It's one of those Wild Weekend Wanderings around Chicago outdoors where you stay close to home for a Chicago River event or crappie fishing at the Mazonia lakes, or range far and wide for white bass on the Wolf River or largemouth bass at Emiquon Preserve; there's a wide spectrum of stuff to do outside.
After today, the weekend weather could be a bit challenging, so maybe some of the indoor events should receive more push than usual. I put up the YouTube video for The Nature Conservancy's project because it ties into several things listed this week. And because I think Emiquon is one of the coolest spots in Illinois.
WORLD-WIDE LIVING: I will have to check this out, but the Nature Conservancy's Design for a Living World Exhibition opens at The Field Museum today and runs through November 13. From TNC: "Designers such as Isaac Mizrahi and Paulina Reyes from kate spade new york were challenged to create products using sustainable natural materials from Conservancy sites throughout the world. We're proud to share that Illinois prairie plants from Nachusa Grasslands inspired the creation of one piece, crafted by designer Christien Meindertsma." Click here for details.
LIVING WORLD PHOTO ESSAY: TNC also said we ``enjoy the complementary Design for a Living World Photo Essay at the Lurie Garden in Millennium Park now through November 13.'' It showcases various TNC project from around the world, including in Illinois. Click here for details.
WOLF RIVER WHITE BASS: Fremont guide Bill Stoeger left a message Thursday: ``It is happening right now. Everybody is catching fish--spinner, river rigs, it doesn't matter, everything is working. Lilacs aren't blooming yet, but the white bass are.'' Time for a road trip north to the Wolf River in Wisconsin.
LAKEFRONT SMALLMOUTH: Full moon is Tuesday, and the water has warmed into the 50s. However, the bite is not what I had hoped it would be by now. Soon. Very soon.
EMIQUON LARGEMOUTH: The spring bite is on for largemouth. This is a boaters-only spot and no gas-powered motors. Emiquon Preserve near Lewistown is open to fishing. Interested parties may request a permit (remember you need the new one for 2011) and list of rules between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at the Dickson Mounds Museum in Lewistown. There is no fee. No gas powered motors are permitted, and bank fishing is not allowed. For more, call (309) 547-2730.
LAKE MICHIGAN SEMINAR: Mik-Lurch Fishing Tackle Outlet in Hammond, Ind. holds seminars with a free fish fry from 2-6 p.m. Saturday. At 2 Mike Starcevich holds a perch seminar; at 4, Capt. Ralph Steiger talks on salmon.
CHICAGO RIVER DAY: Saturday is Chicago River Day and Urban River Challenge. Click here to find a site or to become involved.
KANKAKEE RIVER SMALLMOUTH: Put it this way, Norm Minas called Thursday afternoon and said I should get my kids out for smallmouth on the Kankakee, the action is that good. We'll will see. My daughter, the great fishermen in the family, has never caught a smallmouth. Might be time.
WILD ASPARAGUS: This will be the weekend where I put in more serious time to look.
MAZONIA CRAPPIE: This is probably the week where I should do my annual May day of disappearing at Mazonia.
FREE MUSEUM DAY: Saturday is free season opener at the McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum.
MORELS: Others are on a hot streak for finding morels. My son and I have run out of luck since Sunday.
PADDLING: On Sunday, Chicago River Canoe & Kayak has its first Skyscraper Canyon Trip from Lawrence's Fisheries to downtown and back, 5:30 p.m. Sunday. Reservations are required at (773) 704-2663 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
DALEY DERBY: The Richard J. Daley Sportfishing Derby is open. In May, the species are coho and perch. Register fish at Henry's Sports & Bait, Park Bait or Vet's Bait. Go to henryssports.com or call (312) 225-8538.
FISH HOTEL: On Wednesday, the Fish Hotel, a floating aquatic habitat, returns to the Chicago Riverwalk at Dearborn.
ARCHERY: Archery Bow Range Chicago offers instruction.
PERSONAL PICKS: My streak on morels has run out. I have not found any since Sunday. . . . Time to focus on wild asparagus. . . . Today, I think I will try some frog or Senko fishing on the town pond. It should be prime before the cold front turns everything tougher. . . . Hopefully on Saturday I will be able to sneak in some time for smallmouth on the Kankakee. . . . Next week, I will have to hit the lakefront for smallmouth, unless I try it this weekend. But I am not sure I want to be roaming the lakefront in a 45-degree rain. . . . As always, a fair amount of my spare time is spent working on ``Outside,'' the radio show Joel Greenberg and I are doing at 4:30 p.m. Mondays on WKCC-FM (91.1).