Some of my best memories are with my dad and son fishing for lake trout or as dad called em Macks (mackinaw) on Flathead Lake here in Montana. We’d get up early, drive up to the lake be up there just at sun up and launch the boat on water that looked like glass. We’d watch the eagles and osprey overhead, there’d still be a chill in the air but knew it was gonna be a beautiful blue-sky day.
Those were the good old days, there were many windy, overcast and stormy days that either forced us off the water or made us not launch at all. Dad knew the lake like the back of his hand and we’d troll along the east side of an island at about 80-120’ deep, the fish finder would beep and we’d start eating lunch at 9am. Dad knew many fisherman and they always talked shop, what tackle etc. Interestingly I would watch how differently the guys would handle the fish once caught.
I need to be very clear, when we fished we caught to eat, there was no catch and release unless they were not legal. I have since fly fished and caught and released but that’s another article in itself.
Recipe by Chef Albert Wutsch
- 2 lbs Trout Fillets, skin on, pin bones removed
- 1 qt water
- ¼ c Molasses
- ½ c Honey
- Jc on one Lemon
- 2 T Salt
- ½ tsp Garlic Powder
- ½ tsp Onion Powder
- ½ tsp Coriander Ground
Prepare brine by combining half the water with the molasses, honey, and lemon juice.
Then combine all dry ingredients together, add wet ingredients to dry spice mixture.
Bring to boil dissolving honey and salt.
Shut heat and let steep for 10-15 minutes.
Add remaining water to chill.
Prepare fish by filleting, removing all pin bones leaving skin attached.
Place fillets in chilled brine.
Brine for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
Remove from brine, rinse well.
Pat dry, let dry in refrigerator uncovered for 2 hours before smoking. Let pellicle to form. (dry skin on surface) this gives good color and flavor.
Cold smoke for one hour, hot smoke to internal temperature of 140 degrees. Firm to touch, you will know when its cooked.
Serve straight up with accompaniments such as cooked egg, chopped or pickled red onion, sour cream and horseradish, and crackers.
Or serve on pumpernickel croustade with caper dill butter, cooked egg yolk & whites as canapé hors d oeuvres.
Substitute and member of the trout family, salt water blue fish or mackerel as well.
Use maple syrup or brown sugar in place of molasses and/or honey.
Combine smoked trout with Boursin and/or cream cheese, Dijon mustard, or mayonnaise to make spread for appetizers.
Serve or eat like fish jerky
Always store in freezer.
To prepare Trout Bacon, remove skin from smoked trout, season with Rec Tec Screamin Pig Rub, place back on grill and cook till crisp. Great for snack or accompaniment for the smoked trout.