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MARCH. For this month you are to use all the same hackles and flies with the other; but you are to make them less.
ral and absurd, supposing you would make the plain hackle or palmer, which are terms of the same import, the inethod of doing it is as follows, viz.
Hold your hook in a horizovtal position, with the shank downwards, and the bent of it between the fore-finger and thumb of your left hand; and, having a fine bristle, and other materials, lying by you, take half a yard of fine red marking silk, well waxed, and with your right hand give it four or five turns about the shank of the hook, inclining the turns to the right hand: when you are near the end of the shapk, turn it into such a loof as you are hereafter directed to make for fastening off, and draw it tight, leaving the ends of the silk to hang down at each end of the hook. Having singed the end of your bristle, lay the same aloog on the inside of the shank of the book, as low as the bent, and whip four or five times round; then singeing the other end of the bristle to a fit length, turn it over to the back of the shauk, and, pioching it into a proper form, whip dowu and fasten off, as before directed; which will bring both ends of the silk into the bent. After you have waxed your silk again, take three or four strands of an ostrich feather; and holding them and the bent of the hook as at first directed, the feathers to your left hand, and the roots in the beni of your hook, with that end of the silk which you just now waxed, whip them three or four times rouod, and fasten off: then turning the feathers to the right, and twisting them and the silk with your fore-finger and thuib, wind them round the shank of the hook, still supplying the short strands with new ones, as they fail, till you come to the end and fasten off. When you have so done, clip off the ends of the feathers, and trim the body of i he palmer small at the extremities, and full in the middle, and wax both ends of your silk, which are now divided, and lie at either end of the hook.
Lay your work by you; and taking a strong bold backle with fibres about half an inch long, straighten the stein very carefully, and, holding the small end between the fore-finger and thumb of your left hand, with those of the right stroke the fibres the contrary way to that which they naturally lie; and taking the hook, and holding it as before, lay the point of the hackle into the bent of the hook, with the hollow (which is the palest) side upwards, and whip it very fast to its place : in doing whereof, be careful not to tie in many of the fibres; or if you should chance to do so, pick them out with the point of a very large needle.
When the hackle is thus made fast, the utmost care and nicety is necessary in winding it on; for if you fail in this, your Ay is spoiled, and you must begin all again; to prevent which, keeping the hollow or pale side to your left hand, and, as much as possible, the side of the stem down on the dubhing, wind the hackle twice round; and holding fast what you have so wound, pick out the loose Abres which you may have taken in, and make another turn; then lay hold of the hackle with the third and fourth fingers of your left hand, with which you may extend it while you disengage the loose fibres as before,
In this manner proceed till you come to withio an eighth of an inch of the end of the shank, where you will find an end of silk hangiug; and hy which time you will find the fibres at the great end of the backle something disconposed ; clip these off close to the stem, and with the end of your middle finger press the stem close to the hook, while, with the fore-finger of your right hand, you turn the silk into a loop; which, when you have twice put over the end of the shank of the hook, loop and all, your work is safe.
Then wax that end of the silk which you now used, and turn it over as
1. We have, besides, for this month a little Dun, called a WHIRLING Dun,' (though it is not the Whirling Dun, indeed, which is one of the best flies we have ;) and for this, the dubbing must be of the bottom fur of a squirrel's tail; and the wing of the grey feather of a drake.
2. Also a Bright Brown; the dubbing either of the brown of a spaniel, or that of a red cow's flank, with a grey wing.
before, till you have taken up nearly all that remained of the book, observing to lay the turns neatly side by side; and, lastly, clip off the ends of the silk. Thus you
will have made a bait that will catch Trout of the largest size, in any water in England.
It is true, the method above described will require some variation in the case of gold-and-silver-twist palmers ; in the making whereof, the management of the twist is to be considered as another operation; but this variation will suggest itself to every reader, as will also the method of making those flies, con. tained in the notes, that have hackle under the wings; which else we should have added to Cotton's directions for making a fly, which he gives Viator in the fishing-house. See Chap. V.
(1) Great Whirling 'Dun. Dub with fox.cub's or squirrel's fur, well mixed with about a sixth part of the finest hog's wool, warp with pale-orange wings, very large, taken from the quill-feather of a ruddy ben; the head to be fastened with ash-colour silk; a red cock’s hackle, at full length, may be wrapped under the wings, and a turn or two lower towards the tail.
This is a killing fly, and is to be seeo rising out of the hedges in most Trout rivers, late in the evening, seldom before sun-set, and continues ou the water till midnight, or after. It is found in most of the warm months; but kills chiefly in a blustering warm evening, from the middle of May to the end of July.
The directions of Mr. Coitoa for making flies are to be considered as the very basis and foundation of that art, no author before him having ever treated the subject so copiously and accurately as he has done : what improvements have been made since his time, have been handed about in manuscript lists, but have hardly ever been communicated to the public.
A reverend, worthy, and ingenious friend of mine, a lover of angling, who has practised that and the art of lly-making these thirty years, and is the gentleman mentioned in the note p. 208, has generously cominunicated to me the result of his many years experience, in a list of a great number of Aies not mentioned by Cotton, with some variations in the manner of making those described in the text. And as to these deviations, it is hoped they will be considered as improvements; since I am authorized to say, that the above gentleman has, in the making of Aies, made it a constant rule to follow nature.
Part of this list is, for very obvious reasons, wrought into the form of notes on that of Mr. Curion; and the rest, with another very valuable Catalogue, composed by a North-country Angler, and communicated to ine by the same gentleman, make Nos. II. and III. of the Appendix to this Volume.
The reader will there also find No. IV. a List of Flies formerly published in the Angler's Vade Mecum, so often referred to in the course of this work : and though the fies therein contained are said to be, chiefly, of use in stony, I have tried some of them, especially the duos, in other rivers, and found them to be excellent, :
3. Also a Whitish Dun; made of the roots of camel's hair; and the wings, of the grey feather of a mallard.
4. There is also for this month a fly called the THORNTree Fly; the dubbing an absolute black, mixt with eight or ten hairs of Isabella-coloured' mohair; the body as little as can be made, and the wings of a bright mallard's feather. An admirable fly, and in great repute amongst us for a killer.
5. There is, besides this, another BLUE Dun;' the dubbing of which it is made, being thus to be got. Take a small tooth-comb, and with it comb the neck of a black greyhound, and the down that sticks in the teeth will be the finest blue that ever you saw. The wings of this fly can hardly be too white; and he is taken about the tenth of this month, and lasteth till the four and twentieth.
6. From the tenth of this month also, till towards the end, is taken a little Black Gnat. The dubbing, either of the fur of a black water-dog, or the down of a young black water-coot; the wings, of the male of a mallard as white as may be; the body as little as you can possibly make it, and the wings as short as his body.
(1) Isabella, Spezie di colore ebe partecipa del bianco e del giallo. Altieri's Dictionary. A kind of whitish yellow, or, as some say, buff-colour a little soiled.
How it came by this name will appear from the following anecdote, for which I am obliged to a very ingenious and learned lady. The Archduke Albertus, who had married the Infanta Isabella, daughter of Philip the Second, king of Spain, with whom he had the Low Countries in dowry, in the year 1602, having determined to lay siege to Ostend, then in possession of the heretics, his pious priocess, who attended him in that expedition, made a vow, that till it was taken she would never change her clothes. Contrary to expectation, as the story says, it was three years before the place was reduced; in which time her Highness's linen had acquired the above-mentioned hue.
(2) Blue, or Violet Dun. Dub with the roots of a fox-cub's tail, and a very little blue-violet worsted; warp with pale yellow silk; wing, of the pale part of a starling's feather. This fily is taken from eight to eleven, and from one to three.
This fly, which is also called the Ash-coloured Dun, and Blue Dun, is produced from a cadis; it is so very small, that the hook, known at the shops by the size No. 9, is full big enough for it, if not too big. The shape of the fiy is exactly the same with that of the Green-Drake. So early in the year as February, they will drop on the water before eight in the morning; and Trouts of the largest size, as well as small ones, will rise at them very eagerly,
7. From the sixteenth of this month also, to the end of it, we use a BRIGHT BROWN; the dubbing for which is to be had out of a skinner's lime-pits, and of the hair of an abortive calf, which the lime will turn to be so bright, as to shine light gold; for the wings of this fly, the feather of a brown hen is best. Which fly, is also taken till the tenth of April.
APRIL. All the same hackles and flies that were taken in March will be taken in this month also, with this distinction only concerning the flies, that all the browns be lapt with red silk, and the duns with yellow.
1. To these a SMALL BRIGHT BROWN, made of spaniel's fur, with a light-grey wing, in a bright day, and a clear water, is very
well taken. 2. We have, too, a little? DARK BROWN; the dubbing of that colour, and some violet camlet mixt; and the wing of a grey feather of a maslard.
3. From the sixth of this month to the tenth we have also a fly called the Violet-Fly; made of a dark violet stuff; with the wings, of the grey feather of a mallard.
4. About the twelfth of this month comes in the fly called the WHIRLING-Dun, which is taken every day,
(1) Dark Brown. Dab with the hair of a dark-brown spaniel, or calf, that looks ruddy by being exposed to wind and weather; warp with yellow; wing,' dark starling's feather. Taken from eight to eleveu. This is a good ily, and to be seen in most rivers; but so variable in its hue, as the season' advances, that it requires the closest attention to the natural fly to adapt the materials for making it artificially, which is also the case with the Violet or Ash-coloured Dun. When this fly first appears, it is nearly of a chocolate colour, from which, by the middle of May, it has been obserred to deviate to almosť a lemon colour. Northern anglers call it, by way of ensinence, the Dark Brown; others call it the Four-winged Brown: it has four wings, lying flat on its back, something longer than the body, which is longish, but not taper. This ily must be made on a smallish hook, viz. No. 8, or 9.
(2) Little Whirling-Dun. The body fox-cub, and a little light ruddy-brown mixed : warp with grey or ruddy silk; a red hackle under the wing ; wing of a land-rail, or ruddy-brown chicken, which is better. This is a killing-fly in a blustering day, as the great whirling-dun is in the evening and late at night.
about the mid-time of day, all this month through, and, by fits from thence to the end of June; and is commonly made of the down of the fox-cub, which is of an ash colour at the roots next the skin, and ribbed about with yellow silk; the wings, of the pale grey feather of a mallard.
5. There is also a YELLOW Dun,' the dubbing of camel's hair, and yellow camlet or wool, mixt, and a white grey wing
6. There is also this month another LITTLE BROWN, besides that mentioned before, made with a very slender body; the dubbing of dark brown and violet camlet, mixt, and a grey wing; which, though the direction for the making be near the other, is yet another fly, and will take when the other will not, especially in a bright day and a clear water.
7. About the twentieth of this month comes in a fly called the HORSE-FLESH-Fly; the dubbing of which is a blue mohair, with pink-coloured and red tammy mixt, a light coloured wing, and a dark brown head. This fly is taken best in an evening, and kills from two hours before sun-set till twilight, and is taken the month through.
MAY. And now, Sir, that we are entering into the month of May, I think it requisite to beg not only your attention, but also your best patience, for I must now be a little tedious with you,
this month longer than ordinary; which that you may the better endure, I must tell you, this month deserves and requires to be insisted on, forasmuch as it alone, and the next following, afford
(1) Yellow Dun. Dub with a small quantity of pale yellow crewel, mixed with fox-cub down from the tail, and warp with yellow; wing of a palish starJiog's feather. Taken from eight to eleven, and from two to four. See more of the Yellow Dun in the Appendix, No. IV.