The Adirondack park offers many back country camping opportunities for brook trout fishing. While usually wild caught brook trout are released back into their natural, fragile habitat, every now and then a harvest may be appropriate. For example, our family of four backpacked eight miles into a campsite with canoes to a remote lake to catch brook trout. Many were caught and carefully released back into the lake, and two were sacrificed for an incredible campfire meal. Wild brook trout have an amazing coral color to the meat (similar to Alaskan caught salmon) and delectable flavor. The NYS DEC carefully regulates brook trout and is currently seeking public comment on their trout stream management plan. With this in mind, freshly caught brook trout cooked over a campfire is a treat to be savored and enjoyed on a special occasion.
Campfire Brook Trout in Foil Packets
- freshly caught brook trout, gutted and scales scraped clean
- 1 Tbsp butter
- dash of white wine (if available)
- salt and pepper to taste
- fresh veggies, such as thin sliced carrots, broccoli, asparagus, etc
- dash of Old Bay seasoning
- Square of heavy duty aluminum foil
- * This is a recipe for one foil packet which could be shared or ingredients can be scaled up to make multiple packets*
- Clean the trout by removing the head, cutting behind the gills and remove the entrails by slitting the fish skin from the anus up through the top of the fish where the head is now removed. Rinse the cavity. Use your fillet knife to gently scrap the skin from tail to head to remove scales and slime. If stretching the fish to feed two people, cut the fish in half lengthwise along one side of the spine and remove the tail. Often brook trout are small so you will get more meat if you remove the bones after it is cooked then if you try to fillet the trout and remove the bones before cooking.
- Place the whole or half trout on a square sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil. Season with a dash of salt and pepper and Old Bay seasoning. Smear some butter along the rib meat. Add thinly sliced fresh vegetables on top of the trout. Season to taste and add a bit more butter and splash of white wine to the foil packet if available (a small box of white wine works well…a little to cook the fish and a little to enjoy with the meal).
- Fold the foil over the fish and seal all four sides to make a pouch to cook the fish in.
- Place the fish packet on a grate over the campfire coals. The campfire should have glowing embers but not lots of flame (medium high heat on a grill). You should start to hear a gentle sizzling sound. make sure foil in not quickly blackening or flames are lapping up. Cook about 3-4 minutes and turn the packet over. Cook about 3-4 minutes on the other side. With a gentle sizzling sound. Carefully remove the packet to a plate. Let rest a minute or tow and then carefully unfold the packet, allowing steam to escape away from your face.
- Enjoy your campfire meal!