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I am far from being a vegan in my dietary habits. Put a medium rare steak in front of me, or chicken or…well almost any meat product short of organs or duck and lamb and I am quite satisfied. 

When it comes to fish, I can kill a salmon and enjoy it from the grill with ease and lemon please. But, somewhere along the line, I  drew the line killing trout. I know why. A camping trip long ago where I killed dozens of hatchery (‘put in take’) trout, put them in an ice chest and then ran out of ice. The trout ended up in the trash and that struck me as such a waste. I attached some sentimental process to that moment as the metal lid came down on the garbage can.

A large, beautiful trout is almost sacred to me…as much as a steelhead (same family). Yet, the equally beautiful, noble chinook that may have traveled as many miles as the steelhead gets wrapped on the noggin and gutted. Odd how these thought processes go.

Last year, I fished some waters in which large mouth bass had been introduced and were killing off the rainbow trout. I was encouraged to kill the bass. I couldn’t. I had no desire to eat the bass and to just kill it seemed improper. 

Like many of our dearly held ideas, I have no clear thought process…beginning to end…on how I arrive at all this. I just hold onto my conviction that for a trout to die at my hands (my banging it across the head or by poor handling prior to release) is a bad thing.

But right now, I could really enjoy a juicy filet mignon. Such contradictions hey?