|Adams McGill bay area, looking southwest|
If you’ve been reading my blog for some time you know I prefer to use a Fish Cat float tube to navigate and fish stillwater lakes and reservoirs. As much as it makes stillwater fishing fun, I always had a couple complaints about the Fish Cat. My most significant complaint about that style watercraft is that your lower legs are always under water which is uncomfortable after six hours fishing in the late fall or early spring. My second complaint, although less serious, is that kick-paddling is too difficult against winds in excess of fifteen miles per hour.
In the spring of 2008 I purchased a framed pontoon boat in an attempt to remedy some of the complaints I logged in my April 2008 blog. After using it once, though, I decided it was too large and bulky for use on the reservoirs I frequent. The pontoons were nine feet long, and fully assembled it weighed about eighty pounds. Furthermore, assembly of the pontoon took about thirty minutes, as did disassembly (which translated into one-hour not on the water fishing).
The past few years I’ve been searching for a better solution on the Internet. Dave Scadden’s North Fork Outdoors (NFO) seemed to be leading the pack, and his latest series of Outlaw designs really caught my attention. The Outlaw Renegade, a nine-foot watercraft weighing less than thirty pounds and capable of navigating Class V whitewater, was a design that really caught my eye because it was frameless. Still, its nine foot length was a lot for me. But, last year Scadden came out with a shorter Outlaw Escape… six feet in length and a scant twenty-five pounds. And although there’s not much whitewater near Las Vegas, it is comforting to know that the Escape is Class III rated. If you want to see the Outlaw Escape in action check out these videos:
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-DL1uEQdHc (stillwater), and
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqi9uYhr1lU&feature=related (whitewater)
|New NFO Outlaw Escape nestled in Trout Truck, |
Wayne Kirch Wildlife Management Area
And so, after storing my new Outlaw Escape in the garage for a few weeks I decided I needed to get away before the trout lakes and reservoirs froze over for the winter. The prior week’s report from Wayne Kirch indicated skim ice, and this Thursday’s report said it was iced over but un-walkable. Being of stubborn mind and ever hopeful I reasoned that the ice may have softened enough with the recently warmer weather, and so last Thursday after a mid-morning meeting I took-off for Wayne Kirch Wildlife Management Area. The temperature upon arrival at 1:30 PM was forty-five degrees with no wind, but still the Cold Springs and Haymeadow reservoirs were indeed frozen over. Not to be disappointed I drove over to the Adams McGill reservoir and to my pleasure found that the bay near the boat dock was not yet frozen. I was able to launch the Escape and christen her first water voyage.
|Frozen Cold Springs boat launch area|
|Another view of Cold Springs ice-over|
|Inflated NFO Outlaw Escape propped against Trout Truck|
|Escape ready to be launched on Adams McGill|
|Finned feet resting out of water on cross bar|
|Am I a little excited... yes |
(note Escape's rocker curvature that gives excellent tracking in water)
|No fish, but happy NFO Outlaw Escape owner|