Well after wanting to get into fly fishing for a while now, regular reader of this blog Clive very kindly took the time to show me the ropes at a pay-and-play stocked pond in Ibaragi, which was quite good fun despite the rain. Being so different from the kind of fishing I am used to the casting was certainly a learning experience, but the way the fish take the fly and the technique needed to hook them was really quite exciting and engrossing, and when the fish is on and running about, it is actually quite thrilling. And on the few occasions I got a nice cast in, it was aesthetically very pleasing as well. I would love to have snagged a real beast, but being my first time I could hardly complain with a cooler full of pretty plump rainbow trout and also one native char, known as iwana, at the end of the day.
One of the dishes I really like is trout baked in foil with vegetables, it is very hard to muck up and when you unravel the foil parcel out of the oven, the aroma that hits you really makes you slaver. I make a bed of sliced onions, shimeji mushrooms and red pepper, stuff the cavity of the fish with garlic and parsley, drizzle a little olive oil to prevent sticking and then bake for 30 minutes or so. It is very easy to pop in the oven, jump into the bath and when you get out, have a cold beer and excellent supper waiting for you. The fish stays moist from all the vegetables, and if you do it right, the onions caramelise at the bottom of the foil leaving you a sweet relish to mix with the flakey, tender white fish meat. I made some simple buttered noodles on the side as an accompaniment.
Tomorrow I will be making Frontier-style kebabs with the remaining trout and if there is any fish left over, perhaps I will give Walton’s poached trout recipe a go.