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Griffin King adds a channel cat to a net of fish held by Mark Johnson, part of the catch from two nights of camping and setting lines on the Cottonwood River.
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Michael Pearce / The Wichita Eagle
Central Kansas' Cottonwood River is long and beauty and fishing tradition.
Fisherman wade the Cottonwood River, towing a boat holding supplies and fish, after running lines set on an annual campout.
Jarrett Johnson ties a boat to an ancient cable used for the same purpose by anglers on the Cottonwood River more than 60 years ago.
Griffin King, right, helps Jarrett Johnson and Mark Johnson carry a load of catfish to a wire fish box in the Cottonwood River. All the fish were cleaned after the annual campout.
Lowering a heavy aluminum boat down a steep bank to the Cottonwood River.
Alex Case, left, and Ben Riedel, jab a metal pole deep into the river bank.
Griffin King, left, and Jarrett Johnson, right, help Lucas King add catfish to a large fix box in the Cottonwood River.
Campers take off up the Cottonwood River, to set lines for catfish. It was the 25th consecutive year they've gathered to camp and fish the river.
Marion's Alex Case adjusts a line on the Cottonwood River, where his family has fished for several generations.
Time around the campfire seemed as important as the fishing, since some of the campers only see each other once a year at the event.
The 25th annual camping/fishing trip is centered around friends who played for the K-State rugby team in the 1980s.
Seven-year-old Griffin King had no problems finding fun in the Cottonwood River.
Tying a line to a Cottonwood River snag that's been in place for generations.. The spots not normally productive, but it's a tradition to attach a line to the old tree trunk.
Brian Aldrich, Prairie Village, adds more wood to the campfire before cooking breakfast Saturday morning.
Stout metal rods were jammed into the bank of the Cottonwood River to hold fishing lines set for channel and flathead catfish.
Stout campfire coffee is a must after running fishing lines during the night, plus catching up with old friends.
John Aldrich was the first one up at camp Saturday morning, after a late night of running lines for catfish and other fun.
Seven-year-old Griffin King found a freshwater mussel while exploring the Cottonwood River.
Ben Riedel slept in the back of his SUV on the campout. A Colorado rafting guide, he spends most summer nights sleeping in the vehicle.
Ben Riedel adds to the mass breakfast on the first morning of the annual campout/fishing trip.
Ben Riedel, right, and John Aldrich add to the mass breakfast on the first morning of the annual campout/fishing trip.
Michael Aldrich, of Prairie Village, taps in a tent peg at the 25th annual campout and fishing trip in Marion County.
Related story: Cottonwood River provides an idyllic backdrop for annual reunion