Fly Fishing For Women with Marla Meridith
by Marla Meridith
PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVID BURTON SANCHEZ
hunt, fish & find
I am not sure if you know of it, but there is a fly fishing bible out there called The Curtis Creek Manifest. It’s a slim guidebook filled with silly comic book illustrations, but don’t let those pictures fool you. It has some of the most comprehensive information for beginners and seasoned pros for fly fishing instruction.
This is my fly fishing manifesto, or maybe just a gal’s way to become acquainted with a sportsman’s pastime that’s been around forever. I thumb through that book regularly learning how to tie knots and get my cast smoother and more comfortable. The pages are getting tattered. I study it hard.
What I’ve learned after being in the river is fly fishing is more than casting with a rod and reel. It takes careful observation of the waters, the flora, fauna and of course, the bugs. I mistakenly used to think that I was way too active a person to partake in such a relaxing activity. Well, was I wrong! I feel so alive and energized when I’m fishing. Being knee deep in the mountain waters is exhilarating and I love feeling at home with the outdoors and wildlife.
When my family and I moved to Telluride, Colorado a few years ago, I made it a priority to head out with a guide to start learning this wonderful sport.
We live along the San Miguel River, home to top notch fly fishing. We are also near the Gunnison, which is a world famous hatch. A few other places I’ve traveled to fish are the Rio Grande River in Creede, Colorado and Belt Creek, Montana. Each experience has taught me, yet made me realize how much there is to learn.
I’m working on basic casting and the extraordinary thrill of the a fish on the line is like none other. I’m grateful to live among nature and to be able to pursue this passion with gusto. I am not sure I’ll ever tie my own flies, but I will gladly suit up in waders, tie on the tippet and case with a big smile.
Now although this fishing is a preservation type pastime (catch & release), I figured you should have a delicious recipe to count on when the catch is a keeper. My Panko and Bacon Crusted Trout that follows was prepared with Rainbows, but would be fabulous with Brown, Brook, Cutthroat and other types of fish you might favor.
A Girl’s Fly Fishing Manifesto
– Bring a pal with you for fun company, to help you untangle accidental tree and bush casts and to help you reel in and net the big fish!
– Always wear a hat and plenty of sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun, both reflective and regular rays.
– Walk slowly and carefully when in the water. You don’t want to scare the fish.
– Practice your cast on land before you hit the water. You don’t want to scare the fish with a sloppy cast. They are smarter then you think.
– Don’t be scared to ask the pros lots and lots of questions. That is the only way to learn!
PANKO & BACON CRUSTED TROUT
I N G R E D I E N T S
1 1/2 pounds of rainbow trout (cleaned, filleted, skin on)
2 large eggs, whisked
2 tablespoons of mayonnaise
-1 1/2 cups white whole wheat florur (AP flour good, too)
-1 cup panko bread crumbs
-2 strips cooked bacon, crumbled
-1/4 teaspoon of garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
-butter for frying
-fresh, chopped parsley to finish
D I R E C T I O N S
1 -Create a work station where you can reach everything comfortably.
2 -Combine the eggs and mayonnaise ina bowl. In another bowl the flour to coat. In another bowl combine the panko, bacon, garlic salt and pepper
3 -Working on one fillet at a time, dip the trout in flour to coat, next into the egg mixture and let the extra egg run off. Next, coat the trout in the panko mixture, pressing it in to stick & cover well.
4 -Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat with a tablespoon of butter per filet. Cook trout skin side down for 3-4 minutes, crust will turn golden brown. Flip & cook an additional 3 minutes. Fish should be opaque & cooked thorough & crust nice & crispy.
5 -Top with chopped parsley.