Nicholas’ fly Fishing Glossary:
Anchor Release (noun)
This is a trick device, typically installed in all drift boast, at an additional cost, naturally.
The advertised function of the device is to release an anchor when the boat is positioned in a desirable location to fish, eat lunch, pee over the side of the boat, or receive a cell phone call enquiring as to where, if anywhere, one could find an actual salmon or steelhead on the river where the recipient of the call happens to be.
In practice, however, the anchor release never functions as advertised. Here’s what happens. The oarsman maneuvers the boat to a desirable anchor location. The oarsman grasps the anchor rope, stomps on a stomping-release device, or pulls mightily, as may be required with the individual anchor release design, thereby attempting to release the anchor from the non-released position.
At this moment, more often than not, the anchor does not, in fact, release as it is supposed to do.
Then, most likely, the oarsman pulls harder, using the rationale that if a little heave does not do the job, then a mighty heave-ho will.
Now, by this time, the boat drifts toward crashing surf, a waterfall, or a whirlpool at the edge of the known universe.
About the time the oarsman ceases his or her futile attempts to release the anchor, grasping the oars in a desperate attempt to row away from danger, the anchor inexplicably releases and holds the boat directly in harm’s way.
The crafty anchor release pictured here is just waiting to cause trouble on the water. Just you wait. Really.
Several manufacturers offer fundamentally different anchor release designs and each develops enticing glossy brochures regarding their respective virtues.
Don’t believe any of it. All of these devices function perfectly in the showroom or garage, but perform most disagreeably on the water.
As is the case of all anchors performing similarly regardless of weight, all anchor releases only release an anchor in the worst possible places.