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Len Harris/For Wisconsinoutdoorfun.com

The photo was taken opening morning in 1996, I'd guess.

The year prior I had fished way downstream where this small stream flowed into the Kickapoo River. I caught a couple of fair browns, so I decided to fish it upstream. I knocked on quite a few doors.

The last stretch looked the best from the road.

I could even see fish activity, and lots of it, right at the large tube going under the road. I couldn't find the land owner at home that fall. I wanted to fish this stretch so I went back to the modest house.

I knocked and knocked with no one answering.

I walked out in to the farm yard and yelled to see if anyone would answer. In the distance I heard music. I walked to the sound.

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The music was stream side about 70 yards upstream. The closer I got, the more bashful I got.

I couldn't believe my eyes when I finally walked up to the guy in stream. He picked the deepest area of his tiny stream and he was taking a bath. He had a bar of soap and shampoo and a towel. He didn't seem bothered by me and I asked him for permission.

I was a local and got permission immediately.

I fished his whole stretch after he was done taking a bath and I caught fish after fish. All were on the small side. Some were down right tiny but every little indent had fish in it.

I exited at the tube. I fished it for 20 minutes and caught a fish almost every cast. I remember sizing down my spinner from a 6 to a 2 here.

The trout in there were ferocious and slamming my panther but the spinner was just too big for hook ups. That was the reason for downsizing spinners.

This was before I was a nut with a camera. I wish I had a camera with me that day. I caught about a 6-inch male brookie that had a kype so big you could hang it on a clothes line. The browns from the hole had butter bellies and were small like the brookies. I caught dozens of trout this day. Not a one over 9 inches.

I fished the stretch one more time the next opener and I have never gone back.

After thought:

I have not been back there for a very long time. You know what a thriving population of brookies and browns mean? Writing this story made me think a return trip to this stretch to hunt for some tigers is in order.

Read more from Len Harris.

Len Harris blogs from the "Heart" of Wisconsin's Driftless Area. Len's passion is small stream trout fishing with every legal means possible. When trout season is closed he writes and takes photos. He even dabbles in a little cooking. Read more of Lenís writing on his blog at http://lenharris.blogspot.com/.

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