This is an eclectic Wild Weekend Wanderings around Chicago outdoors, and it should be for a late summer/fall weekend. I like it.
NEW BELGUIM URBAN ASSAULT RIDE: All right, this is a reach, but it sounds fascinating. Human bowling, piggy back polo, and the paperboy relay are part of the day for cyclists riding in Sunday's New Belgium Urban Assault Ride in Chicago. It begins and ends at Murphy's Bleachers at 3655 N. Sheffield. It's from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Online registration is open through today.
SHORELINE SALMON: In Chicago fishing, this is the top bite right now, as it should be. It continues to be a smattering of reports along the Chicago lakefront. Kenosha, Wis. has had better reports on night fishing.
But this is the season for this bite.
WADING: I should be doing this this weekend, but not sure I have the time. Frank Macikas happened to drop a short note last night about the DuPage, but it applies across the board on local rivers.
This should be a prime weekend for good fall fishing. Here's part of Frank's note: River is looking great; levels are perfect and water is very clear. I had a little rust after only a week without fishing but managed one largemouth and one smallie and had about three more missed fished. All fish and bites were on a green with red flake wacky rigged stickworm fished upstream drifting back to me. Threw a few other plastics but no bites at all. I have seen other reports of some nice fish starting to be taken so now is the time to get out for the fall bite. This weekend should be perfect weather and the river will be in great shape barring any big downpours on Saturday.
Click here to check the status of rives around Chicago.
WINE AND GRANT PARK: Now this is one of those things I really wish I had an open night for. The folks at the Grant Park Conservancy dropped a reminder about the Windy City Wine Festival at Buckingham Fountain from 4-10 tonight or 3-9 Saturday night.
DOVE HUNTING: Dove hunting is still open; but considering how many fields are being harvested, birds are dispersed. Public sites are a virtual non-factor now, better have a hot spot on private land.
WISCONSIN STURGEON: Wisconsin's September hook and line sturgeon season is open. Minimum length for harvest is 60 inches for the fourth consecutive year. This is one of my favorite seasons. I haven't been up in a couple years, but I love doing it at the Dells. Usually, a buddy and I stay at River's Edge near the Wisconsin Dells, then go night fishing for them. As of Tuesday, River's Edge had not registered any keepers. But catching sturgeon is not rocket science, it's basically a gob of crawlers on a hook fished in a deep hole. I'm not sure if I will make it up this September or not.
Click here for more.
HAWK WATCH: The Illinois Beach State Park Hawk Watch runs through Nov. 28. Looking at the weather, not sure if there will be any anticipated big flight days or not. At least one counter/observer is there from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. daily (weather permitting). Click here for details.
SQUIRREL HUNTING: In northeast Illinois, open sites now include Iroquois County SWA, Matthiessen State Park, Marseilles SFWA (Monday through Thursday), Silver Springs SFWA, Momence Wetlands and Kankakee River SP.
GOOSE HUNTING: Early goose season runs through Wednesday. Birds are moving, especially with more fields being harvested.
PADDLING: Chicago River Canoe & Kayak has an interesting weekend. . . . At 3:15 p.m. Saturday, there is the Chicago River Canoe and Kayak Gary Lagoons Trip (yes, Gary, Ind.) Call (773) 704-2663 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. . . .
At 9:30 a.m. Saturday, there's the Chicago River Canoe and Kayak Lagoons to Dempster North Branch trip. Call (847) 414-5883 or e-mail email@example.com. . . . At 5:30 p.m. Sunday, the Chicago River Canoe and Kayak Skyscraper Canyon Trip leaves from 3400 N. Rockwell. This not a beginners trip, the downtown portion requires some skill. Call (773) 704-2663 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
TEAL HUNTING: Season runs through Sept. 19. Haven't heard much.
ARCHERY: Archery Bow Range Chicago offers beginner courses regularly. Click here.
ILLINOIS PERMITS: Random daily drawings for firearm/muzzleloader deer permits begin on Tuesday.
GREAT BEAR WILDERNESS: The Brookfield Zoo's good exhibit of the Great Bear Wilderness keeps going. Click here for details.
PERSONAL PICKS: This is a family and working other things weekend, there's not much on my outdoors agenda. Saturday is a family day with a parade in the morning, slight chance I will play on the Cal-Sag. We will probably slide the weekly family hike in Saturday. Sunday I am covering the Chicago Half Marathon for the Sun-Times, so will be tied up working a good bit of the day. Next week, I plan to hit the Chicago lakefront one night for salmon.