George Abernathy, SLFFC Founder
Most fly fishers believe in catch and release, which is part of the Sun Lakes Fly Fishing Clubs’ (SLFFC) philosophy. For the life of me, I still can’t fathom why anyone brings home farm-raised trout to dine on, purchase them from a grocery store, or pay big dollars for a trout dinner at restaurants. According to the United States Trout Farmers Association, 75% of all trout served in restaurants and sold in grocery stores nationwide are farm raised in Idaho. Most trout that are stocked in fisheries throughout the country are farmed raised through state fish and game departments. Did you ever wonder why farm-raised trout is white and feels almost mushy? It’s because trout farmers mostly feed them a pure diet of red algae, organic corn, and soy. In other words, they’ve been raised on what I call “trout dog food,” which leads me to my next topic.
Some club members occasionally bring home a trout to dine on. Having been raised on trout during my younger years, I personally can’t stand the taste of them, but I, too, occasionally bring one home for my wife, who loves the taste of them. The difference in the trout that I and other members bring home versus the majority of trout consumed nationwide is the diet on which the trout lived on. If trout have lived in the wild for a year or so and have fed on their normal diet of aquatic terrestrial insects, mollusks, crustaceans, fish eggs, and other small fish, the taste of their meat versus a farm-raised trout is the difference in night and day, like the difference between the taste of a filet verses beef jerky. Did you know that their primary diet of freshwater shrimp is the reason why their flesh color closely resembles the flesh color of salmon? Plus, a trout that has lived in the wild for a while is tougher to catch and puts up a bigger fight before netting it.
Most club members, including myself, prefer to fly fish for trout that have been around and have seen a fly or two cast toward them. In our club, experienced members do what they can to help newer members, including bait fishermen, learn tactics on fly fishing. We typically meet for breakfast twice a month. More information can be obtained at www.sunlakesflyfishing.com or send me an email at [email protected].