Imágenes de página
PDF

the point of the hook, by which means your arming will be left wholly naked and bare, which is neither so sightly, nor so likely to be taken; though to help that (which will, however, very oft fall out) I always arm the hook I design for this bait with the whitest horse-hair I can choose; which, itself, will resemble and shine like that bait, and consequently will do more good, or less harm, than an arming of any other colour. These grubs are to be baited thus: the hook is to be put in under the head or chaps of the bait, and guided down the middle of the belly, without suffering it to peep out. by the way (for then (the ash-grub especially) will issue out water-and-milk till nothing but the skin shall remain, and the bend of the hook will appear black through it), till the point of your hook come so low, that the head of your bait may rest, and stick upon the hair that stands out to hold it, by which means it can neither slip of itself, neither will the force of the stream nor quick pulling out, upon any mistake, strip it off.

Now the cadis or cod-bait (which is a sure killing bait, and for the most part by much surer than either of the other) may be put upon the hook, two or three together; and is sometimes (to very great effect) joined to a worm, and sometimes to an artificial fly, to cover the point of the hook; but is always to be angled with at the hottom (when by itself especially) with the finest tackle; and is for all times of the year the most holding bait of all other whatever, hoth for Trout and Grayling.

There are several other baits, besides these few I have named you, which also do very great execution at the hottom ; and some that are peculiar to certain countries and rivers, of which every angler may in his own place make his own observation; and some others that I do not think fit to put you in mind of, because 1 would not corrupt you, and would have you, as in all things else I observe you to be a very honest gentleman, a fair angler. And so much for the second sort of Angling for a Trout at the bottom.

Viator. But, Sir, I beseech you give me leave to ask you one question. Is there no art to be used to worms, to make them allure the fish, and in a manner compel them to bite at the bait?

PlSCATOR; Not that I know of; or did I know any such secret, I would not use it myself, and therefore would not teach it you. Though I will not deny to you, that in my younger days I have made trial of oil of ospray, oil of ivy, camphire, asafoetida, juice of nettles, and several other devices that I was taught by several anglers I met with, but could never find any advantage by them; and can scarce believe there is anything to be done that way: though I must tell you, I have seen some men who I thought went to work no more artificially than I, and have yet, with the same kind of worms I had, in my own sight taken five, and sometimes ten for one. But we'll let that business alone, if you please; and because we have time enough, and that I would deliver you from the trouble of any more lectures, I will, if you please, proceed to the last way of Angling for a Trout or Grayling, which is in the middle; after which I shall have no more to trouble you with.

Viator. 'Tis no trouble, Sir, but the greatest satisfaction that can be; and I attend you.

Piscator. Angling in the middle, then, for a Trout or Grayling is of two sorts: with a Pink or Minnow for

Chap XII

a Trout; or with a Worm, Grub, or Cadis, for a

Grayling.

For the first. It is with a minnow, half a foot or a foot within the superficies of the water. And as to the rest that concerns this sort of Angling, I shall wholly refer you to Mr Walton's directions, who is undoubtedly the best Angler with a minnow in England; only, in plain truth, I do not approve of those baits he keeps in salt,* unless where the living ones are not possibly to be had (though I know he frequently kills with them, and peradventure, more than with any other; nay, I have seen him refuse a living one for one of them), and much less of his artificial one; t for though we do it with a counterfeit fly, methinks it should hardly be expected that a man should deceive a fish with a counterfeit fish. Which having said, I shall only add, and that out of my own experience, that I do believe a Bullhead, with his gill-fins cut off (at some times of the year especially), to be a much better bait for a Trout than a minnow, and a Loach much better than that: to prove which I shall only tell you, that I have much oftener taken Trouts with a bullhead or a loach in their throats (for there a Trout has questionless his first digestion) than a minnow; and that one day especially, having angled a good part of the day with a minnow, and that in as hopeful a day, and as fit a water as could be wished for that purpose, without raising any one fish, I at last fell to it with a worm, and with that took fourteen in a very short space; amongst all which there was not, to my remembrance, so much as one that had not a loach or two, and some * Sec p. 94. t Sec p. 95.

of them three, four, five, and six loaches in his throat and stomach; from whence I concluded, that had I angled with that bait, I had made a notable day's work oft.

But after all, there is a better way of angling with a minnow than perhaps is fit cither to teach or to practise; to which I shall only add, that a Grayling will certainly rise at, and sometimes take a minnow, though it will be hard to be believed by any one who shall consider the littleness of that fish's mouth, very unfit to take so great a bait; but is affirmed by many that he will sometimes do it, and I myself know it to be true; for though I never took a Grayling so, yet a man of mine once did, and within so few paces of me, that I am as certain of it as I can be of anything I did not see, and (which made it appear the more strange) the Grayling was not ahove eleven inches long.

I must here also beg leave of your master, and mine, not to controvert, but to tell him, that I cannot consent to his way of throwing in his rod to an overgrown Trout, and afterwards recovering his fish with his tackle: for though I am satisfied he has sometimes done it, because he says so, yet I have found it quite otherwise : and though I have taken with the angle, I may safely say, some thousands of Trouts in my life, my top never snapt, though my line still continued fast to the remaining part of my rod (by some lengths of line curled round ahout my top, and there fastened, with waxt silk, against such an accident), nor my hand never slackt, or slipt by any other chance, but I almost always infallibly lost my fish, whether great or little, though my hook came home again. And I have often wondered how a Trout should so suddenly disengage himself from so great a hook as that we bait with a minnow, and so deep bearded as those hooks commonly are, when I have seen by the forenamed accidents, or the slipping of a knot in the upper part of the line, by sudden and hard striking, that though the line has immediately been recovered, almost before it could be all drawn into the water, the fish cleared, and gone in a moment. And yet, to justify what he says, I have sometimes known a Trout, having carried away a whole line, found dead three or four days after, with the hook fast sticking in him; but then it is to be supposed he had gorged it, which a Trout will do, it you be not too quick with him when he comes at a minnow, as sure and much sooner than a Pike: and I myself have also, once or twice in my life, taken the same fish, with my own fly sticking in his chaps, that he had taken from me the day before, by the slipping of a hook in the arming. But I am very confident a Trout will not be troubled two hours with any hook that has so much as one handful of line left behind with it, or that is not struck through a hone, if it be in any part of his mouth only: nay, I do certainly know that a Trout, as soon as ever he feels himself prickt, if he carries away the hook, goes immediately to the hottom, and will there root, like a hog upon the gravel, till he either rub out or break the hook in the middle. And so much for this first sort of angling in the middle for a Trout.

The second way of Angling in the middle is with a worm, grub, cadis, or any other ground-bait, for a Grayling; and that is with a cork, and a foot from the bottom, a Grayling taking it much better there than at the hottom, as has been said before; and this always in a clear water, and with the finest tackle.

To which we may also, and with very good reason, add the third way of angling by hand with a ground-bait, as a third way of fishing in the middle, which is common to hoth Trout and Grayling; and (as I said before) the best way of angling with a worm of all other I ever tried whatever.

And now, Sir, I have said all I can at present think of concerning Angling for a Trout and Grayling, and I doubt not have tired you sufficiently: but I will give you no more trouble of this kind whilst you stay, which I hope will be a good while longer.

VIATOR. That will not be ahove a day longer; but if I live till May come twelvemonth, you are sure of me again, either with my Master Walton or without him; and in the meantime shall acquaint him how much you have made of me for his sake, and I hope he loves me well enough to thank you for it.

PlSCATOR. I shall be glad, Sir, of your good company at the time you speak of, and shall be loath to part with you now; but when you tell me you must go, I will then wait upon you more miles on your way than I have tempted you out of it, and heartily wish you a good journey.

s

ADD1T1ONAL NOTES AND APPEND1X

TO THE COMPLETE ANGLER.

P. 3. The first edition of Walton's Angler appears, from the original advertisements, to have been published at eighteenpence. It was thus advertised in " The Perfect Diurnall: from Alonday, May qth, to Monday, May 16th, 1653," p. a716, London, 4*o:—

"The Compleat Angler, or the Contemplative Man's Recreation, being a Discourse of Fish and Fishing, not unworthy the perusal of most Anglers, of 18 pence price. Written by Iz. Wa. Also the known Play of the Spanish Gipsee, never till now published: Both printed for Richard Marriot, to be sold at his shop n1 Saint Dunstan's Churchyard, Fleet street. In the Mereurius Politicus : from Thursday, May 1a, to Thursday, May 19, 1653,/. a47o, London, 4/°, the Complete Angler is thus noticed: "There is newly extant, a Book of iSd. price, called the Compleat Angler, or the Contemplative Man's Recreation, being a Discourse of Fish and Fishing, not unworthy the perusal of most Anglers. Printed for Richard Marriot, to be sold at his shop in St Dunstan's Churchyard, Fleet street."

P. 14. Alexander Brome also edited Fletcher's comedy of " Monsieur Thomas" in 1639, which he dedicated to Charles Cotton, Esq., the father of the author of the second part of "The Complete Angler."

P. 18. The following translation of Dr Duport's verses to Walton is from the pen of the Venerable Archdeacon Wrangham, and was first printed in his edition of Dr Zouch's works, vol. ii. p. 441:—

Hail, Walton,'with that-fisItersVi\\t Reading, on no inglorious theme,

Which whilom Peter's tribute paid; Deep lectures to a listening host.

And cheer'd Augustus earlier still And mastcr 'h and fc 1 j

Mid empire s toils in T.bur s shade! A associate may rccorj

Thee, friend, next Caesar now we deem (For I, too, watch the mimic fly)

Of fishing-rod and race the hoast; —A fisher was great nature's Lord.

Among more recent verses in praise of Walton, the following which occur in a poem edited by N. Tate, entitled "The Innocent Epicure, or Angling," published in 1697, the author of which is not known, merit insertion from their commemorating Walton, Cotton, and Venables:—

Hail, great Triumvirate * of Angling I hail.
Ye who best taught, and here did best excel I
Play here the Gods, play here the Hero's part,
Yourselves the Proto-Poets of the Art;
My humble Breast with pow'rful flames inspire,
To teach the World what justly we admire:
Joys fraught with Innocence, of Danger free;
Raptures which none enjoy so full as we.

* Walton, Cotton, and Venables,

« AnteriorContinuar »