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but that many useful things might be learned by that book, but he was laughed at because that art was not to be taught by words, but practice : and so must Angling. And note also, that1 in this Discourse I do not undertake to say all that is known, or may be said of it, but I undertake to acquaint the Reader with many things that are not usually known to every Angler; and I shall leave gleanings and observations enough to be made out of the experience of all that love and practise this recreation, to which I shall encourage them. For Angling may be said to be so like the Mathematies, that it can never be fully learnt; at least not so fully, but that there will still be more new experiments left for the trial of other men that succeed us.
But I think all that love this game may here leam something that may be worth their money, if they be not poor and needy men: and in case they be, I then wish them to forbear to buy it; for I write not to get money, but for pleasure, and this Discourse boasts of no more, for I hate to promise much, and deceive the Reader.
And however it proves to him, yet I am sure I have found a high content in the search and conference of what is here offered to' the Reader's view and censure. I wish him as much in the perusal of it, and so I might here take my leave; but will stay a little and tell him, that whereas it is said by many, that in fly-fishing for a Trout, the Angler must observe his twelve several flies for the twelve months of the year, I say, he that follows that rule, shall be as sure to catch fish, and be as wise, as he that makes hay by the fair days in an Almanac, and no surer; for those very flies that used to appear about, and on, the water in one month of the year, may the following year come almost a month sooner or later, as the same year proves colder or hotter: and yet, in the following Discourse, I have set down the twelve flies that are in reputation with many anglers; and they may serve to give him some observations8 concerning them. And he may note, that there are in Wales, and other countries, peculiar flies, proper to the particular place or country; and doubtless, unless a man makes a fly to counterfeit that very fly in that place, he is like to lose his labour, or much of it; but for the generality, three or four flies neat and rightly made, and not too big, serve for a Trout in most rivers, all the summer: and for winter fly-fishing it is as useful as an Almanac out of date. And of these, because as no man is born an artist, so no man is born an Angler, I thought fit to give thee this notice.
When I have told the reader, that in this fifth* impression there are many enlargements, gathered both by my own observation, and the communication with friends, I shall stay him no longer than to wish him a rainy evening to read this following Discourse ; and that if he be an honest Angler, the east wind may never blow when he goes a-fishing.