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I think him so good a fish, as to be little inferior to the best Trout that ever I tasted in my life.
Viat. Here's another skip-jack, and I have raised five or six more at least whilst you were speaking: Well, go thy way little Dove ! thou art the finest river that ever I saw, and the fullest of fish. Indeed, Sir, I like it so well, that I am afraid you will be troubled with me once a year, so long as we two live.
Pisc. I am afraid I shall not, Sir ; but were you once here a May or a June, if good sport would tempt you, I should then expect you would sometimes see me; for you would then say it were a fine river indeed, if you had once seen the sport at the height.
Viat. Which I will do, if I live, and that you please to give me leave : there was one; and there another.
Pisc. And all this in a strange river, and with a fly of your own making? why what a dangerous man are you !
VIAT. I, Sir, but who taught me ? and as Dametas . says by his man Dorus, so you may say by me :
- If my man such praises have, What then have I, that taught the knave ?
But what have we got here? a rock springing up in the middle of the river ! this is one of the oddest sights that ever I saw.
* 'Tis a rock in Pisc. Why, Sir, from that Pike,* the fashion of a spire-steeple, and that you see standing up there dis
tant from the rock, this is called It stands in the midst of the river Pike-Pool: and young Mr. Izaak Dove ; and not Walton was so pleased with it, as to far from Mr.Cotton's house, below draw it in landscape in black and which place, this white, in a blank book I have at delicate river takes a swift ca- home, as he has done several prosreer betwixt many notes mighty rocks,
ny pects of my house also, which I
pects of my house als much higher and keep for a memorial of his favour, bigger than St. Paul's church, be- and will shew you, when we come fore 'twas burnt. up to dinner. And this Dove being opposed by one of the highest of them, has, at last, forced itself a way through it; and after a mile's concealment, appears again with more glory and beauty than before that opposition ; running through the most pleasant valleys and most fruitful meadows, that this nation can justly boast of
Viat. Has young master Izaak Walton been here too?
Pisc. Yes, marry has he, Sir, and that again, and again too, and in France since, and at Rome, and at Venice, and I can't tell where : but I intend to ask him a great many hard questions so soon as I can see him, which will be, God willing, next month. In the mean time, Sir, to come to this fine stream at the head of this great pool, you must venture over these slippery, cobbling stones : believe me, Sir, there you were nimble or else you had been down; but now you are got over, look to yourself ; for on my word, if a fish rise here, he is like to be such a one as will endanger your tackle: How now?
Viat. I think you have such command here over the fishes, that you can raise them by your word, as they say conjurors can do spirits, and afterward make them do what you bid them : for here's a Trout has taken my fly, I had rather have lost a crown. What luck's this ! he was a lovely fish, and turned up a side like a Salmon !
Pisc. O Sir, this is a war where you sometimes win, and must sometimes expect to loose. Never concern yourself for the loss of your fly; for ten to one I teach you to make a better. Who's that calls ?
Serv. Sir, will it please you to come to dinner ?
Pisc. We come. You hear, Sir, we are called; and now take your choice, whether you will climb this steep hill before you, from the the top of which you will go directly into the house, or back again over these stepping-stones, and about by the bridge.
Viat. Nay, sure the nearest way is best ; at least my stomach tells me so; and I am now so well acquainted with your rocks, that I fear them not.
Pisc. Come, then, follow me; and so soon as we have dined, we will down again to the little house, where I will begin at the place I left off about flyfishing, and read you another lecture; for I have a great deal more to say upon that subject.
Viat. The more the better; I could never have met with a more obliging master, my first
excepted; nor such sport can all the rivers about London ever afford, as is to be found in this pretty river.
Pisc. You deserve to have better, both because I see you are willing to take pains, and for liking this little so well; and better I hope to shew you before we part.
VIATOR. Come, Sir, having now well dined, and being again set in your little house; I will now challenge your promise, and entreat you to proceed in your instruction for Fly-fishing, which, that you may be the better encouraged to do, I will assure you that I have not lost, I think, one syllable of what you have told me; but very well retain all your directions both for the rod, line, and making a fly, and now desire an account of the flies themselves.
Pisc. Why, Sir, I am ready to give it you, and shall have the whole afternoon to do it in, if no body come in to interrupt us; for you must know, besides the unfitness of the day, that the afternoons so early in March, signify very little to Angling with a fly, though with a Minnow, or a worm, something might, I confess, be done.
To begin then where I left off; my Father Walton tells us but of twelve artificial flies, to Angle with at the top, and gives their names; of which some are common with us here; and I think I guess at most of them by his description, and I believe they all breed, and are taken in our rivers, though we do not make them either of the same dubbing, or fashion. And it may be in the rivers about London,