Smelting … and sunshine! 

Okay, so I know you’re probably thinking… “Girl, where have you been?”. Well to be honest, since Salmon season has stopped we haven’t really had much going on, and I know you wouldn’t want pics of us laying on the couch watching movies. I’ll admit… cabin fever got to me! With the sun setting by the time we got off work we definitely got used to doing nothing. This weekend we finally decided to get off our butts and do something!

Today the sun was shining, and pretty much no wind so there was no better time to get out and do something! Since winter has hit we’ve heard all about how we needed to go smelting! Smelting? What’s Smelting? It’s ice fishing for small little smelt! See picture below! The weird thing about smelt is they strangely smell just like a fresh sliced cucumber!? Odd I know! Trust me they do though! If I could post the smell I would! 

Friday night, the other teacher (Hannah) and I adventured out first on our own. Both are husbands we’re already committed to other activities when we got the call from a friend in the village. So we ventured out on the ice road/tracks in the snow on our own. We crossed over frozen ponds and tundra, snow drifts and ice.

We met with some locals that showed us the ropes. You take a small stick with fish line and a barbless hook, toss it in the hole, give a flick of your wrist every few seconds and bam! Once you feel the fish bite you pull up as quickly as possible. Give the smelt a little flick, he falls right off and you’re ready to do it all over again!

After our little adventure with just us girls we decided this morning to bring the boys! Now we were professionals and we could show them the ropes! 😉

After about an hour we brought home 19 good size smelts! Now to cook them up! To clean them all you do is cut the heads off just behind the front find and pull out the guts. We battered them in some fish fry mix and grid them. The good news is while they smell a lot like cucumbers they don’t taste like it! They had a light sweet taste and while they were good, there were a lot of bones that we couldn’t get passed so I don’t think they will become a regular dinner for us.

Have you ever tried smelt or do you happen to know a different way to cook them up? We would love to hear what you think!