Set out a 9X13 inch baking dish and a large measuring pitcher. Measure the salt and brown sugar in the pitcher. Then pour in 4 cups warm water. Stir to dissolve.
Pour the brine over the trout fillets. Add additional water, if needed, to make sure they are completely covered. Cover the dish with plastic and refrigerate for 1-4 hours. When ready to smoke, drain off the brine.
Heat a smoker to 180 degrees F. Place the trout fillets on the grates and sprinkle with cracked black pepper. Close the lid and smoke for approximately 90 minutes, until the thickest parts of the fillets are firm to the touch. Serve warm or cold.
For Smoked Trout Dip:
Brine and smoke the trout as instructed above. Then peel the skin off 4 fillets. Break the smoked trout into small pieces and place in a mixing bowl. Mix in the cream cheese, sour cream, mustard, capers, dill, and onion powder. Serve with crackers or fresh cut veggies.
Serve warm filets right away, or allow to cool to room temperature before storing. Place the smoked fish in a sealed container and keep in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.To freeze, wrap the individual filets in plastic wrap before placing together in an airtight container. Store in the freezer for up toone year.Keep the dip stored in a sealed container in the fridge and use within 5 days. Because of the cream cheese and sour cream, I do not recommend that you freeze.Classic Smoked Trout Accoutrement: shaved red onion, dill, capers, tartar sauce.