I was hopping around on Saturday, visiting bridges to talk to other anglers.
I went to a bridge nearby at which the DNR typically drops in brooder 'bows.'
There were fish at the bridge, but not bows. I went back to the truck to get my rod.
The school of about 20 trout looked to be medium sized browns. I casted off the bridge at them and had a hook up immediately. It was a colorful fish. I thought 'stocker bows' as the fish got closer to the bridge. I was excited. It looked like a 14- to 15-inch male brookie.
I hobbled down the bank very carefully and landed what I thought was a huge male brookie.
One close-up glance at the brookie delivered disappointment.
Yes, it was a big male brookie, but the fins were tiny and bent and the bottom of the tail was worn from a raceway.
It was the ugliest 15-inch brookie I had ever seen. It was not even worth a picture. I had never caught a brookie in this stream in my life because it gets way too warm in the hot summer to sustain a population of brookies.
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/.