Driftboat anchor

Jeez, guys, where are you anchoring? I've a homemade prong thing, 12 inches of 4 inch steel casing with 15 pounds of lead inside, 8 4 inch prongs on the ends, weighs maybe 20 pounds. I anchor in the Clark Fork and the Kootenai a lot, though not in the middle of the rapids. I drag a bit on bouldery bottoms, but so what? When I need to stop, I row out of the current.

I also have a floating rope without a knot in the end so the rope can run free if I get drug down. My boat is an old eastside 16 footer, 15 1/2 down the centerline.

My prong thing replaced a homemade lead thing, about 25 pounds, that the former owner near Centralia called his "brake". I try not to put lead in streams.

The chain thing comes from the Adirondacks...where guides would drag chain and slow (not stop) their guideboats in streams. Put the chain in a bicycle inner tube and it doesn't get hung up. Best for sandy, gravelly bottoms, will hang in rocky bottoms right away. And yeah, there's this cloud of sediment downstream from your boat...a boaters San Juan shuffle.

I don't think anyone here is talking about "dragging" anchors, chain or otherwise. I think you're refering to a practice of dragging a length of chain to slow the boat through fishy water, or to keep the bow pointed downstream if you're trying to fish from a moving boat without benefit of an oarsman. You're right, a very bad practice. We're talking here about fashioning an actual anchor out of chain bunched back on itself, tied up with cable or some kind of bracket, a chain mop if you will. Mine is 45#, about 14" from the top of the pulley to the dangling chain-ends, and sticks pretty well on most bottoms. I never drag it intentionally, and I don't know anyone else who does, whether fish are spawning or not.

As far as technique goes, I don't know; I'm perfectly willing to admit that after ten years I still don't know what I'm doing. I've been fishing for 37 years, fly fishing for 18, and I'm still fair to middling at best. But the 45# works for me, comes back easy with the pulley set-up, never hangs up (yet), and I see no good reason to try to figure out what the "minimum" I need is.

On the environmentally-friendly front, the point about lead in streams is a good one. I have to note that by the time I switched to steel chain, my 35# lead pyramid had probably been whittled down to about 33-1/2#. In 18 years I doubt I've left that much split shot in the water.


Tamer of Trouts

How is your montana boat builders boat turning out? When I was going to school in Bozeman I got to know one of the guys there that builds boats pretty well. They are some of the most beautiful boats out there! You will have to put up some pictures when it is all said and done! :beer2:

The boat is coming along very well. I am truely impressed with MBB plans since I am (was) fairly new to wood working and I was able to build one of his boat designs which are very beautiful! If all goes will with time, this weekend I can complete it. All I have to do now is buff the sides out a little bit more and spray the bottom with polyureathane. I'll get some pics up this next week.

Ray, et. al.

Yeah, I was not advocating the dragging chain system, simply describing it. I have seen it done in WA, but mostly from canoes, and not since the early 80's...I think the San Juan shuffle has been largely dismissed as a wading technique, too.

The Chain Mop system sounds cool, I may try that one if I feel I need to go to a heavier anchor, my welder is broke. The disadvantage my prong thing is it does jam on occasion in boulders, but like one poster said, pulling over it and using the buoyancy of the boat usually solves that issue.

Lots of builders on the web, in addition to Hyde, have anchor parts...and you can build your own.

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