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always to make your flies on such a bright sunshine day as this, which also you may the better do, because it is worth nothing to fish in; here, put it on, and be sure to make the body of your fly as slender as you can. Very good! Upon my word you have made a marvellous handsome fly.
Viat. I am very glad to hear it; 'tis the first that ever I made of this kind in my life.
Pise. Away, away! you are a Doctor at it! but I will not commend you too much, lest I make you proud. Come, put it on, and you shall now go downward to some streams betwixt the rocks below the little foot-bridge you see there, and try your fortune. Take heed of slipping into the water as you follow me under this rock: So, now you are over, and now throw in.
Viat. This is a fine stream indeed: There's one! I have him.
Pise. And a precious catch you have of him; pull him out! I see you have a tender hand: this is a diminutive gentleman, e'en throw him in again, and let him grow till he be more worthy your anger.
Viat. Pardon me, Sir, all's fish that comes to to th' hook with me now. Another!
Pise. And of the same standing.
Viat. I see I shall have good sport now: another! and a Grayling. Why you have fish here at will.
Pise. Come, come, cross the bridge, and go
down the other side lower, where you will find finer streams, and better sport, I hope, than this. Look you, Sir, here is a fine stream now, you have length enough, stand a little further off, let me entreat you, and do but fish this stream like an artist, and peradventure a good fish may fall to your share. How now! what is all gone?
Viat. No, I but touched him; but that was a fish worth taking.
Pise. Why now, let me tell you, you lost that fish by your own fault, and through your own eagerness and haste; for you are never to offer to strike a good fish, if he do not strike himself, till first you see him turn his head after he has taken your fly, and then you can never strain your tackle in the striking, if you strike with any manner of moderation. Come, throw in once again, and fish me this stream by inches; for I assure you here are very good fish; both Trout and Grayling lie here; and at that great stone on the other side, 'tis ten to one a good Trout gives you the meeting,
Viat. I have him now, but he is gone down towards the bottom: I cannot see what he is, yet he should be a good fish by his weight; but he makes no great stir.
Pise. Why then, by what you say, I dare venture to assure you, 'tis a Grayling, who is one of the deadest-hearted fishes in the world, and the bigger he is, the more easily taken. Look you, now you see him plain; I told you what he was; bring hither that landing-net, Boy; and now, Sir, he is your own; and believe me a good one, sixteen inches long I warrant him; I have taken none such this year.
Viat. I never saw a Grayling before look so black.
Pise. Did you not? why then let me tell you, that you never saw one before in right season: for then a Grayling is very black about his head, gills, and down his back, and has his belly of a dark grey, dappled with black spots, as you see this is; and I am apt to conclude, that from thence he derives his name of Umber. Though I must tell you this fish is past his prime, and begins to decline, and was in better season at Christmas than he is now. But move on, for it grows towards dinner-time, and there is a very great and fine stream below, under that rock, that fills the deepest pool in all the river, where you are almost sure of a good fish.
Viat. Let him come, I'll try a fall with him; but I had thought, that the Grayling had been always in season with the Trout, and had come in and gone out with him.
Pise. Oh no! assure yourself a Grayling is a Winter-fish: but such a one as would deceive any but such as know him very well indeed, for his flesh, even in his worst season, is so firm, and will so easily calver, that in plain truth he is very good meat at all times; but in his perfect season, which, by the way, none but an over-grown Grayling will ever be,