…and a fine mess of fish to fry.
It was inevitable it seems to me now. The shoals of plump hatchery fish anxious to do her bidding, the searing questions –- “Am I catching three quite similar fish from the same place, or the same fish three times?” These and Patty’s ingrained frugality (of which more later) combined at some point, mid river on a bright sunny morning with the Mountain Laurel just bursting into bloom and the finny minions beginning to look up for cleverly presented bits of feather and hair. She yelped (Well, if you know Pat, you know she yelped repeatedly) then brought a lovely bright colored rainbow trout to hand. She held him aloft admiringly and, in her best British accent asked, “Shall we eat this one?”
Oh, how quickly they lose all virtue when faced with such succulent temptations! She, the dry fly purist who defied the doubters and caught a generous plenty of fish when all others proffered earthworms, She, who once eschewed hatchery trout as “Dumb fish” and plied her talents exclusively on wild, mountain bred trout, She, the exemplar to those bookish anglers who explain empty creels with lofty disquisitions on Etymological variants in the feeding lanes, SHE wants to EAT this noble Salmonoid!!!
There were, as always, hurdes.
“Do I have to KILL it? “
“How?” (Here is implied an imploring gesture to her otherwise fishless spouse.)
“What should we put him in?”
Lacking any convenient conveyance, this and several subsequent fish were given their freedom. Next morning, she was back, a certain eagerness in her step, an expression slightly reminiscent of Jack Nicholson in The Shining, and a large, fresh Ziplock in her pocket.
Several lessons were learned: Firstly, the larger fish did not get that way by docilely plunging themselves into Ziplocks. The best (meaning now, the plumpest and most toothsome, not the most agile fighters) were lost between hand and sack.
Secondly, the requirement for one of those large, unsightly aluminum and green mesh landing nets (which She so lately ridiculed) now seems urgent.
Thirdly, there were sincere questions of the fishless spouse as to his history and facility in fish cleaning --a fair question, if ever so emasculating.
You, fair reader, may recall mention of Patty’s frugality, ingrained over the years of coping with Fishless Spouse. Why, she inquires, should we sally off to the Pisgah Inn for trout on Mothers Day, when we can enjoy the benefits of that expensive Non resident fishing license right here in our lovely Airsteam, cooked OUTSIDE on our color coordinated silver Coleman stove?
“You know”, she pipes up as we remove our fishing boots, “if we eat a lot of trout, we can save on Fish Oil tablets.” The sheer ridiculousness of that keeps us giggling all through the disemboweling.
This skillet is really Large –really
In our humble household, new purchases are always subjected to the USE TEST. Nothing is purchased unless it will be used extensively and no other simpler substitute is apparent. After exhaustive analysis and a lovely fried trout lunch, two items have been nominated:
A LANDING NET, perhaps one of those gracefully curved Adirondack items in exotic hardwoods, the Fishless Spouse muses…
A CREEL, to store fish and keep them fresh and cool, a BIG one, muses sweet and lovely wife…