Gone fishin’

It was crowded and rainy in Missouri a couple of weekends ago when my family headed out to Bennett Spring State Park.

People are often surprised to hear that we’re a fishing family, but it’s something I grew up with. We were the Asian family sitting riverside on camping chairs in sport-inappropriate clothing with a pair of yappy chihuahuas. My sister and I would read novels while occasionally checking our lines. We would be surrounded by the regulars in their chest-high waders and lure-decked hats and vests.

I asked Dad this time where he picked up trout fishing and he said a friend had taught him when he was in grad school in Utah. He then taught my mom, and they both were — ahem — hooked.

I don’t remember catching anything in all those years of fishing. My dad and sister both insist that I must have, but I recall mostly getting bored and wandering back to the cabin or tent to read in more comfortable positions. This time I caught two. Our total haul was 11, half rainbows, half some other less tasty trout (brown? German?).

Dad guts them riverside. Some of the other fishermen will even proudly fillet their catch there, leaving 75 percent of the fish in the water — including my mom’s favorite part, the head. They don’t know what they’re missing.

My mom’s favorite way to cook fresh-caught river trout is to make a soup out of whole fish with ginger — large, golf-ball-sized chunks of ginger, with maybe a little salt as the sole adornment. Each person gets a whole trout in his or her bowl.

My sister and I insisted that Mom set aside a few for frying, which she did, if a little begrudgingly. Fried trout skin is fantastic — crisp, salty, with a thin layer of melting fat. Tastes like gribenes.

In addition to the fish in my soup, I managed to polish off an entire fried trout. Leaving the head for Mom, of course.

P.S. That first shot was taken with a new old camera my dad gave me. I love this whole film thing already. Some more photos I took with the Spotmatic can be found in this Flickr set.

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2 Responses to “Gone fishin’”


  1. 1 Meredith May 5, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    Wow! I’ve always wanted to learn to fish, but I live in New York City and haven’t had much opportunity to learn. When I lived in New Orleans we used to go crabbing but that doesn’t require much skill. The crabs were delicious, but I absolutely love rainbow trout! I’ve only purchased it in farmed form, and I’ve heard its even better when its wild.

  2. 2 Jenny-Sayre Ramberg November 12, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    Hello–I came across your family fishing photo doing research for a new exhibit at the National Aquarium. I wondered if you’d be willing to give us permission to use it in an exhibit about enjoying water and if so if you could send me the largest file you have so we could see if the quality is high enough for this application. Thank you Jenny-Sayre Ramberg, Director of Planning and Design, National Aquarium jsramberg@aqua.org


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