The Butcher of Carcross

The Butcher of Carcross


A Summer 2015 Yukon Prospector Web-Extra

There’s nothing quite like catching your own dinner. Nothing makes a man feel as free. “I don’t need your crowded markets! Keep your sun-dried tomato turkey, your coq au vin, your organic, grass-fed lamb with orange glaze and balsamic reduction. I suckle at the teat of mother Gaia.” 

  I caught my first fish.

  Well, I caught and killed my first fish.  After some extensive research (youtube) I decided I was going to eat one of the fish I kept catching in Carcross

  The internet revealed that they were Arctic Grayling, and a few guys around the bridge said they were good eating. 

  It took a bit to steal my nerves.  I was always a bit squeamish with fish; I often had trouble even handling them up until a couple years ago. When the first few fish shook my hook, I let out a quiet chuckle and a sigh of relief. 

  Eventually though, one unlucky fella wound up with the hook down his gullet. He was bleeding from the gills, and a look of sheer panic and pain played out across his fishy face.

  I figured the best thing to do was get it over with quickly. I found a log nearby and swung the critter for a terrible WACK…. Chin down. Idiot me. It continued to writhe and squirm, a slight tearing sound with every move. More blood, and me beginning to sweat. I flipped it over and bashed its head on the log.  It stopped moving, blissfully. 


  I then found out why a sharp fillet knife should be the first thing in your kit.  By the time I was done with the poor creature its stomach looked like a Jackson Pollock. But I managed to get all the guts and pieces out without too much trouble. And I only tossed the thing in panic once, when I cut through its spine and the tail started to jerk wildly.

  Cooking it however, was another story entirely. 

  For some reason I thought it was better to take the spine out before cooking it.  Then I cooked it in butter, with a bit of salt and concentrated lime. The butter overpowered the delicate white fish flavour, and the bottled-lime didn’t do much to cut through the richness. 

  So if anyone knows of a good grayling recipe, send a message to

  On the road to Dawson now. More to come on that soon.

Story and Photos by

Jonathan Duncan


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