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cial wings, resembling the natural wings of a fly partially immersed in the water, would be more suitable to the quieter mode of fishing.
Much valuable time is frequently lost by changing the fly often. It is better to persevere with that which produces tolerable sport, than to do so.
Rising short, fyc.
A fish is said to rise short when he does not seize the bait voraciously and confidently; and this want of zeal is no doubt frequently occasioned by the imitation shown to him being too faint a resemblance of the real insect.
Fish will sometimes rise freely at one moment, and in ten minutes afterwards not a rise is to be seen. One frequent cause of this is no doubt a want of food to rise at. A sudden change of weather, so slight as to be hardly perceptible to us, may have great influence upon the insects, as we perceive that it often has upon cows, asses, dogs, and many other animals.
Another cause for diminution or cessation of sport may be the falling of the water in the bed of the brook or river, occasioned by the stopping of a mill above the situation of the fisherman. I have observed from the fishing-house very frequently a remarkable diminution of rises in a given interval to occur as soon as the water
began to drop in consequence of such a stoppage. When this case occurs he will, generally, do better by going below the next mill which is working, or above that which has just stopped, than by remaining in the first place.
We have already pointed out in the plan or map, and in Chap. I. p. 4., the places in a brook where Trout and Grayling are chiefly to be found: such places should be carefully whipped. Two or three throws in the same place are generally sufficient.
We have also shown above the great advantage of avoiding high stations, of seeking low ones, of stooping down sometimes as low as possible, and even of wading, provided that the fisherman takes care not to get "caught by the fish." Water-proof fishing boots as used in Scotland, or India-rubber overalls, as about Sheffield, are good things.
An endeavour to prevent our shadow, and even that of the rod, from falling on the water should also be adopted, when practicable.
Throwing to a Fish just risen and killing him.
When a fish has just risen at a natural object, it is well for the fisherman to try to throw into the curl occasioned by the rise, and left as a mark for him; but should the undulations have nearly died away before he can throw to the spot, then he should throw (as nearly as he can judge) a yard or two above it, and allow the flies to float down to the supposed place of the fish: if a rise does not occur, it may be concluded that the fish has removed without seeing them: he may then try a yard or two on each side of the place where the curl appeared, when he may probably have a rise, and may possibly hook the fish, provided he has the knack of striking, which knack, like all others, is acquired only by practice ; it must be done by a very sudden but not a very strong stroke, a twitch of the wrist. Having hooked him, the rod should be carefully retained in that position which will allow its greatest pliability to be exerted. To do this, it may be advisable to get it up over the shoulder, and present the butt-end towards the fish. A gentle pull must now be kept upon the fish, and he should be led down the stream by all means, making use of the reel as occasion may require to shorten the line. But if he runs in towards the bank upon which the fisherman stands, it will be necessary to approach the edge of the water as nearly as possible, holding the rod with an outstretched arm in almost a horizontal position; and if the reel is of the usual bad construction, it will be also necessary to pull in the line as quickly as possible with the left hand: this may prevent the fish from reaching his
harbour: if it should not, he will most likely twist the gut round roots or weeds, and break away.
To kill him, the nose must be kept up as much as possible; should he be very importunate and resolute, he may be lent a little more line now and then, but it must be promptly retaken with tremendous interest, and got up as short as possible. After various fruitless efforts to escape, which exhaust his strength, the nose may be got fairly out of the water, he may be towed gently to the side, and the landing net passed under him.
From the time of hooking the fish, if a large one, to the time of landing, care must be had that the line shall not be touched by the hand, excepting under the just mentioned circumstances; all should depend upon the pliability of the rod. In case a landing net should not be at hand, the reel may be stopped from running back, the rod stuck up in the ground by the spike, and both hands being disengaged, the fisherman may stoop down and grasp him firmly behind the gills. But the angler would do well rather to take the fish down stream to the nearest shallow, and draw him gradually upon some shelving bed of gravel, where this is practicable. The rod can then be retained in the left hand, while the fish, even if a trout of 5^lbs. weight, can be gently but firmly grasped with the other; as the writer has once proved, to his satisfaction.
If a fish of less than six ounces is hooked fairly, he may be cautiously lifted out by the line; but should he begin to struggle in the least degree, he must be allowed to drop into the water, where he will be again under the influence of the pliable rod, when he must be towed up again and another effort made to secure him.
The principal differences between Trout and Grayling Fishing are, that the latter requires a more delicate hand, a quicker eye, and the use of smaller flies upon the finest gut. The strike must be made on the instant of the rise. The fish may be sometimes seen, if he be of a good size and the water bright, a few inches before he gets up to the fly, and the fisherman must strike immediately that he does so, for his motion at the instant of seizure is too rapid to be visible.
When the fisherman comes upon a favourable place for Grayling, he should recollect that this fish does not follow the fly as the Trout does, and should therefore allow it to float down the stream in a natural way; for should a Grayling be waiting for it, when it is drawn away, "the fish will be disappointed of that which it was the fisherman's intention to entertain him with."
It must also be remarked here that the mouth