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deep pools or lakes. They require a combination of stream and pool; they like a deep and still pool for rest, and a rapid stream above, and gradually declining shallow below, and a bottom where marl and loam is mixed with gravel; and they are not found abundant except in rivers that have these characters.”
The Rev. Mr. Low says: “ The Grayling is frequent in the Orkney Islands, as it is in Lapland and Switzerland; but it is rare in Scotland, and confined in England to the Avon near Salisbury, the Ure near Fountain's Abbey, the Dee between Corwan and Bala, and the Dove; also the Trent, the Wharfe, the Humber, the Rye, and the Derwent."
The Grayling is seldom known to take the Minnow, and I have never found any in his stomach, although I have taken out many Larvæ covered with cases of sand, and some having six stones attached to each, as also Larvæ when in the Nympha state. I have always found flies, and those principally of the more delicate sorts of Ephemeræ.
He rises with great velocity and almost perpendicularly to seize his prey, at the top of the water, and descends as quickly after making a summerset, for the performance of which feat, the figure of his body and the great dorsal fin seem well adapted ; his agility on this occasion
is indeed so great, that he seems a phantom or flitting shadow ; hence, say some, the appellation Umbra changed into Umber. It has been supposed that he feeds upon the water-thyme, but I never found any vegetable whatever in the stomach, though I have opened as many Grayling as Trout. He has, however, a rather peculiar scent when just taken from the water, fragrant and grateful to the fisherman, and thought by many to resemble that of thyme ; whence he has been called by Linnæus Salmo Thymallus, and by St. Ambrose “the Flower of Fishes."
He seems to be more social in his habits than the Trout, and is not so easily driven from his station by an approach ; but whether this be owing to his lying lower down in the water, or from his being naturally a less timid and more simple fish, remains yet to be ascertained. It is, however, probable that he has less acute perceptions than his rival the Trout; for the young angler will soon find that, after missing him once, he may count upon a second rise ; when, if he is not furried, perhaps he may secure his prize with greater certainty than if the fish had been hooked at first ; for he will take care not to check him during his first rush, but have him ready to give him as rapidly as the occasion requires.
OF ROD, LINE, AND OTHER TACKLE.
“ Omnia quæ multò antè memor provisa repones,
Virg. Georg. i. 167.
LIKE the bow of the Archer, the ROD of the Angler should be duly proportionate in dimensions and weight to the strength and stature of him who wields it. The strong or tall man may venture upon a rod about fourteen or fifteen feet long: but to the person who is shorter or less robust, one so short even as twelve or twelve feet and a half, and light in proportion, is recommended, as the command will be more easily obtained, and with very much less fatigue to the arm. The best materials are ash for the stock, lance-wood for the middle, and bamboo for the top; the butt should have a hole drilled down it containing a spare top, and a spike is made to screw into the end, which is found useful to stick into the ground, and keep the rod upright, when landing a good fish. The ferrules of brass should fit into each other with screws.
A good Rod should be such that its pliability may be felt in the hand; yet it should not deviate or droop by its own weight, if held by the butt in a horizontal position, much more than a foot or two from a straight line.
The rings are usually too small; not allowing such slight obstacles on the line, as can never be totally prevented, to run with sufficient freedom through them; they should all be of the size of those usually put upon the stock. The rod may not have quite so neat an appearance thus treated, but this will be found to be amply compensated in its use; for the sudden stops occasioned by an accident to the line, whilst being pulled up rapidly, has often caused the escape of a good fish, the straining of, if not breaking, a good rod, and sometimes a total loss of the angler's Vade Mecum, good temper.
Rings may be had split down the middle, in the manner of key rings, very little heavier, yet larger, than the usual rings. These can be easily substituted upon the little metallic loops in lieu of the smaller rings, by the possessor of the rod himself, without at all injuring it. Verbum Sapienti.
The beginner should not take the finest FLY LiNE he can buy, but rather choose the strongest
line of this kind to be had, since too fine a line will not only be more likely to break than a heavier one, but will not be so easy for him to throw. A taper lined entirely of hair, is the easiest to cast with.
Reel. Notwithstanding the many complaints which have been made of the REEL usually sold, no very great improvement upon it seems to have been put into practice. The principal requisites seem to be, in the first place, a capability of winding up the line rapidly; secondly, smallness; thirdly, lightness ; fourthly, freedom from liability to derangement.
Perhaps rather too much of the first requisite is generally sacrificed for the sake of cheapness, and for the purpose of obtaining the second and third. A reel having a sheave upon which the line is to be wound, whose groove for the reception of the line is three quarters of an inch broad, whose barrel is two inches in diameter, and whose total diameter is two inches and three quarters, would receive a trout-line of twenty yards perfectly well. The whole diameter of such a reel need not exceed three inches and a quarter, nor the whole breadth one inch and a quarter. The wheels might multiply five times, and therefore the average rate at which it would