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Ronan's report


Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

I'm just going to come out and say it.

I love food.

I love preparing it, and I love eating it. I love food because of the sustenance it provides, for the flavor, and for the feeling of solidarity I get when enjoying it in good company. I remember a great meal the same way I remember an awesome fish. It makes the day. As a result, I take pictures of food a lot, just like I take pictures of fish. And I like the way that food and fishing go together.

Now please, don't jump to conclusions. I love food, but that doesn't mean I only love gourmet food. I think that under the right circumstances some downright unhealthy, low end food suits the situation perfectly. Typically, I'd say those circumstances have a lot to do with how early in the morning it is, or how desperate you are to just get to the river. I'm convinced that the McDonalds drive through window is open 24 hours so anglers can fuel up on breakfast sandwiches at 3am on Saturday. One of my fishing partners has great taste in food but also cannot walk by the truckstop hot case without buying at least a couple of deep fried treats after a day fishing. Anyone who's spent much time alone chasing steelhead can tell you that you can get a long way on a jug of tap water, cold coffee, a box of Pop Tarts, and a bag of Doritos. And a smashed bagel at the bottom of a fishing pack is a welcome sight when your last Power Bar is gone and you are still 5 miles from the truck up some wilderness canyon.

Having a nice car camp setup, or room in the driftboat for an extra cooler helps take things to the next level. Camp stoves, Dutch ovens, coolers, tables, and utensils are all key items. Being able to carry extra ingredients and keep them cold and fresh really changes the game, and I can honestly say that some of the best meals I've ever eaten in my life have been prepared in fishing camps. Venison tenderloins, amazing pasta dishes, deluxe burgers and sandwiches, fajitas, smoked steelhead appetizers, and more. These come complete with side dishes and fine beverages like margaritas, Bloody Mary's, gin and tonics, cold microbrews, and the occasional Miller High Life.

Some of us also enjoy bringing home the occasional hatchery steelhead, halibut, pacific albacore, or cabrilla from a fishing trip to enjoy with friends and family. This gets particularly exciting when those friends and family members are talented chefs. Add in a fully stocked kitchen and the level is raised yet again. Fish and chips, fish tacos, smoked steelhead California rolls, crab ceviche, seared albacore, and more. Pair it with other potluck delicacies like BBQ ribs, salads, truffle oil and garlic mashed potatoes, and chicken wings and you can see where this is headed. The access to an oven and a freezer makes legendary desserts a definite possibility. Pie and ice-cream anyone?

The last and maybe highest level of fishing food is found in those far away destinations that we all dream about visiting because of the fish, but end up loving because of the culture. Whether it's a taco from the street in Baja, a plate of cracked conch and fries with a cold Kalik in the Bahamas, or a 7 course meal at a five star restaurant in New Orleans, every place has unique food to experience. Flavors you never even dreamed of make you wish you knew how to cook what you just ate. Better start planning another trip.

That's it for now everyone, though I could go on and on. I've gotta go. I'm HUNGRY!

Take Care and Fish On,
Matt


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