Monthly Archives: March 2011

Kayak Center Grand Opening Update

Got an email with some minor changes and a weekend schedule of events.

Join us this weekend (April 1-3) for our Grand Re-Opening, Friday through Sunday, at the new location in Yorkville!

We’ll have a lot of fun throughout the weekend with film showings, paddling trips, kayak/canoe demos, and prizes raffled off! Oh yeah, boats and gear are all marked down!

Friday Night – “Call of the River”
Friday, April 1st @ 8pm – Kendall Pub, Yorkville, IL

The Call of the River… A Hundred Years of Whitewater Adventure from Kent Ford.

River legend Kent Ford will be presenting “Call of the River” at the Kendall Pub on Friday, April 1st @ 8:00pm. While the film starts at 8pm, we’ll be there at 7pm…come on by and enjoy the food and camaraderie.There will be door prizes, pizza, wings and appetizers (drinks are not provided). This film is not to be missed by any paddler, adventurer or nature lover!

Saturday, April 2nd – Paddles, Ribbon Cutting
NEW TIME!!!!!!   7am – Geneva to Yorkville Paddle 

We used to be in Geneva, now we’re in Yorkville! Celebrate the Grand Re-Opening of the shop with this fun, celebratory paddle downstream.Meet at the old location at 7:00am to launch by 7:30am! There will be a support vehicle with trailer that follows the trip to pick up paddlers if they shouldn’t make the entire journey! We will shuttle paddlers and boats back to Geneva following the Ribbon Cutting @ 1pm so bring a lunch and some clothes to change into if you arrive early! 

10am – 5pm: Open House
See the new place and learn about what GKC is doing in the future! We’ll have give-aways for gear, trips and courses as well as new boats and gear on display!

10am – 4pm: Kayak & Canoe Demos
Why buy before you try?!? Paddle recreational kayaks, sea kayaks and canoes in flatwater and test out whitewater boats on the course! Manufacturers like Pyranha, P&H, Liquid Logic, Wenonah, and Sea Kayaking UK will all have their boats on hand to try out!

NEW TIME!!!!!!  1PM – Ribbon Cutting
We’re really excited about the new location! Help us open our doors to this new opportunity!

Sunday, April 3rd – Paddle w/the Pros
Noon to 5pm – Open House

1pm to 4pm – Paddle with the Pros
Join GKC Coaches, Owner Ryan Rushton and Kelly Blades on the water for a fun day trip from Yorkville to Silver Springs. Start upstream of the whitwater park or immediately downstream. We’ll play in the park from 1-2pm and then launch downstream at 2pm for a nice moving water paddle downstream to the State Park! Join us at 1pm for the whitewater paddling tips and or 2pm for the paddle! You can use this paddle to demo kayaks and canoes!

5pm – Join us at the Pub!
We’ll celebrate the weekend with a few drinks at the Kendall Pub and draw for the raffle prizes!

Raffle Prizes
Visit us during the weekend (Friday’s “Call of the River” showing or any events on Saturday or Sunday) and you’ll be entered to win the following prizes:

• Grand Prize: “Around the Door” Adventure Paddling trip*
• Werner Rio or Tybee Paddle*
• GKC Level 1 or 2 Course: Whitewater, Sea or Canoe*
• Geneva Kayak Stainless Steel Thermos
• Geneva Kayak Stainless Steel Travel Mug
• 30.00 Gift Certificates
• “Call of the River” DVD’s – Only Friday Night!

* Value of the “Around the Door” ($349) paddling trip can be applied to any NEW Adventure Paddling trip registration for the remainder of 2011! Value of Werner Paddle ($129) can be applied to any NEW Werner Paddle of equal or higher value. Value of the GKC L1/2 course can be applied to any GKC Course of equal or higher value.

Let Us Hear From You….
We hope you enjoy receiving this newsletter. We’d love to hear from you regarding the newsletter, our website, to register for any of our offerings, or with questions regarding our center and any of its trips, courses or events. Please give us a call at (630) 232 0320 or e-mail us at We look forward to hearing from you.

Geneva Kayak Center
301 E. Hydraulic Street
Yorkville, IL
(630) 232-0320

Kane County Forest Preserve District Referendum

A last minute reminder from Dan Lobbes of The Conservation Foundation.

As you probably know, The Conservation Foundation is helping run the campaign for the Kane County Forest Preserve District referendum on April 5. That’s next Tuesday! We are encouraging everyone to not only vote in the election, but hopefully to vote Yes for the referendum. Would you help us get out the vote?

Whether you are conservative, liberal, Republican, Democrat, Independent, old, young, a woman, a man, thoughtful or impulsive, you should vote Yes for the Kane Forest Preserve referendum on April 5.

But I hate taxes. You should vote yes for the referendum. The Forest Preserve District typically buys land that could be developed into residential subdivisions. The $1.10 per month for a fixed time period is far less than the many dollars per month permanent cost for a new school, roads, sewer, water, fire, police, electricity, etc. to service the new subdivisions.

But I think we should concentrate on improving the economy. You should vote yes for the referendum. Scenic beauty equals a stronger economy. You can see evidence of that in the stores and restaurants in the towns up and down the Fox River valley. Also, studies throughout the country have shown that managed open space equals better and more stable property values.

But I want our tax money used in the wisest way possible. You should vote yes for the referendum. The Forest Preserve District has had overwhelming public support in its previous open space referenda. The District has made careful, strategic acquisitions and leveraged the funds with more than $45 million in earned interest as well as private, state and federal grant funds. A powerful combination of factors makes this the right time for a modest referendum: the low cost of this referendum ($1.10 per month for the average home) will yield a very high return, as land prices and interest rates are the lowest they’ve been in many years.

Well, I do like to be outdoors sometimes. You should vote yes for the referendum. Acquisitions and improvements will mean more hiking, biking, fishing, birding, wandering, gazing, listening, wondering, laughing, appreciating, and just-plain-breathing opportunities for Kane County residents.

And I do think a healthy environment makes our quality of life better. You should vote yes for the referendum. Clean water, clean air, enhanced flood control, wildlife habitat, more recreational opportunities – these are all good for us now and leave a better world for our children and grandchildren.

You should vote yes for the Kane Forest Preserve referendum on April 5. You can’t afford not to.

Dan Lobbes
Director of Land Protection

A view from the Fox River

So Uninspired

I have 3 or 4 posts sitting around in various stages of completion. Normally I sit down and hack one out in an hour or two. It’s rare that I start one, then come back. I tend not to go back.

I’ve got this bug up my butt about the writing I do. I’m a bass angler on mid sized rivers and small streams. I use light spinning gear and light/small lures. If you read my stuff, it’s no different than what you read in any of the fly fishing rags. Only I can’t submit any of it to them because I’m a bass angler on mid sized rivers, blah, blah, blah.

What’s bugging me is where does that leave how I write?

The majority of bass anglers can’t stand the way I write. Not enough pet names for bass and agonizingly painful descriptions on how to fish spinner and crank baits.

I need to find a Gray’s Sporting Journal that doesn’t care what kind of gear you use to fish with.

Is there one?

FTA — 6/20/09 Big Rock Creek

From the Archives – I have 100s of posts that were made on fishing forums starting around 1998. When I have nothing new to say, I thought I would start putting them up on my blog. I hope you like them.

On Friday at 5PM the river was flowing at 2100 cubic feet per second. That was just good enough to go where I wanted on Saturday morning.

On the way home from work I drove through intense down pours and what seemed like tornado type winds. When the trees along the road are bending over far enough for the branches to touch the road, that tends to be a problem as you drive along.

By Friday at 8 PM the river was flowing at 4900 cfs. Totally screwed up my Saturday river fishing plans. At 2100 cfs wading the shore line up stream of Orchard Road is a piece of cake. Water flows higher than that and I look for something else to do other than fishing.

I was buggy to go out somewhere Saturday morning, but now it hardly seemed worth it.

When kittens are awake they play. With everything. Till they fall asleep again. Kittens tend to wake up when the light outside the window gets a little lighter than night. Which is about 5 AM.

My kitten will come and sit on my chest at that time. If that doesn’t get a response, it will put its face up to mine. If that doesn’t work, it will start rubbing it’s head on my hand. If none of those work, it will start biting and fighting with my hand. That tends to wake me up.

I figured that since I was up I may as well go fish. Big Rock has a pond next to it that I like to stop at now and then. The easy way to get to it is to wander down stream and walk across the creek. The hard way is to walk the shore on the same side as the pond.

I guess you have to see it to appreciate what that means.

I assumed I was going to have to go the hard way, but when I got to the creek I was stunned to see that except for being a little stained, it was like it had never rained. As far as I could tell the creek didn’t come up at all.

This is the stretch that had got blown out by floods at the end of last year and the beginning of this year.

With all the rains we’ve been having, the shores were coming alive with new growth. What had been scoured down to rock was now grass dense and tall enough to make it almost impassable.

The opposite shore is still pretty well cut away and I think it could take a few years for it to start looking like it used to. But even here new growth was beginning to take over.

Except for Mill Creek, the creeks have been surprisingly quiet this year. Hundreds of bass fry along the shore reminded me that even though I haven’t caught them, they were still here. Maybe my timing has just been off. But that doesn’t explain why Mill Creek was as good as it ever was.

Big Rock gave up one smallie on my hike down the shore line. At the pond the fishing was just as sparse. Which again is unusual. One largemouth was all that I could muster.

I shared the shore with a large snapping turtle. I was going to go mess with it a bit, but remembered the speed with which they can move their heads. I decided I valued having my fingers still attached to my hand and left well enough alone.

I finished a leisurely walk along the pond and headed home. At least something was caught.

Come Monday I was still buggy to go fish somewhere. The river had topped out at 5900 cfs some time Saturday and was now flowing just over 5200. That made the river off limits.

I decided to hit Waubonsie Creek on the way home from work. A few miles from the creek I realized I had forgot to put my rod in the car.

Shit. Okay, stop at home, get the rod, go to Big Rock in Plano.

At home as I was going for my rod, my brother-in-law was laughing at what I had done. I told him how one time I drove for an hour out to the river, got all suited up, went to put on my wading boots only to find they weren’t in the car.

I got out to the creek and the conditions were perfect. I got almost all suited up when I noticed, or didn’t notice my wading boots.

Shit. They were at home. If you would have asked I would have swore on a stack of bibles that I had put them in the car.

Fine. Fuck it. Whatever. There’s no damn fish in this fuckin’ creek anyway.

Now that sentence is much more impressive when you picture an SUV parked in the gravel on the side of a road. An obviously pissed off, sweating and animated middle aged gray haired guy is stripping out of breathable waders repeatedly saying that sentence over and over. While standing behind this SUV on the side of this road now in a t-shirt, underwear and socks, the scene is much more impressive as items are being slammed into the back of this SUV.

Across the narrow road is a park, with a ball field, with a little league game going on. The parking lot is full, the stands are filled with beaming parents.

Whatever. Nobody heard or saw anything. I felt better.

I headed home. I thought I would salvage the evening by building a make shift desk needed for an office space. I like to use old unused doors for this. I took my time cutting the door down to the 60 inches I needed. Sanded down all the edges. Polished it up all nice and shiny. It looked beautiful.

I brought it in and placed it gently on the frame I had that would hold the desk. The door was four inches short.

If you would have asked I would have swore on a stack of bibles that I had measured the frame at 60 inches.

Whatever. Piece of shit desk.

I don’t drink much anymore, but my brother-in-law does. He’s staying with us while he helps out getting his mother back on her feet after recent health issues that almost killed her.

I grabbed one of his beers, sat out on the deck with my feet up and smoked a cheap cigar. Bad day, repressive heat, cold beer and a cigar.

At least a couple of things were going right.

Today in my Yard

I have a bunch of these in my yard.

They grow along a wall that gets a substantial amount of sun this time of year.

When there is sun.

I have no idea what they are.

Nor do I care.

All I know is that they are always the first to come out of the ground.

I have no interest in looking up its name.

The latin derivative is even less interesting.

Don’t care about how many petals it has.

Or stamens.

Descriptions of its colors beyond blue and purple are moot.

Indescribable is a word for a reason.

After months of gray, I see color.

I live for color. I thrive on it.

Pointing and “Pretty flower.”

That’s how my kids used to describe them.

Good enough for me.