Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Steelhead season has begun

Yesterday we went on a Steelhead hunt down the Stamp River with Ian 'The Rambling Fisherman'. The day started out sunny and clear as we cruised the upper portion of the river. We tried a number of spots but finding the elusive steelhead among the thousands of Springs was no easy task. I hooked into a few old boys, and one of these hookups ended in a dramatic comedy of errors that is typical of a day on the river for Chris and I. There was a rod overboard, a rod rescue, the release of a monster Spring! And a sudden torrential downpour within minutes. All this was accomplished with the good humour and nerves of steel of our guide.
Shortly after this episode Chris quickly hooked up one monster steelhead and then another. It was his lucky day as both were Hatchery males! We played a few other Steelies that day but these two beauties were the only ones landed.

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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

To save face I will add a picture of my first Coho, caught a couple of weeks ago (on a day Chris was skunked). So I am calling us 'tied' for Stamp trips this year. We are heading out again tomorrow morning to see who will be victorious!

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Family Affair

While I have been river fishing with my Niece, Chris has spent the past few days fishing the ocean at the North end of the Island with his Uncle. Their mission was to catch some Coho and Chinooks by jigging off the boat. I have not had a full account of the trip but tonight the picture messages of success came fast and furious to my phone. Looks like a memorable trip for sure!
Even though the goal was salmon, the pictures show that bottom fish were also plentiful.

Monster Ling Cod



Dream Chinook

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sharing the Love

My adventure loving 13 year old niece Emily is staying with me for a few days. We decided it was a perfect opportunity to introduce her to fishing. So Auntie and Niece headed to a river where the Pink Salmon were running and we had a blast. It only took Em about 10 casts to become an expert at controlling her line and landing in the 'sweet spot'. With 30 minutes she had landed her first fish, a nice 4lb salmon all on her own. The old timer next to her said he had been there all day without landing any. We were only going to catch and release so she kindly gave him her fish (after snapping the first fish picture). We stayed at the river for about three hours and were by far the most successful fisher women (or men) for the day. I landed about a dozen and Emily caught another three!! It was so great to share something I love doing with her!

Here is a video of Emily in action!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Sweet Chili Prawns

Spring is in full swing on Vancouver Island. Yesterday I was doing some yard work and Chris was ripping out the old wooden boat seats to install some new ones we bought last week. It seemed like a great evening to fire up the BBQ and Surf & Turf was on the menu. I decided to make some Sweet Chili Grilled Prawns.

1/2 cup sweet chili sauce - I bought this one at an Asian market and though it is meant for chicken it is the same as regular sweet chili sauce from the grocery store.

The juice of one lime

1 tbsp of soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil

Marinate the prawns for 15-30 minutes. Do not leave them longer than that or the lime juice will begin to cook the prawns.

Grill on skewers for 2-3 minutes on each side (depending on how hot your BBQ is).

These sweet and spicy prawns were an excellent companion for a delicious steak! Happy grilling!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Prawn and Corn Bisque

Tonight I finally got the chance to play in the kitchen with some of the prawns we caught a couple weeks ago. Once again work called me out of town last week and I kept busy dreaming of new recipes. Tonight I made a prawn and corn bisque that was delicate and delicious. Bisque is a great way to really enjoy the flavor of the prawn, it is important to give the shells the time needed to make a rich stock. I used onions and leeks out of our back yard garden as well as apple juice that we pressed and canned ourselves last fall. I love knowing the ingredients are fresh and from our own hands.
2 pounds unpeeled prawns
2 cups of frozen corn
2 tsp oil
1 medium onion
2 leeks
5 cups water
2 bay leaves
fresh thyme sprigs
2tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup apple cider
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 cup half-and-half
Peel and devein the prawns. Reserve the shells for the stock. Coarsely chop prawns, cover and chill. Coarsely chop the onion and leeks.

Heat oil in a Dutch oven on medium heat. Add onions, leeks and shells. Cook for 4 minutes stirring frequently. Add water, bay leaves and thyme. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer covered for 3o minutes.

Drain the stock into a colander over a bowl. Discard shells and veg.

Melt butter in dutch oven medium heat. Add corn kernels; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add tomato paste; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Combine apple juice and flour, stirring with a fork to form a slurry.

Add slurry to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add prawn stock, salt, and pepper; bring to a simmer. Cook 4 minutes or until bisque starts to thicken, stirring frequently.

Add prawns and cook for 3 minutes (until prawns are done). Stir in half-and-half and serve immediately.

I want to introduce you to the newest member of the fishon-fish off team. We heartbreakingly lost our beloved Border Collie Puppet at the end of November. She was a water lover so we could not bring her to the river when we fished as she would splash around and dive right in whenever possible. I still miss her every day.
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We were not sure if we were ready to get another dog but as soon as we saw a picture of a scared handsome boxer/lab at the SPCA I just had to go meet him. 10 minutes later I knew he would be coming home with us. This is Chumley
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He never learned how to swim and is nervous of the water but he loves walking along the river. Next step is to see how he does on the boat.
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Monday, April 23, 2012


Work obligations have kept me off the river since my last post and a mudslide on the boat launch has kept Chris off the ocean. In a last ditch effort to fill our freezer with prawns for the next 8 months we declared this past weekend Prawnapalooza 2012. I drove up to Port Alice and we spent our days pulling and dropping our traps to try and catch our limit.

This was my first time participating in pawning and Chris was excited to teach me all about this passion of his. I am generally not a boat lover because I get seasick in even the smallest waves, but I really enjoyed myself.
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It was like our own little 'Deadliest Catch' episode as we watched each pot being pulled up, anticipating how many prawns it would hold.
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We bought an Ace Line Hauler last year, it was a hotly contested purchase in our house as it was not cheap and I thought my manly husband should just keep pulling the 300feet of rope by hand. Now that I have been out there I can see how much easier the hauler makes things, money well spent! I don't admit to being wrong often so I hope he appreciates my public admission.

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Chris has his system down pat but I tried to help a little. I tossed and gaffed the buoys, I emptied a couple of traps, I headed some prawns and I kept him entertained with my witty charm and prawn jokes.

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The Prawn And The Cod

One day, in the shark-infested waters of the Caribbean, two prawns called Justin and Christian are discussing the pressures of being a preyed upon prawn.

"I hate being a prawn," says Justin. "I wish I were a shark."

Suddenly, a mysterious cod appears. "Your wish is granted," he says.

Instantly, Justin becomes a shark. Horrified, Christian swims away, afraid his former friend might eat him. As time passes, Christian continues to avoid Justin, leaving the shrimp-turned-maneater lonely and frustrated. So when he bumps into the cod again, he begs the mysterious fish to change him back. Lo and behold, Justin is turned back into a prawn.

With tears of joy in his tiny little eyes, he swims back to the reef to seek out Christian.

As he approaches, he shouts out: "It's me, Justin, your old friend. I've changed & I've found Cod. I'm a prawn again, Christian."

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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Along with a decent number of prawns we also pulled up a few other sea creatures including crabs, squat lobsters and quill back fish.

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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

The weekend was successful for filling our freezer but also for the two of us to take a break from our busy lives and spend some time together in the beauty and calm that can only be found on northern Vancouver Island.

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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

I have been inspired by our fantastic weekend and am anxious to get into the kitchen and start creating some new recipes with my favourite seafood.  New recipes coming soon!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Dreams do come true...

Christmas, anniversary and birthday all rolled into one today! Can not wait to get my new baby to the river!
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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Saturday, February 18, 2012


This recipe is a quick and delicious healthy appetizer. Chris has been having a lot of success with our prawn traps and as I was packaging the haul for the freezer I could not resist cooking up a few and experimenting in the kitchen.

First I took some wonton wraps and placed them into muffin tins. A quick shot of cooking spray and then into a 350 degree oven for 5-7 minutes. Keep checking them, when the tips start to turn brown they are done. Remove the wontons and allow them to cool and crisp up.
Next I made a spicy coleslaw. Shredded cabbage and carrots combined with my secret dressing (I guess it will not be a secret anymore).

1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2-1 tsp sriracha hot chili sauce

I simply cooked the prawns in boiling water for 2 minutes, allowed to cool and then roughly chopped. Put a layer of coleslaw in each wonton and then top with chopped prawns. Beautiful and delicious!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's day to the best fishing partner a girl could ask for!

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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Success on a Pink Hook

The Jester and I had another successful Steelhead outing this morning. Chris had to work again and missed out on a couple of beauties! We left home at 5:30am and had our lines in the water by 7:15. Another angler wandered into the spot just after we did and he did not seem pleased when Kris and I each had a landed hatchery Steelie on shore within 30 minutes. His frustration was clear and he began to toss his line directly into the pool we had been drifting to. Of course this had the effect of spooking the fish and we spent the next hour and a half casting without another bite. Although there was not much action we were thrilled with the fish we caught and happy that the rain stayed away for the morning (and I must of course point out that my fish was MUCH bigger than the little fellow caught by the Jester).