My friend Jared and I met up at the end of June to explore and paddle a section of the Musconetcong River in New Jersey but the scouting turned up lower water levels than expected at our planned launch site. Instead we decided to do some trout fishing, foraging and campfire cooking.
Having planned for a day off from work to make time to enjoy some nature exploration we were pleased to have blue sky.
As we walked againt the flow of the river the cool water washed past our feet. We casted forward allowing for the trout to see the lure approaching as the water passed through their gills.
I don’t measure my fish but could tell you the Rainbow Trout we kept would fill the fry pan just fine. It had a stomach full of mullberries but it hit a kastmaster tossed at the upper flow of a pool before it had a chance to flutter and shine through the current.
Rainbow trout are a nonnative fish that is stocked yearly by NJ Fish & Wildlife. The digest they put out shares stocking locations and catch limits and the license fees in turn provide for the benefit of both people and nature.
We stuffed the trout with foraged wood nettle and monarda flower petals and a few slabs of quality butter. The trout fried in a pan with milkweed flowers, nodding onion, daylily flowers and bayberry for flavor.
We washed it all down with spicebush tea and a tulipleaf desert cup full of wild rasberry, mullberry and strawberry.
It turned out to be a most delicious meal and a fun challenge to feed ourselves from the local landscape.
Life is good.