Let’s talk about food: First big catch

When a local fishing guide I know had a spot open in his boat, he asked if my teenager wanted to fill it. Did he ever! Jake has been waiting for that call.

Until last week, most of his fishing had been from shore. Jake snagged a couple small trout while in his kayak on Beaver Creek, but salmon fishing on a drift boat with an experienced guide is the big time.

Having the privilege of accompanying Grant Scheele and his two other clients down the Siletz River, Jake reeled in his first big catch, a king chinook salmon. He hooked one, too, but had to let that one, a native, go.

Jake learned so much from the experience. He’s confident that, even without a drift boat, he’ll catch more salmon, which is great news. I love salmon.

Jake watched Grant filet the boat’s other catch, and brought his fish home to do himself. I don’t have a filet knife, but Jake does, one made in Finland. It’s probably the nicest, sharpest knife we have. He’s a Boy Scout, always prepared, and he’s been ready for this. Grant told Jake his second filet would be better than the first, and it was. 

Until the big catch, I’d never been confronted with so much salmon. Fortunately, I just discovered the dehydrator. Though the largest and most cumbersome of my kitchen appliances, it’s proving useful and valuable.

I cut the first filet up into strips, carefully, with Jake’s sharp knife. After marinating the salmon in a mixture of soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, ginger, garlic, onion powder and red pepper, I dried it off before dehydrating for six or so hours. I prefer salmon jerky to beef. Jerky with fruit and crackers is a healthy and portable lunch.

Salmon is incredibly easy to prepare. Almost fail proof, it can be seasoned simply (or not at all, even) and roasted in the oven.  The smaller pieces make fantastic salmon patties. I just add Panko, egg and seasonings and fry in olive oil. I’ve generally used canned salmon, but I’m looking forward to more fresh-caught salmon.

Those, like me, who don’t want to struggle with their food can often find commercial fishing boats selling fresh fish off the docks, and local fish markets and grocers offer fresh salmon. Those wanting an experience on the river should give Grant Scheele a call. If his boat is full, he can probably recommend a qualified fishing guide.

Drink of the Week...Chai latte

Ultralife 101 at 121 NE 15th St., Newport

A hot beverage on Wednesday afternoon. A warming, ginger spice chai latte from the drive thru window at Ultralife 101, because the week is so busy, but halfway done.

I made a note to try the protein shake and maybe a craft cocktail at Ultralife Nye, a cool, organic cafe that’s been under my radar until recently.


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