Sea Anchor?


Team Umiak
Has anyone used a "sea anchor" while drifting alone on a river? I suspect some guides on the Yak use chain anchors..seems like it could be detrimental to the bottom structure, redds, biota, etc. to slow progress. I also know that it is illegal on other systems. So just wondering if anyone has used the "sea anchor" system to slow the progress while fishing alone in a drift boat.


David Loy

Senior Moment
Sea anchors are used (typically on lakes or salt water) when you are drifting faster than the existing current (usually due to wind) and want to slow your drift. In a river you want to go slower than the existing current. A sea anchor would catch the river current and want to drag you down stream at current speed. Not a good idea. Very well might hang on rocks & logs too.
FWIW, I sometimes carry a sea anchor in my DB for sea and lake use. Driftboats have high sides and slick bottoms which make for a fast wind drifter. I can really scoot across the lake... when I don't want to. Thought it would slow me down more than it actually does so maybe really large one would be better. But then you're dealing with a parachute in a 14' boat. Too much trouble IMO. Usefull in storm conditions though.
David's got it right. Also chain anchors on the Yak are the preferred method because they don' t tear up the bottom (If weighted properly) and they tend to not get hung up as much. As for dragging the bottom on purpose to slow the boat, it should be illegal.

Michael Nelson

Old And In The Way
We used to use a sea anchor when mooching for salmon from my 25 foot boat. The sea anchor would keep the pointy end facing into the wind (and the swells and chop) as well as slowing our drift. That said, I think it would be a really bad idea to use one on a river.