by Mark Littleton
I’ve been at this flyfishing thing for a long time, but I am
fairly new to being a boat owner. I
have owned a drift boat for a little over a year now and it has been quite a
learning experience for me.
I am one of those guys that are always looking for a better
way to do things and this summer I found a design for a pulley system to make
it easier to pull up the anchor on a drift boat. There is no free lunch because, while this makes the anchor twice
as easy to pull in, you wind up pulling in twice as much rope. I would have been okay if I had stopped
there but I didn’t like the way the anchor attached to the rope so I bought one
of those snap-hooks for attaching the anchor.
No more of that slow process of screwing a link closed for me, I am way
too smart for that. When Randal saw
this, he gave me one of those looks that says “you’ll see - moron”.
The anchor trouble started one summer day when I had Chris
Bolm in the boat with me. The anchor
got hung up in the rocks and, since the water didn’t look too deep, I talked
him into getting out and wading to pull the anchor free. The water turned out to be deeper and faster
than we thought, but with a Herculean effort while clinging to the side of the boat,
he made it to the back of the boat and pulled the anchor free. Then came the part I hadn’t considered, we
needed to get Chris back in the boat.
In water so deep that it was lapping at the top of his waders he couldn’t
get back in, so I went over to help him over the side. We finally did manage to get him back in the
boat, but since the two of us combined weigh over 450 pounds, we almost swamped
the boat. A short time later the anchor
got hung up again and for some reason I couldn’t get Chris to go over the side
to yank it loose. I cut the rope and
from then on it was “run and gun”, we were through anchoring for the day as we
passed by pod after pod of rising fish.
By the next time I went out I had replaced the anchor,
pulley and clip. This time, wizened by
experience, I brought a spare anchor.
The first time I anchored up the boat wouldn’t stop. When I pulled up the rope I saw that I still
had the pulley and clip but somehow the clip had opened and the anchor had come
unlatched. “That’s a flook, who would
have thought that clip could be knocked open” I said as I attached the spare
anchor to the clip. I couldn’t
understand why Randal and Chris were giving me those funny looks. An hour later lightening struck twice and
the spare anchor fell victim to the evil clip resulting in another short
anchorless trip down the river.
By the time we went on our next trip down the river I had
replaced the defective clip with one of those chain links that screw
closed. I didn’t want it to seize up on
me like they sometimes do, so I screwed it closed but didn’t tighten it. There was no way it would come unscrewed, I
thought. Two hours later we were taking
another fast trip down the river with no anchor.
In the space of 10 days I had lost 4 anchors and was out
about $240. This has got to be some kind
of record. I am a little smarter for
the experience though. Now I use a clip
that pulls open instead of pushing open.
There is no way this clip will come open when you don’t want it to. Randal is still using the screw closed chain
link and screwing it tightly closed.
What’s he know about losing anchors – he’s only lost one in the last 5