Casting and Cooking

Casting and Cooking

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Photo: Jeff Hickman

Learning to cast a fly-rod is one of my earliest childhood memories.  Dad used to set up a hula hoop in the yard and have my sister and I cast our line into the hoop. What was once a fun lawn game, has now become a lifelong love for our whole family (casting into the water now, of course), and I will be forever thankful for dad’s self-proclaimed ‘hula hoop casting game.’ Fly-fishing is so popular around the world, that you would be hard-pressed to not find a guide in your area.  The first and only step is to go to your local fly-fishing shop and ask them for casting lessons, and for local guides that they recommend.  This will expose you to an incredible world of gorgeous watersheds, environments, landscapes, friends, and not to mention the amazing fish that you will be able to catch in your area.  Here in the Pacific Northwest, we love to catch and release our wild steelhead, and cook up the hatchery steelhead that we are happy to remove from our wild and beautiful rivers 😉  This is one of my favorite recipes to make with hatchery steelhead or wild sustainable Salmon.  Check it out, and visit your local fly-shop asap!


Everything Salmon
Recipe type: fish, delicious
Cuisine: fish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5 servings
Imagine biting into a chewy Everything bagel lined with lox salmon and cream cheese. This is the entree version of that dish, and my desire was to recreate that exact flavor experience. This works with hatchery steelhead, Arctic Char, wild sustainable salmon, or any other oily but firm fish that holds together when sliced raw. Please note that this recipe can also be made without the stuffed Asparagus's just an extra flare. Feel free to bake as a whole filet with the coating, just be sure to slightly increase the cooking time to accommodate. It's delicious, make ya some!
  • 1 bunch Asparagus, small to medium thickness, or halved thick stalks
  • 1 2-3 lb. Filet of wild sustainable Salmon, skin-on, pin-bones removed*
  • 2 T. whipped cream cheese (optional)
  • 1 T. each (poppy seeds, toasted sesame seeds, dried garlic, dried onion, and sea salt)
  • 2 T. olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Place Asparagus on a small baking sheet and cook for 5-7 minutes, until just softened. Set aside to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, place the entire salmon filet on a cutting board, with the thickest cut side facing you. Use a sharp filet or slicing knife to cut a center pocket through to the other cut side. Work slowly and carefully. Essentially, you are cutting a tunnel through the length of the fillet, leaving at least a ½-inch wall uncut on each side.
  4. Next, sprinkle the cooled Asparagus with salt and carefully slide into the cut tunnel in the salmon fillet. You may not be able to use all of the asparagus, but you can eat it with the finished dish.
  5. Finally, carefully spread the whipped cream cheese over the top of the fillet, using your hands if necessary. Sprinkle with the everything spice mixture until entirely coated.
  6. At this point, you can slice the filet into desired portions, just be gentle as you have stuffing inside of the fish. You can also just be rustic and cook the whole filet and divvy it up later 🙂
  7. Gently transfer the whole filet (or individual filets) onto a greased baking sheet, and bake for 5-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. (The fish will cook quicker with the 2 thin sides surrounding the Asparagus.
  8. Remove from oven and enjoy!
  9. *Note: You can kindly ask your fishmonger to remove the pin bones in your Salmon filet. Otherwise, break out the eyebrow tweezers, and refine your tweezing skills.


“Life is an honor, albeit anonymously delivered.”

-Jim Harrison


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