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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 year with any other fly; though one may sometimes hit of a day when he 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-andthirty, 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 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 no great service in your 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,
CATOR. A good-day to you, Sir; I see you will always
be stirring before me. VIATOR. 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 chamber window, could forbear no longer, but leapt out of bed, and had just made an end of dressing myself as you came in.
PISCATOR. Well, I am both glad you are so ready for the day, and that the day is so fit for you. And look you, I have made you three or four flies this morning; this silver-twist hackle, this bear's dun, this light brown, and this dark brown, any of which I daresay 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 and call you home to dinner, and my man shall attend you.
VIATOR. 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.
PISCATOR. 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.
VIATOR. 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. PISCATOR. Well, Sir, I'll be ready for you. PISCATOR. OH, Sir, are you returned ?
have but just prevented me. I was coming to call you. VIATOR. I am glad then I have saved you the labour. PISCATOR. And how have you sped ?
VIATOR. You shall see that, Sir, presently; look you, Sir, here are three * brace of Trouts, one of them the biggest but one that ever I killed with a fly in my life; and yet I lost a bigger than that, with my fly to boot“; and here are three Graylings, and one of them longer by some inches than that I took yesterday, and yet I thought that a good one too.
PISCATOR. Why, you have made a pretty good morning's work on't ; and now, Sir, what think you of our river Dove?
VIATOR. I think it to be the best Trout-river in England ; and am so far in love with it, that if it were mine, and that I could keep it to myself, I would not exchange that water for all the land it runs over, to be totally debarred from’t.
PISCATOR. That compliment to the river, speaks you a true lover of the art of angling. And now, Sir, to make part of amends for sending you so uncivilly out alone this morning, I will myself dress you this dish of fish for your dinner : walk but into the parlour, you will find one book or other, in the window, to entertain you the while · and you shall have it presently.
VIATOR. Well, Sir, I obey you.
VIATOR. Believe me, Sir, that you have ; and it looks so well, I long to be at it.
PISCATOR. Fall to then : now, Sir, what say you, am I a tolerable cook or no?
VIATOR. So good a one that I did never eat so good fish in my life. This fish is infinitely better than any I ever tasted of the kind in my life. 'Tis quite another thing than our Trouts about London. PISCATOR, You would say so, if that Trout you eat of were
* Spoke like a South countryman.
in right season : but pray eat of the Grayling, which, upon my word, at this time, is by much the better fish.
VIATOR. In earnest, and so it is. And I have one request to make to you, which is, that as you have taught me to catch Trout and Grayling, you will now teach me how to dress them as these are drest, which, questionless, is of all other the best way.
PISCATOR. That I will, Sir, with all my heart; and am glad you like them so well as to make that request. And they are drest thus:
Take your Trout, wash, and dry him with a clean napkin; then open him, and having taken out his guts, and all the blood, wipe him very clean within, but wash him not; and give him three scotches with a knife to the bone, on one side only. After which, take a clean kettle, and put in as much hard stale beer (but it must not be dead), vinegar, and a little white wine, and water, as will cover the fish you intend to boil : then throw into the liquor a good quantity of salt, the rind of a lemon, a handful of sliced horseradish-root, with a handsome little fagot of rosemary, thyme, and winter-savory. Then set your kettle upon a quick fire of wood : and let your liquor boil up to the height before you put in your fish : and then, if there be many, put them in one by one, that they may not so cool the liquor as to make it fall. And whilst your fish is boiling, beat up the butter for your sauce with a ladleful or two of the liquor it is boiling in. And being boiled enough, immediately pour the liquor from the fish : and being laid in a dish, pour your butter upon it; and strewing it plentifully over with shaved horseradish, and a little pounded ginger, garnish your sides of your dish, and the fish itself, with a sliced lemon or two, and serve it up.
A Grayling is also to be drest exactly after the same manner, saving that he is to be scaled, which a Trout never is : and that must be done either with one's nails, or very lightly and carefully with a knife, for fear of bruising the fish. And note, that these kinds of fish, a Trout especially, if he is not eaten within four or five hours after he be taken, is worth nothing.
But come, Sir, I see you have dined ; and therefore, if you please, we will walk down again to the little house, and there I will read you a lecture of Angling the bottom.
VIATOR. So, Sir, now we are here, and set, let me have my instructions for angling for Trout and Grayling at the bottom;
which though not so easy, so cleanly, nor, as 'tis CHAP. XI.
said, so genteel a way of fishing as with a fly, is yet (if I mistake not) a good holding way, and takes fish when nothing else will.
PISCATOR. You are in the right, it does so: and a worm is so sure a bait at all times, that, excepting in a flood, I would I had laid thousand pounds that I killed fish, more or less, with it, winter or summer, every day throughout the year; those days always excepted, that upon a more serious account always ought so to be. But not longer to delay you, I will begin and tell you that Angling at the bottom is also, commonly, of two sorts (and yet there is a third way of angling with a ground-bait, and to very great effect too, as shall be said hereafter); namely, by hand: or with a cork or float,
That we call Angling by hand, is of three sorts.
The first with a line about half the length of the rod, a good weighty plumb, and three hairs next the hook, which we call a running-line, and with one large brandling, or a dew-worm of a moderate size, or two small ones of the first, or any other sort, proper for a Trout, of which iny father Walton has already given you the names, and saved me a labour ; or indeed almost any worm whatever ; for if a Trout be in the humour to bite, it must be such a worm as I never yet saw, that he will refuse ; and if you fish with two, you are then to bait your hook thus : You are, first, to run the point of your hook in at the very head of your first worm, and so down through his body till it be past the knot, and then let it out, and strip the worm above the arming (that you may not bruise it with your fingers) till you have put on the other, by running the point of the hook in below the knot, and upwards through his body towards his head, till it be but just covered with the head, which being done, you are then to slip the first worm down over the arming again till the knots of both worms meet together.
The second way of angling by hand, and with a running-line, is with a line something longer than the former, and with tackle made after this same manner. At the utmost extremity of your line, where the hook is always placed in all other ways of angling, you are to have a large pistol or carabine bullet, into which the end of your line is to be fastened with a peg or pin, even and close with the bullet; and, about half a foot above that, a branch of line, of two or three handfuls long, or more for a swift stream, with a hook at the end thereof, baited with some of the forenamed worms, and, another half a foot above that, another armed and baited after the same manner, but with another sort of worm, without any lead at all above: by which means you will always certainly find the true bottom of all depths; which with the plumbs upon your line above, you can never do,