We finally reached the heart of winter, and it feels as imposing as the belly of Marlon Brando in the filmed version of Heart of Darkness; with that obscure reference I digress into this Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors.
In my 16 years doing the outdoors for the Sun-Times, fly shows have come and gone. I think my count is up to seven or eight. There's another starting up on Saturday.
So let's lead with week three of outdoors show season. But ice thickens, too, in the other main story.
SHOWTIME: There's a par of shows this weekend around Chicago outdoors.
On Saturday, beginning at 9 a.m., the ISA Fly Tying & Fishing Show, presented by the Illinois Smallmouth Alliance with DuPage Rivers Fly Tyers is at Holy Family School in Bensenville. The featured speakers are Joe Cornwall and Dennis Potter, but there is a host of familar guides and gurus, too in Austin Adduci, Bob Long Jr., Dustan Harley, Jay Anglin, Scot Hinkel and P.J. Smith.
The YouTube video above is Cornwall talking about the Shannon Streamer from Shabbona Lake guru Rich McElligott. I think Cornwall is right, it is a wonderful pattern. And I think McElligott is also going to be at the show.
There is something I love about the dedication and love of their pursuit that fly guys have. Looking at that list, I realize I have fished with or done interviews with more than half of them.
I keep hoping a fly show will establish and stick in the Chicago area. They add some seasoning to the winter show season.
*****Jim Saric, Jay Yelas and Mike McClelland headline the Bedford Sales Open House in Morris, which runs through Sunday.
ICE FISHING NIGHT AT SHABBONA
Lakeside will hold its night ice fishing event on Saturday at Shabbona Lake. Updates on ice conditions are on Facebook.
Denny Sands at Lakeside sent these details:
January 21st, 2012 - 1st Night Ice Fishing Event Sponsored by Cabela's Outdoors of Hoffman Estates - Crappie & Bluegill Contest heaviest 5 Crappie & 5 Bluegill will win Cabela's Gift Card - Pokanoka's will be open with a winter menu. Lakeside will be open from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM and Pokanoka's will be open from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
ICE FISHING: With another round of snow forecast today, I suspect things could get tricky again. But ice fishing started across virtually the entire area, even south of Chicago. And speaking south of Chicago, far less snow is forecast there, so that may be something to keep in mind when planning weekend outings.
COHO IN INDIANA: The first reports of coho started coming from Indiana. Mike Starcevich at Mik-Lurch Fishing Tackle Outlet in Hammond said they caught some around the Port of Indiana on Tuesday up to three pounds. Indiana fisheries biologist Brian Breidert said they caught a few in the Michigan City harbor last weekend.
PERCH FISHING: With the weather, perch have been tougher. Most consistent, come east or northeast winds or not, has been 92nd in the river.
RADIO WAVES: I will be on Mike Jackson Outdoors Radio at 6:30 a.m. Sunday. I have no idea what direction Mike is going to take the discussion.
PERSONAL PICKS: I am waiting to see just how bothersome the snow is by Saturday morning, but I hope to hit the Fly Show. . . . With the snow, I suspect our family outing will be sledding again and not a hike; though I love winter hikes. . . . I am back into the swing of my Outside radio show on WKCC-FM (91.1), for which I am soloing now. And I am enjoying pulling shows together. . . . On Sunday, I will do Mike Jackson radio show about 6:30 a.m. . . . And I am back to working feverishly on an ongoing writing project.