A wet and wild variety--paddling/floating, dove hunting (I'll explain) and wading--leads this Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors.
PADDLING: This is one of the biggest weekends for paddling, might even be the big one of 2011 because of the high water on the other two summer holiday weekends.
It should be an interesting weekend around Yorkville on the Fox. I wish I was going there, but I am headed east rather than west.
Geneva Kayak Center has an outpost in Yorkville by Yorkville Whitewater Park, shown in the YouTube video above.
I know the Kankakee and Iroquois are at their lowest points, by far, of 2011. Now, that could change some if we get significant rains tonight and tomorrow, but it will take a lot of rain. The ground is dry enough to absorb a couple inches of rain, and I don't think we will get that much.
Sometimes, I think the low-water floats on the Kankakee between Momence and Aroma Park are made more interesting in low water when you have to get out and drag the canoe around or over scraping gravel or sand.
For Kankakee floats, contact Reed's Canoe Trips.
In Chicago, Chicago River Canoe and Kayak holds its First Friday Kayak Races today and another of its very popular Skyscraper Canyon trips downtown on Sunday. Register at (773) 704-2663 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
DOVE HUNTING: If you need an explanation on how this fits into the wet and wild motif, let me suggest spending hours in the sun on an afternoon where the temperature hits 100, like it did in spots on opening day Thursday. I went through a gallon of water and a quart of lemonade in just over an hour.
But some birds were flying. I will try to pull together some numbers later this morning, before I head out again. I am curious whether the weather shift over the weekend will move birds around and improve hunting or have a negative impact.
WADING FOR SMALLMOUTH: Many of our rivers are in wadeable shape, some, like the Kankakee, are even headed toward extremely low, though that could change by tomorrow.
I've had solid to good reports from Ken Gortowski, blogger for ChicagoNow, on the Fox River, from Norm Minas on the Kankakee, and Valparaiso wild man Lee Sczepanski on the Yellow in Indiana.
WAITING ON SALMON: Steve Palmisano at Henry's reported a few salmon coming in on the Chicago lakefront. Soon, it has to happen. Talmadge Hargraves III at the Salmon Stop reported improving catches on small ones this week in Waukegan harbor, the big ones will be there.
TEAL HUNTING: Season opens Saturday. A Facebook friend indicated some birds arrived this week on the lower Illinois. But all that could change by tomorrow, for better or worse with the front dropping through.
EARLY CANADA GOOSE HUNTING: Early Canada goose season opened Thursday. I heard a couple decent reports by those hunting over water. Field hunting is tough, especially with virtually no crops harvested.
ARCHERY: Archery Bow Range Chicago offers instruction.
DALEY DERBY: Carp and kings are the species for September in the Richard J. Daley Sportfishing Derby. I expect to see some big kings weighed this month. Register fish at Henry's Sports & Bait, Park Bait or Vet's Bait. Go to henryssports.com or call (312) 225-8538.
SQUIRREL HUNTING: More sites like Silver Springs and Kankakee River SP open for squirrel hunting on Tuesday. Iroquois SWA is already open for squirrel.
PERSONAL PICKS: I am going to sit in the heat for another afternoon today and try for doves. . . . We have a family trip planned to the Indiana shoreline on Saturday. . . . Sunday I think will have a small hike at a picnic spot in the south suburbs, before we spend most of the afternoon and evening at a block party on the North Side. . . . I think my wading options will be Saturday morning or Monday. However, I may be enticed into one more round of dove hunting Monday. . . . I still need to get in my morning of squirrel hunting and apply for a duck permit. . . . Work continues on an ongoing writing project. . . . 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).