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THE FIFTH EDITION.
In the Midland Counties, and especially in Derbyshire, the “Fly-Fisher's Entomology” has long been considered an authority; and as the Derbyshire waters have of late years risen in the esteem of the fly-fishers, a new and more complete Edition of the work has been rendered indispensable. In these counties, the streams, though preserved, are thrown open by the liberality of the proprietors; and here the angler, availing himself of the facilities of the rail, may be found enjoying his holiday at many a pleasant country inn, in the county of the Dove, the Wye, and the Derwent. The Blithe, a sweet trout-stream in Staffordshire, close
to Cresswell Station, was the scene of Ronalds' early experience; on the little bridge, close to the present Station, stood his observatory (p. 5.); and though his residence, at a later period, in Wales, extended his knowledge of the art, and enabled him to adapt his instructions to the different waters in which he fished, yet the Midland streams are still the proper home of his observations : that Dove, where Cotton erst hung up the thick-bodied fly of more southern counties, “ in his window, to laugh at."
One thing is certain, that whoever masters the art of making the delicate Duns and dashing Palmers of Ronalds, will be at no loss to frame those coarser imitations of nature that are successful in Scotland or elsewhere. Learn to imitate the various patterns of this work, exactly, first ; and when once an adept, you may vary your imitation almost endlessly; and following the guidance of Nature's self, may
“ Snatch a grace beyond the rules of art.”
But to sit down by the brook-side, and copy the fly that you have just beaten from
a bush upon the stream, is a feat that the learner had better not attempt. Enough for him if he can, in a warm, sunny window, with all his tools about him, first make his droppers, hackle-wise, and point his lash with the best he can purchase, till study and practice have perfected him sufficiently to make a Winged fly also, well put together, the hackle just covering the point and bend of the hook, and no more; and the wing the exact length of the fly, from head to tail, and neither too full in the feather, nor too scanty.
The present edition of the 56 Fly-fisher's Entomology” has the full sanction of the Author, for whose approval the chief alterations were sent to him in Australia. These will be found to consist mainly, in revising the nomenclature of Chap. IV.; and ascertaining the specific names of all the insects where not previously given, so that the real insect may be examined in the collections of naturalists, and often obtained from them. It is to be hoped that some fly-makers will adopt the plan of keeping cases of the real insects for sale, as well as the artificial imitations. A set of such specimens, pinned in a small glazed case, lined with cork about three-sixteenths of an inch in thickness, would be a very useful illustration and accompaniment to the present Work. And the difficulty will appear trifling, when it is considered that while to an entomological collector the rarity of a species enhances its value, to a fly-fisher, on the other hand, the frequent occurrence of a species, and its being widely dispersed, or found upon all waters, constitute the strongest reasons for preferring it ; because the fish (ceteris paribus) feed upon such species the more readily, as we see in the instances of the green drake, and of various caddis flies.
Another addition is the number of the hook proper to be used in imitating each fly, and remarks wherever a variation in this respect is to be recommended.
The fourth chapter of the work has also received an Introduction of some length, and the Plates have been corrected ; and where the meaning of the Author seemed imperfectly conveyed, a fuller explanation has been given in the text. A few other