Kickass and wading streams

Kickass, the doorstop dog, indulges the keeper as he “refishes” a thousand trout streams, often in the company of his mentor John Lawton who taught him about Korbel brandy and the wading rights to streams even as they run through private property.

John approached stream rights with a religious fervor and through the years that meant confrontations and trouble for him and the keeper, sometimes together and sometimes as individuals. There was the farmer who threw rocks at them as they fished behind his barn. There was the mother and son who dumped hay in the stream the keeper was trying to fish. There was the night when they were stranded after John drove over an intentionally set insidious device that punctured two tires along a public stream that a local landowner did not want to share.

Now in his “refishing,” days, the keeper recognizes that some of the right-to-wade challenges of years ago might have come with undue risk, but he would likely do them all over again given the opportunity, and then he and John would uncork the Korbel bottle.


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