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And now, Sir, I have done with Fly-fishing, or Angling at the top, excepting, once more, to tell you, that of all these (and I have named you a great many very killing flies) none are fit to be compared with the Drake and Stone-fly, both for many and very great fish; and yet there are some days that are by no means proper for the sport. And in a calm you shall not have near so much sport, even with daping, as in a whistling gale of wind, for two reasons, both because you are not then so easily discovered by the fish, and also because there are then but few flies that can lie upon the water; for where they have so much choice, you may easily imagine they will not be so eager and forward to rise at a bait, that both the shadow of your body, and that of your rod, nay of your very line, in a hot calm day, will, in spite of your best caution, render suspected to them: but even then, in swift streams, or by sitting down patiently behind a willow bush, you shall do more execution than at almost any other time of the
other fly: though one may sometimes hit of a day when we shall come home very well satisfied with sport with several other flies. But with these two, the Green-Drake and the Stone-fly, I do verily believe, I could, some days in my life, had I not been weary of slaughter, have loaden a lusty boy; and have sometimes, I do honestly assure you, given over upon the mere account of satiety of sport; which will be no hard matter to believe, when I likewise assure you, that with this very fly, I have, in this very river that runs by us, in three or four hours, taken thirty, five-and-thirty, and forty of the best Trouts in the river. What shame and pity is it then, that such a river should be destroyed by the basest sort of people, by those unlawful ways of fire and netting in the night, and of damming, groping, spearing, hanging, and hooking by day; which are now grown so common, that though we have very good laws
year with any
great service in
to punish such offenders, every rascal does it, for aught I see impune.
To conclude, I cannot now, in honesty, but frankly tell you, that many of these flies I have named, at least so made as we make them here, will peradventure do you ņo
southern rivers; and will not conceal from you,
but that I have sent flies to several friends in London, that, for aught I could ever hear, never did any great feats with them; and therefore if you intend to profit by my instructions, you must come to angle with me here in the Peak: and so, if you please, let us walk up to supper; and to-morrow, if the day be windy, as our days here commonly are, 'tis ten to one but we shall take a good dish of fish for dinner.
(1) The reader may rest assured, that with some or other of these flies, especially with the palmers or hackles, the great dun, dark brown, early (and late) bright brown, the black-gnat, yellow-dun, great whirling-dun, dun-cut, green and grey-drake, camlet-fly, cow-dung fly, little antofly, budger-fly, and fern fly, he shall catch Trout, Grayling, Chub, aud Dace, in any water in England or Wales; always remembering that in a strange water be first tries the plain, gold, silver, and peacock hackle. Of the truth of this he need not doubt, when he is told, that, in the year 1754, a gentleman who went into Wales, to fish with the flies last above mentioned, made as above is directed, did, in about six weeks time, kill pear a thousand brace of Trout and Grayling, as appeared to him by an account in writing, which he kept of each day's success. In confirmation whereof, and as a proof how the rivers in Wales abound with fish, the reader will find in the Appendix, No, V. a like account, kept by another person, of fish, to an astonishing amount, caught by him, in a series of years, in some of the Welch rivers; which account was sent by him to Mr. Bartholomew Lowe, fishing-tackle maker, in Drury-lane, 24th Feb. 1766, and is inserted in his own words.
CHAP. IX. Fly-fishing in windy weather, best in the still Deeps. Piscator. A good day to you, Sir; I see you will always be stirring before me.
Viat. Why, to tell you the truth, I am so allured with the sport I had yesterday, that I long to be at the river again; and when I heard the wind sing in my chamberwindow, could forbear no longer, but leap out of bed, and had just made an end of dressing myself as you came in.
Pisc. Well, I am both glad you are so ready for the day, and that the day is so fit for you.
I have made
you four flies this morning; this silver-twist hackle, this bear's dun, this light brown, and this dark brown, any of which I dare say will do; but you may try them all, and see which does best: only I must ask your pardon that I cannot wait upon you this morning, a little business being fallen out, that for two or three hours will deprive me of your company; but I'll come call you
home to dinner, and my man shall attend you. Viat. Oh, Sir, mind
your affairs by all means. Do but lend me a little of
your skill to these fine flies, and, unless it have forsaken me since yesterday, I shall find luck of my own, I hope, to do something.
Pisc. The best instruction I can give you, is, that seeing the wind curls the water, and blows the right way, you would now angle up the still deep to-day; for betwixt the rocks where the streams are, you would find it now too brisk; and besides, I would have you take fish in both waters.
Viat. I'll obey your direction, and so a good morning to you. Come, young man, let you and I walk together. But hark you, Sir, I have not done with you yet; I expect another lesson for angling at the bottom, in the afternoon.
Pisc. Well, Sir, I'll be ready for you.