Nice Feesh!

It doesn’t happen always, but every summer my pals Owen, Clint and I try to get out to Sooke on Vancouver Island and go fishing for some salmon. Last week it all came together, and with wives and girlfriends along, we sallied forth first thing in the morning for a couple of days with Jack and David Homer, a father and son team and long family friends, with what must be well over a hundred years of fishing experience between them. We were rewarded with great weather, an amazing encounter with a pod of killer whales, and, best of all, with a cooler full of really nice feesh!

We kept the sockeye and chinook we caught on ice, and packed most of them off to be turned into smoked salmon by Pacific Seafoods in Sidney. The sockeye, because of its firm texture and lower fat content, makes great cold smoked slamon, or lox. The chinook has a higher fat content, and makes for great hot smoked slamon. We were lucky enough to catch a couple of white chinook too, which has even richer and much lighter coloured flesh than regular chinook: in my opinion, it makes the best smoked salmon of all!

We did keep one sockeye back to enjoy fresh, and my father in law, Harry, cooked it up right – on the barbeque with little fuss. He started up the barbeque, then made a makeshift baking sheet out of aluminum foil on which he settled the two halves of the fileted salmon skin-side down. A generous drizzle of olive oil under and over the fish kept it from sticking. Harry seasoned his salmon aggressively with lots of sea salt and pepper, some fresh thyme, minced garlic and sliced onions on and around the fish added big flavour, and were removed just after the fish came off the grill. It took about fifteen minutes cooking on the one side for our six pound sockeye to be done. No flipping, please. Just enjoying. Which is what we did, with potato salad and some blanched green beans. A simple and wonderful way to cap a great trip.


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