Summer and the NATO Summit appear to arrive on the same Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors.
FREE FLY FISHING CLASS: Orvis is offering free fly fishing lessons weekly. Click here for details. Though it's free, you have to reserve a spot: Chicago Orvis at (312)587-8713; Lombard Orvis at (630) 932-6573 or Trout and Grouse in Northbrook at (847) 480-0111.
SHABBONA LAKE CRAPPIE OPEN: Lakeside's Crappie Open on Saturday. Lakeside staff reported crappie coming off the spawn. I like that families may combine their 10 heaviest crappie in one stringer. Top prize is a $100 Cabela's gift card. Check Fish Tails on shabbonalake.com or call (815) 824-2581.
BLUEGILL AND THEIR COUSINS: Mike Starcevich of Mik-Lurch made an interesting observation. His theory is that bluegill fishing is so good this spring, just about on every lake and pond because there was so little ice fishing last winter. I think his theory has merits. And I also know this will be the weekend to get out and chase bluegill and redears. Mazonia is calling my name, might be able to sneak in an hour or two today.
DOWNTOWN & NATO: The NATO Summit will impact downtown fishing and related events may also impact getting to and from places like Montrose. Click here for Wednesday's column with details on the impact of the NATO summit on Chicago lakefront fishing. The basic zone of concern is the Museum Campus to 39th.
WHITE BASS ON THE WOLF: From what guide Bill Stoeger said Tuesday, this should be the peak weekend around Fremont, Wis.
PADDLING: In more spring signs: On weekends in May, Chicago River Canoe and Kayak has it's Chicago rentals open. The Lagoons rentals are already open daily. http://chicagoriverpaddle.com/
BIKING: On Saturdays through June 9l, REI Chicago with Climate Cycle is offering free training rides for Ride to Recharge, beginning at 8 a.m. Click here.
SMALLMOUTH DOWNTOWN: Smallmouth continue to go downtown for shore fishermen. The problem will be the NATO Summit this weekend, though Monroe and DuSable harbors should be accessible. Boaters in Indiana have been on them good.
DALEY DERBY: In May, perch, coho and chinook are the species for the Richard J. Daley Memorial Sport Fishing Derby. There's been some nice kings and perch checked in already. Check fish in at Henry's Sports & Bait or Park Bait. It runs through September with cash prizes for the heaviest three fish from selected species caught around Chicago fishing each month.
ARCHERY: Archery Bow Range Chicago offers instruction.
PERSONAL PICKS: I plan to poke my head into a game feed on
Saturday. It will be my first such event. . . . I need to try for perch but that might have to wait until after Memorial Day. . . . I will keep looking for wild asparagus, hoping to find some that aren't woody. . . Mazonia has the call in for me. . . . Otherwise, I am back into the swing of my Outside radio show on WKCC-FM (91.1). I am enjoying pulling shows together. . . . Work nears the end on a writing project.