the constant rigorous demands of being caught all the time. I tied some quick elk hair caddis and ran out to my favorite mountain stream yesterday. The water is low already, but that didn't stop me from catching a mess of little Brookies. I brought home 4 of the largest and made an interesting dish. Similar to that cerviche, but a little different, this time I boiled the fish, pulled the meat from the bones and mixed it with crushed garlic, ginger, jalapeño and sesame oil. Dash of vinegar and some chopped baby kale and it was ready to be dumped over rice. It was interesting, refreshing and yummy. I didn't like the way the plate looked, it needed something red to offset all the green, so I didn't take a picture, but here's lil Mr. Brookie. While these voracious fish are considered rare, delicate and endangered in their native range, they're considered obnoxious fast-talking east coasters here in Colorado. Our bag limit for Brookies under 8" is 10. Go catch a mess, you'll be doing the native fish a favor if the two are coexisting.
I'm no biologist but I think that Brookies and Cutthroat can coexist. I don't just think this because I want to, but rather because I've seen it. In creeks like that I keep Brookies and I let cutthroat swim away. If we all put a little pressure on the Brookies we can perhaps avoid these disastrous rotenone poisonings that these lunatics keep proposing. I'm all for a diverse and sound natural world, but at some point, they've lost sight of the fact that we are also part of nature. We didn't land here from space. This planet is also our home. Just as plants have spread around the world with their seeds carried on the fur of animals or in the droppings of birds, the Brook trout have clung to the sides of humans and come west. They are DELICIOUS, and they reproduce quickly. If the government were not there to manage them, they would do fine. The Brook trout merely outcompetes native fish for available resources and in some cases eats their young, (and their OWN young) but the darling poster child of fisheries management, the foul Rainbow Trout, does something much worse, it BREEDS with the natives, all but abolishing the pure bloodlines. With one hand they're poisoning Brook trout from streams while they stock Rainbows with the other hand. If the idea is to restore native fish, let's start with the real culprit and leave the noble Brookie out of it!