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see I catch fish, yet you have not my fiddlestick; that is, you yet have not skill to know how to carry your hand and line, nor how to guide it to a right place: and this must be taught you,—for you are to remember I told you Angling is an art,—either by practice, or a long observation, or both. But take this for a rule, when you fish for a Trout with a worm, let your line have so much, and not more lead than will fit the stream in which you fish; that is to say, more in a great troublesome stream than in a smaller that is quieter; as near as may be, so much as will sink the bait to the bottom, and keep it still in motion; and not more.
But now let's say grace and fall to breakfast: what say you, Scholar, to the providence of an old Angler? Does not this meat taste well? and was not this place well chosen to eat it? for this sycamore-tree will shade us from the sun's heat.
Ven. All excellent good, and my stomach excellent good too. And now I remember and find that true which devout Lessius says, " that poor men, and ".. tttose that fast often, have much more pleasure in "eating than rich men and gluttons, that always "feed beforei.their stomachs are empty of their last "meat, and .call for more: for by that means they "rob themselves of that pleasure that hunger "brings to poor men." And I do seriously approve of that saying of your's, " that you would rather be "a civil, well-governed, well-grounded, temperate, "poor Angler, than a drunken Lord." But I hope there is none such; however, I am certain of this, that I have been at many very costly dinners that have not afforded me half the content that this has done, for which I thank God and you.
And now, good Master, proceed to your promised direction for making and ordering my artificial fly.
Pise. My honest Scholar, I will do it, for it is a debt due unto you by my promise; and because you shall not think yourself more engaged to me than indeed you really are, I will freely give you such directions as were lately given to me by an ingenuous Brother of the Angle, an honest man, and a most excellent fly-fisher.
You are to note, that there are twelve kinds of artificial made-flies to angle with upon the top of the water: note by the way, that the fittest season of using these, is a blustering windy day, when the waters are so troubled that the natural fly cannot be seen, or rest upon them. The first is the Dunfly in March, the body is made of dun wool, the wings of the partridge's feathers. The second is another Dun-fly, the body of black wool, and the wings made of the black-drake's feathers, and of the feathers under his tail. The third is the Stonefly in April, the body is made of black wool, made yellow under the wings, and under the tail, and so made with wings of the drake. The fourth is the Ruddy-fly in the beginning of May, the body made of red wool wrapt about with black silk, and the feathers are the wings of the drake; with the feathers of a red capon also, which hang dangling on his sides next to the tail. The fifth is the Yellow or Greenish-fly, in May likewise, the body made of yellow wool, and the wings made of the red cock's hackle or tail. The sixth is the Black-fly, in May also, the body made of black wool, and lapped about with the herl of a peacock's tail; the wings are made of the wings of a brown capon with his blue feathers in his head. The seventh is the Sad-yellowfly in June, the body is made of black wool, with a yellow list on either side, and the wings taken off the wings of a buzzard, bound with black braked hemp. The eighth is the Moorish-fly, made with the body of duskish wool, and the wings made of the blackish mail of the drake. The ninth is the Tawny-fly, good until the middle of June; the body made of tawny wool, the wings made contrary one against the other, made of the whitish mail of the wild-drake. The tenth is the Wasp-fly, in July, the body made of black wool, lapped about with yellow silk, the wings made of the feathers of the drake, or of the buzzard. The eleventh is the Shell-fly, good in mid July, the body made of greenish wool, lapped about with the herl of a peacock's tail; and the wings made of the wings of the buzzard. The twelfth is the Dark-Drake-fly, good in August, the body made with black wool, lapped about with black silk; his wings are made with the mail of the black-drake, with a black head. Thus
have you a jury of flies likely to betray and condemn all the Trouts in the river.
I shall next give you some other directions for fly-fishing, such as are given by Mr. Thomas Barker, a gentleman that hath spent much time in fishing: but I shall do it with a little variation.
First, let your rod be light, and very gentle, I take the best to be of two pieces; and let not your line exceed,—especially for three or four links next to the hook,—I say, not exceed three or four hairs at the most, though you may fish a little stronger above in the upper part of your line: but if you can attain to angle with one hair, you shall have more rises and catch more fish. Now you must be sure not to cumber yourself with too long a line, as most do: and before you begin to angle, cast to have the wind on your back, and the sun, if it shines, to be before you, and to fish down the stream; and carry the point or top of your rod downward, by which means the shadow of yourself, and rod too will be the least offensive to the fish, for the sight of any shade amazes the fish, and spoils your sport, of whirh you must take a great care.
In the middle of March, till which time a man should not in honesty catch a Trout, or in April, if the weather be dark, or a little windy or cloudy, the best fishing is with the Palmer-worm, of which I last spoke to you, but of these there be divers kinds, or at least of divers colours; these and the May-fly are the ground of all fly-angling, which are to be thus made.
First, you must arm your hook with the line in the inside of it, then take your scissars, and cut so much of a brown mallard's feather, as in your own reason will make the wings of it, you having withal regard to the bigness or littleness of your hook; then lay the outmost part of your feather next to your hook, then the point of your feather next the shank of your hook; and having so done, whip it three or four times about the hook with the same silk with which your hook was armed, and having made the silk fast, take the hackle of a cock or capon's neck, or a plover's top, which is usually better: take off the one side of the feather, and then take the hackle, silk, or crewel, gold or silver thread, make these fast at the bent of the hook, that is to say, below your arming; then you must take the hackle, the silver or gold thread, and work it up to the wings, shifting or still removing your finger, as you turn the silk about the hook: and still looking at every stop or turn, that your gold, or what materials soever you make your fly of, do lie right and neatly, and if you find they do so, then, when you have made the head, make all fast: and then work your hackle up to the head, and make that fast: and then with a needle or pin divide the wing into two, and then with the arming silk whip it about cross-ways betwixt the wings, and then with your thumb you must turn the point of the feather