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Never anchor from the stern, or the rear of the boat, in a river. When the anchor line is attached to the rear of the boat the force of the current pulls the boat against the flowing water and the stern will submerge, causing the boat to sink. Always, always anchor from the bow of the boat. Your bow will keep you above the water level except for in the swiftest water and you'll stay on top of the water where you want to be.
Having an anchor rope for a small fishing boat that is five to seven times longer than the water is deep is about right for safe anchoring. Any less means fast water can pull you dangerously low and you can risk swamping or having your anchor give way. Too long of a rope means you will come to rest hopelessly far from where you tossed the anchor overboard and you'll have to make your way back upstream to reach your fishing spot.
Safety on the river is first. You'll be underwater with the fish if you're not anchoring safely.