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and get secretly behind the tree, and stand as free from motion as is possible. Then put a grasshopper on your hook, and let your hook hang a quarter of a yard short of the water, to which end you must rest your rod on some bough of the tree. But it is likely the Chubs will sink down towards the bottom of the water, at the first shadow of your rod, (for Chub is the fearfulest of fishes,) and will do so if but a bird flies over him and makes the least shadow on the water. But they will presently rise up to the top again, and there lie soaring till some shadow affrights them again. I say, when they lie upon the top of the water, look out the best Chub, (which you, setting yourself in a fit place, may very easily see,) and move your rod as softly as a snail moves, to that Chuh you intend to catch; let your bait fall gently upon the water three or four inches before him, and he will infallibly take the bait. And you will be as sure to catch him; for he is one of the leather-mouthed fishes, of which a hook does scarce ever lose its hold; and therefore give him play enough before you offer to take him out of the water. Go your way presently; take my rod, and do as I bid you; and I will sit down and mend my tackling till you return back.
Ven. Truly, my loving master, you have offered me as fair as I could wish. I'll go, and observe your directions.
Look you, master, what I have done, that which joys my heart, caught just such another Chub as your's was.
Pisc. Marry, and I am glad of it: I am like to have a towardly scholar of you. I now see, that with advice and practice, you will make an Angler in a short time. Have but a love to it; and I'll warrant you.
Ven. But, master! what if I could not have found a grasshopper?
Pisc. Then I may tell you, that a black snail, with
his belly slit, to shew his white; or a piece of soft cheese; will usually do as well. Nay, sometimes a worm, or any kind of fly, as the ant-fly, the flesh-fly, or wall-fly; or the dor or beetle, which you may find under cow-dung; or a bob, which you will find in the same place, and in time will be a beetle; it is a short white worm, like to and bigger than a gentle; of a cod-worm; or a case-worm; any of these will do very well to fish in such a manner.
And after this manner you may catch a Trout, in a hot evening: when, as you walk by a brook, and shall see or hear him leap at flies, then, if you get a grasshopper, put it on your hook, with your line about two yards long; standing behind a bush or tree where his hole is: and make your bait stir up and down on the top of the water. You may, if you stand close, be sure of a bite, but not sure to catch him, for he is not a leather-mouthed fish. And after this manner you may fish for him with almost any kind of live fly, but especially with a grasshopper.
Ven. But before you go further, I pray, good master, what mean you by a leather-mouthed fish?
Pisc. By a leather-mouthed fish, I mean such as have their teeth in their throat, as the Chub or Cheven; and so the Barbel, the Gudgeon, and Carp, and divers others have. And the hook being stuck into the leather, or skin, of the mouth of such fish, does very seldom or never lose its hold: but, on the contrary, a Pike, a Pearch, or Trout, and so some other fish, which have not their teeth in their throats, but in their mouths, (which you shall observe to be very full of bones, and the skin very thin, and little of it :) I say, of these fish the hook never takes so sure hold but you often lose your fish, unless he have gorged it.
Ven. I thank you, good master, for this observation.
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But now what shall be done with my Chub or Cheven that I have caught?
Pisc. Marry, Sir, it shall be given away to some poor body; for I'll warrant you I'll give you a Trout for your supper: and it is a good beginning of your art to offer your first-fruits to the poor, who will both thank you and God for it, which I see by your silence you seem to consent to. And for your willingness to part with it so charitably, I will also teach more concerning Chubfishing: You are to note, that in March and April he. is usually taken with worms; in May, June, and July, he will bite at any fly, or at cherries, or at beetles with their legs and wings cut off, or at any kind of snail, or at the black bee that breeds in clay walls. And he never refuses a grasshopper, on the top of a swift stream,' nor, at the bottom, the young humble-bee that breeds in long grass, and is ordinarily found by the mower of it. In August, and in the cooler months, a yellow paste, made of the strongest cheese, and pounded in a mortar, with a little butter and saffron, so much of it, as being beaten small, will turn it to a lemon colour. And some make a paste, for the winter months, at which time the Chub is accounted best, (for then it is observed, that the forked bones are lost, or turned into a kind of gristle, especially if he be baked) of cheese and turpentine. · He will bite also at a minnow, or penk,2 as a Trout will: of which I shall tell you more hereafter, and of divers other baits. But take this for a rule, that, in hot weather, he is to be fished for towards
(1) In the Thames, above Richmond, the best way of using the grasshopper for Chub, is to fish with it as with an artificial fly; the first joints of the legs must be pinched off; and in this way, when the weed is rotten, which is sel. dom till September, the largest Dace are taken.
(2) Chub will also take small Gudgeons in the way you troll for Pike: the hook ought not to be so heavy leaded upon the shank; they gorge immediately on taking the bait.