In 1991 on The Kinni Cup was presented to a group of rag tag anglers who had made their annual canoe/camping/trout fishing trip to the heart of the lower Kinnickinnic River outside of River Falls, Wisconsin. The Cup was born as my donation to a concept called “New Innovation Night” where each camper was to create something useful to add meaning and function to our annual trip. Crafted from scraps of oak, an old trophy cup and a cheesy trout fisherman who was a cake decoration, the trophy sprang to life.These items were all procured from the local AX-MANS liquidation store. Our annual trout fishing tournament had taken place for years before, but the prize was just money, or bragging rights, now we had hardware to compete for. Over the years the Cup has been won by numerous contestants, with some having their names adorn the plaque more than once. The winner is always responsible for setting the rules for the next year, enabling the holder to skew these rules to his advantage if he wishes. The committee(the rest of the participants) do have a say but ultimately it is a dictatorship as far as the rules go. For years the competition was held on opening weekend(the first Saturday in May),today there is no set time or date, only consensus. A consensus among the participants that we will once again meet to celebrate a place and a passion responsible for bringing us all together. The participants have generally remained the same over time with a few additions and subtractions along the way. They are people who I call friends and whose company I enjoy.

¬†This year the Cup was held on a Sunday. With overcast skies and rain on the horizon we once again met on the Kinni at a special spot from our past. On the river we all went our separate ways hoping for the fish that would allow us to be the keeper of the little cup that represents the importance of people and place. In the end I would be the lucky one. Gifted by the river, a beautiful 14″ Brown Trout in full spawning dress fell for the little lightning bug at the end of my line. An 11″ Brookie was the bonus for my day on a river so full of life. ¬†

The cup represents a trout fishing tradition on the Kinni. A Journey through time that commemorates the many stories and close friendships of those who vie for it. If you ask the participants, they will tell you not much has changed on the Kinni over the past 20 something, almost 30 years. The trout are still beautiful, the beer is still cold and the surroundings are still breathtaking. Until we meet again……………………