Old hands at L.L.Bean camp in Lincoln Park

Written By Sun-Times Wire Posted: 10/31/2008, 07:58pm

It was a little odd in Lincoln Park Friday afternoon across from the Lincoln Park Zoo.


Freeport, ME?

Yeah, L.L.Bean was there hyping its newest, and second Chicago-area store with a camping/fly fishing show in Lincoln Park.

Of the four fly fishing guys on hand, Tony Baade said, “Between the four of us, there is 200 years of experience fly fishing.”

L.L.Bean is anything but ageist. They value the experience of well-seasoned fly fishermen.

The exhibit in Lincoln Park, complete with some deals, runs again Saturday, Nov. 1, until 4.

I needed to see if for work, but also used it as a chance to take a quick lesson in casting from Bill Heckel, 74, one of Chicago’s great fly fishermen.


Baade and Larry Kosulic, a relative rookie with only some 20 years of fly fishing, were practicing casting when I walked over.

But I really wanted to tap into the experience of Heckel, not only one of Chicago’s great fly fishermen but one of its great tyers too. And somebody who has been around enough to drop Lefty Kreh’s name as casually as I might Rick Clunn’s.

And I got a good lesson from Heckel to take out a couple kinks in my casting,all the while mothers with kids in strollers passed by on the walk, on one of the most gorgeous Halloween’s in Chicago’s history.

But more on Heckel some other day. He’s worth it.

The grand opening weekend for the L.L.Bean store in Skokie is Friday throgh next Sunday, Nov. 7-9. It begins at 9 a.m. Friday and runs non-stop through opening weekend. Go to www.llbean.com/skokie/.