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

WWW Chicago outdoors: Swapping to swamping

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As it should be this time of year, iWild Weekend Wanderings around Chicago outdoors is widely varied ((try saying that fast).


We get to Denny Sands (above) below. But let's start with Braidwood.

BRAIDWOOD FISHING: Fishing has been far better than expected, especially the bass fishing, at the Will County cooling lake, as I noted in a couple fishing reports posted earlier this week. This morning I talked to John Farmer a few minutes ago. He and his son already had caught and released seven, switching between crankbaits and plastic worms on the cold side. ``This is the healthiest I have seen them in seven years,'' he said. And the catfishing has been outstanding too, though, like usual, they take sorting for keepers.

HALL OF FAME DINNER: Denny Sands, the mover and shaker behind Shabbona Lake being the top public lake in Illinois for fishing pressure (by far), is one of four inductees into the Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame on Saturday. (Photo is from ">

Here's the word from the Illinois Conservation Foundation on the banquet at Pheasant Run in St. Charles:

Four Dedicated Conservation Advocates Selected for Induction into Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame

Hayden, Jadel, Sands and Trimble to be honored at HOF banquet on March 13

SPRINGFIELD, IL - Four individuals with decades of dedicated commitment to promoting outdoor recreation and stewardship have been selected for induction into the Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame, a program of the Illinois Conservation Foundation.

Alfred Hayden, John "Jack" Jadel, Denny Sands, and Mary Jo Trimble have been selected from among dozens of nominees for the Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame submitted by citizens from throughout Illinois. They will be inducted during ceremonies at the annual Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame Banquet, to be held on Saturday, March 13, 2010 at the Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, Illinois.

"Mary Jo, Denny, Jack, and Al each have a passion for the promotion of natural resources protection and the enjoyment of the outdoors, and we are proud to salute them," said Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Marc Miller, who serves as chairman of the board of directors of the Illinois Conservation Foundation (ICF). "They exemplify what the Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame is all about - a dedication to preserving, promoting, and enhancing our state's natural resources."

Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame Class of 2010

Alfred Hayden, Dahinda
Al Hayden is one of west-central Illinois' leading advocates for youth participation in the outdoors and a tireless promoter of hunting, fishing, and other natural resources-based outdoor recreation. The owner of Al's Sporting Goods in Galesburg, Al Hayden is the longtime outdoors columnist for the Galesburg Register-Mail newspaper and has hosted an outdoors radio program. Hayden has been an organizer and sponsor of the annual Kids Fishing Derby at the Lincoln Park lagoons adjacent to Galeburg's Lake Storey for more than 20 years. The event each May attracts an estimated 1,400 children who enjoy a day of fishing and prizes. Hayden also participates in the annual Knox County Outdoor Education Days program where he hosts fishing clinics - and in youth and adult hunting and conservation programs sponsored by sporting organizations throughout the region. Hayden also promotes conservation stewardship by landowners, participating in the Acres for Wildlife habitat management program.

John "Jack" Jadel, Wilmette
Jack Jadel is a longtime supporter of conservation education in Illinois, donating funds used by the Illinois Conservation Foundation to support the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Division of Education's Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant program. The schoolyard habitat grants to local schools throughout Illinois allow teachers and students to construct wildlife habitat areas on school grounds to enhance natural resources education. The grant funds are used to construct prairie plots, butterfly gardens, wetlands, and woodlands that benefit wildlife and serve as hands-on extensions of classroom studies. Jack Jadel, a former member of the board of directors of the ICF, has been providing financial support for the conservation education initiative since the mid 1990s through the Jadel Family Foundation. Thanks to Jadel's support, there is at least one schoolyard habitat site in each of 71 counties in Illinois.

Denny Sands, Shabbona
Denny Sands' love of fishing has helped tens of thousands of other anglers enjoy enhanced fishing opportunities in Illinois for three decades. Denny Sands was the founding president of the Shabbona Lake Sportsman Club, which has conducted projects and provided support to enhance the fishery and recreation opportunities at Shabbona Lake State Recreation Area in DeKalb Co. since 1982. Sands has conducted fishing seminars, raised funds for fish stocking efforts, and promoted Shabbona Lake as the "Muskie Capitol of Illinois." Sands developed a detailed map of the lake to promote Shabbona as a fishing destination, and he and his daughter host a web site promoting fishing and recreation opportunities. Since his retirement from the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department, Sands has operated the lakeside concession and bait shop at Shabbona Lake.

Mary Jo Trimble, Carterville
Mary Jo Trimble is one of Illinois' best-known and most forceful advocates for the preservation, protection, and enhancement of public lands for multiple recreational uses, devoting much of her effort at encouraging more recreational access for sporting dog field activities. Trimble has been active at the local, state, and national level in promoting horseback field trial programs through her association with the Field Trial Clubs of Illinois since the late 1970s. She was recognized as the 2009 American Kennel Club Lifetime Achievement Award recipient for Performance Dogs - and is a Life Member and member of the Hall of Fame of the American Brittany Club. Trimble has been an active participant and promoter of outdoor recreation as a delegate to five sessions of the Illinois Conservation Congress and represents field trial interests as a director for the Illinois Federation of Outdoor Resources.

PREPPING FOR:LaSALLE: The cooling lake reopens Wednesday. And I have talked to a bunch of guys who, even with the mid-week opener, plan to be there. I will be in line Tuesday night. Until then, I need to replenish some stuff, including crankbaits (white and red Bandits come to mind) and white Mepps spinners. I can't wait and my buddy Jeff ``Woody'' Roberts has been calling once a week. It is time.

NAVY PIER PERCH: Still remained the hot bite for Chicago. It's $5 parking at Navy Pier if you show your license and leave before 10 a.m. Arden Katz reported a mix of spikes, belly meat and shrimp have been working.

ICE FISHING: OK, I am being a bit of a wise guy here, but there should be at least a day or so of ice fishing left on Deep Lake and a couple other spots around the Chain. Otherwise, you have to head north across the border. South of the city, many lakes and ponds completely opened by yesterday.

SWAP/TACKLE MEETS: The Indoor Fishing Flea Market at Rolling Meadows High School on Saturday is a good way to get in the mood for spring fishing. It is cosponsored by the Chicagoland Muskie Hunters and the RMHS Choral Boosters. Go to . . . Basa's Marine Tackle Swap is also Saturday in Bolingbrook. Call (630) 739-2272 or go to

OPEN HOUSE/GRAND OPENING: Frank Hyla will kick of the grand opening/open house at Time on the Water Outdoors (formerly Riverview Marine) in Spring Valley this weekend. Call (815) 663-1000

MAPLE SYRUP: This is the perfect time of year for showing kids the doings of maple syrup. Find an event at your local park or forest preserve district. Here's some examples for the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County:

For Saturday:

Maple Sugaring -- See how 1890s farm families tapped trees and boiled the collected sap into maple syrup and sugar. Then, try to tap a tree yourself. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. at Kline Creek Farm, 1N600 County Farm Road in West Chicago. Activities ongoing. All ages. Free. Reservations not required. Call 630-876-5900.

For Sunday:
Maple Sugaring -- See how 1890s farm families tapped trees and boiled the collected sap into maple syrup and sugar. Then, try to tap a tree yourself. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. at Kline Creek Farm, 1N600 County Farm Road in West Chicago. Activities ongoing. All ages. Free. Reservations not required. Call 630-876-5900.

Maple-Syrup Sundays -- Get sticky! Take a stroll through the woods, and discover the secret of turning tree sap into syrup. Noon - 4 p.m. at Fullersburg Woods Nature Education Center, 3609 Spring Road in Oak Brook. Activities ongoing. All ages. Free. Registration not required. Call 630-850-8110.

SHOWTIME: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Sports Show is at Wisconsin State Fair Park in West Allis, Wis through Sunday. Go to . . . Canoecopia is at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison through Sunday. Go to . . . The Spring Fishing Classic is at the various Bass Pro Shops through Sunday. Go to

HUNTING NOTE: Monday is the last day, in the south zone, to call wild turkey while in the field until opening day of turkey season. I just like throwing that in.

PERSONAL PICKS: I'm doing the Chicago Flower & Garden Show at Navy Pier tonight with my wife. If you can't figure out what that has to do with my time outdoors, well, I would only suggest that you need to seek counseling. Beside that, I like gardening. . . . I will dress up for the Hall of Fame banquet Saturday night and take my wife. That will be a mix of work and play. . . .I have tentative plans for Sunday fishing at Braidwood with one of my two Petes. . . . Otherwise, my big plan is making a few tackle stops for crankbaits and spinners for the LaSalle Opener. I think Woody and I have nearly all day. I certainly expect to boat 50 bass and with luck we'll push 100. If only the weather holds.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on March 12, 2010 6:09 AM.

Border NWR: Hackmatack? was the previous entry in this blog.

Wild Saturday: barnacle goose? is the next entry in this blog.

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