Back from Ibaraki…
Made another trip today to north Ibaragi with fellow countryman and fishing buddy Clive for a full day’s fly-fishing at the pay-and-play stocked pond Yuzakiko. Actually the air temperature hovered about freezing and it snowed most of the day, but the weather was not a problem since the fish were biting all day; in the end we left about two hours early, as we had caught so many. The stockers were well-finned and in pretty good nick, with some veritable beasts lurking in amongst the crowd; the zenith of the trip was my last fish, which was probably the largest I landed that day with her flank almost a hand-span. That fish was very game and put up a tremendous fight.
A good play on a fly rod is most exhilarating and quite unlike any other form of fishing I have encountered; I can only wonder what kind of fight a native wild fish would put up. I also learnt the hard way what knot to use to tie my flies onto my line, losing a brace of good fish in succession. Otherwise the casting is still an effort, but I think I am making progress; the fly is turning over properly more often, I only knotted my leader once (!) and I feel a bit more comfortable with the tackle.
Well after arriving home, I fired up the Japanese bath and filleted the fish. I kept one whole for baking, but after doing the rest I ended up with more than 1.5 kilograms of fillets…I foresee a lot of trout on the menu this week.
After a hot bath and some native spirits, I started off proceedings with a French dish, truites aux amandes. For such a simple recipe – lemon, parsley and almonds – it is quite delicious, and I could have handled a few more fillets, without I had another dish on the side.
The next dish was seared trout fillets with a sauce made from onions, Japanese shimeji mushrooms, cream, white pepper and good old Marsala wine.
The trout dishes were helped along with some buttered noodles and more shochu firewater. I suspect that the fish would come out very well breadcrumbed and fried, and there is plenty for a Bengali mustard/chilli curry as well later this week.