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The Manual: Backcountry Fly-Fishing

Find fish-jumping action, spot streamside sanctuaries, and--if you're allowed to keep your catch--pull divine meals from pristine waters.
skills fly fish 445x260Illustration by Supercorn

Backcountry fish are smaller than their frontcountry kin, so filleting can be impractical. Cook them whole and add a dusting of salt and pepper for a gourmet campfire meal.
>> Dispatch the fish with a fast blow to its head and rub vigorously in a stream to remove the natural slime layer. Don’t sweat the scales; cooked skin slips easily from the flesh.
>> To gut the fish, slice its belly from the throat to the front of the anal fin. Cut the skin and flesh only, leaving entrails intact. Make a second cut below the jaw, perpendicular to its spine. Grasp the loosened jaw and pull (with attached innards) toward the tail. Scrape out the bloodline.
>> Brush with olive oil and pan fry, covered, over medium heat. High heat burns the exterior before the inner meat can cook. When the flesh flakes with a fork, it’s done.

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