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February 13 2008 Native American Newsletter

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Fishing Is Good!

So...did you catch any fish at one of the many Derby's around the country? Coyote did...he finally realized that to get the best fish you have to go fishing for yourself and use those "wooley buggers" things. This weekend, February 16 and 17 will be the second Derby at Pyramid Lake on the Paiute Indian Reservation, just 35 miles northeast of Reno, Nevada. The best type of flies to use for Pyramid Lake are the black and red wooley worms. And don't forget to keep your hands clean and free of nicotine, lotions or bug sprays. Fish have a keen sense of smell and as far as I know, do not like the smell of these things so they may avoid your bait.

This is an ancient desert lake that is the home of the Lahontan cutthroat trout. It is also home to the Cui-ui. The Northern Paiute were traditionally called "cui-ui-ticutta" (eater of cui-ui or "cui-ui eaters"), which identifies them with their ancestral food staple. The cui-ui is found nowhere else in the world. This was a sub-basin of the prehistoric Lake Lahontan, which gradually shrank from over 8500 square miles about 12,500 years ago and broke up into smaller lakes, leaving the cui-ui to Pyramid Lake.

So, get organized if you plan on going fishing and make sure you get the bait appropriate to where you will be catching those "keepers". The Paiute ancestors knew that weather and temperature had a lot to do with the best fishing times. They also knew that fish, just like us, can be influenced by the gravitational pull of the moon and also to the position of the sun. Certain moon phases can promote the best time to catch those fish and bright sun can irritate them, causing them to shy away from the surface of the waters. It is wise to research the species of fish you plan on catching to find out what weather temperatures attract them, especially for fresh water fishing. After your research, check your lines and hooks. Make sure the hooks are sharp and the lines are strong and free of any snags and wear.

If you are going trout fishing, here is a great recipe for those "keepers":

Clean and scale the fish. Melt butter and olive oil in a cast iron skillet, add garlic and onions and saute. Rub the fish with salt, pepper, parsley and a little thyme (just take a little "thyme") or dill. Slap those babies into the hot pan for about three minutes per side and serve it up with lemon wedges. This can be done on your kitchen stove or over a campfire. Make sure you have a lot of fish, because when other people smell this, they'll come running holding out their plates.

If you like your fish a little spiced up, try the Cajun Blackened Fish Recipe from Sandie Jarret, our BellaOnline Cajun and Creole Editor at

Till next time, happy hunting - or I should say, happy fishing!!!

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