Chicago Sun-Times
Stray Casts will intelligently report and observe, hopefully with a touch of wit, on daily occurrences, reports and releases related to Chicago-area outdoors from bucks to bass to birds to bugs

Chicago outdoors: Show Week 4, The Big One

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The thought of giant cranes putting boats into Navy Pier appealed to me.


But I had kid duty yesterday morning and couldn't accept the invite of show staff to see giant cranes helping set up for Strictly Sail Chicago, which opens Thursday. And settled for the stock photo of Strictly Sail Chicago.

It just sounded really cool way to kick off the biggest show week in Chicago outdoors.

Beside Strictly Sail and Great Waters Fly Fishing Expo, this is the week for the revised and revitalized big general-interest show, America's Outdoor Show. It opens Wednesday at Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont.

The great experiment of the show season this year is America's Outdoor Show, which runs through Sunday..

This is like the old days with major outdoor stars: Babe Winkelman, Spence Petros, Mike Iaconelli, Jim Saric and Ted Takasaki. And plenty of local talent.

There's lots of other hype-inspiring stuff like the Bikini Ice Fishing Team's fashion show Friday night and Dan Hampton (5-7 Thursday) and Ramblin' Ray (6-8 Thursday).

The thing I may most watch to see if it works is Mike Ventresca (Chef Green Acres) prepping and cooking any and all things wild throughout the show

A special thing is the Blackhawk Field Archers presenting the I.B.O. 2010 Illinois State Championship/World Qualifier. Contact Brenda Lee at (708) 567 7431 or

And this will be kids friendly with a special area, an archery range, Dan Armitage seminars and Chauncey Niziol.

Tickets are $10, 6-16 are free weekdays ($5 weekend days) and 5 and younger free. There's discounts for seniors, high school bass teams, ladies, etc Parking is $12 (or use the CTA lot for $5 and ride a shuttle or walk)

For info, go to


Strictly Sail Chicago is at Navy Pier, Thursday-Sunday.

Tickets are $12 week days, $15 weekend days, 2-day pass $24; 15 and younger free
Parking: Discounted to $10 for attendees

There's a Kid's Club, a hands-on activity area.

For info, go to


Great Waters Fly Fishing Expo is at Pheasant Run in St. Charles, Friday-Sunday.

Here's some seminars of note: Muskie on the fly: Robert Tomes, 10:30 a.m. Saturday Smallmouth on the fly: Tim Holsclag 4:30 p.m. Friday, 3:30 p.m. Sunday. Carp on the fly: Larry Gavin, 9:15 a.m. Saturday

I have to admit that I am most interested in the seminar by Joseph Meyer, he of One More Cast Fly Shop in Countryside, on the Driftless Region, sustainable foods, organic cooking, cheese tasting at 10 a.m. Saturday

Tickets are $15, 65 and older $10, students $5, 11 and younger free. Parking is free.

There's lots of kids stuff, including beginning fly tying taught and the Oak Brook chapter of Trout Unlimited hosting an education booth,
For info, go to


Show, dates: site, contacts

Chicago RV & Camping Show, Feb. 10-14, Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont,

Tinley Park Fishing & Outdoor Show, Feb. 13-14, Tinley Park High School,

Henry Decoy Show, Feb. 14, Henry-Senachwine High School, Henry. Contact Susan or Bruce Bauter at (309) 364-4104 or

Our World-Underwater, Feb. 19-21, Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont,

Illinois Deer & Turkey Classic, Feb. 26-28, Interstate Center, Bloomington,

Chicago Maritime Festival, Feb. 27, Chicago History Museum,

Northwest Indiana Steelheaders Spring Fever Outdoor Show, Feb. 27-28, Expo Center, Valparaiso, Ind.,

Lake Home & Cabin Show, March 5-7, Schaumburg Convention Center,

Rockford Boat Show and companion Fishing & Outdoor Expo, March 5-7, Indoor Sports Center, Rockford, o click here for the expo and click here for the boat show

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Sports Show, March 10-14, Wisconsin State Fair Park, West Allis, Wis.,

Canoecopia, March 12-14, Alliant Energy Center, Madison,

Indoor Fishing Flea Market, March 13, Rolling Meadows High School, by the Chicagoland Muskie Hunters and the RMHS Choral Boosters,

Travel and Adventures Show, March 20-21, Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont,

Great Outdoors Expo, March 27-28, Woodstock North High School, Woodstock,

National Antique Decoy and Sporting Collectibles Show, April 23-24, Pheasant Run, St. Charles,

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Going to O'Hare show tonight with the kids. Skipped the last few years but we'll give it another try...

I'm looking forward to the archery info and exhibits. Thats a great way to show kids a new activity...hands on! Oh and it was dopey me that sent in a note last week with no name..Rob

Just got home. That is the longest amount of time I have spent at that show on opening in many years. That is a good sign. Hope to get some initial impressions and photos posted yet tonight, if I don't run out of gas. Driving through that snow took its toll on my eyeballs.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on January 26, 2010 10:35 PM.

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