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the neck of a black greyhound, and the down that sticks in the teeth will be the finest blue that ever you saw. The wings of this fly can hardly be 1oo white ; and he is taken about the tenth of this month, and lasteth till the four-and-twenticth.
6. From the tenth of this month also, till towards the end, is taken a little Black Gnat. The clubbing, either of the fur of a black water-dog, or the down of a young black water-coot; the wings, of the male of a mallard as white as may be; the body as little as you can possibly make it, and the wings as short as his body.
7. From the sixteenth of this month also, to the end of it, we use a Bright Brown; the dubbing for which is to be had out of a skinner's lime-pits, and of the hair of an abortive calf, which the lime will turn to be so bright, as to shine like gold; for the wings of this fly, the feather of a brown hen is best. Which fly is also taken till the tenth of April.
All the same hackles and flies that 'were taken in March will be taken in this month also, with this distinction only concerning the flies, that all the browns be lapt with red silk, and the duns with yellow.
1. To these a Small Bright Brown made of spaniel's fur, with a light-grey wing, in a bright day, and a clear water, is very well taken.
z. We have, too, a little Dark Brown; the dubbing of that colour, and some violet camlet mixt; and the wing of a grey feather of a mallard.
3. From the sixth of this month to the tenth we have also a fly called the Violet-fly ; made of a dark violet stuff; with the wings, of a grey feather of a mallard.
4. About the twelfth of this month comes in the fly called the Whirling Dun, which is taken every day, about the mid-time of day, all this month through, and, by fits, from thence to the end of June ; * and is commonly made of the down of a fox-cub, which is of an ash colour at the roots next the skin, and ribbed about with yellow silk; the wings, of the pale grey feather of a mallard.
* The inutility of laying down precise rules for the colour of the flies to be used on particular days or hours of the day must be obvious. Walton himself has humorously observed, "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 almanae, and no surer." The directions contained in the following rhyme, respecting the colour of flies adapted to a certain time of the day, are at least as useful as the others which have been published :—
A brown-red fly at morning grey, At eve, when twilight shades prevail,
A darker dun in clearer day; Try the hackle white and snail:
When summer rains have swelled the flood, Be mindful aye your fly to throw
The hackle red and worm are good; Light as falls the flaky snow.
"To make a fly is so essential, that he hardly deserves the name of an angler who cannot do it. There arc many who will go to a tackle-shnp, and tell the master of it, as Dapper does Subtle in the Alchemist, th.u they want a fly: for which they have a thing put into their hands that would pose a natura ist to find a resemblance for: though, when particu ar directions have been niven, I have known them excellently made by the persons employed by the fishing-tackle makers in London. But do thou, my honest friend, learn to make thy own flies: and be assured, that in collecting and arranging the materials, and imitating the various shapes and colours of these admirable creatures, there is little less pleasure than even in catching fish,"—H.
5. There is also a Yellow Dun, the dubbing of camel's hair, and yellow camlet, or wool, mixt, and a white-grey wing.
6. There is also this month another Little Brown, besides that mentioned before, made with a very slender body; the dubbing of dark brown and violet camlet, mixt, and a grey wing; which, though the direction for the making be near the other, is yet another fly, and will take when the other will not, especially in a bright day and a clear water.
7. About the twentieth of this month comes in a fly called the HorseFlesh Fly; the dubbing of which is a blue mobair, with pink-coloured and red tammy mixt, a light coloured wing, and a dark brown head. This fly is taken best in an evening, and kills from two hours before sunset till twilight, and is taken the month through.
And now, Sir, that we are entering into the month of May, I think it requisite to beg not only your attention, but also your best patience, for I must now be a little tedious with you, and dwell upon this month longer than ordinary; which that you may the better endure, I must tell you, this month deserves and requires to be insisted on, forasmuch as it alone, and the next following, afford more pleasure to the fly-angler than all the rest: and here it is that you are to expect an account of the Green-drake and Stone-fly, promised you so long ago, and some others that are peculiar to this month and part of the month following, and that, though not so great cither in bulk or name, do yet stand in competition with the two before-named, and so that it is yet undecided amongst the anglers to which of the pretenders to the title of the May-fly it does properly and duly belong. Neither dare I, where so many of the learned in this art of angling are got in dispute ahout the controversy, take upon me to determine; but I think I ought to have a vote amongst them, and according to that privilege shall give you my free opinion, and peradventure when I have told you all, you may incline to think me in the right.
Viator. I have so great a deference to your judgment in these matters, that I must always be of your opinion; and the more you speak, the faster I grow to my attention, for I can never be weary of hearing you upon this subject.
PlSCATOR. Why, that's encouragement enough; and now prepare yourself for a tedious lecture; but I will first begin with the flies of less esteem, though almost anything will take a Trout in May, that I may afterwards insist the longer upon those of greater note and reputation. Know, therefore, that the first fly we take notice of in this month is called—
1. The Turkey-fly; the dubbing ravelled out of some blue stuff, and lapt about with yellow silk; the wings of a grey mallard's feather.
a. Next, a Gerat Hackle, or Palmer-fly, with a yellow body, ribbed with gold twist, and large wings of a mallard's feather dyed yellow, with a red capon's hackle over all.
3. Then a Black-fly; the dubbing of a black spaniel's fur, and the wings of a grey mallard's feather.
4. After that, a Light Brown, with a slender body, the dubbing twirled upon small red silk, and raised with the point of a needle, that the ribs or rows of silk may appear through the wings of the grey feather of a mallard.
5. Next a Little Dun; the dubbing of a bear's dun whirled upon yellow silk; the wings of a grey feather of a mallard.
6. Then a White Gnat, with a pale wing, and a black head.
7. There is also in this month a fly called the Peacock-fly; the body made of a whirl of a peacock's feather, with a red head, and wings of a mallard's feather.
8. We have then another very killing fy, known by the name of the Dun-cut; the dubbing of which is a bear's dun, with a little blue and yellow mixt with it, a large dun wing, and two horns at the head, made of the hairs of a squirrel's tail.
9. The next is a Cow-lady, a little fly; the body of a peacock's feather, the wing of a red feather, or strips of the red hackle of a cock.
1o. We have then the Cow-dung fly; the dubbing light brown and yellow mixt; the wing, the dark grey feather of a mallard. And note, that besides these above mentioned, all the same hackles and flies, the hackles only brighter and the flies smaller, that are taken in April, will also be taken this month, as all Browns and Duns. And now I come to my Stonefly and Green-drake, which are the matadores for Trout and Grayling, and in their season kill more fish in our Derbyshire rivers than all the rest, past and to come, in the whole year besides.
But first I am to tell you, that we have four several flies which contend for the title of the May-fly, namely, the Geren-drake ; the Stone-fly; the Black-fly ; and the Little Yellow May-fly. And all these have their champions and advocates to dispute and plead their priority; though I do not understand why the two last named should ; the first two having so manifestly the advantage, both in their beauty and the wonderful execution they do in their season.
11. Of these the Geren-drake comes in about the twentieth of this month, or be'.wixt that and the latter end, for they are sometimes sooner and sometimes later, according to the quality of the year, but never well taken till towards the end of this month and the beginning of June. The Stone-fly comes much sooner, so early as the middle of April, but is never well taken till towards the middle of May, and continues to kill much longer than the green-drake stays with us, so long as to the end almost of June; and, indeed, so long as there are any of them to be seen upon the water; and sometimes in an artificial fly, and late at uight, or before sunrise in a morning, longer.
Now both these flies, and I believe many others, though I think not all, are certainly and demonstratively bred in the very rivers where they are taken ; our cadis or cod-bait, which lie under stones in the bottom of the water, most of them turning into those two flies, and being gathered in the
husk, or crust, near the time of their maturity, are very easily known and distinguished, and are of all other the most remarkable, both for their size, as being of all other the biggest, the shortest of them being a full inch long or more, and for the execution they do, the Trout and Grayling being much more greedy of them than of any others; and indeed the Trout never feeds fat, nor comes into his perfect season, till these flies come in.
.Of these the Geren-drake never discloses from his husk, till he be first there grown to full maturity, body, wings, and all ; and then he creeps out of his cell, but with his wings so crimpt and ruffled, by being prest together in that narrow room, that they are for some hours totally useless to him; by which means he is compelled either to creep upon the flags, sedges, and blades of grass, if his first rising from the bottom of the water be near the banks of the river, till the air and sun stiffen and smooth them : or if his first appearance above water happen to be in the middle, he then lies upon the surface of the water, like a ship at hull, for his feet are totally useless to him there, and he cannot creep upon the water as the stone-fly can, until his wings have got stiffness to fly with, if by some Trout or Grayling he be not taken in the interim, which ten to one he is and then his wings stand high, and closed exact upon his back, like the butterfly, and his motion in flying is the same. His body is in some of a paler, in others of a darker yellow, for they are not all exactly of a colour, ribbed with rows of green, long, slender, and growing sharp towards the tail, at the end of which he has three long small whisks of a very dark colour, almost black, and his tail turns up towards his back like a mallard, from whence, questionless, he has his name of the Green-drake. These, as I think I told you before, we commonly dape or dibble with; and having gathered great store of them into a long draw box, with holes in the cover to give them air, where also they will continue fresh and vigorous a night or more, we take them out thence by the wings, and bait them thus upon the hook. We first take one, for we commonly fish with two of them at a time, and putting the point of the hook into the thickest part of his body, under one of his wings, run it directly through, and out at the other side, leaving him spitted cross upon the hook; and then taking the other, put him on after the same manner, but with his head the contrary way; in which posture they will live upon the hook and play with their wings for a quarter of an hour or more ; but you must have a care to keep their wings dry, both from the water, and also that your fingers be not wet when you take them out to bait them, for then your bait is spoiled.
Having now told you how to angle with this fly alive, I am now to tell you next how to make an artificial fly, that will so perfectly resemble him, as to be taken on a rough windy day, when no flies can lie upon the water, nor are to be found about the banks and sides of the river, to a wonder; and with which you shall certainly kill the best Trout and Grayling in the river.
The artificial Green-drake then is made upon a large hook, the dubbing camel's hair, bright bear's hair, the soft down that is combed from a hog's bristles, and yellow camlet, well mixt together; the body long, and ribbed about with green silk, or rather yellow, waxed with green wax, the whisks of the tail of the long hairs of sables, or fitchet, and the wings of the white-grey feather of a mallard, dyed yellow, which also is to be dyed thus:—
Take the root of a barbary-tree, and shave it, and put to it woody viss. with as much alum as a walnut, and boil your feathers in it with rainwater; and they will be a very fine yellow.
I have now done with the Green-drake, excepting to tell you, that he is taken at all hours, during his season, whilst there is any day upon the sky; and with a made fly I once took, ten days after he was absolutely gone, in a cloudy day, after a shower, and in a whistling wind, five-and-thirty very great Trouts and Graylings, betwixt five and eight of the clock in the evening, and had no less than five or six flies, with three good hairs apiece, taken from me in despite of my heart, besides.
1a. I should now come next to the Stone-fly, but there is another gentleman in my way that must of necessity come in between, and that is the Gery-drake, which in all shapes and dimensions is perfectly the same with the other, but quite almost of another colour, being of a paler, and more livid yellow, and green, and ribbed with black quite down his body, with black shining wings, and so diaphanous and tender, cobweb-like, that they are of no manner of use for daping, but come in, and are taken after the green-drake, and in an artificial fly kill very well ; which fly is thus made: the dubbing of the down of a hog's bristles and black spaniel's fur mixt, and ribbed down the body with black silk, the whisks of the hairs of the beard of a black cat, and the wings of the black-grey feather of a mallard.
And now I come to the Stone-fly; but am afraid I have already wearied your patience; which if I have I beseech you, freely tell me so, and I will defer the remaining instructions for fly-angling till some other time.
Viator. No, truly, Sir, I can never be weary of hearing you. But if you think fit, because I am afraid I am too troublesome, to refresh yourself with a glass and a pipe, you may afterwards proceed, and I shall be exceedingly pleased to hear you.
Piscator. I thank you, Sir, for that motion; for, believe me, I am dry with talking: here, hoy! give us here a hottle and a glass; and, Sir, my service to you, and to all our friends in the South.
Viator. Your servant, Sir; and I'll pledge you as heartily;
for the good powdered beef I ate at dinner, or something else,
has made me thirsty.
VIATOR. So, Sir, I am now ready for another Chap. VIII. , ',
lesson, so soon as you please to give it me. Piscator. And I, Sir, as ready to give you the best I can. Having told you the time of the Stone-fly's coming in, and that he is bred of a cadis in the very river where he is taken, I am next to tell you, that—
13. This same Stone-fly has not the patience to continue in his crust or husk, till his wings be full grown; but so soon as ever they begin to put out, that he feels himself strong, at which time we call him a Jack,