The Custom Rod Builders Guild will host its international conclave on Aug. 16-19 at the Sheraton South in Bloomington.
The guild's mission is to teach and share the craft of custom fishing rod building. More than 40 expert rod builders will present seminars on techniques and ideas.
A rod building class taught by professional instructors will take place at 4 p.m. on Aug. 16. Builders get their choice of a graphite spinning, casting or fly rod. Class size is limited to 25. The fee is $190 (plus conclave registration fees) and includes everything needed to build a rod.
Aug. 18 is public open house day. People can view hundreds of custom rods, learn to tie flies, build lures, learn to cast, watch rod building demonstrations, and have a rod repaired at no cost but for parts.
For more information go to www.rodguild.com or phone (218) 562-4512.
Deep Portage to host family outdoor weekend
Families who would like to learn outdoors skills are invited to the DNR's Family Outdoor Weekend on Aug. 18-19 at Deep Portage Environmental Learning Center near Hackensack. The center is located about 40 minutes north of Brainerd.
Families can learn to fish, canoe, shoot bows, air and laser guns, orienteer and climb rock walls.
"This is a great opportunity for families to get away for the weekend, try something new, and discover the outdoors skills that so many Minnesotans truly enjoy," said Linda Bylander, DNR Becoming An Outdoors Woman Program coordinator.
The event includes lodging, food, equipment and instruction. Cost is $60 per person or $200 per family of four. Family scholarships are available through The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
Phone (888) 280-9908 for more information.
DNR surveys red-necked grebes
Seen a red-necked grebe lately?
Then call Pam Perry at the DNR's Brainerd office at 833-8728, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Perry asks people to report sightings of red-necked grebes. The birds are about 18-20 inches in length, smaller than loons, but dive and carry their chicks on their backs. They nest along shorelines and build floating nests in emergent vegetation.
Red-necked grebes have declined in Minnesota over the past 50 years as people who built homes on lakes removed aquatic plants. But those same plants provided the grebe with habitat.
ATV safety training scheduled in Crosby
The Cuyuna Iron Range Riders ATV/OHV club will host an ATV safety training class for youths 12-15 years old. Students who complete the classroom and field test can legally ride an ATV over 90cc.
The class is scheduled for the Hallett Community Center at 470 Eighth St. N.E. in Crosby on Sept. 22 at 10 a.m. Pre-registration is required. Class size is limited. Cost is $15. Students must provide their own ATV, helmet and goggles for the field training.
For more information, contact Jason Winter at 218-829-2191 or e-mail ATVSafety@cuyunaironrangeriders.com.
Michigan pro wins FLW tournament
ESCANABA, Mich. - Steve Vande Mark of Linwood, Mich., caught a four-day total of 15 walleyes weighing 76 pounds, 3 ounces to win a Wal-Mart FLW walleye tournament July 11-14 on Bays de Noc. It was the fourth and final regular-season event of the 2007 FLW Walleye Tour. Vande Mark took home $100,000 in prize money.
Vande Mark fished the Garden Peninsula area of Bays de Noc all week, trolling bottom bouncers with spinners in 20 to 25 feet.
Rounding out the top five pros are Kelly Klemm of Beardsley, Minn. (11 walleyes, 58 pounds, 10 ounces, $40,000); Troy Morris of Bismarck, N.D. (16 walleyes, 54 pounds, 1 ounce, $25,000); BP pro Jason Przekurat of Stevens Point, Wis. (16 walleyes, 52 pounds, 7 ounces, $18,000); and Pat Byle of Colgate, Wis. (11 walleyes, 52 pounds, 7 ounces, $13,000).
Among local anglers at the tournament, Ted Takasaki, East Gull Lake, placed 11th with 36.38 pounds, Kevin Valerius, Crosby, placed 16th with 29.94 pounds, Paul Meleen, Isle, placed 32nd with 22.69 pounds, Kevin McQuoid, Isle, placed 47th with 19.75 pounds, Kevin Goligowski, Staples, placed 118th with 6.44 pounds, and Bernie Barringer, Backus, and Charlie Johnson, both placed 136th without a fish. Fifteen anglers in the field of 150 didn't catch a fish.
Jason Przekurat, Stevens Point, Wis. claimed the Angler of the Year title for the second time in his career.
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