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of the Grayling is much more tender than that
the Trout, therefore much more care in landing is required; and a landing net is generally indispensable, especially where the banks are high, for the mouth will seldom bear the weight of the fish out of the water. - An exception in regard to striking must be made in the case of large Grayling or Trout: as such will generally strike themselves, if the line is not too slack. There is much danger of breaking your hold or tackle by striking such fish; and especially if you are throwing down stream. Many an angler has lost his fly, or broken the point of his hook, by striking at the moment of a good rise. The point of the hook is in danger, when it catches the bony part of a Trout's mouth; and the fly is lost by the gut snapping, close to the head, when the movement of a large fish is simultaneous with the angler's striking. In such a case both angler and fish pull at once, a point always to be avoided.
ILLUSTRATED CATALOGUE OF INSECTS FOR THE FLY-FISHING
SEASON, WITH THEIR IMITATIONS.
" Although the imitation of nature is the principal object to be desired by the flymaker, yet in some instances it will be advisable to enlarge or diminish the proportions of the artificial iy .... If the river be very high, the fly may be dressed larger than nature; if very low, the size may be reduced, and the body made thinner than the natural fly appears." — BAINBRIDGE.
We now enter upon our special province ; for hitherto we have been occupied with introductory matters. This Fourth Chapter supposes the angler to be in some degree a proficient, fairly provided with the materials for making a fly; with the finest silks, red, lemon colour (called primrose silk by the angler), and purple, with orange and claret, if possible; also blue dun furs, light and dark, hare's ear, and fox; a few wings of the unsunned starling, as the softest, taken just before the birds quit the parent nest, also of the landrail, hen pheasant, and hen blackbird ; and, above all, some dun hackles, from the neck of blue dun hens, light and dark, and some with a golden edging or fringe; some red and furnace hackles from the neck of game cocks,
some black from a Spanish cock; some peacock herl of a ruddy copper tint; and a little gold twist of two sizes. These and some of the finest gut, and choice sneckbend hooks are required of necessity. And it is supposed that the angler who aspires to make a fly can fasten a hook to gut neatly with very few turns of silk, and can fasten-off cleverly. But, now he is passing on to fly-making, let him observe that his silk had better be only half as thick as what he has hitherto considered the very finest. Ah! what trouble would this hint have saved the writer when he began to make flies. The beginner will make twice as many turns with the silk as the skilful adept, and his silk therefore must be of the finest. · Aim first at neatness, not at strength. Adjust the hackle to the size of the hook, by observing that the fibre, or half the feather, is the exact length of the hook from head to bend. The same of the feather for the wing. As a rule, make the wing exactly the length of the hook. Afterwards you will vary a little, as judgment shall direct. By making all the flies in this list in turn you will acquire dexterity in imitation; but a beginner would do well to take the easiest first, as No. 30., and then No. 27., and so proceed to the Duns and Spinners after a little. practice.
The Duns are the small Ephemeridæ (or dayflies) in the Imago or winged state, but imper. fect, and preparing to cast off a fine skin that envelopes them (wings and all), and to become Spinners. In the former state they are less transparent, and their wings best imitated by the upper surface of a starling's feather; but in the latter they are bright and glossy, and the under surface of the feather used for the wings should be shown. . .,
The bodies of these delicate insects are sometimes beautifully imitated by stained hair and gut; but a fly should be made as soft as silk, and softer, if it is to be retained in the mouth of a fish many seconds. This is the chief reason why wings stiffened with varnish and gut bodies cannot supplant the old-fashioned furs and feathers.
It will be a great assistance to procure a set of flies dressed according to the directions of this book, which can be had of Mr. Eaton, Nos. 6. and 7. Crooked-lane, London, long commissioned by the author to sell his flies.
The first effect may possibly be one of disappointment, because they will not look so large or so bright as the engravings. But neither will the real insects. So that seeing them will correct erroneous impressions, and help the book in giving instruction most powerfully. One word to the finished artist, who may perchance cast a
glance at these pages, and we will enter on our Catalogue. His praise will be appreciated even when qualified with censure. If he grants that something has been done in the right direction by ascertaining the scientific name and somewhat of the habits of the chief angling flies, and that the imitations are simplified, as far as practicable, and the instructions sound in the main, this is great praise from a judge, or we are mistaken. After all, what is a descriptive catalogue of the best insects for fly-fishing ? If followed blindly without intelligence, it will be as useless as a dictionary in the hand of untu: tored youth. But use it intelligently as a help, not as an oracle, and it will assist and facilitate your studies. But it requires ingenuity and perseverance, observation and judgment, aye, travel too, and experience, to make an angler!
A glance at the subjoined classification of insects may encourage the fly-fisher to take an interest in those orders on which his sport chiefly depends. These will be seen, in the Bequel, to be the Neuroptera and Diptera; and, next to them, the Coleoptera.
Insects, properly so called, are winged, have six legs and two antennce. They are divided into 1. Mandibulata (or chewers), and 2. Haustellata (suckers). Of the former there are four orders: Coleoptera. (beetles), Orthoptera (grass