Had a pyramid for years, then lost it. Thought it was good until I replaced it with the Hyde spyke anchor. To me it was a world of difference. It seems to stick and hold the boat much better. Best of all it is made of steel like all Hyde anchors, and won't wear down like lead does. About spooking fish I have no idea. Some will say a chain anchor is best. I'm sure you will get a lot of opinions on this one... Greg
I have a 50# chain anchor and it holds well, but it is heavy! I use a pulley on the anchor to make a two to one reduction. Most of the guides on the Yak use chains but most in Montana use a Hyde style. Rick
Thanks for all the input. Interesting! Chains: how big (dia.) and how long and how to attach? Years ago I fished for trout with guides on the White River on the Arkansas/Missouri border. Lots of big (up to 30 lbs.) German Browns. Guildes fished with long flat bottom boats to which they tied director's chairs. Fished for the Browns with worms that they weighted down n the weedy bottom but "blew them up" with air out of a hypedermic needle so the fat end would wiggle in the current. Strange to see that needle come out of the tackle box. You did not set the hook, just let them swallow it. Anyway, they anchored the boats in the current with one long chain from the bow that was always in the water. With the motor on, the chain went right up against the bottom - when they wanted to drift slow they just dragged the chains along the bottom. Not too good for the river bottom. Probably illegal now.
Anyway, I guess that you just loop the chain and tie a bowline to a chain shackle? That pulley sounds like a back saver - I guess one needs more line then for a two to one purchase?
Just a question that goes along with this thread, I will preface by saying i do not own a drift boat so have no experience with anchors, I read, can't remember where, that chain anchors can be very detrimental to fish habitat especially spawning beds on rivers with Salmon/Steelhead. Is there any validity to this complaint? research? Just a question.
Anyway, I guess that you just loop the chain and tie a bowline to a chain shackle? That pulley sounds like a back saver - I guess one needs more line then for a two to one purchase?[/QUOTE]
I've used chain anchors for many years. The cross links from semi truck tire chains are the perfect length. Keep your eyes open when crossing the pass in the winter. A lot of truck chains break and end up on the road. I just thread my anchor rope through the end link of each piece of chain, and add cross links until I have about 28 lbs. Tie a bowline knot in the rope so you can add or subtract chain to adjust as needed. I re-tie the knot every couple of years since the river bottom can wear the rope at the knot. I never have a loop of chain hanging down from the rope for fear of hooking on re-bar or some other foreign object on the river bottom. I have a 16 foot Clackacraft and if I can't hold with 28 lbs. of anchor I don't anchor. SS
I'm sure that any anchor could damage salmon and steelhead spawning sites. This is something that one must be aware of when anchoring. Obviously it depends on whether the river has anadromous spawning fish in it at the time. The Yakima would only be a concern later in the fall and in the winter. Interestingly, I floated the Yak (just for fun) when it was in major flood stage, logs floating down the river etc, and the grinding and noise of gravel and boulders rolling down the river was so much more significant than anchor damage, that I really haven't worried about dropping my anchor. As for chain anchors, use galvanized, fairly heavy link chain, cut into about 14" lengths and hold them with a stout carabiner or any other hardware that does the same thing. The last time I was in Red's, they had several chain anchors ready to buy. Rick
The Yakima is kind of a special case, especially in the canyon. In many places the bottom is composed of large, angular blocks of basalt and it's quite easy to wedge a lead pyramid solidly into the spaces between them. After losing several in this way I took to using chain and haven't lost an anchor yet. I used the longest eye-bolt I could find, looped the chain onto it and put a large washer and lock nut on the end. I used an old set of tire chains and later added a broken pair of truck chains picked up along the road. I have enough extra chain now to be able to add or subtract for a total of anywhere between 35 and 45 pounds. I only fish the Yakima in the spring and fall (usually when flows on the guage at Umtanum are below 2000cfs) and find that this works pretty well.
For most of the westside rivers I float, I revert to the 35-pound lead pyramid and hanging up has not been a problem.
My anchor is home made. A six inch steel ring with 24 inch sections of chain slid on to the ring (put as many or as few as you want for the weight you desire). Once I had the weight I wanted (I went with 45 pounds) the ring was welded close. Tie you anchor rope to your ring and you have one awsome anchor.
I use a 50 lb chain anchor on the Yak and it works very well. Have been using it for four years and never really gotten it hung up. But I am selective about where I anchor up. You can pick one up at Reds Fly Shop. Go with the pully system if you do. Reds has those as well.
I just had a long conversation today with a gentleman about this topic. To add a few thoughts - we run 45 pounds of chain for anchors on our rental boats. We advise customers that if you drop that anchor and it's not heavy enough to stop you, then you need to pick it up and find some softer water. It's not good for the river bottom to drag chain, and it's also dangerous. If you're dragging any anchor and it gets hung up, it can pull the back of the boat under water in the blink of an eye. This is also why we don't don't advocate tying knots on the end of anchor ropes. Once a boat is taking on water, even if you have a knife on board, you'll never get it out to cut the rope and release the anchor before the boat is swamped and sunk. The best thing to do is immediately step on the foot release and let the rope go through. You lose the anchor and rope, but hopefully save your gear, boat, and even lives. I had only used lead pyramids and "land mines aka Hyde spikes" before moving to WA, but the Yakima River (especially in summertime flows) is a different animal. The chunky basalt claimed many pyramids before we went with the heavier chain anchor. The ball of chain is not only heavier for stopping, but also has a bigger footprint and is much less likely to get wedged in the rock. The loss % went way down. I still like using a pyramid in low flows and on other rivers, as the chain is a man killer to pull up. The pulley set up does make it easier, but then you need to pull twice as much rope (which keep in mind you're drifting down river, usually in water you want to fish, as soon as you start to pull in rope). I've gone to and away from pulleys over the years and am currently not using one. I may as well mention anchor rope lengths, too. For a non pulley system, we set up with 40 feet of anchor rope on deck. For the pulley system, 60 feet is necessary. Again, it's a safety feature to refrain from tying a knot on the end of that rope. If you get too much rope out on anchor, the boat will swing terribly in the current. Oar rights can help with ruddering it on anchor, but don't help much if you extend too much rope out.
Steve J., one of the best damn posts I've read about anchors. I found my 25# pyramid a bit light for my cataraft on the Hoh and added about 10# of chain. I think I'll be adding enough chain to replace that pyramid when over in your neck of the woods. I had not heard that about the basalt boulders eating pyramids. Thank you.