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I prefer such as in shape ap mon was observed in a neighproach the rush-tapered ones, bouring pool; the fly, the minthough not quite so : I mean such now, and the worm were all tried as are usually seen in this coun without success.
For nearly a try. My own, which I commonly fortnight he was visited daily by uise, was made by Clarke, succes some one or other “ intent on sor to Higgenbotham, 91, Strand: blood and spoil," and from the it is about twelve feet in length, clearness of the water always and, though not quite after the seen in the same spot: but it was rush model, is yet far from being of no use ; for, as a punning old drawn so fine as the Irish are: fox-hunter, and also “ Brother of it is rather stiff than otherwise; the Angle,” remarked, “ He was and this I consider of some im fly to every move, and not to be portance, for with a very pliant had on any line whatever.” At one it is impossible to strike a length the weather changed; the fish with any certainty, or possess cold was intense, with continual
over him after snow or hail-stone. The angler wards.
sallied forth with a few fine The reel should be small, with brandlings, three of which were a click, and not a multiplier; the put on the hook at one. The single has more power, and is sel. upper part of the pool was tried dom out of order. The line without effect; but when the bait should have no silk in it, as it reached the lower end, it was imsoon causes it to rot: indepen mediately taken. This salmon dently of this, hair is more elastic was killed in fifteen minutes, and and springy. Twenty yards, ex- weighed thirteen pounds. I must, cept in wide places with heavy however, say that a dozen killed fish, will be ample, tapering to with a worm or minnow will not wards either end from twelve or afford as much real sport as one more to eight or even six hairs: fairly taken with the fly. Spring in this way, when one end begins
and Autumn are the best seasons; to decay, you have only to turn but I will treat of this more parthe other, and it will do just as ticularly hereafter.
ticularly hereafter. I shall only well as a new one.
add at present, that a large fly, of For salmon, of course much almost any colour, will answer stronger tackle is required; a rod the purpose. There must be two eighteen feet long, and stiff, with hooks in it, with their bends so a reel and line of proportionate placed that both may hook the strength, and the foot-line of fish, as he is very tender-mouthed twisted gut (not hair), with one and apt to break away. fly only, are indispensable in this Before treating of the flies noble sport. A dark stormy day which come on in May, I shall is best; and it is perhaps impor- make a few observations on that tant to add, that the coldest north most destructive of all ways of wind, with a fall of snow or sleet, killing fish--trolling. I cannot constitute a very likely time for say that I approve of the method success, as the following circum- of putting on the minnow, which stance proves. In March last, I believe is generally used by the weather being excessively most anglers, i. e. with the large warm and the water clear, a sale hook and leaden cap: it has a
clumsy heavy appearance; and vested of the large hook and four fish out of every five are leaden cap, will have a very neat taken with the triangles attached appearance. to it; consequently the large hook The artificial minnow and Kill is of little farther service than Devil, though often remarkably merely to hold the bait. One in. like Nature, scarcely ever answer stance, notwithstanding, I have the purpose they are intended seen where it did some good. A for, unless in very rough weather; trout that had run at the ininnow and even then your time and and was hooked by the triangle, pains will be well bestowed in by moving and plunging about endeavoring to get the natural had caused the leaden cap to slip one. up as far as the knot that unites The line must be strong, but the two links of gut, the bait re at the same time fine, and of the maining on the large hook un
best round gut.
One swivel touched: another fish, observing should be within six or eight it, instantly made for it, and got inches of the bait; and if you fast on the large hook : thus the wish to use two, place the other brace was landed at once. They at discretion. When fishing, take were of a fair size, their united the minnow in your left hand, weight being nearly a pound and with the line of such a length as a half. This will appear strange that you may feel the spring of to those who are not acquainted the rod, the elasticity of which with this method of hanging the will be sufficient to cast it with minnow, but to an angler it will great lightness and precision with appear very possible, though a scarcely any exertion of the right rare occurrence.
hand : indeed, I may almost say, The method I adopt at present that in this way an experienced is this: at the end of a link of angler would, if required, pitch gut I tie a triangle; at about it into the neck of a bottle. Keep three-quarters of an inch above the minnow spinning by drawing that, I tie another triangle; and at it steadily up or down stream the same distance above that, a as suits your judgment, and be small hook: then close to that sure not to diminish or increase hook I fasten with a very short the motion when you perceive a bit of gut (about half an inch) a fish pursuing it, as the slightest narrow round piece of lead nearly change will inevitably cause him an inch long. The lead I push to turn back. into the minnow's belly, then run Omne tulit punctum qui miscuit the small hook through the under utile dulci, is a saying which has and upper jaw or lip; I fasten been broached some time, but its one of the hooks of the upper truth is unquestionable. Any triangle in his side or back, and, one who has been fixed for a having given the tail a small whole morning in Aristotle's rhecurve, one of the lower hooks istoric, and then spends his evenstuck in it. A minnow thus ma- ing over a bit of Euripides' best, naged will spin beautifully; the will be as heartily tired of the lead will make it heavy enough dry utile of the one, as he will be to prevent its rising to the sur- delighted with the beautiful dulce face of the water, and, being di- which gives force to the elegant
and instructive sentiment of the necessary to enter into particuother. Entomology, which is lars as to the best mode of making perhaps one of the most interest- this fly artificially, both because ing studies in Nature, is so close. it is principally used in its natuly connected with scientific an- ral state, and because, from its gling, that it is barely possible short duration, two or three, for a man to take his rod, and which may be purchased, tolersaunter along the river's bank, ably well made, at any fishingwithout continually meeting ob- tackle shop, will be quite enough jects that excite the deepest ad- to carry in your book. I must, miration. Often when harassed however, remark, that those I with business or other causes, have seen are generally too yellike the Philosopher Hyliscus, low, not having the greenish cast who, quitting human society, re in the wing which is found in tired to the desert to contemplate the natural fly. Its first appearthe more peaceful industry of the ance is usually about the last week bee, have I stolen away to the in May. To see the numbers retirement of some favorite stream, that come down on some rivers where seated on its enamelled is astonishing, and the avidity bank, in mute astonishment at with which birds, and even barnthe wonders of Creation, I have door fowls, as well as fish, devour plainly“ found sermons in stones, them, is a proof they are in estiand good in everything.” Nay, mation as a delicious morgel. I too, the sweetest month of the have taken trout so gorged with year, when reviving Nature starts them, that on opening the mouth from its lethargy under the ge- they were to be seen crammed in nial influence, usually possesses the gullet, there being no room some of the few bright days left in the stomach. I have not which constitute our English observed them in many places on summer, and which, to use the the coast, nor do I think them words of an accomplished writer common to such situations, though of the present time, “ by their in the neighbourhood of Southcheeriness and gloss make the ampton they are very abundant: poetry in an angler's life, and and I believe they are not so convert every idler at heart into numerous in the North of Enga moralist.”
land as they are in the South and The Cadow, or May Fly, is Midland counties. In Ireland I one of the most beautiful of the have seen an immensity of them, whole tribe of insects. To trace but they are smaller and darker it in its different stages, from the than ours, and in some of the bottom of the river until it forms lochs or lakes of that country one of the myriads of its kind very splendid fishing is to be had which we have seen thronging with them. You put two of the the air like falling snow, is a natural flies on a small hook, and study from which the purest de- suffer your line to float out with light will result to the man of the wind, moving your boat about contemplation: to the angler it to where you may have seen a is equally interesting as a de- fish rise, in which case you are structive and easily employed almost sure to have him. In bait. It will not, however, be this way, if you have luck and a
good day, it will be no exaggera. rections for making it, as almost tion to put down your sport at any one, from the village barber little short of a hundred weight ! up to Chevalier and other topThe trout in these waters reach sawyers, can, from its striking from five to ten pounds, espe- character, imitate it as well as cially those called storm trout. need be. There is, however, but little art, The Black Hawthorn is a fly or even amusement, in this sort of some consequence, and will be of fishing, or daping, as it is effective not only in May, when called, and for which nothing but it first comes out, but on very the chance it gives you of catch- stormy days throughout the seaing the largest fish can make It is not an aquatic insect, amends. In fact, hardly any. but is blown on the water in thing can escape even a mode- rough weather : the trout are rate hand at it; and, I am sorry very fond of it, and it is altogeto add, this method is so weil ther worthy of the angler's conknown in Cadow countries, that sideration. It is made on a small I have often seen baskets filled hook, with wings of the feathers thereby to perfection by men who trom under a cormorant's wing: knew no more of fly fishing than the body of black silk, having they did of Newton's Principia. first turned some black ostrich's
Small deep brooks, much feather four or five times about wooded, are peculiarly suited to the head and at the butt of the this kind of angling ; the Stone wings, to give it the lumpy and and the Cannon, or Downhill heavy appearance of Nature. Fly, are also employed in this A variety of the Blue Dun is way. I have used the Stone Fly also on the water now. I believe on the lakes in Ireland, after the it is known as the Little Iron disappearance of the Cadow, with Blue, but a separate description considerable success; and with is unnecessary. If you have one the Downhill I once caught some Blue Dun darker than another very fine trout in a small river (and you should always have
Ludlow in Shropshire, different shades of the same fly in called the Corve; but the whole your book), use the darkest. system is little better than poach There is one more fly I must ing, and not worth much atten- mention, but to which I can hardly tion. As an artificial fly, the give a name by which it will be Cadow does exceedingly well on generally known. Everyone, howa stormy day, when there are no ever, should be acquainted with natural ones out; and I can rea- it, as it very frequently does more dily believe Cotton when he says than its share towards filling the that he took with it, between the basket. In Wales it is called the hours of five and eight one even Cochabondy; and, in some parts ing, after a shower and in a of England, the Marlow buzz. It whistling wind, five-and-thirty is commonly made with a red very great trouts and greylings. cock's hackle with a black list in The Grey Drake is precisely it, and the body with peacock's similar to the Cadow, excepting harle; but a purple and red feaa difference of colour according ther from the breast of a cock to its name.
I shall give no dic pheasant is infinitely the best. It
mixes with the harle delightfully, myself, however, I have a difand exhibits that true “ keeping," ferent feeling ; and shall commuwhich by the way should be as nicate what information I am posstrictly observed in fly-making as sessed of as freely and as intelliin painting.
gibly as I can, being well aware As a general rule for this that the chief merit of a fly, like month I should recommend this Paganini's fiddle, consists in the last fly to be occasionally used as a way in which it is handled. The dropper in turns with the Haw- young Angler, therefore, must not thorn and the Blue, and the expect to catch fish on all occaMarch Brown (of course changed sions, even though he has the very for the Cadow or Grey Drake at best of tackle; for that is an acproper times) as the leader. Fish complishment to which the most improve wonderfully in condition experienced does not aspire. But after they have had a taste of the the amusement has its charms for May Fly; and, from not being so all degrees of proficiency-for hungry, are by no means him who takes delight in the easily caught as hitherto. The “glorious nibble," as well as for rivers, too, at this time are apt to the more consequential fisher, become very low, and the water who,“ piteous of their youth," bright, both of which are equally throws back the small fry as too unpropitious to sport.
worthless a prey for his notice. No one, they say, is so tenaci To conclude: Do not let a few ous of his secrets as your true An- unsuccessful days damp your argler; and I rather think the as dour : on the contrary, let it exsertion partially true. There is a cite fresh energy in you; and rest kind of emulation and innocent satisfied that practice will soon rivalry among the “ Brethren,"
Brethren,” make it “all right;" for, believe which often makes them attach me, the only real secret in the art some witching power to a favorite is “ to use patience as a dropper, fly or colour which they are sup- and perseverance as your leading posed to use, and which is strictly fly.” hidden from vulgar eyes. As to
A LETTER TO A YOUNGSTER A FEW HINTS UPON
HIRING KEEPERS-GAME PRESERVING, &c.
DEAR TOM, You are now just arrived at thrice happy isle*: how I congra
what our rash legislators tulate you! call years of discretion! and O fortunate nimium tua si bona nóris ! (with a lot of poor farms on your You are, I presume, about as hands) you are come to pitch your well acquainted with farming tent in about as poverty-stricken and all rural concerns as Eve was à country as exists within our with the merits of an Opera box.
* I more moderately call it “ once happy.".