Ah, fall a magical time in Maine where your work commute begins to look like a picturesque landscape painting and more importantly the temperature starts dropping. Its this time of year where it seems like every other person is talking about the upcoming deer season. I am not one of those people. No, instead of looking forward to deer season my excitement lies within trout waters. In this particular case, a local pond, has lured my sense of wonder with fisher men’s tales that describe Rainbow trout of large proportions. This pond’s name is Stanley Pond. Nestled in the Hiram woods lies a small but deep triple lobed pond that is stocked with Rainbows. As the Amazing Fish A Metric put it on his blog, “This pond has a reputation for producing large rainbow trout”. If you get a chance after reading this check out fishametrics blog I will provide a link: (http://amazingfishametric.com/trout-fishing-on-stanley-pond-hiram-maine-april-21-2013/). Indeed, it is as the internet says because today proved that Ol’ Stanley does make big bows’ and the following is a catch and cook blog for you readers.
I arrived at the boat launch at around 6 oclock and it appeared that I was the first one to launch. After launching my 14 ft jon boat I found out that my motor was having carb issues again. So, my original plan of trolling the inlet was put aside. I was not deterred though because a bad day of fishing is still a good day. With only my bow mounted trolling motor working, I figured I would stay close by in case I out fished my battery. The wind was blowing towards the opposite shore and so I headed there. This is because I figured that the wind would be pushing food into that area for the trout. To make a long story short I fished up and down that bank 3 times trying an assortment of trout worms, jigs, spinners, and spoons. There were big fish being marked on my Garmin portable fish finder but I was not hooking up. That changed when I tied on a hammered gold Swedish Pimple. It took 3 casts and then it felt like I snagged a log. “son of a beach”, I thought. I really liked this lure and was pretty mad that I was going to lose it. Fortunately, my drag started peeling and my rod started pulsing. “Yes” I whooped. The fight was on in earnest as the fish first tried running to the bottom. Keeping calm, I let it pull line until all of a sudden, everything went slack. The fish was screaming to the surface! With the prospect of watching a beautiful display of aerial hook throwing looming near, I tried pinning the fish in the water with my ultra-light. The fish had other plans and it boiled out of the water. Luckily the hook held and I continued reeling. As it neared the boat I readied the net to try and scoop this fish into the safety of my aluminum cocoon. It seemed that every time the fish saw the net it would pull line and dive starting the fight all over again. This went on for what seemed like an eternity until I finally netted him. It was an amazing 17-inch Rainbow. After This amazing catch I decided to call it quits since the wind was picking up.
So that’s that, the fish is now cleaned and is getting ready for the smoker. I am brining it for 4 hours (brine recipe to follow), then smoking it with a mixture of applewood and mesquite for 2 hours at 225 degrees. Below you will find the recipe for the brine and a simple smoked trout dip you can make with the leftovers.
4 cups water
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup salt
Paprika to taste.
Cream cheese spread
Hot sauce to taste
2 medium shallots
Mix cream cheese and sour cream in a 2 to 1 ratio. Add the rest of the ingredients then fold in smoked trout.