THE FISH HAULER
Climbing up rough river banks with fishing gear in one hand and the teeth of a steelhead or two digging into the fingers of his other hand got Loren Olsen to thinking.
His friends who were also bank fishermen for salmon encouraged his thinking.
At the time, Olsen worked for Roseburg Forest Products and he had experience in making lockout cables that were used in the lumber industry. With that background, Olsen devised The Fish Hauler that consists of a vinyl coated cable with a snap clip and a handle.
He made his first one back during the winter steelhead fishing season in February 2005. He’s sold several hundred of them through the years since, but is now ready to make the product more public. Olsen will have a booth at the KEZI Eugene Boat & Sportsmen’s Show that is scheduled for Feb. 2-4 at the Lane County Convention Center in Eugene. The booth will feature both his Fish Hauler and The Deer Hauler in multiple colors.
“I got hooked on steelhead fishing when I worked for Roseburg Forest Products,” said Olsen who added he’s been a fisherman “since I was a wee pup.” Olsen now works at the Swanson Group Plywood mill in Springfield.
“The sticks along the river bank were all used up and rope didn’t work for hauling fish up the bank,” he explained. “When you carried them by the mouth, their teeth cut up your fingers. I had a couple electrician friends at the mill who were also avid fishermen and they encouraged me to develop something to haul fish up the bank.”
Olsen created The Fish Hauler and sold some when other bank anglers saw him using the looped cable out on the river.
“It’s been a real fun process and I’m surprised it has been as popular as it has been,” he said, adding he has also made a Fish Hauler that can be attached to the side of a drift boat or a pontoon boat that don’t have a fish well.
Olsen looked into getting a patent for the product, but was told the expense and effort of that process wasn’t worth it because the hauler was so simple and the concept could easily be copied with a minor change or two.
The Deer Hauler came about as a result of Olsen’s elk hunting party getting an elk in eastern Oregon. Four hunters used four Fish Haulers to drag the elk a half mile on a skid road.
The Deer Hauler has a 4 ½-foot cable that loops around a deer’s head and lifts it as it is pulled. If preferred, the cable can be looped around the hind legs and the animal dragged from that end. The handle on the cable rotates so it can’t be twisted out of the hand.
Olsen sells The Fish Hauler and The Deer Hauler for $10 each. The Fish Hauler that attaches to a boat is priced at $15 and he’s started making a double drag for deer that is priced at $17.50.
He’ll have all of the products on display at the Eugene show and will have the materials available to custom make a hauler on the spot. He’ll also take orders.
“I’m excited to see what kind of interest there is in the hauler,” Olsen said of being at the show.
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