Aboard my vessel, the F/V Towego – I am the deck boss, executive chef, fishing guide and captain of the S.S Little Buddy. We tend to seine, gillnet and troll fisheries out of Ketchikan, Alaska for the salmon season. Our run from town to ground averages 10-12 hours, so I must make proper use of that time to maintain the highest morale and generally just to crush every living second of the day. My favorite part of the job is the down time for skipper and I to board the Bud and explore whatever estuary we choose on the map – chasing sea run cutthroat trout, steelhead and the oddities. We don’t really get excited over the salmon.
Next in line is meal time at the “Sea Run Bistro”. Towego is equipped with a small Atlantic diesel stove that has a 20”x30” range top and a 12”x16” oven. I have all the time and freedom to experiment with new dishes and keep the meals specific to what we’ll be able to efficiently metabolize given the circumstances of the day. We eat predominantly fresh seafood, fruits and vegetables – never having room for empty calories. Recently on the menu is the gluten free fish burger “Wildest Dream” consisting of wild steelhead belly meat, smoked bacon, goat cheese, avocado, tomato, red onion, romaine and a drizzle of homemade/harvested salmonberry vinaigrette – sandwiched between baked, slim cut the long way potatoes. Chow! You are what you eat.
Harsh rules of survival apply upon the high seas and casualties often occur. Late one evening a friend gifted me a steelhead. Some say it’s a salmon, some say it’s a trout – to me it’s a sea going rainbow trout, that’s what I want it to be. Despite my distaste for the slaughter of that particular species I accepted. In commercial salmon fishing steelhead are caught and considered by catch because there is no sellable market for them (thank goodness). However they are delicious and shouldn’t be wasted – for in my honest opinion the intentional, careless disposal of a fish or animal should be punishable by death or karmic whiplash (especially a chrome opalescent turquoise wild trout of the pacific). If you catch something that turns out to be sick (wormy, toxic or you’re lazy) at least make use of it – Whether it be bait or garden fertilizer, don’t waste anything. Ever.
Still on the surface, never stagnant.
Cheers. Click “Store” and go buy a print – your purchase will be turned around in a way to bring you more of this goodness. TTGZ