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TR: Part II Blackcap Basin Plus

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Re: TR: Part II Blackcap Basin Plus

Postby Tom_H » Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:28 am

Wandering Daisy wrote:I have reached the point where pack weight matters, a lot. I rather eat less than have my back ache all day and night. I sort of have a total pack weight limit, beyond which I am just miserable.

:nod: :nod: :nod: X2. Parts of getting old are not so fun. Others are great. I am very happy I can still hike after all these years though! Speaking of which, where did I put that Ben Gay?

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Re: TR: Part II Blackcap Basin Plus

Postby SSSdave » Tue Jul 30, 2013 8:54 am

Yikes indeed, not a fan of steamed or boiled fish but understand how it is efficient and the result is still pleasant. In our case we strongly enjoy the below so much we make the extra effort. During our 9-day trip a week ago into the Great Western Divide we were often catching fish on most every cast so easily had as much trout for lunch quickly as we wanted and in fact had 7 meals like this often with the pan bulging for two of us.

In the below pic of goldens I caught in less than an hour at the lowest Big 5 Lake on a small gold Kastmaster, I used a lightweight frying pan but I can do the same in a billy pot though it is more a hassle due to size issues and will sometimes chop a trout up into smaller chunks during cleaning to more easily fit. Generally I fish little or not at all on solo trips where I concentrate on photography and if so just take just a minimal kit of floating fly line, a few dry flies without pole or reel I can simply attach to a willow stick. Our basic fish meal is well broken up de-boned, de-finned, relatively dried out often crunchy trout flesh chunks mixed in with rice plus a bit of salt.



For decades our simple method of preparing trout in the backcountry has remained pretty much the same. Fried trout of the whole fish intact are preferred front country while road camping but is not practical in the backcountry because of frying pan weight, size of pan/pot, need to carry excessive oil, and an oily mess to clean up and bury. Thus we basicly bake our fish to a somewhat dry state which ends up much like fried and tastes about the same. Trout naturally have a fair amount of oil especially in their skin and mature trout often have a lot. One can bake a trout in ordinary thin aluminum billy type pot but it takes more work. Unlike frying, one cannot plunk a trout into the pan, take a nap, then come back 10 or 15 minutes later and start eating. With a thin walled pot the flesh would unevenly heat and tend to blacken against the pot contact, while the top side would end up mushy, so needs to be moved around more frequently. And I'm aware some people like mushy poached fish, though I can only say yuck. The rice is instant rice and in the above pic was about a half cup we prepare first in a second pot then cover and let sit.

We do use a small amount of oil lightly finger coating the pan/pot with cooking oil simply to reduce fish sticking to pan/pot. Put the trout in per the above pics. Note heads cut off, gutted, washed off. Then cover the pan as a lid with heavy duty aluminum foil for about 10 minutes allowing the fish to cook well. Then remove the foil, flip the trout over, and repeat 5 minutes. At that point remove the foil a second time and get to work.

Will use a needle nose pliers to grab the head end of the decapitated backbone picking it up vertically then using a metal fork to quickly flake off all the by then soft loose flesh. Those are the same pliers always in my pocket while fishing for grabbing a hook on a caught fish, then inverting it to allow trout to be released to unhook. Then will toss the bones outside onto a pile on the ground. Also will use fork and pliers to grab pelvic, tail, and anal fins that are usually loose in the mix and with larger trout some of the sticky skin and toss them into the bone pile. With pan sized trout there are of course a few small bones still left in the mix but I've never met anyone that had an issue with sending them down their chute.

That done will stir the remains around breaking up the flesh into smaller pieces. Then the foil goes on for the third time and cooks another 5 minutes. Each time the foil is removed, with steam venting, the trout flesh dries out more to that nice fried flesh state. We then lift the foil, add in all the rice, stirring it all about, then back on the foil for a fourth and final time for another 5 minutes before turning off the MSR valve. Usually will then just add some salt but occasionally if available maybe some lemon, and or seasoning.
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