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of them than of any others; and indeed the Trout never feeds fat, nor comes into his perfect season, till these flies come in.
Of these the GREEN-DRAKE never discloses from his husk, till he be first there grown to full maturity, body, wings, and all; and then he creeps out of his cell, but with his wings so crimpt and ruffled, by being prest together in that narrow room, that they are for some hours totally useless to him; by which means he is compelled either to creep upon the flags, sedges, and blades of grass, (if his first rising from the bottom of the water be near the banks of the river) till the air and sun stiffen and smooth them: or if his first appearance above water happen to be in the middle, he then lies upon the surface of the water, like ship at hull, (for his feet are totally useless to him there, and he cannot creep upon the water as the Stone-fly can,) until his wings have got stiffness to fly with, if by some Trout or Grayling he be not taken in the interim, (which ten to one he is,) and then his wings stand high, and clos'd exact upon his back, like the butterfly, and his motion in flying is the same. His body is in some, of a paler, in others of a darker yellow, (for they are not all exactly of a colour) ribb'd with rows of green, long, slender, and growing sharp towards the tail, at the end of which he has three long small whisks of a very dark colour, almost black, and his tail turns up towards his back like a mallard, from whence, questionless, he has his name of the Greendrake. These (as I think I told you before) we commonly dape, or dibble with; and having gather'd great store of them into a long draw box, with holes in the cover to give them air, (where also they will continue fresh and vigorous a night or more) we take them out thence by the wings, and bait them thus upon the hook. We first take one, (for we commonly fish with 'two of them at a time,) and putting the point of the hook into the thickest part of his body, under one of his wings, run it directly through, and out at the other side, leaving him spitted cross upon the hook; and then taking the other, put him on after the same manner, but with his head the contrary way; in which posture they will live upon the hook, and play with their wings, for a quarter of an hour or more: but you must have a care to keep their wings dry, both from the water, and also that your fingers be not wet when you take them out to bait them, for then your bait is spoil'd.
Having now told you how to angle with this fly alive, I am now to tell you next how to make an artificial fly, that will so perfectly resemble him, as to be taken in a rough windy day, when no flies can lie upon the water, nor are to be found about the banks and sides of the river, to a wonder; and with which you shall certainly kill the best Trout and Grayling in the river.
The artificial Green-drake' then is made upon a large hook, the dubbing camel's hair, bright bear's hair, the soft down that is combed from a hog's bristles, and yellow camlet, well mixt together; the body long, and ribbed about with green silk, or rather yellow, waxed with green wax, the whisks of the tail of the long hairs of sables, or fitchet, and the wings of the white-grey feather of a mallard, dyed yellow, which also is to be dyed thus:
Take the root of a barbary tree, and shave it, and put to it woody viss, with as much alum as a walnut, and boil
your feathers in it with rain water; and they will be of a very fine yellow.
I have now done with the Green-drake, excepting to tell you,
that he is taken at all hours, during his season,
(1) Green-drake, or May-fly. The body of seal's fur, or yellow mohair, a little cub-fox down, and hog's wool, or light brown from a Turkey-carpet, mixed; warp with pale yellow, or red cock's hackle, under the wings; wings of a mallard's feather, dyed yellow; three whisks in his tail from a sable muff. Taken all day, but chiefly from two to four in the afternoon.
whilst there is any day upon the sky; and with a madefly I once took, ten days after he was absolutely gone, in a cloudy day, after a shower, and in a whistling wind, five and thirty very great Trouts and Graylings, betwixt five and eight of the clock in the evening, and had no less than five or six flies, with three good hairs apiece, taken from me in despite of my heart, besides.
12. I should now come next to the Stone-fly, but there is another gentleman in my way, that must of necessity come in between, and that is the GREY-DRAKE, which in all shapes and dimensions is perfectly the same with the other, but almost quite of another colour, being of a paler, and more livid yellow, and green, and ribb’d with black quite down his body, with black shining wings, and so diaphanous and tender, cobweb-like, that they are of no manner of use for daping; but come in, and are taken after the Green-drake, and in an artificial fly kill very
well, which Ay is thus made:' the dubbing of the down of a hog's bristles and black spaniel's fur mixed, and ribb'd down the body with black silk, the whisks of the hairs of the beard of a black cat, and the wings of the black grey feather of a mallard.
And now I come to the Stone-Fly; but am afraid I have already wearied your patience; which if I have, I beseech you freely tell me so, and I will defer the remaining instructions for fly-angling till some other time. Viat. No, truly, Sir, I can never be weary of hearing
you think fit, because I am afraid I am too troublesome, to refresh yourself with a glass and a pipe, you may afterwards proceed, and I shall be exceedingly pleased to hear you.
you. But if
(1) Grey Drake. The body of an absolute white ostrich feather; the end of the body towards the tail of peacock's herl; warping of an ash-colour, with silver twist and black hackle; wing of a dark grey feather of a mallard. А very killing fly, especially towards the evening, when the fish are glutted with the Green-drake,
Pisc. I thank you, Sir, for that motion; for, believe me, I am dry with talking: here, boy! give us here a bottle and a glass; and, Sir, my service to you, and to all our friends in the South.
Viat. Your servant, Sir; and I'll pledge you as heartily; for the good powdered-beef I eat at dinner, or something else, has made me thirsty.
FISHING AT THE TOP continued. Flies for the end of May, and for the
following Months till December; containing, under May, Instructions when to dape with the Stone-fly.
Viator. So, Sir, I am now ready for another lesson, so soon as you please to give it me.
Pisc. And I, Sir, as ready to give you the best I can. Having told you the time of the Stone-fly's coming in, and that he is bred of a cadis in the very river where he is taken,' I am next to tell
that 13. This same STONE-Fly has not the patience to continue in his crust, or husk, till his wings be full grown; but so soon as ever they begin to put out, that he feels himself strong, (at which time we call him a Jack) squeezes himself out of prison, and crawls to the top of some stone, where if he can find a chink that will receive him, or can creep betwixt two stones, the one lying hollow upon the other, (which, by the way, we also lay so purposely to find them) he there lurks till his wings be full grown; and there is your only place to find bim; (and from thence doubtless he derives his name;) though, for want of such convenience, he will make shift with the hollow of a bank, or any other place where the wind cannot come to fetch him off. His body is long, and pretty thick, and as broad at the tail, almost, as in the middle: his colour a very fine brown, ribbed with yellow, and much yellower on the belly than the back: he has two or three whisks also at the tag of his tail, and two little horns upon his head: his wings, when full grown, are double, and flat down his back, of the same colour, but rather darker than his body, and longer than it, though he makes but little use of them; for you shall rarely see him flying, though often swimming and paddling with several feet he has under his belly, upon the water, without stirring a wing. But the Drake will mount steepleheight into the air; though he is to be found upon flags and grass too, and indeed every where, high and low, near the river; there being so many of them in their season as, were they not a very inoffensive insect, would look like a plague: and these drakes (since I forgot to tell you before, I will tell you here) are taken by the fish to that incredible degree, that upon a calm day you shall see the still deeps, continually, all over circles by the fishes rising, who will gorge themselves with those flies, till they purge again out of their gills:' and the Trouts are at that time so lusty and strong, that one of eight or ten inches long will then more struggle and tug, and more endanger your tackle, than one twice as big in winter. But pardon this digression.
(1) Chap. VII. Num. 11.
This Stone-fly then we dape or dibble with as with the Drake, but with this difference, that whereas the GreenDrake is common both to stream and still, and to all hours of the day, we seldom dape with this but in the streams,
(1) I have caught a Trout so full of them, that, in taking him off the hook, I have prest out of his throat a lump of them as big as a walnut.