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Thread: Dolly Varden

  1. #1

    Default Dolly Varden

    Does anyone have experience with how good Dolly's are to eat? Taste like what?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Member JimJimmers's Avatar
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    Default

    Do you like rainbow trout?....not much difference (to me).

  3. #3
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    Dollies are excellent table fare!

  4. #4
    Member RMiller's Avatar
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    Default

    I much prefer dollies to rainbows. I will not freeze them though. I find they eat much better the night they are caught. They seem to get mushy if they are frozen. Then they taste just like rainbows.HaHa.
    "You have given out too much reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later".

  5. #5
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Default

    they don't freeze very well...

    They are whiteish pink and taste very good. Best of all there are lots of them in most places and especially sea run populations can take light harvest without impacting numbers and sizes.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  6. #6
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    Default Dolly delight...

    Fillets are best soaked in salt water to frim them prior to cooking.
    Feshly caught they are excelent table fare; they eat like a coldwater trout.

    This is the fish you do on a stick over hot coals in the field. It also is a real beauty to gut and spit whole for the smoker.

    It gets poohed by some locals and that is undeserved. Dollies are the fish of salvation for many newcomers and are a fun and easy catch.

    They absolutely are the king of spin and flop once you bring them in; have a ready rag to assist you in holding them...

    Rosenberg/Florida
    "Two decades researching and defining fishing opportunities in the Last Frontier!"


  7. #7
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    Default Fantastic

    NExt to kings, I think a fresh sea run Dolly is about as good as it gets. They are related to arctic char (closely) but char often have amounts of parasites in their guts and muscle to make me consider them nearly survival food only. People use the terms synonomously but there are distinct differences in life history and table fare.

    They are also related to brook trout and lakers (all of which are "char")and to me they taste like a big, rich, butter infused brook trout (which is still my favorite fish of all time). Head em, gut em and bake em in tinfoil and crisp the skin, they are amazing. A great fire fish, very rich. Out here in the bush, we often plan on these for meals during July and August float trips, they are a real treat.

    You will find that the mid size, dime bright ones will have darker flesh than those showing spawning colors, kypes etc.

    Indeed, they don't freeze worth a poo, so eat em fresh and don't try and stock up as you will be disappointed.

    And as monkey said, they often have large runs and can stand some harvest easily, more so than other non salmon species. Often underrated, they can save a day of fishin when all else gets lockjaw, and you can usually catch lots of them when they are in. In most places they will eat anything but they like orange and pink lures more so than others (in my experience) and they adore glo bugs and beads. They are a great way to practice on indicator,glo bug/bead fishing tactics.

  8. #8
    Member AKFishOn's Avatar
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    Default

    What size of the lures do you use for smaller less than a pound dollies (0s and 1s)?

    Thanks

  9. #9

    Default

    You guys are like a book on this stuff. (well, one wrote a book, which I'm buying)

    what about this; "You will find that the mid size, dime bright ones will have darker flesh than those showing spawning colors, kypes etc."

    Is darker flesh better?

    thanks

  10. #10

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    jorel:

    maybe this is a matter of personal taste; but I don't really like the taste of dollies - sea run or otherwise. And they don't taste much like what you would think of in the lower 48 as rainbow trout, although I don't eat those in Alaska either. Just fatty, bland, curls up in the pan. Just a strange taste. maybe brining/poaching in coals helps. I dunno. I would eat them if nothing else was available. I've tried a few. Bring lots of cajun spice and lemon, and some alfredo sauce.

    dark flesh tastes the worst.

  11. #11
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    Default Definition.

    Darker flesh...as in a nice dark orange....= yum yum. Whereas....pale orange = post or pre spawn fish in poor eating condition that tastes like cardboard.

    Stevesch, if you don't enjoy a dolly or actually find it distasteful...what do you eat? I find them quite mild (rich, but mild). Also if dark flesh supposedly tastes the worst...do you enjoy spawned out reds (white as halibuton the inside)? Or are you referring to the fat on the outside of the fillet?

    I usually just bake em with some salt and pepper sprinkled inside, maybe a piece of bacon if I have it and a squirt of lemon inside the cavity...just enjoy, no need to smother it in ketchup or other suggested condiments.

  12. #12

    Default

    I think the wires are crossed here: "dark" means gray - not deep red; it is a different kind of muscle tissue - tastes like nothing. not dark red as in fresh from the ocean, and "light" as in spawned out. I don't think much of the taste of dollies - fresh from the ocean or otherwise - smothered in sauce or not. It's not godaweful, just not that good.

    I eat kings, silvers, reds, and sometimes - dollies, and even less often, pinks.

  13. #13

    Default

    I'm moving to Nome in the summer. I've found that my favorite fish is halibut and sockeye, both from Alaska. We get both down here fresh and frozen. I could eat either 3 meals a day.

    Rainbow, at least from the western lower 48 is just so-so for my taste, McDonalds is better. Brook trout are full of oil. Browns not much better. the cod from Alaska is great. I guess I'll have to cook up some Dollies myself and see what my buds say.

    My top sea food for my buds:

    1. Alaska Halibut
    2. Maine Lobster
    3. Alaska sockeye (I've never had King)
    4. Gulf Shrimp
    5. Heineken

    You guys on this thread are great. I always can count on honest opinions.

    Thanks

  14. #14
    Member kjashen's Avatar
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    Thumbs up smoker

    we have smoked them for years, great snack food, excellent smoked, like a cross between smoked herring and salmon. A pack of dollies is better than jerkey.

  15. #15
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    Default Dollies are good eats

    Some peolpe dont like kings compared to silvers and reds. I don't like silvers compared to kings and reds. Just making a point here.

    I think dollies are fabulous. Do not freeze, eat fresh. The meat is delicate.I may eat a half-dozen a year, only dime bright ones. They cook great in the field with aluminum foil and butter or oil, or without. If frying with butter, or oil brown the skin and tail. The tail tastes like a potato chip and fried skin is delicious. Just dont eat the tail on fish over 14 or 15 inches because the bones in the tail get too big. If cooked in foil with no butter or oil the skin may stick to the foil , then just eat the flesh.

    You can cook them over the fire with live alder sticks as a platform too. They taste great. Cook the fish gutted, bones in, then after they are done peel the backbone from the flesh. If done properly all the rib bones and lateral bones will pull out with the back bone. Absolutely no flesh is wasted.

    Great food.

  16. #16
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    Default Great...

    Dollies are great. Arctic Char (similar to dolly) has many recipes online. Search by that name and you will see what I mean. We float NW Alaska rivers each Fall fly fishing for dollies out of our Ally pack canoes. Wonderful table fare. I like them with a mango salsa (bottle of marinade) and also enjoy lemon pepper. I don't fry mine, I grill them on a small camp grill or in aluminum foil on coals. Wonderful tasting fish.
    The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.

  17. #17

    Default

    Good

    During the summer I take my little walmart inflatable out every once in a while and catch 1-5 of the stockers ( with some rainbows in the mix )

    Theyre really small 6-8 in , so I just gut them , wash out the insides and throw them in a pan with some butter n lemon juice

    They make a pretty good sandwich aswell

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