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Pise. That I will, Sir, with all my heart, and am glad you like them so well, as to make that request; and they are dressed 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 horse-radish-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 ladle-full 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 horse-radish, 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 dressed 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 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 at the Bottom.
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 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.
Pise. 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 a 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 my Father Walton has already given you the names, and saved me a lahour; 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 carbine 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 braneh 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 fore-named worms, and another half 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 in all depths, which, with the plumbs upon your line above you can never do, but that your bait must always drag whilst you are sounding, which in this way of Angling, must be continually, by which means you are like to have more trouble, and peradventure worse success. And both these ways of Angling at the Bottom, are most proper for a dark and muddy water; by reason that in such a condition of the stream, a man may stand as near as he will, and neither his own shadow, nor the roundness of his tackle will hinder his sport.
The third way of Angling by Hand with a Groundbait, and by much the best of all other, is, with a line full as long, or a yard and a half longer than your rod, with no more than one hair next the hook, and for two or three lengths above it, and no more than one small pellet of shot for your plumb; your hook little, your worms of the smaller brandlings very well scoured; and only one upon your hook at a time, which is thus to be baited. The point of your hook is to be put in at the very tag of his tail, and run up his body quite over all the arming, and still stripped on an inch at least upon the hair, the head and remaining part hanging