The Drift – May 2024

The Drift:

By Suzanne Constantini

I’m sure many of you are familiar with the movie “Miracle on Ice” that depicted the victory of the United States’ Olympic men’s hockey team over the Soviet Union in the 1980 winter Olympics held at Lake Placid, New York. There is a scene in the movie in which Coach Herb Brooks addresses his team before the game with the Soviets. In his speech, Herb told his players that “Great moments are born from great opportunity.”

A great moment and opportunity for me arrived when the Kiap-TU-Wish board elected me to be your president for the next three years. During my six-year term as the chapter treasurer, my knowledge of trout, and the preservation of our cold-water streams has increased exponentially through the many board meeting discussions I’ve participated in, my association with the Kinni Corridor Collaborative (KCC), and in my numerous interactions with members and friends of the chapter.

I am looking forward to leading our chapter and continuing the great work of my predecessors. Having Greg Olson as our “Ex Officio” president and my wingman is comforting. I know that whenever difficult decisions need to be made, his mentorship will be much appreciated as will the wise counsel I hope to receive from the rest of our board members.

So, with that, I would like to take this opportunity and make my first official act as one to say, THANK YOU, to all of you, for your continued support of Kiap-TU-Wish and the many projects we have completed and for those being planned for the upcoming seasons. During the past year volunteer hours continued to grow and donations and contributions have reached an all-time high of $38,264.

With your on-going support, Kiap-TU-Wish will continue to fulfill our mission to Conserve, Protect, and Restore the cold-water streams that flow through our local and nearby watersheds, while maintaining a strong community presence that benefits both young and old and our surrounding environment.


The Drift – March 2024

Well, my time as president of Kiap-TU-Wish is coming to a close.  It is hard to believe it has been three years already?!?!  Well, you’re still here and the chapter is still solvent, so I didn’t muck things up too badly. That is testament to a fabulous board and you chapter members who helped me along the way. I couldn’t have made it without you! It has been a privilege and an honor to serve as your president and I can’t imagine a finer TU chapter and I am proud to be a member.

Looking back over the past three years it’s amazing what we have accomplished. I figured I would never see a River Falls dam removed in my lifetime; to thinking I would see one removed, to now being very hopeful that both will be gone! During this process we have strengthened ties with KCC and TCTU, demonstrating the great things we can accomplish when we work together. 

We’ve overcome the difficulties with meeting during the COVID outbreake, although I never overcame the difficulties with setting up a ZOOM meeting ……  The Kiap-TU-Wish Holiday Banquet was revived and since has been a huge success; it has been wonderful to see our members come back and support it.

The on-line auction continues to expand and coupled with the chance drawings, the Hap Lutter appeal, and most importantly our member’s generosity, our fund-raising efforts continue to reach new heights. 

The addition of a June and August outing has allowed members to stay connected during the summer months and both events were well received last year. Look for the Sulphur Solstice and Full Moon Fever at Phil’s to continue this summer. 

Important chapter work continued. Education opportunities such as TIC, BIC, PFF Youth Day, TU Camp, and the RF Fly Fishing Clinic went on as usual. We expanded our offerings with the addition of a Stream Girls program which has been an exciting development, thanks to board members Linda Radimecky and Michele Bevis. We now have board member Rainbow Barry on the Pierce County Groundwater Advisory Committee to make sure our interests are considered and studied. Badger Flowers and Scott Larson are heading up chapter communications efforts and bringing us into the 21st century, a dream come true as we are getting all the chapter documents, research, and history stored on the cloud. Trout stream restoration work continues, making our trout habitat world class! Don’t forget, due to your efforts we received the 2022 Wisconsin TU Chapter of the Year!

Thanks again for all the support and encouragement you have given me, the board, and the chapter over the past 3 years!  None of it would have been possible without you! 

KIAP-TU-WISH AUCTION!!! 3 X 100 Chance Drawing too!

The KIAP-TU-WISH auction is now live!!!  It is our biggest auction ever!  Over 100 items!!!  There is something for every interest and every budget!  Vacation stays!  Guided trips for trout, bass, pike, steelhead!  Many, many fly boxes packed with proven flies!  Casting lessons and fly fishing school!  Rods from Winston, G.Loomis, Echo, and TFO.  Reels from Ross, Cheeky, and Sci Anglers. Cooking class, books, beautiful art, farm tours, gift cards from area merchants…. the list goes on and on!  Remember, this auction along with our Hap Lutter appeal and 3 x 100 drawing is where the chapter gets the majority of its funding so bid early and often!  Auction ends February 18th.  Here is the link!

Speaking of 3 x 100 drawing, we are now sold out of Sage rod tickets, but still tickets remain for the Cunningham painting and Norling rod, get yours now, before they are all gone!

Cunningham Painting tickets remaining:  46      
Norling Rod tickets remaining:  24
Sage Rod tickets remaining:  0

Our annual 3 x 100 chance drawing is now open until February 18th!!! 

Just a reminder, from the TU annual renewal dues that you pay, we get nothing.  That is used to pay salaries of national TU staffers, to pay for your TROUT magazine subscription, national grants, White House lobbyists, etc.

This event combined with the Auction and Hap Lutter Appeal is where the vast majority of the chapters funding comes from for the entire year. The chapter needs donations in order to continue to do our work and most of that has a monetary requirement:  from boulders, to chillers, to Randy’s hotdogs and cookies.  Please help!

To purchase tickets, email Greg Olson at  I will let you know if we have tickets remaining (I will be sending mailchimp updates once a week).  You can either send me a check made out to KIAP-TU-WISH or pay on-line via our website, let me know which drawing your donation is for (but email me first to make sure we have tickets left!).  I will also have these items at our February chapter meeting, selling tickets at Juniors, if any tickets are left.   

DON’T DELAY!!!!!  EMAIL NOW!!!!!  See details below!

The 3 X 100 chance drawings will start today, with the winners drawn on February 18th.

The first item, a beautiful painting by our 2022 Silver Trout Award artist, Joshua Cunningham! 

The painting is 8”x10”, Oil on Linen, titled “May on the Rush.” 

Only 100 tickets will be sold at $20 a ticket.  You know you want (or is it “need”) this original painting of one your favorite rivers.  “Own” a piece of the Rush River in your home!  Get your ticket(s) NOW!!!

The second item is a beautiful Norling bamboo rod!  

The rod is a 5-wt, 7′ 6″ rod with two tips, agate guides, rod sock & brushed aluminum travel tube with cap by renowned rod makers Dave Norling Sr. and Dave Norling Jr.   

Only 100 tickets will be sold at $20 a ticket.  You know you want (or is it “need”) this heirloom quality rod!  What are you waiting for! Get your ticket(s) NOW!!!

The third item is an incredible fishing tool, a new Sage Foundation 9′ 4 wt with case!

Equipped with a high-performance blank (Graphite IIIe), the FOUNDATION has a fast action providing excellent casting power and effortless control. It’s the very foundation of what defines a Sage rod – Performance – taking your game to another level.  Armed with this rod, the trout don’t stand a chance!  More info on the Sage website:  Donated by Cabelas Rodgers and KIAP-TU-WISH.

Only 100 tickets will be sold at $10 a ticket.  You know you want (or is it “need”) this high performance rod!  What are you waiting for! Get your ticket(s) NOW!!!

The Drift: Jan 2024

Hi All,

Hope you all had a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  It was awesome to see so many Kiap-TU-Wish members at the Holiday banquet, last year we had 64 people attending and this year we topped 100!  It reminded me of an Olson family Christmas, where I would see some faces that I hadn’t since the previous year.  It was the only day all my uncles, aunts, cousins, and grandmother were together in the same house and what a full house it was, with my father being one of ten kids!  The only downside was that the house reeked of lutefisk.  The swedish meatballs, lefse, rommegrot, krumkake, and rosettes made up for the smell though.  If you have any feedback about what you liked about the banquet and ideas to improve it, please let me know.  No worries, we will never be offering lutefisk at Juniors!

I’m looking forward to the Wisconsin early trout fishing season opening up on Saturday, January 6th.  If the temps get above freezing, winter can be fun to scratch that itch and get a little fishing in.  The way this winter is going, there could be a lot of January and February days above freezing.  I supposed I just jinxed that….   I believe I have mentioned it before, but a pair of insulated, boot foot waders has really made winter fishing much more enjoyable for me.  I had tried my stocking foot waders with bigger boots, different combinations of wool socks, foot warmers, etc., but regardless it would not take long for my feet to turn to blocks of ice.  However, that has all changed with the insulated boot foot waders.  I have spent time at the vice, cranking out midge patterns that dominate the winter hatches and I am ready to go!  Don’t forget to volunteer for some of Randy’s work days!  Those always make the winter go by faster.

I’m really looking forward to our chapter meetings in the new year as well.  I can’t wait to see what Sarah Sanford and her friends the Gillespies come up with in January.  Then we have the Dick Frantes fly tying meeting where we are thinking of offering some fly tying challenges to those that want to participate.  March brings renowned artist and guide Bob White to Juniors.  In April, we have the usual chapter business to attend to and then Kent Johnson and Dr. Clarke Gary will present some of their recent aquatic bug sampling findings on the Kinni compared to findings at the same sites decades ago.  Carl Nelson will also report on sampling he and his team did on the Rush.  In May we will have Kasey and Nate back!  

Our on-line auction and 3 x 100 chance drawing will be starting in January.  The auction is shaping up to be bigger and better than before.  If you have any items to donate, you can bring them to the January chapter meeting or any of the area fly shops:  Lunds, Mend, or Bob Mitchells.  For the 3 x 100 chance drawing, we again will have a Joshua Cunningham painting, this one titled “May on the Rush”, a Norling bamboo rod, and a Sage 4wt graphite rod.  Last year the tickets sold out quickly, so be sure to get yours while they last!

The Drift Nov 2023

The Drift:

By Greg Olson

Hello, fellow KIAP-TU-WISHers! Hope everyone is doing well. As for myself, I am still in mourning over the events that happened on October 16th. I awoke that day knowing the inland trout season was now closed – the saddest day of the year. The trout season again went by too quickly! I found myself in River Falls on October 23rd, perhaps the warmest day we will see until May 2024 and I stopped by the upper Kinni. I sat beside a favorite fishing hole and watched and listened to the water flowing past. Suddenly there was a smattering of BWOs coming off and I spent an enjoyable 20 minutes watching a pod of trout sipping them off the surface. So fear not, the trout are still there! We will give them a break to go about their spawning business and we can all get some streambank time during Randy’s work days which have now begun! Come on out, it is a good time!

Our chapter “year” has started off well. It was good to see your familiar faces at our Rush River Brewing kick off in September. In October, we heard from our happy TU campers Ben Hassing and Elazar Haas. Then we had an exciting talk on spey casting from guide Josh Boeser. In November, Tim Stieber and Josh O’Neil will be speaking to us. Tim is the Land and Water Conservation Administrator and Josh the Conservation Planner for St. Croix County. They will be talking about their stream improvement projects and ways we can help.  Save the date, December 5th! We will again have our holiday banquet at Juniors and I hope to see everyone there! More details to follow! Finally, our chapter auction will end on February 18th. This is our biggest fundraiser of the year. If you have any items to donate – fishing equipment, gift cards, vacation stays, guided trips, etc. – please contact me. Thanks for your support!

The Drift – Sep 2023

The Drift: September 2023

By Greg Olson

Hi all!  Hope everyone has had a great summer!  From a fishing perspective, it has been pretty good.  Water levels haven’t been too low and I don’t want to jinx it, but we haven’t had any punishing rain events.  We have had some Canadian wildfire smoke and I think the only solution for that will be winter.  Hatches of BWOs, Caddis, Sulphurs, and Tricos have been solid where I have been fishing and I hope you found the same thing.

The effort to remove the dams on the Kinni continues to move in a favorable direction. The Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE ) open house on August 15th drew a big crowd, with most in favor of removal of both dams. The ACOE is still working on the feasibility study which they hope to have done this fall with a public review in the winter. Fingers crossed that they deem it a doable project to take on!  

Another environmental issue we have been keeping tabs on is a proposed Ridge Breeze Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) located between the Rush River and Plum Creek. The chapter supported a 6 month to 1-year moratorium on Pierce county CAFO expansion in order for the county to determine if their application process was stringent enough to ensure that the two watersheds would not be negatively impacted by expansion of the herd. Unfortunately, the moratorium was voted down at the land conservation committee level and never made it to the county board.  We are also keeping a watch on what I am calling the “zombie biodigester.” After being shot down in Hammond, Roberts, and just a couple weeks ago New Richmond, word is that it is stumbling and crawling to Ellsworth next. 

On a more positive note, we had a couple of summer BBQ/fishing outings. Our Sulphur Solstice in July at the Ellsworth Rod and Gun Club was well received (it was nice having the air conditioning in the bar that day!). Matt Janquart and Dave Drewski helped organize the event and we enlisted the help of Ben Belt and Ben Topple to help with the food prep and guiding new anglers. In August we held Phil’s Full Moon Fever at Phil Kashian’s home and vacation rental. Phil and his wife Kay were great hosts!  In conjunction with the event, Pat Houlton held a night fishing clinic using streamer and mice patterns and some nice fish were caught!  Pat suggested a euro nymphing clinic for next year, so keep your eyes open for that.  Both outings were a great way to stay in touch with chapter members in the summer months. We offered mentored fishing for individuals wanting some instruction and it resulted in some anglers catching their first trout on a fly!  The River Falls Fly Fishing clinic was another success thanks to yet another year of guidance from Mike Alwin.  We also did a fly casting clinic at the New Richmond library. I’d also like to give a shout out to all the WiseH2O anglers out there who continue to monitor our area streams all summer long, as well as those who helped Kasey with shocking and fish counting!

The upcoming chapter year will be another busy and fun one. We will kick off September with our open house/gear swap at Rush River Brewery starting at 6 pm on September 7th. Be sure to invite a friend!   We will be back at Junior’s on the first Tuesday of the month from October through May. The speaker list is not finalized yet, to talks from Josh Boser on spey casting, Tim Stieber who is the  Resource Management Director for St. Croix County, artist and guide Bob White,  a summary of stream restoration projects  and results of fisheries surveys from Nate and Kasey and the annual banquet. We are also expecting to include a macroinvertebrate update from Kent Johnson and Clarke Garry  to answer if our  perceived diminishing hatches on the Kinni are real or imagined.

There will be plenty of opportunities to pitch in and make a difference this year of course: Randy’s work days, TIC/BIC, Pheasants Forever Youth Day, Stream Girls and  RF Fly Fishing Clinic just to name a few. Be sure to watch for email updates and consider volunteering. You will have fun and make a huge impact!  As always, if you have any questions/comments/concerns please email me at  Looking forward to seeing you at a chapter meeting, volunteer event, and streamside!