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Title: Fishing With The Fly - Illustrated
Author: Orvis, Charles F.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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FISHING WITH THE FLY

By Charles F. Orvis and Others

Copyright 1883

               "Together let us beat this ample field,

               Try what the open, what the covert yield."

--Pope.

"Gentlemen, let not prejudice prepossess you. I confess my discourse is
like to prove suitable to my recreation, calm and quiet. So much for the
prologue of what I mean to say."--Izaac Walton.



FISHING WITH THE FLY.



ETCHINGS ON A SALMON STREAM.

By Charles Hallock

I suppose that all that can he instructively written of the salmon has
already been said. The processes of natural and artificial propagation
have become familiar to all who desire to learn; the secrets of their
periodical migrations--their advents and their absences--have been
fathomed from the depths of ocean; their form and beauty have been lined
by the artist's brush, and their flavor (in cans) is known to all the
world where commerce spreads her wings. And yet, the subject always
carries with it a perennial freshness and piquancy, which is renewed
with each recurring spring, and enhanced by every utterance which
attempts to make it vocal; just as the heavenly choirs repeat the
anthem of the constructed universe intoned to the music of the assenting
spheres! The enthusiasm which constantly invests it like a halo has not
been dissipated or abated by the persistent pursuit of many centuries,
albeit the sentiments of to-day are but the rehearsal of the original
inspiration, and present knowledge the hereditary outcome of ancient
germs.

All down the ages echo has answered echo, and the sounding forks have
transmitted orally the accented annals wherever the lordly salmon swims.

Now, hold rhapsody, and let us look to the river! Do you mark the regal
presence in yonder glinting pool, upon which the sun flashes with an
intensity which reveals the smallest pebble on the bottom? Nay? You
cannot see that salmon, just there at the curl of the rapid? Nor his
knightly retinue drawn up there abreast just behind him in supporting
position? Then, my friend, you are indeed a novice on the river, and the
refraction of the solar rays upon its surface blinds your unaccustomed
eyes. Well, they do certainly look but shadows in the quiet pool, so
motionless and inanimate, or but counterfeiting the swaying of the
pensile rock-weeds of the middle stream. What comfortable satisfaction
or foreboding premonitions do you imagine possess the noble lord while
he is taking his recuperative rest in the middle chamber, after passing
from his matriculation in the sea? Faith! you can almost read his
emotions in the slow pulsations of his pectoral fins, and the inflection
of his throbbing tail! Perhaps he shrinks from the barricade of rock and
foam before him; or hesitates to essay the royal arch above the gorge,
which reflects in prismatic hues of emblematic glory the mist and
mysteries of the unattempted passage.

And his doughty squires around him; do they share his misgivings, or
are they all royal bloods together, _sans peur sans reproche_, in scaled
armiture of blue and silver, eager to attain the land of promise and
the ultimate degree of revelation? Ah! the way is indeed beset with
difficulties and crucial tests, but its end is joy and the fulness of
knowledge: and "knowledge is the beginning of life."

Let us go nearer, and with caution. Ha! what flash was that across the
pool, so swift and sudden that it seemed to begin and end at once? It
sped like a silver arrow across the line of sight, but it was not a
silver arrow; only _the salmon_ on his route up stream, at the rate of
90 miles per hour. Were it not for the obstructions of the cascades and
the long rapids, and perchance the wicked set-nets of the fishermen,
it would not take him long to accomplish his journey to the head of the
stream, and there prepare for the spawning-beds. But were-the way to
procreation made thus easy, and should all the salmon of a season's
hatching survive, they would stock their native rivers so full in a
couple of years that there would be no room for them. So the sacrifice
of life is necessary that life may continue. Strange the paradox!

I love to see the salmon leap in the sunlight on the first flood of a
"June rise," and I love to hear his splash in the darkness of the still
night, when the place where he jumped can be determined only by the
sound, unless perchance his break in the water disturbed the reflection
of a star. I have stood on heights afar off at the opening of the
season, ere my unconsecrated rod had chance to exercise its magic, or my
lips and feet to kiss the river, and with the combined exhilaration of
impatience, desire, and joy, watched the incessant spirits of silvery
spray until my chained and chafed spirit almost broke at the strain;
and I have lain on my couch at midnight sleepless and kept awake by
the constant splash of the salmon leaps. More interesting, if not so
stimulating, is the leap of the salmon at obstructing falls, with the
air filled with dozens of darting, tumbling, and falling fish--the foam
dashing and sparkling in the sun, the air resonant with roar, and damp
with the ever-tossing spray. Nay, more: I have seen a fall whose breast
was an unbroken sheet thirty feet perpendicular, inclosed by lateral
abutments of shelving crags which had been honey-combed by the churning
of the water in time of flood; and over these crags the side-flow of
the falls ran in struggling rivulets, filling up the holes and providing
little reservoirs of temporary rest and refreshment for the running
salmon; and I have actually seen and caught with my hands a twelve-pound
salmon which had worked its way nearly to the counterscarp of the
topmost ledge in its almost successful effort to surmount a barrier so
insuperable! Surely, the example of such consummate pertinacity should
teach men to laugh at average obstacles which stand in the pathway of
their ambition!

I always become enthusiastic oyer the rugged grandeur of some Canadian
rivers with which I am familiar.

We have no such rivers in our own domain, except on the Pacific slope;
and except in parts of Scotland and Norway, the streams of Europe must
be tame in comparison. It is because so few of our own anglers have
the experience to enable them to draw contrasts, that they do not more
appreciate the charm of salmon fishing. Even a vivid description
fails to enforce the reality upon their comprehension, and they remain
listless and content with smaller game. Beyond the circumscribed horizon
of grass-meadows and the mountain trout streams of New England and the
Blue Ridge their vision does not reach. There is a higher plane both of
eminence and art.

Opportunely for man's periodical proclivities, nature has given to
salmon and green peas a vernal flavor and adaptation to each other, as
well as to his desires, so that, when the spring comes around they act
directly on his liver, expelling all the effete accumulations of
winter, stimulating the action of the nerves and brain, and imparting an
irresistible desire to go a-fishing. They oil the hinges of the tongue
and keep it wagging until June. When that auspicious, leafy
month arrives, not all the cares of State will hold a President,
Vice-President, or even a Vice-Regent, from taking his annual outing on
the salmon streams. Representatives of royalty and representatives of
republicanism join sympathies and hands. The Governor-General of Canada
sails to his favorite river in a government vessel with her officers in
full panoply of brass buttons and navy-blue. The President of the United
States abandons the well-worn star routes for more congenial by-paths.
Wealthy Americans in private yachts steam away to the tributaries of the
St. Lawrence, and clubs cross lines on their exclusive casting grounds.
The humbler citizen, with more limited purse, betakes his solitary way
to the rehabilitated streams of Maine, enjoys fair sport, and while he
fishes, thanks the indefatigable Fish Commissioners of the State for the
good work which they have accomplished.

"So everybody is happy, and nobody left out; and therefore so long as
the season lasts--Hurrah for Salmon and Green Peas, and vive la Salmo
Salar! I may, peradventure, give you some instructions that may be of
use even in your own rivers; and shall bring you acquainted with
more flies than Father Walton has taken notice of in his Complete
Angler."--Charles Cotton.

"Eh, man! what a conceit it is when ye reach a fine run on a warm spring
mornin', the wuds hatchin' wi' birds, an' dauds o' licht noos and thans
glintin' on the water; an' the water itsel' in trim order, a wee doon,
after a nicht's spate, and wi' a drap o' porter in't, an' rowin' and
bubblin' ower the big stanes, curlin' into the linn and oot o't; and you
up tae the henches in a dark neuk whaur the fish canna see ye; an' than
to get a lang cast in the breeze that soughs in the bushes, an' see yer
flee licht in the verra place ye want, quiet as a midge lichts on yer
nose, or a bumbee on a flower o' clover."--Norman McLeod, D.D.

"Salmon fishing is confessedly the highest department in the school of
angling."--George Dawson.

[Illustration: 0016]


1. Prince Wm. of Orange.

2. Butcher.

3. Jock Scott.

4. Silver Doctor.

5. Fairy

6. Silver Gray.

7. Curtis.


"The noblest of fish, the mighty salmon, refuses bait utterly, and only
with the most artistic tackle and the greatest skill can he be taken;
the trout, which ranks second to the salmon, demands an almost equal
perfection of bait, and in his true season, the genial days of spring
and summer, scorns every allurement but the tempting fly. The black bass
prefers the fly, but will take the trolling spoon, and even bait, at all
seasons; whereas the fish of lesser station give a preference to bait,
or accept it alone. This order of precedence sufficiently proves what
every thorough sportsman will endorse--that bait fishing, although an
art of intricacy and difficulty, is altogether inferior to the science
of fly fishing."--_Robert B. Roosevelt._

"Sometimes a body may keep threshin' the water for a week without
seein' a snout--and sometimes a bodyhyucks a fish at the very first
thrau!"--_Christopher North._

"Salmon fishing is, to all other kinds of angling, as buck shooting to
shooting of any meaner description. The salmon is in this particular the
king of fish. It requires a dexterous hand and an accurate eye to raise
and strike him; and when this is achieved, the sport is only begun,
where, even in trout angling, unless in case of an unusually lively
and strong fish, it is at once commenced and ended. Indeed the most
sprightly trout that ever was hooked, shows mere child's play in
comparison to a fresh run salmon."--_Sir Walter Scott._

"'I chose the largest fly I could find,' said the captain, 'because
the water here is very deep and strong; and as the salmon lies near the
bottom I must have a large fly to attract his attention; but I must not
have a gaudy fly, because the water is so clear that the sparkle of the
tinsel would be more glittering than anything in nature; and the fish,
when he had risen and come near enough to distinguish it, would be very
apt to turn short.'

"'You have it now, precisely,' said the parson; 'the depth of the
water regulates the size of the fly, and the clearness of the water
its colors. This rule, of course, is not without exceptions; if it were
there would be no science in fishing. The sun, the wind, the season,
the state of the atmosphere, must also be taken into consideration; for
instance, this rapid we are going to fish now, is the very same water
we have been fishing in below, and therefore just as clear, but it is
rough, and overhung by rocks and trees. I mean therefore to put on a
gayer fly than any we have used hitherto.'"--_Rev. Henry Newland._

"I unhesitatingly assert that there is no single moment with horse or
gun into which is concentrated such a thrill of hope, fear, expectation,
and exultation, as that of the rise and successful striking of a heavy
salmon. I have seen men literally unable to stand, or to hold their rod,
from sheer excitement."--_H. Choimondeley Pennell._



FLY CASTING FOR SALMON.

By George Dawson.

There is no essential difference between trout and salmon casting. The
same general principles apply to both, and it only requires the careful
application of the skill attained in 'the one to become equally expert
in the other. The difference is simply the difference in weight. A
twelve-foot trout rod weighs, say, eight ounces, and an eighteen-foot
salmon rod, with reel, weighs two or three times as much. The one can
be manipulated with one hand; the other requires both. With the one you
ordinarily cast forty or fifty feet; with the other sixty or eighty; and
with rods equally approximating perfection, it is as easy to cast the
eighty feet with the one as the forty feet with the other. I do not mean
to say that no more muscular exertion is required in the one case than
in the other, but simply that with such slight effort as is necessary
with either, it is as easy to place your fly where you wish it with the
one rod as with the other. No great muscular exertion is necessary to
cast with either. Indeed, the chief difficulty in casting is to get rid
of the idea that a great deal of muscular effort is necessary to get out
a long line. That coveted result is not to be attained by mere muscle.
If you have a giant's strength you mustn't use it like a giant. If you
do you will never make a long or a graceful cast with either trout
or salmon rod. With both there must be only such strength used as
is necessary to give the line a quick but not a snappy back
movement--keeping up the motion evenly until the fly is placed where you
desire it.

The most difficult attainment, in both salmon and trout casting, is to
be able, with instinctive accuracy, to measure the distance traversed
by the backward movement of your line. If you begin the return too soon
your line will snap and thereby endanger your fly; if you are too tardy
it will droop and thereby lose the continuity of tension indispensable
to a graceful and effective forward movement. This essential art
can only be attained by practice. Some attain it readily; others
never;--just as some measure time in music with unerring accuracy,
without a teacher; some only acquire the art after protracted drilling,
and others never acquire it at all.

There is almost as perfect rhythm in fly-casting as in music. Given a
definite length of line and the expert can measure his cast by his one,
two, three, four, as accurately as a teacher can regulate the time of
his orchestra by the movement of his _baton_. While this is true in
casting with either rod it is most noticeable in easting for salmon.
The heavy line, the massive springy rod, and the great distance to be
traversed, render each movement--the lift from the water, the backward
flight of the line, the return motion, and the drop at the point
desired--as distinct to a quick perception as the beat of a bar in
music.

But there are occasions when it would not do to cast by count. If the
wind is strong in any direction the movement of the line is perceptibly
effected; and if the wind happens to be at your back, it requires great
skill and care to counteract its influence and secure satisfactory
results. With such a wind, unless you are perfect master of the
situation, you will be apt to snap off more flies in an hour than you
will be likely to lose legitimately in a fortnight. Nine-tenths of all
the flies I ever lost took their departure before I learned how to cast
safely with a high wind at my back.

In many salmon rivers the pools are so placed and the general body
of water is of such depth that you can always cast from your anchored
canoe. As, under such circumstances, there are no obstructions behind
you, less care is required in keeping your fly well up in its backward
flight than when casting from the shore--as in some rivers you always
have to do.

In the salmon season the water is usually well down in the banks, and
in many rivers the slope from high water mark to the summer channel is
considerable. In casting, as a rule, you stand near the water; unless,
therefore, you cast high--that is, unless you keep your fly well up
in its backward flight it will almost certainly come in contact with
a stone or boulder of some sort and be broken. To avoid this mishap
requires great care. You must keep the point of your rod well up
always--several degrees higher than when casting on the water. My first
experience in shore-casting where the banks had a precipitous slope cost
me a great many pet flies; and I never got to feel really "at home" in
casting under such circumstances. It detracts from the sport when
your mind is occupied with the proper swing of the line. But enough of
ecstacy remains to enable one to overlook this inconsiderable drawback.
Only give the angler an opportunity to cast from any sort of standpoint
and he will speedily discover the proper lift and swing to overcome any
obstacle, and be happy.

Salmon casting--especially the frequency of the cast--depends largely
upon the character of the water you are fishing. If the pool is straight
and narrow and the current strong, and you are casting from a canoe, you
can so manipulate your fly as to render frequent casts unnecessary--the
important thing being not to let your fly sink, as it is not likely to
do in such a current. In large pools where the current is sluggish, as
is sometimes the case, frequent casts are necessary in order to touch it
at every point with your fly on the surface. Where you are able to cast
across a pool, if the current moves with a moderate force, you can sweep
it at each cast by giving your rod the proper motion. This latter class
of pools are those most coveted, because you can cover a great deal
of ground with very little effort. If you fall in with a pool--as
you sometimes will--where the current is so sluggish as to be almost
imperceptible, frequent casts are unavoidable. Without them, not only
will your fly sink, but your line will soon acquire a slack which not
only gives one an uncomfortable feeling but is unsafe in case of a rise.
The very first requisite in salmon fishing is a taut line. It is not
only requisite for safety, but without it it is impossible to promptly
and properly recover your line for a new cast.

But there is nothing so tests a salmon angler's skill and patience as
to cast in an eddy or whirl. No matter how carefully or at what distance
one casts, the moment the fly touches the water it begins to come back
upon you, compelling constant casting if you cast at all. The result
is a great deal of hard work with very little effect, because to keep a
straight line your fly must be lifted almost the very moment it finds a
lodgment on the surface. In such a pool one soon becomes weary with his
efforts to place and hold his fly in the desired position, for it is not
often that he is rewarded by a rise. Since my first experience in such a
pool I have never hankered after its counterpart. And yet it was a sort
of success in this wray: Having become tired casting I allowed my fly
to go as it pleased. It was soon out of sight, having been drawn down by
one of the whirls, and in reeling up to prevent its being twisted around
the rock I presumed to be the primary cause of the whirl, I found myself
hooked to a fish which had taken my fly at least ten or twelve feet
below the surface. When I first felt him he came up as easily as a
six-ounce chub, and I supposed I had nothing heavier than a medium sized
trout. But as soon as he felt the hook and saw my canoe he showed his
mettle, and gave me just such a fight as I might have expected from a
twenty-pound salmon, as he proved to be. That was the first and last
salmon I ever took with the fly so far under water. The rule with some
anglers is "to let the fly sink a little"; my rule is never to let it
sink at all. When a fish strikes I want to see him. There is no movement
that so thrills and delights me as the rush of the salmon for the fly.
To me, half the pleasure of a rise is lost if I don't see the head and
shoulders of the kingly fish when he leaps for the lure.

The manner of casting is almost as varied as the casters themselves. You
will seldom see two salmon anglers cast precisely alike. Some cast with
a straight backward and forward movement, without the divergence of
a hair. Others secure a half sweep to the line by giving the backward
movement over the left shoulder and the return over the right, or _vice
versa_. Still others almost invariably cast sideways, or "under" as it
is called, seldom lifting their rod perpendicularly. Some stand as erect
and motionless as a statue when they cast. Others sway to and fro as
if they made their body rather than their arms do the work; and others
still push themselves forward as they cast, as if they were not sure
their fly would reach its destination unless they followed it. These,
however, are simple mannerisms. Each may be equally expert--that is,
equally successful in placing his fly just where he wants it and just at
such distance as he please. My own preference and practice is, a slight
sway of the body and a nearly straight backward and forward movement of
the line. There are, of course, occasions when a semicircle sweep of the
line, or a lateral movement, or an under cast is necessary to reach
some desired objective point. All these movements, when they are deemed
necessary, will come from experience; but for unobstructed waters I
prefer a straight cast, and only such slight motion of the body as
will give occasional respite to the arms; for it is no boy's play to
so handle a ponderous salmon rod for hours in succession as to give the
needed sweep to an eighty-foot line.

The flies used for salmon are more numerous and varied than those used
for trout, and quite as uncertain and puzzling to those who use them. I
have taken salmon, as I have taken trout, out of the same water within
the same hour with flies of directly opposite hues, and of shapes and
sizes which were the counterpart of nothing "in the heavens above,
in the earth beneath, or in the waters under the earth." There are,
however, standard flies which experience has shown to be generally more
"taking" than others, and for this sufficient reason are always found
in salmon anglers' fly books. But no expert deems any fly or any dozen
flies invariably adapted to all waters and all conditions of wind and
weather. It is superlative nonsense, therefore, to multiply varieties
indefinitely. It is only necessary to have an "assortment," gaudy and
sombre, large and small, but plenty of them. It is very unpleasant to
run short when you are two or three hundred miles away from "the shop."
Those who have had any considerable experience know just what they want,
and the only safe thing for the novice to do, when ready to lay in his
stock, is to seek advice of someone who knows something of what may be
required in the waters to be visited.

And then let him go to the quiet and roaring rivers where salmon
congregate, experiment with such flies as he has, lure the fish by his
skilful casts, strike quick, fight hard, and be happy.

Albany, Dec. 7th, 1882.



THE SALMON AND TROUT OF ALASKA.

By L. A. Beardslee, Captain D. S. Navy.

From the great salmon of the Yukon, to the tiny fingerlings, which in
innumerable quantities throng in the various creeks of Alaska, and are
as ambitious to seize a single salmon egg as are their larger brethren
to appropriate great masses of the same, however illy the bait may cover
and disguise the hook which impales it, there is not, I am convinced,
an Alaskan fish, which through any merit of its own, is entitled to
an introduction to the angling fraternity through the medium of this
volume, and to the companionship of the beautiful fac-similes of the
flies, which in life they scorned.

From personal observation and collected information, I am prepared to
accuse all of the salmon family which are found in Alaska, of the grave
offence of utterly ignoring the fly, either as food or plaything, and of
depending upon more gross and substantial resources.

They are odd fish, and require peculiar treatment both in catching and
discussing. And it is to this cause alone that they are indebted for the
honor of being made honorary members of the gallant band of game-fishes
of which this volume treats.

I have selected them as the subject of my contribution, because a
single glance at the array of well-known names of those who are to be
my co-contributors, convinced me that if I wished to present any new,
interesting, or valuable facts upon any icthyological subjects within
my range, I would have to travel well out of the ordinary tracks, and go
prospecting in some "far countree."

This I have done, and I feel confident that I alone of the contributors
have been forced by circumstances over which I had no control, into a
situation where the obtaining of my notes became pleasure instead of
toil.

The notes which will be woven into this paper are not all of them
entirely new. Some have entered into a series of letters, which over
the signature "Piseco" have appeared in the columns of the _Forest and
Stream_, during 1879-80-81. Through the courtesy of the editor of that
journal, I am permitted to again make use of them.

I have preferred a grave charge against the salmon and trout of Alaska;
it is but just that I should explain the basis upon which it is founded,
and endeavor to establish my claim to be somewhat of an authority on the
subject.

From the middle of June, 1879, to the latter part of September, 1880, I,
as the commander of the U. S. ship of war _Jamestown_, was stationed
in the Territory of Alaska, with general instructions to restore and
preserve order among the incongruous collections of Whites, Creoles, and
Indians of which the inhabitants of that forsaken country was composed.

My command was moored in Sitka Harbor, but during the two summers and
autumns of my sojourn, my duties called upon me to make frequent trips
of from ten to two hundred miles, to various portions of the Territory.

These trips were made in small steamers which I hired, steam launches
and boats of the ship, and Indian canoes, and in them I explored many
of the straits and sounds which separate the islands of the Alexander
Archipelago.

Naturally fond of fishing and gunning, my Orvis rods, with full
assortment of flies, all gear necessary for salt-water fishing, and my
rifle and shot-gun, were my inseparable companions; and after days spent
in explorations, sometimes of bays and sounds never before entered by
white men, and in one case of a large bay forty miles deep by fifteen
broad, existing where the latest charts showed solid land only, my
evenings were spent poring over works on natural history, icthyology,
and ornithology, and jotting down in my note-book descriptions of my
finds. Such jolly times! One day a mineral lode, another great flocks of
ptarmigan, another a bear, a mountain sheep, or some new fish--gave me
something to dream of.

The Alexander Archipelago, of which Baranoff, Kruzoff, and Tchitagofi
Islands are the principal, is separated from the coast by Chatham
Strait, which, beginning at the southward as a continuation of Puget
Sound reaches to above 60° north at Chilkhat; it is from three to ten
miles wide, deep and steep, too, throughout, bordered on the coast side
by high, heavily timbered, snow-clad mountains, and on the other by
high wooded islands. On both sides, many of the ravines are occupied by
immense glaciers, from which flow icy streams, the birthplace of salmon.

Running nearly east and west there are several straits and sounds
connecting Chatham Strait with the Pacific Ocean, of which Peril
Strait, Icy Strait, and Cross Sound, are the principal. These, too,
are bordered, as is Chatham Straits, and are the homes of glaciers and
glacial streams.

Many of these streams I have personally fished, and among those under my
command were several with kindred tastes, and I became possessed of the
results of their experience.

I have read all that I could find of works on Alaska, and since my
return have naturally conversed much with every one whom I have met who
had also an Alaskan episode in his life, and have collected testimony
on the point at issue. One and all affirm that my experience has been
theirs, and the most strenuous efforts with well selected flies have
failed to record a single capture of trout or salmon. The first bit of
evidence I collected is worth recording. When the news that the Yankees
had purchased Alaska, and thus become owners of the land north as well
as south of British Columbia, was communicated to the Scotch Admiral
of the English squadron at Victoria, Vancouver's Island, he ejaculated,
"_Dom the country! let 'em have it; the blausted saumon won't rise to a
floi._" Such was our united experience and verdict.

Of course, as we caught no end of them (trout and salmon) there were
baits which would seduce them, and these were, for the trout, salmon
roe, and for the salmon, live herrings.

There was no poetry in our trout fishing, for compared with salmon roe
in slippery, sticky, slimy chunks, fish worms are aesthetically dainty.

There are several little lakes and more streams in the vicinity of
Sitka; some within reach for a day's fishing, and some within an hour's.
The principal of these are _Piseco Lake_ and stream, back of and running
through the town; _Indian River_ and pond, _Saw-Mill_ creek and lakes,
from one to five miles to the eastward; the _Redoubt_ river, lake, and
fall, seven miles to the southward; and a nameless lake and outlet on
Kruzoff Island, the lake embedded in a deep valley, one side of which is
formed by the foot-hills of Mount Edgecomb, a noble, eternally snow-clad
extinct volcano. In all of these trout or salmon are abundant in the
season; in some both, and in some are found species which do not exist
in others.

At the "_Redoubt_" I believe that all varieties and species are found.
The place is named from a huge dam winch the Russians built across the
mouth of a deep and wide ravine, thus forming a large lake of the river
which here empties into the sea. The dam is provided with a number of
salmon gates and traps. From the first run to the last, every passing
school leaves here its tribute, seduced by the proximity of the
beautiful lake; which tribute, duly smoked or salted, is barrelled for
the San Francisco market by a very "lone fisherman," a Russian who for
many years, without other companionship than his klootchman (Indian
wife) and dogs, has devoted his life to the business.

If in this paper I make an occasional blunder, by transposition,
or misapplication of the terms "specie" and "variety," or fail on a
scientific nomenclature, I beg that it will be remembered that my claim
is not to be an authority on icthyology, when such names are necessary,
but on Alaska fish, which get along very well with their English,
Indian, or Russian names.

I find in my note-book memoranda of the capture of
_bathymaster-signatus, chirus deccagramus, and even a
cotlus-polycicantliocejrfialous_, but had not Professor Bean instructed
me, I should have continued (and I believe I did) to call the first two
after the fish they most resembled, viz., rock cod and sea bass; and
of the last named I have lost and forgotten the description. But we
can spare him; the salmon and trout will, I feel sure, furnish all the
material needed, and I will confine myself to them.


THE SALMON.

Five species of salmon haye been identified as found in Alaska; these
are:

The Oncorhynchus Chouicha,

The Oncorhynchus Keta,

The Oncorhynchus Nerka,

The Oncorhynchus Kisutch,

The Oncorhynchus Garbosha.

I am indebted to Professor Bean for the above list. In it I recognize
some familiar Russian names, and I will supplement the nomenclature. The
"_Keta_" is the big hump-backed salmon of the Yukon, sometimes attaining
a weight of sixty pounds; the _Nerha_ is also called by the Russians
_Crassnarebia_, or red-fleshed; and the distinction is well made, for
compared with it, the flesh of the other species seems to fade into
pink; the "_Kisutch_" or "black throat" is so called on account of the
intense blackness of the roof of the mouth and throat; the flesh is
lighter red than the _Nerkas_, but more so than any other species,
and as a table fish it excels all others, bringing twice the price at
retail; the _Garbosha_ is the small hump-back, and strikingly resembles
the "red fish" of Idaho. This is the only salmon that I am sure
ascends any of the streams near Sitka, except at the Redoubt, where
the _Kisutch_ and _Crassna-rebia_ are taken in late August and
early September. The common name for the _garbosha_ is the
"dog salmon," and a more _hideous_ object than one of them as found
swimming listlessly or dying in one of the pools, it is hard to conceive
of. I find this note of description: "Aug. 26th.--In a shallow pool
I saw a fish some two feet long, feebly struggling as though he were
trying to push himself ashore. I picked him up and laid him on the
grass. A sicker fish never continued to wag his tail; his skin was
yellow, picked out with green and blue spots, from an inch to three
in diameter; and one on his side was about an inch wide and six inches
long, bleeding and raw as though gnawed by mice. One eye was gone, one
gill cover eaten through, and every fin and the tail were but ragged
bristles, all web between the rays having disappeared."

The first run of the salmon is well worth description. About the middle
of May, varying from year to year by a few days only, the inhabitants of
dull, sleepy old Sitka experience a sensation, and are aroused from the
lethargy in which they have existed through the long winter. The word
spreads like wildfire, _the salmon are coming!_ Everybody rushes to the
heights which furnish prospect, and strain their eyes for confirmation.

One of our sailors, musically inclined, paraphrased very neatly the old
song, "_The Campbells are Coming!_ huzza! huzza!" and achieved fame by
portraying the emotions nightly under the lee of the forecastle.

So good an outlook has been kept by the keen-eyed Indians, and the
Creole boy in the belfry of the Greek church, that when first the glad
tidings are announced, the fish are many miles away, and no signs of
their advent visible to the unpracticed eye. Ear away to the southward,
there hangs all winter a dense black bank, the accumulation of the
constant uprising of vapor from the warm surface of the Kuro-siwo,
or Japanese Gulf Stream, which washes the shores of this archipelago;
condensed by the cold winds sweeping over the snow-clad mountains to
the northward, it is swept by them, and piled up as far as the eye can
reach, covering and hiding the southern horizon as with a pall.

Presently our glasses reveal bright flashes upon the face of this
curtain; and soon, to the naked eye, it appears as though the whole
horizon had been encircled with a coral reef, against which the dashing
waves were being shattered into foamy breakers. The breakers advance,
and soon among them we discern black, rapidly-moving forms, and here
our previous nautical experience comes into play, and, "Holymither, d'ye
mind the say pigs!" as shouted by Paddy Sullivan, the captain of the
afterguard, explains most graphically the phenomenon.

The salmon _are_ coming, and with them, among, and after them, a host
of porpoises; an army so great, that an attempt to estimate in numbers
would be futile.

The Bay and Sound of Sitka are dotted with many beautiful, well-wooded
islands; between them, the channels are deep and blue, and these are
soon thronged by the fleeing salmon and their pursuers; the harbor is
soon reached; but it does not prove one of safety, for although there
are immense flats covered only at half to whole tide, where the salmon
could, and the porpoises could not go, the former avoid them, and,
clinging to the deep water, seek vainly the protection of our ship and
boats, which do not deter the porpoises in the slightest degree. For
two or three days, our eyes, and at night, our ears, tell us that the
warfare, or rather massacre, is unceasing; then there comes an interval
of several days, during which there are no salmon nor porpoises.

I had formed an idea, a wrong one, that the presence of salmon would be
made manifest by the leaping of the fish; on the contrary, were we to
judge by this sign alone, but very few had visited us.

The first school had hardly gotten fairly into the harbor, before I,
with others, was in pursuit.

The cannery boats, and Indians, with their seines, and I with a trolling
line and fly-rod.

A single fish apparently, was at intervals of perhaps a minute, leaping
near a point. Indian Dick, one of my staff, excitedly pointed that way,
and urged me to go. "_There! there! sawmo sugataheen_" (plenty). I
was inclined to look elsewhere, or wait for a larger school; but Dick
remonstrated, "_Man see one fish jump, sir, may be got thousand don't
jump, be under_." And Dick was right; but a very small percentage leap
from the water, of which I became more fully convinced when I went with
Tom McCauley, head fisherman of the cannery, on seining trips, or
rather on a seining trip, for the affair disgusted me; and, as with my
experience of Spanish bull-fighting, one trial was enough. Imagine so
many fish that _tons_ were the units used in estimating, penned up by
the walls of the seines, into an enclosure, massed so solidly that five
Indians, striking rapidly at random into the mass, with short-handled
gaff hooks, at such rate that, upon one day's fishing, this boat,
manned by eight Indians and one white man, secured _thirteen tons_ of
marketable fish. It was bloody, nasty butchery, and sickened me. Not a
fish attempted to leap out of the net.

McCauley supplied me with some data, from his point of view.

"_About the middle of June, the fish are plentiful enough to start the
cannery, and the season lasts from ten to twelve weeks" He has observed
"Seven different kinds of salmon, all of which are good for canning and
for the table; but two species which come latest are the most valuable,
the flesh being very red and rich with oil_" (Kisutch and Crassna
Rebia); that "_all of the salmon 'dog' more or less, and that the
dogging begins immediately after they have attempted to enter the
streams, not before August; that after this process has begun_ (and he
discovered it in fish which, to my unexperienced eyes showed no signs of
it) _the value for canning was depreciated_," and all such he rejected,
and gave to the flock of poor Indians, who, in their canoes, followed
us to secure them. If McCauley's ideas are correct, the Alaska salmon
caught in salt water, should be superior to those of the Columbia River
and elsewhere, caught in brackish water. During the season of 1879 there
was packed at this cannery, 144,000 lbs. of fish; the largest catch
of any one day was 30,000 lbs. (over 16 tons); the greatest quantity
canned, 9,000 lbs.; the largest fish obtained, 51 lbs.; and the average
weight 12 lbs. The cost of the fish can be estimated at less than
one cent per pound. Just what "dogging" is, I don't know. McCauley's
opinion, which was shared by many others familiar with the fishing, is
that it is a sickness indicated by a change of form and color, produced
by contact with fresh water, and that the most hideously hump-backed,
hook-jawed, red and purple garbosha, was once a straight-backed, comely
fish; which, if true, upsets some theories. All I know about it is, that
previous to the advent of the garboshas, in August, no change of form
and color is observable in any of the fish, none of which enter the
streams. During August, at the same time and place in the creeks, there
can be seen garbosha salmon in all stages of the transformation, and
the change in form and color is coincident. Some are silvery and nearly
straight; others tarnished, and with slight elevation of back; others
red, with greater protuberance; and finally, some purple-red, with fully
developed humps, which more than double their height above the median
line; and these monsters the Indians like best, and say that they are
better for smoking than any other.

Another idea which I had imbibed in regard to salmon, became greatly
modified by my experience. I thought, and I believe many do, that the
instinct which prompts the salmon to run in from the sea, is to reach,
by the shortest route, the place of birth; and that they make a straight
wake from the ocean to the mouth of their native creeks; and that while
impelled by this instinct, they refrain altogether from food. In all
of this, I think that I was mistaken; and that the fish which begin to
swarm in Sitka Harbor in May, and continue coming and going for nearly
three months before any enter the stream, are simply visitors, which,
on their way north, are driven in to seek shelter from the porpoises and
other enemies.

That they feed at this time, I have plenty of evidence. We caught small
ones, on hand-lines baited with venison. Numbers were taken trolling,
using any ordinary spoon. I had with me pickerel, bass, and lake trout
spoons, of brass and silvery surface. All were successful, the silvery
ones the most so.

And I had many good strikes upon _spectabilis_ or salmon trout, of six
to eight inches, spun on a gang and trolled. The Indians in Chatham
Strait catch a great many upon hooks baited with live herring; these are
attached to short lines, which are fastened to duckshaped wooden buoys,
and allowed to float away from the canoe. I have myself been present at
the capture of a number in this manner.

The Greek Priest, and companies of the least poor of the Creoles, own
seine boats, which go out daily; and after every fair clay's seining the
sandy beach in front of Russian town presents a picturesque appearance,
dotted as it is with heaps of from one to three tons of salmon, whose
silvery sheen reflects the light of the bonfires, around which, knives
in hand, squat all the old squaws and children, cleaning on shares.
Nearly all of the fish taken by them are smoked for winter's use.

Every glacial stream in Alaska is, in its season, full of salmon,
alive and dead. One, which for want of a better, was given my name, and
appears on the charts as _Beardslee_ River, I will describe; for in it I
saw, for the first time, that which had been described to me, but which
I had doubted; a stream so crowded with fish that one could hardly wade
it and not step on them; this and other as interesting sights fell to me
that pleasant August day.

As we, in our little steamer, neared _William Henry Bay_, situated
on the west side of _Chatham Strait_, and an indentation of _Baranoff
Island_, we found ourselves in a pea-green sea, dotted here and there
with the backs of garbosha salmon; the fish, which were of the few that
had survived the crisis of reproduction, having drifted out of the
hay, and with their huge humps projecting, were swimming aimlessly,
and apparently blindly (for after anchoring, they would run against our
boats, and directly into hands held out to catch them), in the brackish
surface water; made so and given its peculiar color by the water of
Beardslee River, which arising at the foot of a glacier, had been fed
by rivulets from others on its course to the sea, and through its lower
specific gravity, rested upon the salt water. These sick salmon were so
plentiful that I thought that a large percentage had lived and escaped
the danger, but upon landing at the mouth of the river, saw that I was
mistaken. For several miles the river meanders through an alluvial flat,
the moraine of receded glaciers. The moraine was covered with a thick
growth of timothy and wild barley, some standing six feet in height;
much more pressed flat by layers, three and four deep, of dead salmon,
which had been left by the waters falling. Thousands of gulls and fish
crows were feeding upon the eyes and entrails of these fish, and in the
soft mud innumerable tracks of bears and other animals were interspersed
with bodiless heads of salmon, showing that they, too, had attended the
feast. I waded the river for over two miles, and the scene was
always the same. That wade was one to be remembered. In advance of
me generally, but checked at times by shoal water, there rushed a
struggling and splashing mass of salmon, and when through the shoaling,
or by turning a short corner, I got among them, progress was almost
impossible; they were around me, under me, and once when, through
stepping on one I fell, I fancy over me. All were headed up stream, and
I presumed, ascending, until, while resting on a dry rock, I noticed
that many, although _headed up_, were actually slowly _drifting down
stream_.

In many pools that I passed, the gravel bottom was hollowed out into
great wallows, from which, as I approached, crowds of salmon would
dart; and I could see that the bottom was thickly covered with eggs, and
feasting on them were numbers of immense salmon trout.

I saw frequently the act of spawning; and I saw once, a greedy trout
rush at a female salmon, seize the exuding ova, and tear it away, and
I thought that perhaps in some such rushes, lay the explanation of the
wounds which so frequently are found on the female salmon's belly after
spawning.

At first, I thought there were two species of salmon in the creek; one
unmistakably the hideous garboslia, the other a dark straight-backed
fish; but upon examining quite a number of each variety which I had
picked up, I found that all the hump-backed fish were males, and the
others all females; that is, all that I examined; but as they were all
spent fish, I could not be sure. I therefore shot quite a number of
livelier ones, and found confirmation.

I saw one female that was just finishing spawning. She lay quiet, as
though faint, for a couple of minutes, then began to topple slowly over
on to her side, recovered herself, and then, as though suddenly startled
from a deep sleep, darted forward, and thrust herself half of her length
out of the water, upon a gravel bar, and continued to work her way until
she was completely out of water, and there I left her to die.

A very large proportion of the fish were more or less bruised and
discolored; and upon nearly all there extended oyer the belly a fungoid
growth resembling rough yellow blotting paper.

The size of the fish was quite uniform, ranging from two feet to thirty
inches.

But that I had seen the living spent fish in the bay, I could have
readily believed the truth of the impression of many, that the act of
spawning terminates the life of the salmon of the Pacific coast.

One more point on the salmon, and I will leave them.

Upon our first arrival, we all indulged very heartily upon them, and in
two or three days, a new disease made its appearance among us. A number
of us were seized with very severe gripes and cramps, and these lasted,
in all cases, for several days, and in some for a much longer period,
two of the men becoming so reduced that it was necessary to send them
to hospital. The direct cause, our doctor ascertained, was the diet
of salmon to which we had taken; and by regulating and reducing the
consumption, the difficulties were checked.

In conclusion, I would say that I have made every effort that would
naturally occur to a fisherman to take Alaska salmon with flies, of
which I had good assortment, and never got a rise.


ALASKA TROUT.

I am indebted to Professor Tarleton II. Bean for a classification of the
various trout, of which specimens had been duly bottled and labelled,
during our stay in Alaska. I had fancied, from differences in the
markings, that I had _five_ species at the least, but Bean ruthlessly
cut the number down to three, viz.:

_Salvelina Malma, or Spectabilis, or Bairdil_

_Salmo Gardnieri_, and

_Salmo Purpuratus_, or Clark's trout.


The first named, called commonly by us the salmon trout, was abundant in
all of the streams, from about middle of June until middle of September,
evidently timing their arrival and departure by the movements of the
salmon, upon whose eggs they live. I have noted, on June 1st, "No salmon
trout yet in any of the streams. Several fine, large ones captured by
the Indians in nets set in sea." Ten days after, the streams were full
of them, and in the earlier part of the interim many would run into the
pools of the lower parts with the flooding tide, and out again on the
ebb.

When they left us in September, it is probable that they migrated
south, for in a letter to _Forest and Stream_, dated Portland, Oregon,
September 28, a correspondent states that, in that month, "there begins
to appear in the streams near the Columbia river, a trout," whose
description tallies exactly with that of the _spec-tabilis_, except that
the correspondent speaks of their affording _fine sport with the fly_;
this the trout while in Alaska fails to do. At first, the _spectabilis_
affect the rapids, but after a few days seek the deep pools, where they
gather in great numbers, and bite ravenously on hooks covered with spawn
and sunk to the bottom. Occasionally, when spawn was out, we used a bit
of fresh venison; but at the best they cared little for it, and when
the blood became soaked out, the bait was useless. Although fairly gamey
when hooked, fishing for these trout was but a poor substitute, for one
who had felt and remembered the thrills caused by sudden strikes of our
Adirondack fish. I have often when pool-fishing, seen them leisurely
approach the bait, and nibble at it as a dainty, full-fed kitten will at
a bit of meat, and when one did get the hook, we found it out only by a
slight resistance to the series of light twitches which it was necessary
to give it. They have evidently been taught by experience that salmon
roe is not apt to attempt escape. The usual size of the fish ranged from
six to twelve inches--now and then one larger. The largest taken by any
of us, near Sitka, fell victim to my "salmon spawn fly," and gave
my little Orvis rod half an hour's good work. It measured twenty-one
inches, but was very light for the length, weighing but two and
three-quarter pounds. At the Redoubt river, much larger ones were taken;
and two which I shot in Beardslee river were over two feet in length;
how much they weighed I never found out, for their surroundings of
sick and dying salmon, upon whose eggs they were feeding, prejudiced me
against them and I left them.

In shape and color the _spectabilis_ vary greatly, both factors
depending upon the length of time they have been in fresh water. When
fresh run, they are long and lean, shaped somewhat like the lake trout
of Adirondack lakes. The colors are dark lustrous olive-green back,
growing lighter as the median line is approached, and blending into a
silvery gray tint, which pales to a pure white on the belly; the green
portion is sprinkled with golden specks; the flesh is hard, and very
good for the table. After a yery short sojourn in the creek, bright
crimson specks appear among the golden, which, however, fade to a pale
yellow; the lustre of the green disappears, they become heavier, but the
flesh becomes soft and uneatable, and the skin is covered with slime.
Salmon trout taken late in August and early in September, were full of
ripe ova.

Professor Bean placed some fish, that had been taken in salt water, into
a bucket of fresh, and the crimson spots made their appearance in less
than a day.

When fully decked with these, and fattened, they resembled our
_fontanalis_ greatly--the head, however, being somewhat larger, and the
tail less square.

_Salmo Gardneri_. My acquaintance with this species is yery limited. The
first one that I saw I took in Sawmill Creek, well up to the head, in
September, 1879. Seeing that it differed greatly from the _spectabilis_,
I preserved it in alcohol, and it was subsequently identified by
Professor Bean. It measured a trifle over ten inches, and was very
plump, weighing seven and a quarter ounces. In my notes, I describe it
thus: "Body, dark green on back, but in general colors very much like
a steel head or quinnat salmon; covered with round, black spots, from
one-sixteenth to one-eighth inch in diameter; these extend considerably
below the median line, and the tail and dorsal fins are covered
with them; the second dorsal adipose, but less so than that of the
_fontanalis_, having a slight show of membrane, on which there are four
spots; ventral and anal fins, yellowish in centre, bordered with red;
belly, dull white; tail, nearly square; scales, quite large, about the
size of those of a fingerling chub; flesh, firm; and skin, not slimy. No
signs of ova or milt."

On the 28th of April, 1880, I made note: "The first salmon of the season
made their début to-day--that is, if they are salmon, which I doubt.

"Five beauties, from thirty to forty inches long, were brought
alongside, in a canoe paddled by a wild-looking and awe-struck Siwash,
who, with his crouching Klootchman and papoose, gazed upon our ship,
guns, and us with an expression that showed them to be unfamiliar
sights. He was evidently a stranger, and was taken in, for he took
willingly two bits (25 cents) each for the fish, and no Sitka Siwasli
but would have charged treble the price. Through an interpreter, I
learned that he had spent the last seven months in a shanty on the
western side of Kruzoff Island, and that well up, among the foot-hills
of Mount Edgecomb, there was a little lake, from which there flowed a
small stream into the Pacific, and that in the headwaters of this stream
he had speared these fish, which run up the stream in the fall, remain
all winter in the lake, and in early spring spawn in the head of the
outlet."

All of this militated strongly against the theory that they were salmon,
and when, on being dressed, the females were found to be full of ripe
ova, said theory was upset completely. My ten-inch specimen of last
September supplied us with a clue, and it was soon decided that these
magnificent fish were indeed trout; for in every respect except size,
and size of spots, some of which were a quarter of an inch in diameter,
the fish were identical. Whitford, the oldest inhabitant, confirmed
the Indian's story, and gave me in addition the Indian name for the
fish--_Quot_ and that of the Russians, which I forget, but it meant
"Mountain Trout," and said that they are found only in the lakes, high
up in the mountains, and that in winter the Indians spear and catch them
through holes in the ice.

We found the flesh to be very delicious--far more so than the best of
the salmon. The processes of cooking, both by broiling and boiling, had
a curious effect, for the flesh, which, when uncooked, was of a very
bright red, blanched to pure white.

The trip to Mount Edgecomb, in the early spring, involved hardship and
danger; and although several of us resolved that we would undertake
it, for the sake of such fish, somehow we never did, and I have thus
described all of the _gardneri_ that I ever saw.

_Salmo purpuratus (Clarkii)_. The most beautiful of the trout family,
although in no way equal to our Eastern trout in any other respect.

The _purpuratus_ is a lake trout, and found only in low-lying lakes.
Just back of Sitka, at the foot of the mountains, and elevated perhaps
twenty feet above the sea, is a little lake dubbed by me "_Piseco_".

Handy to get at, and its outlet running through the centre of the town,
it became, in early spring, our first resort for fishing. Arriving in
June, 1879, many of us had, through days of fruitless endeavor, during
the summer and autumn, grown to disbelieve the tales of the inhabitants,
that this lake abounded in trout; but on the 20th of May, 1880, from
somewhere, there thronged the shallow edges, among the lily pads, great
schools of these trout, and for about two weeks there was no limit to
the number one could take of them. Salmon spawn was the best bait, but a
bit of venison would answer. A fly they would not rise to. In size, they
ranged from six to twelve inches--the latter size being, however, very
exceptional; their average was about eight inches. The description in my
notes is: "Specimen, May 27th. Length, nine and one-half inches; depth,
two and three-eighth inches; weight, five ounces; colors--back, rich,
dark brown, growing lighter toward medial line; at which, covering it
for a space of half an inch, there is a longitudinal stripe of rich
purple, extending from opercle nearly to tail; below the median line,
bright olive-green, lightening to silvery white on belly. All of the
tinted portion is profusely sprinkled with oval black spots, which mark
also the dorsal, caudal, and adipose fins; the ventral and anal fins are
yellowish bordered with crimson; tail, nearly square.

"The entire tinted portion has a beautiful golden iridescence, so that
when held in the sunlight, and looked at from the rear, it seems to be
gilded." It may be noticed that, with the exception of the purple stripe
and the golden iridescence, the description of this fish is almost
identical with that of the _gardneri_. I think it quite possible that
they are the same at different ages, and that later in life these
Clarkii may become ambitious and seek more lofty lakes. None that were
taken contained ova.

Where they came from, unless they run up the inlet at night, no one
found out, for although closely watched in the daytime, none were ever
seen in it.

After about two weeks the greater portion disappeared, and although
sought in the deep waters of the lake, could not be found. Major William
Governeur Morris, the Collector of Customs of Alaska, assures me,
however, that during the summer of 1882, he found certain places in the
lake where he caught them until August. On July 4th he with a friend
catching four hundred and three in three hours, baiting with a single
salmon egg.

I am not sure that we could not have again found them, but the fishing
having grown slack in the lake, and growing daily better in the creeks,
we spent most of our time on the latter.


COMPARISON OF ALASKA WITH EASTERN TROUT.

The principal differences between the Alaska and Eastern trout are,
first, all Alaskans have hyoid teeth, the eastern trout have not.

No Alaskan trout will take a fly. All Alaskan trout, I think, spend a
portion of their lives in salt water. Length being equal, the Alaska
trout, with the exception of the Gardneri, or mountain trout, are
lighter than those of our eastern streams.

Using as a standard the average weight of a number of ten-inch
Adirondack trout, the following table will show this:

[Illustration: 0051]

     Fontanalis-Adirondack, length 10 inches,
     Fresh-run Spectabilis,      " 10   "
     Crimson-specked             " 10.3 "
     Sal mo Clarkii,             "  9   "
     Salmo Gardneri,             " 10.1 "

In conclusion, I must again request that this contribution shall not be
considered and judged as an attempt to scientifically describe the fish
treated upon, but rather as what it really is, a condensation of the
field-notes of an amateur angler.

I have, in giving the sizes, weights, and other data in regard to the
Alaska salmon and trout, depended almost entirely upon my personal
knowledge and experience; it may not be out of place to add to them some
data gathered from reliable authorities.

In his report on the resources of Alaska, Major Mm. Governeur Morris
writes: "Sixty thousand Indians and several thousand Aleuts and
Esquimaux depend for the most part upon dried salmon for their winter
sustenance."

The Hon. Wm. S. Hodge, formerly Mayor of Sitka, states in an official
report: "And additional testimony comes to us from numerous persons,
that at Cook's Inlet the salmon average in weight sixty pounds, and some
of them reach a weight of one hundred and twenty pounds, and Mr. T. G.
Murphy only last week brought down from there on the _Newbern_ a barrel
full, containing only _four_ fish." Surgeon Thomas T. Minor, who some
years ago visited Cook's Inlet, in connection with business of the
Smithsonian Institution, makes statements which confirm the foregoing.

In the vicinity of Klawaek a cannery is established. A catch of seven
thousand fish at one haul of the seines is not unusual, many weighing
over forty pounds.

Mr. Frederick Whymper, artist to the Russian Overland Telegraph
Expedition, says in his well-written and interesting account of his
adventures: "The Yukon salmon is by no means to be despised. One large
variety is so rich that there is no necessity when frying it to put fat
in the pan. The fish sometimes measure five feet in length, and I have
seen boats whose sides were made of the tough skin."

And a writer who, if disposed to strain the truth would not do so to say
anything in favor of Alaska, says in an article in Harper's Magazine,
Vol. LV. page 815: "The number of spawning fish that ascend the Yukon
every June or July is something fabulous.... It would appear reasonable
to anticipate, therefore, the adoption by our fishermen of some
machinery by which they can visit the Yukon when the salmon begin to
run, and while they ascend the river catch a million pounds a day, for
the raw material is there, of the largest size, the finest flavor, and
the greatest number known to any stream in the world.'"

My general views about Alaska differ widely from those of the writer,
but on the salmon question, I indorse all I have quoted, excepting only
the word flavor.

I do not think the Alaska salmon equal in this respect to those of the
Atlantic coast, and far behind those of the Rhine; they are, however,
superior to those of the Columbia River.

In speaking of the salmon, I find I have omitted to mention that in
early spring, before the arrival of the salmon trout, and after their
departure in fall, great quantities of fingerling salmon pervaded the
streams, and bit eagerly at any kind of meat bait.

While the _spectabilis_ were present, these little fellows kept out of
sight and notice.

Since the body of this paper was written there has been on exhibition by
Mr. Blackford, of Fulton Market, Yew York, a number of trout, pronounced
to be the _salmo irideus_, one of which, weighing fifteen pounds, was
sent to the Smithsonian Institution, and there identified by Professor
Bean as being "_Salmo gardneri, the great trout of Edgecomb Lake_."

I, studying these fish in their glass tank, did not form this opinion,
for Blackford's trout had a broad red band extending from just back of
the eye to the tail, covering the opercule, a marking not existing on
any of the Edgecomb trout I have seen. But the Professor assures me that
"_color on the lateral line is not a specific character_." On comparing
my notes of description of these fish, I find that in all other respects
they did appear identical, hence that the conclusion arrived at by
Prof. Bean, that "the _gardneri_ and the _irideus_ (or rainbow trout of
McCloud River), are identical seems well founded. If so, and my crude
supposition that the Clarkii, obtained in Piseco Lake near Sitka are
also identical with the gardneri turns out to be correct, there can be
a condensation of nomenclature, which will lead to at least one valuable
result from this paper.

"No sooner had the barbed hook fastened in its insidious hold, and the
impaled monarch learned that he was captive, than every effort of his
lithe and agile frame was brought into play to recover freedom. In every
struggle, in every effort to burst thee bonds that made him captive,
there was an utter recklesness of consequences, a disregard for life
that was previously unknown, as from side to side of the pool he rushed,
or headlong stemmed the sweeping current. Nor did the hero confine
himself to His own element; again and again he burst from its surface
to fall back fatigued, but not conquered. The battle was a severe one, a
struggle to the death; and when the landing net placed the victim at
my feet, I felt that he had died the death of a hero. Such was my first
sea-trout, no gamer, truly, than hundreds I have captured since;
but what can be expected of a race of which every member is a
hero?"--_Parker Gilmore_.

"If, indeed, you be an angler, join us and welcome, for then it is known
to you that no man is in perfect condition to enjoy scenery unless
he have a fly-rod in his hand and a fly-book in his pocket."--_Wm. G.
Prime_.

"It was something more than a splendid trout that he brought to our view
as we met him at the landing. The young heart in the old body--the
genuine enthusiasm of the veteran angler--the glorification of the
gentle art which has soothed and comforted many an aged philosopher--all
this he revealed to us, and we wanted to lift the grand old man to our
shoulders and bear him in reverent triumph up the ascent."--A. Judd
Northrop.

"From the fisherman's point of view, the sea trout is equal to the
finest grilse that ever ascended Tay or Tweed, exceeding, as he does,
for gameness and pertinacity every other British fish."--_David
Foster_.

[Illustration: 0056]

1. Silver Doctor.

2. Scarlet Ibis.

3. Black June.

4. Gray Drake.

5. Captain.

6.'Academy.

"As to flies, the indifference of sea-trout about kind, when they are in
the humor to take any, almost warrants the belief of some anglers that
they leap in mere sport at whatever chances to be floating. It is true
they will take incredible combinations, as if color-blind and blind to
form. But experiments on their caprice are not safe. If their desire is
to be tempted, that may most surely be done with three insects, adapted
to proper places and seasons. One need not go beyond the range of a
red-bodied fly with blue tip and wood-duck wings for ordinary use, a
small all gray fly for low water in bright light, and a yellowish fly,
green striped and winged with curlew feathers, for a fine cast under the
alders for the patriarchs."--_A. R. Macdonough_.

"His tackle, for brieht airless days, is o' gossamere; and at a wee
distance aff, you think he's fishin' without ony line ava, till whirr
gangs the pirn, and up springs the sea-trout, silver-brieht, twa yards
out o' the water, by a delicate jerk o' the wrist, hyucked inextricably
by the tongue clean ower the barb o' the kirby-bend. Midge-flees!"--_The
Ettrick Shepherd_.

"O, sir, doubt not but that Angling is an art; is it not an art to
deceive a trout with an artificial fly?"--_Izaak-Walton._

"Sea-trout show themselves wherever salmon are found, but not always
simultaneously with them. In rivers where the salmon run begins in
May or early June, you need not look for sea-trout in any considerable
numbers before well on into July. Intermediately they are found in
tide-water at the mouths of the salmon rivers, and often in such numbers
and of such weight as give the angler superb sport."--_George Dawson_.



SEA-TROUT.

By Fitz James Fitch.

Sunday morning, August 2, 1874, found us, Mr. A. R. Macdonough and
me, at Tadousac, a French. Canadian village, very small for its age,
situated on the northeast shore of the Saguenay River, one and a half
miles from the junction of its dark and mighty waters with the turbid
and mightier St. Lawrence. This day was the beginning of the culmination
of four months of preparation for a month's release from the business
world, its toil, care and worry. The preparations began with the payment
of $150 in gold--$171.20 currency--the rent named in a lease securing
to us the exclusive right to fish a river on the north shore of, and
emptying into, the St. Lawrence many miles below the Saguenay. We left
New York sweltering in a temperature that sent the mercury up to the
nineties; were fanned by the cool evening breeze of the Hudson, and
later by the cooler breath of the old Catskills, around which cluster
the recollections and associations of thirty years of my life. We had
travelled by rail to Montreal, 412 miles, and spent a day there; by
steamboat to Quebec, 180 miles, where we passed twenty-four hours.
We had left this, the most interesting city of English-speaking North
America, in the morning by steamboat, and, after a day of delights
upon this majestic river, the St. Lawrence, reached L'Anse à l'Eau, the
landing for Tadousac, 130 miles, in the evening of August 1st.

We felt as we walked out upon the wide piazza of the Tadousac Hotel
that

                    "summer Sunday morn

                   When Nature's face was fair,"

and looked up that mysterious river, the Saguenay, and upon its
castellated mountains of granite, that indeed "the lines had fallen to
us in pleasant places." We had reached the end, as our course lay, of
railroads and steamboat lines, and must finish our journey in _chaloupe_
and birch-bark canoe. We were there to leave civilization and its
conveniences for nature and primitive modes of life. In the story I
am relating my progress up to this point has been as rapid as was our
transit. From this point on it must correspond with our slower mode of
progression; and hence there must be more of detail in what follows.
I hope, but cannot expect, that the reader will find the change as
agreeable and free from irksomeness as we found our _chaloupe_, canoe,
tent, and life in the woods.

After an excellent breakfast, we lighted cigars and walked down to the
humble cottage of my guide, David, on the beach of the little bay of
Tadousac, who had in charge our tents, stores, camp equipments,
and three new birch-bark canoes, ordered months before,
and for which we paid $75 in gold. David paddled us out to our
_chaloupe_, anchored in the bay, and introduced me to Captain Edward
Ovington, master, and his nephew, Fabian, a lad of sixteen or seventeen
years, his mate. The _chaloupe_ was thirty feet "fore and aft;" beam,
9 1/2 feet. Six or eight feet aft we called the quarter-deck. A
comfortable seat surrounded three sides of it, affording sittings for
eight or ten persons. Next forward of this, and separated from it by a
bulkhead, was a space of six or eight feet for freight. Next came our
cabin, eight by nine feet, and just high enough to enable us to sit
upright on the low shelf which was to serve as a seat by day and bed
at night. Then came the forecastle, in which was a very small cooking
stove. The vessel was rigged with main and topmast, strengthened by
iron shrouds, with a large mainsail, topsail, jib and "jigger," as it
is called by Canadian boatmen. It was in respect to the jigger that the
craft differed from a sloop-rigged yacht or boat. Clear aft, and back
of the rudder-post, was a mast about fifteen feet high; running from
the stern of the vessel was a stationary jigger boom, something like the
jib-boom, except that it was horizontal; on these was rigged a sail in
shape like the mainsail. The boat was a fair sailer, strong, well built,
and from four to six tons burden. In returning to the hotel we stopped
at and entered the little French Roman Catholic Church. It is not known
when it was erected. Jacques Cartier, in his second visit to America,
in 1535, explored the Saguenay; and Father Marquette made Tadousac his
residence for a short time. When he first came to this country in 1665,
tradition tells us, he established a mission there and built a log
chapel on the site where the church we entered stands. The latter is a
wooden building, about twenty-five by thirty feet, with a handsome altar
placed in a recess chancel, the rear wall of which is adorned with three
oil paintings. The centre one, over the altar, wras the Crucifixion.
A small porch, or vestibule, of rough boards, had been added in modern
times. A little antique bell swung in the belfry on the east gable,
which was surmounted by an iron floriated cross. The church was filled
with devout _habitans_, mainly--there was a sprinkling of summer
boarders and anglers--who listened with apparent interest to the
extempore sermon of a young French priest of prepossessing appearance
and manner. In the afternoon I attended the English Episcopal Church,
about a mile from the hotel, and midway between Tadousac and L'Anse
à l'Eau. Here I felt quite at home, enjoyed the services, and joined
heartily in the prayer for the "Queen, the Royal Family, and all who are
in authority." I was compelled to put a U. S. greenback, to represent my
contribution of one dollar, upon the plate. I have been sorry ever
since that I did not secure a reputation for honesty and fair dealing by
adding a dime to pay the premium on gold, and thus make good our (then)
depreciated currency.

August 3d.--A gray flannel suit and shirt were donned this morning.
Our fishing clothes and paraphernalia were packed in large canvas bags,
toilet articles, etc., in grip sacks, and all else left in our Saratoga
trunks, and in charge of the hotel manager until our return. At 11
o'clock we walked down to the beach where David and the Captain met us
with our respective canoes. I asked "Dah-veede" (he was very particular
about the pronunciation of his name), "how shall I dispose of myself in
this cranky thing?"

"Sit down on the bottom, sir." The latter part of the sitting process
was rather emphatic. I wondered how I was to get up! All being on board
the good _chaloupe_ Quebec, the sails were spread to the breeze, and by
one o'clock we had beat out of the bay, down the Saguenay, and were on
the St. Lawrence. As we sailed, the canoes which had been in tow were
hoisted on deck; one, turned upon its side, was lashed to the shrouds
of the vessel on either side, and the third, turned bottom up, was laid
upon the cabin deck. The wind was N. W., and favorable, so that we made
about eight knots an hour. We landed at Escomains, to take on
board Pierre Jacques, a full-blooded Indian, possessing the usual
characteristics of his race--laziness and love of whiskey. He was Mr.
Macdonough's guide; and, despite the weaknesses mentioned, proved a
good guide and a most skilful canoeist. We continued to sail until ten
o'clock at night, when we dropped anchor. The night was dark and rainy,
the wind fresh, and the river very rough, causing our little craft
to dance, roll, and pitch in a most disgusting manner. We had no
seasickness on board, but much wakefulness on my side of the cabin.
Being thus "Rocked in the cradle of the deep," was not a success as a
soporific, in my case, at least.

_August 4th_.--Seven o'clock, A. M. We have been sailing since daylight
this morning, and are now at anchor near the Sault au Cochon. Mr.
Macdonough had occasion to visit a country store near the falls, and
suggested that I try to catch a trout for breakfast. The stream which
empties into the St. Lawrence here is of considerable size--say forty
feet wide--and pours over a ledge of rocks, or precipice, about fifty
feet in height, into the head of a small bay. The water under and near
the fall is very rough and swift. My guide launched my canoe, paddled
me out, and placed me in such a position that I could cast in the eddy
formed by the swift waters from the fall. With a hornbeam rod, of ten
ounces in weight, and twelve feet in length, armed with two flies, I
whipped the waters. A few casts brought up a trout. I saw its head as it
rose for my dropper, struck, and hooked the fish. It ran down with the
current, my click reel singing the tune so delightful to anglers' ears,
until near one hundred feet of line was out. Placing my gloved thumb
upon the barrel of the reel, I checked its progress. The trout dashed
right and left, from and towards me, at times putting my tackle to a
severe test. It kept below the surface of the water; therefore, I could
only judge of the size of my captive by the strength it exerted in its
efforts to escape. My enthusiastic guide was much excited, and cheered
me by such remarks as, "Juge he big trout. He weigh three, four, five
pounds! He very big trout!" I concurred in his opinion, as it often
required the utmost strength of my right hand and wrist to hold my rod
at the proper angle. After playing the fish fifteen or twenty minutes,
without its showing any signs of exhaustion, I slowly, and by sheer
force, reeled the fish to the canoe, and my guide scooped it out
with the landing net. I then discovered it was not the monster we had
supposed it to be, but that it was hooked by the tail fly at the roots
of the caudal fin. The fish was killed, by a blow upon the head, and
weighed. The scales showed two pounds two ounces. The guide paddled
ashore, and upon the rocks near the falls built a fire, and prepared our
breakfast. The fish was split open on the back, spread out upon a plank,
to which it was secured by wooden pegs, set up before the fire, and
thus broiled, or more properly, roasted. A more delicious trout I never
tasted.

Up to this point, what has been written has been abstracted from the
prolix journal that I kept of this bout.

As I have taken my first sea-trout from Canadian waters it is fitting
that I turn to the subject of this article,


SEA-TROUT.

Like all anadromous fishes its "ways are dark and past finding out."
Hence scientists, naturalists, anglers and guides differ widely and
materially in regard to its proper name, its species, and its habits.
Scarcely any two writers upon the subject have agreed in all these
points. Sea-trout (_Salmo Trutta_) abound in northern Europe. As stated
by Foster in his "Scientific Angler," in "nearly every beck and burn,
loch and river of Scotland and Ireland; and are readily taken with a
fly." These sea-trout have been mentioned and described by many eminent
writers--Sir Humphry Davy, Yarrel, Foster, and others. The description
given of this fish, the number of rays in its fins, its coloring and
markings, and lastly the absence of all red or vermilion spots render it
absolutely certain that they are not in species identical with the sea
trout of the Dominion of Canada.

As is shown by Thaddeus Norris, in his admirable work, "The American
Angler's Book," conclusively I think, the supposed identity of the two
kinds of sea-trout mentioned have led many writers astray when speaking
of the sea-trout found in American waters.

Norris has applied to the latter fish the name _Salmo Canadensis_,
given, I believe, by Col. Hamilton Smith, in 1834. Whether icthyologists
can find a better or more appropriate one matters not. It is desirable
that there be a name to distinguish this fish from all others, and this
one, if generally adopted, will serve all necessary purposes.

In describing the fish Norris writes thus: "A Canadian trout, fresh from
the sea, as compared with the brook trout, has larger and more distinct
scales; the form is not so much compressed; the markings on the back are
lighter and not so vermiculated in form, but resemble more the broken
segments of a circle; it has fewer red spots, which are also less
distinct." He also thinks the sea-trout, until they attain the weight
of two pounds, more slender in form. Again I quote verbatim: "In color,
when fresh run from the sea, this fish is a light, bluish green on the
back, light silvery gray on the sides, and brilliant white on the belly;
the ventral and anal fins entirely white; the pectorals brownish blue in
front and the posterior rays rosy white. The tail is quite forked in the
young fish, as in all the salmonidæ, but when fully grown is slightly
lunate."

Genio C. Scott, who laid no claim to being a scientist, but who was
a close observer, also compares the same fish, which he calls the
Silver-trout or sea-trout, _Trutta Argentina_, or _Trutta Marina_, with
the brook trout. He says, "The sea-trout is similar to the brook-trout
in all facial peculiarities. It is shaped like the brook-trout. The
vermicular marks on the back, and above the lateral line, are like those
of the brook-trout; its vermicular white and amber dots are like the
brook-trout's; its fins are like the brook-trout's, even to the square
or slightly lunate end of the tail. It has the amber back and silver
sides of such brook-trout as have access to the estuary food of the eggs
of different fishes, the young herring," etc.

These descriptions differ but little, and are, I believe, as accurate
in the main as can be given. Both these writers, as will be seen, are
discussing, and have taken opposite sides upon the question, whether the
Canadian sea-trout is an anadromous brook-trout. This question was very
well presented by Mr. Macdonough (my companion) in an article entitled
"Sea-Trout Fishing," published in _Scribner's Monthly Magazine_ for May,
1877. He begins thus: "What is a sea-trout? A problem to begin with,
though quite a minor one, since naturalists have for some time past kept
specimens waiting their leisure to decide whether he is a cadet of
the noble salmon race, or merely the chief of the familiar brook-trout
tribe. Science inclines to the former view upon certain slight but sure
indications noted in spines and gill covers. The witness of guides and
gaffers leads the same way; and the Indians all say that the habits of
the sea-trout and brook-trout differ, and that the contrast between the
markings of the two kinds of fish taken from the same pool, forbids the
idea of their identity. Yet the testimony of many accomplished sportsmen
affirms it. The gradual change of color in the same fish as he ascends
the stream from plain silvery gray to deepest dotted bronze; his haunts
at the lower end of pools, behind rocks, and among roots; his action in
taking the fly with an upward leap, not downwards from above--all
these resemblances support the theory that the sea-trout is only an
anadromous brook-trout.... Indeed the difference in color between the
brook-trout and sea-trout ranges within a far narrower scale than that
between parr, grilse, and salmon." The reader who has not read the paper
would doubtless thank me for quoting it entire.

As will have been seen, the conscientious and lamented Thad. Norris,
when he wrote as above quoted, thought that the Canadian sea-trout were
not the English _Salmo Trutta_, nor the _Salmo Fontinalis_, and as proof
gave this table showing the number of rays in the fins of the following
fish:

[Illustration: 0069]

He adds, speaking of the last two fish--"there being only a difference
of one ray in the pectorals, which may be accidental." I am credibly
informed that some years after his book was written, and after a more
familiar acquaintance with the _S. Canadensis_, his views underwent
an entire change, and that he wrote "the _S. Canadensis_ is the _S.
Fontinalis_ gone to sea."

The space allowed me for this paper will not admit of my quoting further
from the writings of those above mentioned or of others upon this
subject.

I will now state, as briefly as I can, my own views resulting from long
familiarity with brook-trout, gained by thirty-five years of angling for
them, my acquaintance with the sea-trout of Long Island, and those found
in Canadian waters. In regard to the markings of the fish _immediately
after migrating from salt to fresh water_ it is unnecessary to say more,
except that the vermicular marks differ somewhat in different fish. Some
that I caught and examined closely had, as Scott says, "vermiculate
marks on the back very plain and distinct." And on others, as Norris
writes, "the markings on the back were lighter and not so vermiculated
in form, but resembling more the broken segments of a circle." The fish
in this respect differ from each other far less than often do brook
trout, taken from the same pool. Norris thinks the sea-trout more
slender in form than the brook-trout until the former attains the weight
of two pounds. I have not been able to discover this difference between
sea-trout and the brook-trout taken from the waters of this State. The
trout of Rangeley Lake, and waters adjacent in Maine (I assume, as I
believe, they are genuine brook trout), are thicker and shorter than
trout of the same weight caught in the State of New York, or the
Canadian sea-trout. I have two careful and accurate drawings--one of
a sea-trout which weighed four and one-quarter pounds, and measured
twenty-two and one-half inches in length, and five and one-eighth inches
in depth--the other of a Rangeley trout that weighed eight pounds, and
measured twenty-six inches in length, and eight and a half inches in
depth. I have seen and measured several Rangeley trout two of seven
pounds each, one of four and one-half pounds, etc., and in all I think
there was a similar disproportion as compared with the other trout above
mentioned.

As regards the number of rays in the fins of sea-trout I can only say
that while fishing for them I counted the rays and found them to compare
in number with those of the brook-trout as given by Norris in the table
inserted ante.

All the writers from whom I have quoted, and all persons with whom
I have conversed who have fished for these sea-trout, concur in the
opinion that soon after the sea-trout enters fresh water, a change in
color and appearance begins, which ends in assimilating, as nearly as
may be, the fish in question to the brook trout. On the first day's
fishing, when my guide accompanied me, he opened the mouth of a trout
and called my attention to small parasites--"Sea-lice," he called
them--in the mouth and throat of the fish. He said that the presence of
these parasites was a sure indication that the fish had just left the
salt water; that they would soon disappear in fresh water. As a matter
of curiosity I examined the mouths of several fish, and invariably found
that if they presented the appearance described by Norris and Scott, the
parasites were present; but if they had assumed a gayer livery none were
to be found. The change in color, which begins with the trout's advent
to fresh water, is progressive, and ceases only when the object of its
mission, the deposit and impregnation of the spawn, is accomplished. In
proof of this I will state that during the last days of our stay on
the stream, and notably in fish taken fifteen or twenty miles from
tide water, it was not infrequent that we caught trout as gorgeous
and brilliant in color as the male brook trout at the spawning season.
Whether this change of color is attributable to the character of the
water in which it "lives, moves, and has its being," to the food it
eats, or other causes, it is impossible to say. I often caught from the
same or adjacent pools, trout fresh from the sea and dull in color, and
those showing in a greater or less degree the brilliancy of the mountain
brook trout. Of course they differ widely in appearance, and therefore
it is not surprising that the "Indians all say," as expressed by Mr.
Macdonough, "that the contrast between the markings of the two kinds of
fish forbids the idea of their identity."

As mentioned by Mr. Macdonough the sea-trout have their "haunts at the
lower end of pools" [and upper end he might have added with truth],
"behind rocks, among roots," in short, in the same parts of a stream
that an experienced angler expects to find and does find the brook
trout.

The sea trout will take the same bait, rise at the same fly, and rest
at the same hours of the day, as brook trout. The flies that I ordered,
made from samples furnished by Mr. Macdonough, who had had some years'
experience on the stream before I accompanied him, were much larger and
more gaudy than the usual trout flies, and ordinarily were sufficiently
_taking_ in character; but, on very bright days, when the water was low
and clear, we found that the flies used by us on the Beaver Kill, and
Neversink, in Sullivan County, New York, were better. The largest trout
taken by us on this bout--four and one-quarter pounds--was hooked with
a stone fly made by Pritchard Brothers, of New York, for use on those
streams. On one occasion, I took at one cast, and landed safely, two
trout, weighing three pounds and one-quarter, and one and three-quarters
pounds, respectively, upon one of the said stone flies and a mediumsized
gray hackle.

In conclusion of this part of my article, I will say that, for the
reasons above given, I have no doubt but that the Canada sea-trout are
anadromous brook trout, and that they should be classed with the _salmo
fontinalis_, or, if preferred, _salvelinus fontinalis_.

The trout in question come up the St. Lawrence from the ocean in large
numbers, and file off, probably in accordance with the instinct of
anadromous fishes, to the streams in which they were severally hatched.
The detachment for our stream reaches it invariably in the first days of
August. "When once fairly in the current" (I quote from Mr. Macdonough's
paper), "their movements up-stream are very rapid. Passionless and
almost sexless, as the mode of the nuptials, they are on their way to
complete, may seem to more highly organized beings, they drive with
headlong eagerness through torrent and foam, toward the shining
reaches and gravelly beds far up the river, where their ova are to be
deposited." They stop for but a short time for rest in certain pools;
one of these resting places was directly in front of our tents. Two,
three, or more, could be taken from it in the morning; sometimes, not
always, in the evening; but assuredly the ensuing morning; and so on,
until the beginning of September.

When these fish return to "the ocean, that great receptacle of fishes,"
as Goldsmith styles it, is a problem not yet solved. Some think they
remain until winter, or spring. I incline to the opinion that they
go back to the sea in the fall soon after their procreative duty is
performed. It is well known that the _salmo fontinalis_ gives no care or
thought to its offspring; and evinces no love or affection for it after
it passes the embryotic or ova-otic stage; and that during that
stage their parental fondness is akin to that of the cannibal for the
conventional "fat missionary." The voraciousness that prompts the
parent trout to eat all the eggs they can find as soon as deposited and
fertilized, would also prompt them to return to the estuaries so well
stocked with food suited to their taste and wants.

What becomes of the young fry during early _fishhood_ is another
problem. From the fact that no small trout are caught or seen in the
rivers, at the source and in the tributaries of which millions are
hatched, it is fair to assume that the young remain where they were
incubated until they attain age, size, and strength that enable them
to evade, if not defend themselves against, the attack of their many
enemies. When this time arrives, they doubtless accompany their parents,
or the parents of other troutlings (it is, indeed, a wise fish "that
knows its own father"--or mother), on their migration to the sea. During
our stay upon the stream I caught but two trout as small as one-fourth
of a pound, but one of six ounces, and few as small as half a pound. The
average size of our whole catch was one pound four ounces.

Since writing the foregoing, I have received from Dr. J. A. Henshall, an
answer to a letter that I addressed to him, before I began this article,
in which I asked him to give me the nomenclature of the sea trout of the
lower St. Lawrence, and also to inform me whether he thought these fish
anadromous brook trout.

I here record my thanks to the Doctor for his courteous compliance with
my request, and give a copy of so much of his letter as relates to the
fish under consideration, which, to my mind, settles the question of
the _status_ of the sea-trout of Canada.

"Cynthiana, Ky., Jan. 29, 1883.

"Dear Sir,--The so-called 'sea-trout' or 'salmon-trout' of the lower St.
Lawrence, is the brook trout (_S. fontinalis_), but having access to
the sea, becomes anadromous, and like all anadromous and marine fishes,
becomes of a silvery appearance, losing, somewhat, its characteristic
colors. The brook trout has a wide range (from northern Georgia to the
Arctic regions), and of course presents some geographical variations in
appearance, habits, etc...but does not vary in its specific relations.
Mr. ------" (naming an American author to whom I referred), "was wrong
in calling this fish _Salmo trutta, S. trutta_ is a European species;
and if he applied the name to the Canadian brook trout it is a misnomer.
I cannot say, not having read --------" (a work by said author mentioned
by me). "Trusting this may meet your wants, I am,

 "Yours very sincerely,

"J. A. Henshall.

"P.S.--On next page please find nomenclature of the sea-trout of the
lower St. Lawrence.

"Canadian Sea-Trout.

"_Salvelinus fontinalis_, (Mitchell), Gill & Jordan.

"Synonomy.--_Salmo canadensis_, Ham. Smith, in Griffith's Cuvier, x,
474, 1834. _Salmo immaculatus_, H. R. Storer, in _Bost, Jour. Nat.
Hist_., vi, 364, 1850.

"Vernacular Names.--Canadian brook trout, sea-trout, salmon trout,
unspotted salmon, white sea-trout, etc.

"Specific Description.--Body oblong or ovate, moderately compressed;
depth of body one-fourth to one-fifth of length; back broad and rounded.

"Head large, not very long, sloping symmetrically above and below; head
contained four or five times in length of body. Nostrils double; vomer
boat-shaped; jaws with minute teeth; no teeth on hyoid bone; mouth
large, the maxillary reaching to the eye; eye large.

"Scales very small, in two hundred and twenty-five transverse rows;
caudal fin slightly lunate in adult, forked in young; adipose fin small.

"Fin rays: D. 10; A. 9; P. 13; V. 8; C. 19.

"Color: back mottled with dark markings; sides lighter; belly silvery
white; red and yellow spots on body, mostly on sides.

"Coloration often plain and silvery in sea-run individuals."

The so-called "sea-trout" of Long Island, as stated by Mr. Charles
Hallock, in his "Fishing Tourist," and of certain streams in
Connecticut, as mentioned by Mr. W. C. Prime in "I go a-Fishing," are
genuine brook trout. Although they have access to the salt water, and go
there for food--and hence are fat and delicious in flavor--they _are
not anadromous brook trout_. They do not "pass from the sea into fresh
waters, at _stated seasons_" (Webster's Dic.). They are caught at all
times from February or March until the following autumn in fresh water,
and, as Hallock expresses it, "they run in and out with the tide."

When this article was commenced it was my intention to write not only of
the sea-trout, but to give an account of our excursion in 1874; and in
doing so to speak of the events of each day succeeding those of which
I have written. It has already exceeded in length the measure that was
fixed upon, hence I can give the reader only a casual glance at us as we
proceed to our destination; and a look now and then into our camp.

I left our party--breakfast over--at the Sault au Cochon, at about eight
A. M. of August 4th. Soon thereafter we set sail and made such progress
that a few hours brought us to the mouth of our river. It was low tide
when we reached it--low tide means something here, as the tide has a
rise and fall of fifteen feet--and hence the anchor was dropped near the
river's mouth, canoes launched, our personal baggage transferred to our
respective canoes--Macdonough's was named _Commodore_, in honor of his
father, who made an imperishable name on Lake Champlain in the war
of 1812, and mine _La Dame_, in honor of some one who lived in my
imagination; I never met her elsewhere. In the third canoe were placed
the tents, camp utensils, and stores for twenty-four hours. When all was
in readiness I lighted my pipe, seated myself on the bottom of my
canoe, leaned back against one of the _bords_ or cross bars; then David,
sitting upon the V formed by the sides of the canoe at the stern, with
paddle in hand, sent the birch bark flying up our river. Like most
Canadian trout streams it consists of a series of still, deep pools, and
swift, rocky rapids, alternating. Often the rapids have a fall of one
foot in ten, and are from one to five, and sometimes ten or more rods in
length. It is marvellous how these canoeists will force a loaded canoe
up them. In doing so they stand near the back end and use a long,
iron-pointed "setting pole." Before sunset we reached our camping place,
five or six miles from the St. Lawrence. The guides built a fire to
dispel the mosquitoes, which were fearfully numerous and bloodthirsty,
and then set about pitching our tents. M. and I lighted cigars, put our
rods together, and in ten minutes' time had taken from the pool in front
of us, each two trout, weighing from one pound two, to one pound eight
ounces each. Having caught enough for dinner we busied ourselves in
arranging our tents, preparing our beds, etc. My journal for the day
ends with the following brief entry: Nine P. M.--We are now settled in
camp, have eaten a good dinner, smoked our cigars, and are going to bed.

_Aug. 5th_.--Having had a good night's sleep I rose at five A. M., made
a hasty toilet, took my rod and threw into the pool, within forty
feet of my tent, and took during a few minutes three trout weighing
three-quarters, one and a-quarter, and one and a-quarter pounds
respectively. M. soon followed and caught two of one and a-quarter
pounds each. Breakfast over we sent our guides with the canoes down to
the _chaloupe_ for the rest of our tents, stores, etc., and consequently
we can only fish the home pool to-day. With a hatchet I cut out a path
through the laurel thicket to the head of the pool, six or eight rods
distant; returned to camp, put on my India rubber wading pants and
rubber shoes (having a leather sole filled with Hungarian nails), took
my rod, walked to the head of the pool, and cast my flies on the swift
waters. In an instant a pair of capacious jaws emerged from the water.
I struck, and as the head disappeared, saw the tail and half the body of
an enormous trout.... In twenty minutes the fish was in my landing net.
I walked proudly and in a most contented frame of mind back to camp.
"That," said Mr. Macdonough, "looks like old times." The scales were
hooked in his jaw, the index showed three pounds, eight ounces.... Our
camp is on a sandy point of land around which curves the pool, and from
which, for the space of about one-eighth of an acre, all trees were cut
and the land cleared off, under the direction, tradition states, of
Sir Gore Ouseley, who first encamped here about twenty years ago, with
eighteen servants, retainers, and guides, of whom my guide was one, and
the cook. The stumps have rotted away, and the clearing is covered with
timothy and red-top grasses. We have cut much of this with our knives,
and intend to finish haying to-day. The grass when cured is to be used
in making our beds more luxurious. The pool in front is nearly two
hundred feet across at one point, and in places ten or fifteen
feet deep. In the centre and near the foot is a rock island about
seventy-five feet long. In the foot of the pool between this rock and
our camp large trout have been seen at all hours of the day.

Opposite our camp is quite a hill covered with spruce, larch, and white
birch. We have canvas beds, supported by crotched sticks about eighteen
inches high, upon which poles are laid and the canvas stretched.
5 P.M.--I have filled two canvas sacks with hay for a bed, and a
pillow-case with the same, for a bolster. These, with my small feather
pillow, sheets, blankets, and night-shirts, will render sleeping in the
"bush" Christian-like and endurable. 7 p. m.--I have just cast into the
pool and caught a pound and a-half trout, making for the day six trout,
weighing nine pounds four ounces, and have not fished in the aggregate
one hour. The guides, Captain and Fabian, have arrived with the three
canoes and all stores.

_Aug. 6th_, 7.30 a. m.--We have just finished breakfast. It consisted
of coffee, trout fish-balls, broiled ham, rice and wheat _crepes_
(pancakes) with butter and maple sugar. My guide is an excellent cook
and our stores abundant and of good quality. We purchased them in Quebec
at a cost of $73.59 in gold. A tub of butter, barrel of bread, and sack
of coarse salt, to preserve the trout, were purchased at Tadousac, and
cost $11.34 in gold.

5 P.M.--I have just come in from my first day's fishing. Began at 10 A. M.,
quit at 4 P. M. I fished below and Macdonough above the camp.

"M. killed 15 fish, weight 26 lbs., 4oz.

"F. " 25" " 31 lbs., 4 oz.   57 lbs., 8 oz.

_Aug. 7th_.--... Dinner is a great institution with us. Next to
catching a trout of three pounds or over it is the event of the day.
Ours of this evening was as follows:

"Soup: bean with extract of beef.

"Fish: boiled trout.

"Vegetables: potatoes and boiled onions.

"Pastry: rice cakes and maple sugar.

"Dessert: crackers, cheese, and orange marmalade.

"Wines: claret and sherry.

"Tea: English breakfast."

Our canoes are beauties. They are eighteen feet long, three feet three
inches wide in the centre, and fifteen inches in depth. With two men in
they draw but three or four inches of water.

_Aug. 9th_.--We left our camp with one tent, two canoes, and provisions
for four days; walked through the woods three miles to a lake, through
which our river runs, which is eight miles above us by the stream.

... It is a lovely sheet of water about three and a-half miles long
and one and a-half wide, surrounded, except at the inlet and outlet, by
rocky cliffs, in many places five to eight hundred feet high....

_Aug. 10th_.--To our usual breakfast was added this morning a broiled
partridge (ruffed grouse) which Fabian killed with a stick or stone
yesterday, in making the portage. While at breakfast a gray or silver
fox ran past us within twenty feet of where we sat. The woods are filled
with squirrels; their chattering is heard constantly. Large and very
tame fish-hawks abound--reminding one of the beach from Sandy Hook to
Long Branch.... We have tickled the lake with a spinner, trolled with
a long hand line, for pickerel. We fished but an hour with two lines. We
caught fourteen, weighing thirty-four pounds.

_Aug. 11th_.--We fished down from the Middle Camp (as our present one is
called). M. had the morning's fishing in the "spring hole," and took six
fish averaging two pounds each. In the Magdalen pool I took three one
pound trout immediately upon throwing in. Suddenly not ten feet from
where I stood (I was in the water up nearly to my waist), and directly
in front of me, a monster fish from three to four feet long, and of
thirty or thirty-five pounds weight, shot up from the water, stood
seemingly upon its tail for an instant, and with a heavy splash fell
over into the pool. "My God! what is that?" I asked my guide. "It's
a _saumon_, sir," he calmly replied. I was all excitement and began
whipping vigorously where it rose. Failing to get it up, I put on a
salmon fly. By this time salmon were leaping above me, below me, and at
my very feet. I whipped diligently, letting my fly fall like thistledown
upon the water, and then with a splash to attract attention, and now
letting it sink and float with the current. It was all in vain; three
hours of my most skilful fishing failed to entice one of the wily
monsters. Neither could I get up a trout; they had all been driven away
by the salmon. I caused my guide to paddle me over the still pool just
above, and saw in the pellucid water, three or four feet beneath the
surface, ten or fifteen large salmon. They lay perfectly still for a
time, and then darted through and around the pool in every direction, as
if in play. Suddenly they would congregate in the centre of the pool and
lay with their heads up stream, the largest slightly in advance of the
rest, as motionless as if the water had become ice, encasing the fish.

_Aug. 12th_.--At Main Camp.... The canoeing down from the Middle
Camp--five miles--was delightful, and at times very exciting; that is,
in running the rapids, which are numerous. In making a portage around
the "Little Falls" we started up a cock partridge. It alighted upon the
limb of a dead tree no higher than my head. "We approached within six
feet of it, and stood for a minute or two gazing at the graceful bird.
It returned our gaze with head turned aside, and a look of curious
inquiry which said, as plainly as if it had spoken, 'What kind of
animals are you?' I could easily have hit it with my landing-net handle
hut would not make it a victim of misplaced confidence." This incident
reminded me of the lines of Alexander Selkirk, in the English Reader,
which was in use in my early school-boy days:

                   "They are so unacquainted with man,

                   Their tameness is shocking to me."

I may add that squirrels were constantly running about our camp,
exhibiting no more fear than those in the parks of Philadelphia.

_Aug. 14th_.--"David build a fire between our tents, it is cold," I
called out about five o'clock this morning. "Yes, sir," he replied; "a
black frost this morning, had to thaw out my boots before I could get
them on." Our little encampment consists of two wall tents, ten feet
square, for the use of Mr. Macdonough and myself. They are about
fifteen feet apart, opening towards each other, upon a line twenty feet
from the pool, upon ground five or six feet above it. Back of our tents
is our dining-table, made of planks split from the spruce, and sheltered
with a tent fly. In rear of this is the kitchen fire; and still farther
back, two "A tents," one for the use of our men, and the other for-the
protection of our stores.

I do not often look into our kitchen: Seeing Fabian wipe my
silver-plated fork upon his pantaloons, between courses, cured me of
this. "Where ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise." I did, however,
look into the kitchen to-day to see how our excellent bread was baked.
It was properly made with "raising powder," kneaded and formed into
loaves. A trench was dug in the ashes and sand, forming the bed of our
camp fire, wide and long enough to admit of three loaves. They were put
into the trench, without any covering except the hot sand and ashes,
with which they were surrounded on all sides, top and bottom. Live coals
were raked over the mound, and it was left for time and heat to do the
rest. An hour or so after I saw the bread taken from the ashes. It was
brushed slightly with a wisp broom, which removed the little of ashes
and sand adhering; and the bread was as clean as if it had just left the
baker's oven, and was of a uniform rich brown color. Lamb and green peas
(French canned) formed one course at dinner to-day. The flavor of fresh
mutton is much improved by non-intercourse with the butcher for two
weeks.

_Sunday, Aug_. 16.--Another bright and beautiful day. It would be
pleasant to hear "the sound of the churchgoing bell, which these rocks
and these valleys ne'er heard," It is now near two weeks since we
entered upon our camp life, and we have seen no signs of civilization,
save in our camp; nothing but forest, rock, water and sky, all as they
came from their Great Creators hand. No sounds have been heard to carry
us back in thought to the world of life and labor, save the occasional
booming of the fog cannon at a government station on the south side of
the St. Lawrence. How strangely did the warning voice of this gun,
telling us of danger to the mariner, break upon the silence of the hour
as we sat watching the fairy forms and fantastic shapes in our first
evening's camp-fire!

Pleasant as it is to the writer to live over again the days of which
he has written--to dwell upon the scenes in which he was an actor, so
vividly presented to his mind's eye as he writes of them--pity for the
too-long suffering reader has prompted him to close the lids of his
journal and restore it to its place in the book-case.

It only remains to write somewhat of our success in fishing. The season
was a very dry one, our river very low, and no rain sufficient to affect
it fell during our stay, consequently the trout did not come up in
as large numbers as usual, and the clearness of the water rendered
successful fly-fishing more difficult. We caught on this occasion but
two hundred and forty-three trout, of the aggregate weight of three
hundred and four pounds. All these fish were taken with a fly, save one:
thereby hangs a tale heretofore untold. At Tadousac, on our way out, I
saw a gentleman, to whom I had been introduced, making something in the
construction of which he used three snelled hooks and about three inches
in length of thin white rubber tubing. I asked,

"What is it?"

"A devil," he replied. He gave me materials, and while sailing down the
river I made one. One day at the Home Pool I saw ten or a dozen
large trout. They paid no heed to my flies. "Try the devil," my guide
whispered. In a moment of weakness I yielded to the tempter and put it
on. The first cast caused commotion in the watery camp. At the second I
struck and soon drew out on the beach a pound and a half trout. I looked
upon the beautiful fish with compassion, cursed myself for resorting to
such unfair means, removed the cruel hooks as tenderly as I could from
the mangled and bleeding mouth, and taking off the _devilish_ invention
threw it as far as possible into the woods.

                    .........."The beasts of game

               The privilege of chase may claim."

I have not since used, and shall not in the future use, this rightly
named instrument, and hope no angler will. I have narrated this only
unpleasant feature of my bout to illustrate the _devilish_ ingenuity of
"pot fishermen" and the curiosity of sea-trout. I wonder what was the
gender of the fish!

With a view of showing the capabilities of our river in the production
of fish, I have aggregated the scores from 1872 to 1882 inclusive. In
one of these years three rods were in use, in three others two, and in
the other years but one. The average time of fishing in each year was
about three weeks.

Number of trout taken, 5,525; aggregate weight, 6,625 pounds; average
about one pound three ounces. In the year 1881 the average size of
two hundred and thirteen trout taken with a single rod in eight days'
fishing was one pound fourteen ounces. Not one of these fish was wasted.
A few were eaten upon the stream, but most of them were given to the
guides, who salted and packed them in barrels for future use. A sack of
coarse salt and empty fish barrels were always included in the anglers'
stores.

Three days after the last date mentioned we were again on board our
_chaloupe_ "homeward bound." The loss in weight in our stores was made
good by the barrel of salted _anadromous salvelinus-fontinalis_ which
were to supplement and eke out the pork barrel of our honest and worthy
guides during the long ice-bound winter before them.

Tadousac was reached about sunrise on a bright morning. At nine o'clock
we were in citizen's dress and seated at the hotel breakfast table. A
glance around the room showed that summer birds and Cook's tourists had
mainly migrated to more southern latitudes. Our trunks were re-packed,
our guides paid $1.50 each per day, and the captain $2.00, gold, and
bade adieu. We took the Saguenay steamboat for Quebec, the Grand Trunk
Railroad from Point Levi to Montreal, where we passed the night. The
next morning we travelled by rail to Rouse's Point and by boat down
that charming Lake, Champlain. At the various landings many persons,
including several friends, came on board.

Nearly all carried snugly-cased fishing rods, whose summer work was
ended. The Chateaugay, the Saranacs, Paul Smith's, Baker's, Martin's,
and various other familiar names met our ears. We envied none of them.
Our cup of joy, happiness and contentment was full to the brim. There
was no room for "envy, hatred and malice," but a feeling of gratitude
and thankfulness to the Author of every "good and perfect gift," welled
up from our hearts.

"Every angler has his own peculiar notion in regard to the best fly; and
the difficulty of presenting a perfect catalogue will be very apparent,
when it is considered that the _name_ of the fly of one writer bears a
different name and description from that of another, and it is more than
probable that the name and description of some of the flies in my list
may not be in accordance with the views and opinions of many old and
experienced anglers."--"_Frank Forester_."

"After staying in a village parlor till the family had all retired,
I have returned to the woods, and partly with a view to the next day's
dinner, spent the hours of midnight fishing from a boat by moonlight,
serenaded by owls and foxes, and hearing, from time to time, the
croaking note of some unknown bird close at hand."--_Henry D. Thoreau_.

"He sat down on a lump of granite, and took out his fly-book. It is a
sport, he added, as he was selecting the flies, that there is less to be
said against than shooting, I imagine. I don't like the idea of shooting
birds, especially after I have missed one or two. Birds are such
harmless creatures. But the fish is different--the fish is making a
murderous snap at an innocent fly, when a little bit of steel catches
him in the very act. It serves him right, from the moral point of
view."--_William Black_.

"There is much diversity of opinion about the manner of fishing, whether
up or down the stream; the great majority of anglers, both In Europe and
this country, favor the latter method, and very few the former."--_John
J. Brown_.

"'Beautiful!' Well you may say so, for what is more beautiful than a
well-developed pound trout?"--_Charles W. Stevens_.

[Illustration: 0092]

7. Ferguson,

8. Abbey.

9. Royal Coachman.

10. Seth Green.

11. Professor.

12. Montreal.

"Reader, did you ever throw the fly to tempt the silvery denizen of the
lake, or river, to his destruction? Have you watched him, as it skimmed
like a living insect along the surface, dart from his hiding-place, and
rush upon the tempting but deceitful morsel; and have you noticed his
astonishment when he found the hook was in his jaw? Have you watched
him as he bent your slender rod 'like a reed shaken by the wind,' in his
efforts to free himself, and then have you reeled him to your hand and
deposited him in your basket, as the spoil of your good right arm? If
you have _not_, leave the dull, monotonous, every-day things around you,
and flee to the Chazy Lake."--_S. H. Hammond._

"I now come to not only the most sportsman-like, but the most delightful
method of trout-fishing. One not only endeared by a thousand delightful
memories, but by the devotion of many of our wisest and best men for
ages past; and, next to my thanks for existence, health, and daily
bread, I thank God for the good gift of fly-fishing. If the fishes are
to be killed for our use, there is no way in which they are put to so
little pain as in fly-fishing. The fish rises, takes your fly as though
it were his ordinary food; the hook fixes in the hard gristly jaw, where
there is little or no sensation. After a few struggles he is hauled on
shore, and a tap on the head terminates his life; and so slight is the
pain or alarm that he feels from the hook, that I have over and over
caught a trout, with the fly still in his mouth which he has broken off
in his struggles an hour or even half an hour previously. I have seen
fish that have thus broken off swim away with my fly in their mouths
and begin to rise at the natural fly again almost directly."--_Francis
Francis._



RANGELEY BROOK TROUT.

By James A. Williamson, Sec. Oquossoc Angling Association.

About twelve summers ago, when spending a delightful vacation at
Manchester, Vermont, under the shadow of Mt. Equinox, my attention was
called to a little book which gave a description of the exceptionally
large brook trout inhabiting the waters of the Rangeley Lakes.

Never having heard, heretofore, of a fish of that species that weighed
more than three pounds, and never having caught any over a pound and a
half (although I had dropped a line in many waters and exerted my utmost
muscle in casting a line for fingerlings), I could not bring my mind
to believe that such fish as were described really existed, and at
once pronounced it another fish story. Although much interested in the
narrative I finally threw down the book in disgust, and as I did so,
observed for the first time that the author was Robert G. Allerton, a
very old friend, whom I had always esteemed a man of veracity. I at once
took a new interest in the subject and determined to investigate
the matter personally. I came to New York, had an interview with Mr.
Allerton, who was the Treasurer of the Oquossoc Angling Association, and
by his advice joined the club, and in due time started for the
promised land of mountains, lakes, and large trout, and after the usual
vicissitudes of travel reached my destination at Camp Kennebago about
the middle of September.

The forests were just developing their autumnal hues, the air was fresh
and bracing, and all nature seemed to conspire to make one realize that
there was health in every breath inhaled, and beauty in every phase of
land and water. Having secured a first-rate guide and boat, and partaken
of a trout breakfast, which was relished immensely, such as can only be
appreciated by one who has left the haunts of civilization and gone into
the wilderness for recuperation, I considered my first duty was to pay
my respects to Mr. Allerton, who was in camp at Bugle Cove. From this
location Lake Mooselemeguntic lies spread out before you, while Mt.
Washington in the distance rears its snowy peak, overtopping Jefferson,
Monroe, and the other giants of the White Hills of New Hampshire.

The crystal waters of the lake tempt us to cast a fly, and a suitable
place having been secured, we proceed to business. After making several
casts in a manner more or less scientific but without success, my former
unbelief came creeping over me, and, as my arm became tired and almost
refused to do its duty, a sense of despondency overcame me, which I am
sure sensibly affected the beauty if not the efficacy of my casts. But
suddenly I am awakened to the realization of the fact that a big fish
has seized the fly and is making the reel hum in its frantic endeavors
to secure its liberty. Fathom after fathom of the dainty line disappears
beneath the water, and at last prudence dictates a gentle snub, which
finally terminates in a decided check to the mad career of the quarry.
Having succeeded in turning his head in a different direction, another
rush is made across stream, making the line whiz as it cuts through
the water; then suddenly he takes a downward course and ceases from
all apparent effort to free himself. He now sulks for a long time, and
impatience begins to take the place of the excitement with which the
fight began. The guide, who, during the fray had hoisted his anchor, got
ready his landing-net, and was now holding his boat in position with the
oars, suggested that I had better send him a telegraphic message, which
was accordingly done by striking the rod with a key. The first few
strokes seemed to make little or no impression, but presently he
convinced us that he was still there, although we had some forebodings
that he had escaped by winding the line around a log or some other
object at the bottom of the stream. He was up and alive in every sense,
and performed the same tactics for liberty with apparently more vigor
than at first. These were kept up for about half an hour, when he again
took a turn of sulking, but this time of shorter duration, and when he
again began his rushes it was with an evident loss of strength, but no
diminution of determination and pluck.

A friend who was watching and timing me from his boat came oyer to
inquire how the battle was progressing, and pertinently asked, "Whether
the fish was going to take me or I the fish." At last the strength of
the tackle, the pliability of the rod, and the determination of the
rodster overcame the pluck and strength of the fish, and he was brought
to the boat turned upon his side and was beautifully landed by the
guide. The scales were at once applied, with a result of eight pounds
full weight.

My inquiring and interested friend informed me that I had been two hours
and twenty minutes in the fight, and as I sat down in the boat I, for
the first time, realized that I was tired.

Now, my dear reader, do not think that this kind of sport is of common
occurrence, for from that time to this, I have taken but two fish of
equal weight; the average, however, has been much larger than trout from
any other locality in which I have fished. Any fish under half a pound
is considered unfit to land, and is again committed to the water to grow
larger. The number of trout does not seem to be falling off; but this
can be accounted for by the annual plant of fry from the Hatching House
of the Oquossoc Angling Association, who have for years past turned
about one million fish into these waters, and now contemplate increasing
the amount to five million; still I think there is a sensible diminution
of the size of the catch, which now run from one-half to four pounds,
and anything over that weight is the exception. This would seem to
confirm the supposition of Professor Agassiz, made many years ago, that
these large fish possibly may have reached an age of from 100 to 200
years, as they were evidently very old.

Any one who has been thrilled with the vigorous strike of one of the
ordinary sized fish would be almost beside himself when one from three
to five pounds rose to his fly, and if his tackle was good, the sport
derived therefrom, would serve him a lifetime; and when the shades
of night had fallen upon the camp, and he with his fellow-fishermen
collected around the great fire, point and vigor would be given to his
recital of how he caught and played the monster he that day had brought
to his creel.

"Let it be seen that a love of the 'gentle art' openeth first the heart,
then the fly-book, and soon the stores of experience and knowledge
garnered up through long years, wheresoever we meet a 'Brother of the
Angle'; and that to us 'angling is an employment of our idle time,';
that therein we find 'a rest to the mind, a cheerer of the spirits, a
diverter of sadness, a calmer of unquiet thoughts, a moderator of the
passions, a procurer of contentedness, and that it begets habits of
peace and patience in chose that possess and practice it.'"--_Thaddeus
Norris_.

"Fly-fishing holds the same relation to bait-fishing that poetry does to
prose. Not only the fly, but every implement of the fly-fisher's outfit
is a materialized poem."--_James A. Henshall, M.D._

"Between the tyro and the proficient grayling fisher there exists a
wider gulf than is the case with the experienced and inexperienced in
any other branch in the whole art of fishing. Practical skill and
general artistic bearing are more fully exemplified in fishing for
grayling, than for trout and salmon, whilst upon the same ground
the unskilled efforts of the bungler stand at a yet more glaring
contrast."--_David Foster_.

"Hooking a large grayling, I had good evidences of his plucky qualities;
the pliant rod bent as he struggled against the line, curling his body
around columns of water that failed to sustain his grasp, and setting
his great dorsal fin like an oar backing water, while we cautiously
worked him in, his tender mouth requiring rather more careful handling
than would be necessary for a trout; making a spurt up stream, he
requires a yielding line, but after a time he submits to be brought in,
rallying for a dart under the boat, or beneath a log, as an attempt is
made to place the landing net under him."--_Professor Milner_.

[Illustration: 0102]

13. Bee.

14. Tomah Jo.

15. "No Name."

16. Blue Bottle.

17. Grasshopper.

18. Canada.

"Do not despair. There was--alas! that I must say there was--an
illustrious philosopher, who was nearly of the age of fifty before he
made angling a pursuit, yet he became a distinguished fly-fisher."--_Sir
Humphry Davy_.

"Fly-fishing for grayling and trout are not altogether identical. Both
are frequently found in the same water, and are to be taken with the
same cast of flies. Finer tackle, as a rule, is required in the case of
the former, as also smaller and brighter flies." --_David Foster_.

"The grayling generally springs entirely out of the water when first
struck by the hook, and tugs strongly at the line, requiring as much
dexterity to land it safely as it would to secure a trout of six times
the size."--_Dr. Richardson._

"Grayling will often take the fly under water, rising so quietly that
you will scarcely see any rise or break of the water at all. It is
desirable, therefore, to watch the line narrowly, and to strike whenever
you think it stops or checks, and you will now and then be surprised,
although there is no break in the water, to find a good grayling on the
hook. For, as is often the case with trout, the big ones are very quiet
risers."--_Francis Francis._

"To be a perfect fisherman you require more excellencies than are
usually to be found in such a small space as is allotted to a man's
carcass."--_Parker Gilmore_.

"The trout has, so to speak, a Herculean cast of beauty; the
grayling rather that of an Apollo--light, delicate, and gracefully
symmetrical."--_H. Cholmondely-Pennell_.



THE GRAYLING.

By Fred Mather.

The very name of my beloved fish calls up a host of recollections that
form themselves into a picture that, above all others, is the most
cheerful one adorning memory's wall. We old fellows live largely in the
past, and can afford to let younger men revel in the future; and in my
own case, I can say that, having filled Shakespeare's apothegm of "one
man in his time plays many parts," there are often retrospects of life
as a boyish angler, an older hunter, trapper, and general vagabond on
the frontiers; a soldier; and a later return to a first love. Of these
glances over the shoulder of time, a few trips to Northern Michigan and
its grayling streams mark the journey of life with a white stone.

When Prof. Cope announced, in 1865, that he had received specimens from
Michigan, the English anglers in America were incredulous, and there
was some spicy correspondence, in the sportsmen's papers of those
days, concerning the identity of the fishes. As usual, the scientist
discomfited the angler, and proved his position. The fish had long been
known to the raftsmen and natives of Michigan by local names, but had
never been identified as the historic grayling. Some eight years
after the discovery of Prof. Cope that we had the grayling in American
waters; Mr. D. H. Pitzhugh, Jr., sent some of them to Mr. Charles
Hallock, then editor of _Forest and Stream_, and they were shown in New
York to the doubters, who even then were not convinced.

Mr. Pitzhugh took great interest in the new fish, which, as a lumberman
and an angler, he had long known as a "Michigan trout," but had never
recognized as the gentle grayling, and he has since done more than any
other man to popularize it and introduce it to anglers.

He invited Mr. Hallock, Prof. Milner, and myself to come up and fish for
it, and we each extolled its attractions in the press. As a consequence,
the fish has been nearly exterminated by vandals who fish for count, and
the waters where we fished at first are nearly barren.

Of all game fishes the grayling is my favorite. It is gamy but not
savage; one does not feel the savage instinct to kill that the black
bass or the pike raises in him, but rather a feeling of love for a
vigorous fighter for its life who is handicapped with a tender mouth.
To me the fish is always thought of as the "gentle grayling," and the
"golden-eyed grayling," although the latter epithet is not always a
correct one, owing to the changes in the iris.

In fishing for grayling it is well to use a mediumsized fly of a subdued
color; a yellow body and a brown wing is the fly that should be used
if only one is recommended; it is a most killing combination. Brown
Hackles, Bed Ibis, Professor, Queen of the Water, and other trout flies
are also killing; but the first-mentioned fly, whose name I do not know,
owing to a defective memory and the vagaries of fly nomenclature, is the
most killing, and a cast into the upper edge of a pool below a rapid is
usually most successful. *

* Oak-fly.

The beauty of the grayling is of a kind that is better appreciated after
some acquaintance. The bright colors of its "magnificent dorsal," as the
phrase went a few years ago, are not its chief claim to admiration. Its
shapely contour, striped ventrals, iridescent caudal, and its beatific
countenance win the heart of the angler and make him love the grayling,
and feel that it is a fish to respect for the higher qualities expressed
in its physiognomy, and not one that it is merely a satisfaction to kill
as he would a savage pike. True, we kill the grayling, but we do it in a
different spirit from that in which we kill some other thing. It was
not only my good fortune to know "Uncle Thad" Norris, but to have fished
with him. The dear lovable old man, who long since paid his fare to the
grim ferryman, once said: "When I look into a grayling's eye I am sorry
I killed it; but that feeling never prevents me from making another cast
just to see if another will rise."

In another century Norris will be more read and appreciated than he is
to-day. Of all American angling writers of this century he will stand
foremost, and yet he never wrote as fully as he intended of the fish
that he told me had afforded him more pleasure than any other. He had
not revised his "American Angler's Book" for some time before his death,
and so his remarks on Back's grayling must stand as he wrote them before
the era of the Michigan grayling. He there says of the Arctic grayling:
"The grayling being a fish in the capture of which the American angler
cannot participate, we give no account of the manner of angling for
them, but refer the reader who may have interest or curiosity on that
score to English authors." He intended to revise that sentence and
give his own experience, but the Reaper judged him ripe for the harvest
before he did it. In my opinion he was one of those who should never
have been ripe for that harvest, and his loss to our angling literature
was a severe one.

That the grayling will take bait, truth requires the admission; would
that it were not so. I would prefer that its food was the soaring
insect, or even the floating thistledown, with an occasional feather
from an angel's wing dropped in the moonlit flood; but science has
laid bare its interior with the searching scalpel, and the Caesarian
operation has brought forth the lowly caddis-worm and other larvae, and
the bait-fisher has taken advantage of the knowledge and pandered to the
baser appetite of the fish.

That the grayling does not eat other fish is proved by its small month,
as well as by its known habits. It is not a leaper, like the trout, but
takes the fly from the surface with merely an exposure of a portion of
its head. When struck, it makes a rigorous rush, and, if it does not
fight as long as the trout does, it gives much resistance at the last
moment by the sidelong movement it makes when being reeled in, which is
due to the size and curvature of its dorsal fin. It inhabits only the
coldest of streams, and while the grayling of Europe is found in the
trout streams, it is not to be found there in Michigan.

We have several species of grayling in America. Two of these only are
accessible to anglers, the Michigan grayling, _Thymallus tricolor_, and
one at the head waters of the Yellowstone, the _T. Montanus_, The other
species are Arctic.

The Michigan fish is reported to grow to nearly two pounds weight; I
never saw one that I thought would weigh much over a pound, and I have
taken them in spawning season for the purpose of procuring their eggs.
Whether this fish will bear acclimatization to other waters, I cannot
say. I raised a few until a year old at my former trout farm in Western
New York, and when I left them I opened the pond and let them into the
stream below, but none have ever been taken there, as far as I know. It
seems a pity to allow this elegant fish to become extinct, as it will in
a few years in its limited habitat, and if opportunity offered I would
again try to domesticate it.

The trout-fisher needs no special directions nor tackle to fish for
grayling; he may cast in the usual manner, only remembering that the
fish has a very tender mouth, and must be treated with this fact ever
in mind. The Michigan grayling streams are not suited for wading, and,
therefore, fishing from a boat is the rule. This may not suit some
anglers, to whom I can only say, every one to his fancy, but no wading
for me; dry feet are more comfortable than wet ones, and boat-fishing or
bank-fishing are more suitable to my taste, than to be immersed up to my
hips in cold water for half a day.

I have killed, I believe, every game fish in America east of the Rocky
Mountains, except the salmon, for which I have a rod in readiness, that
I hope to use soon, and I can say that while I do not think the grayling
the superior of all of them for gameness, yet there is something of
romance in the remembrance of the grayling, a kind of sentimental
retrospect, that endears the fish to me above all others. Whether it was
owing to the pine woods and the genial companionship, I do not care to
consider; but each year there comes a longing to repeat the pleasant
experiences of the Au Sable and its delicate grayling.



TROUT FLIES

"The trout-fly does not resemble any known species of insect. It is a
'conventionalized' creation, as we say of ornamentation. The theory is,
that, fly-fishing being a high art, the fly must not be a tame imitation
of nature, but an artistic suggestion of it. It requires an artist to
construct one; and not every bungler can take a bit of red flannel, a
peacock's feather, a flash of tinsel thread, a cock's plume, a section
of a hen's wing, and fabricate a tiny object that will not look like any
fly, but still will suggest the universal conventional fly."--_Charles
Dudley Warner_.

"When you fish with a flie, if it be possible, let no pary of your line
touch the water, but your flie only."--_Izaak Walton_.

[Illustration: 0112]

1. Coachman.

2. Leadwing Coach.

3. Royal Coachman.

4. Coachman red tip.

5. Gilt Coachman.

6. Cowdung.

7. Fern.

8. Blue Jay.

9. Abbey.

10. Red Ant.

11. Black Ant.

12. Seth Green.

13. Professor.

14. Blue Professor.

15. Dark Stone.

"A combination of English Jay is one of the most effective flies in the
world, as it can be put into as gay a fly as you please, and also into
as plain a one as you like."--_Capt. Peel ("Dinks")_.

"When I think of the great secrets of Nature locked up from our
knowledge (yet under our eyes at every turn of your daily duty), and
imagine what a mine of intellectual wealth remains to be opened out
by quickness of sight, clearness of intellect, and the pickaxe of hard
work, a great panorama opens before me. How ignorant--how terribly
ignorant--are we of God's great laws as applied to the creatures
that live in the element in which we are forbidden to exist!"--_Frank
Buckland_.

"The ancient belief in the stoppage of sport during a thunderstorm is
not strictly true."--_David Foster_.

"A fish will _hook himself only_ in cases where the fly first touches
the water at the end of a straight line, or when the line is being
withdrawn smartly for a new cast. In all other cases the skill of the
angler must be employed."--_Charles Hallock_.

"We had determined on a feast, and trout were to be its daintiest
dainty. We waited until the confusing pepper of a shower had passed away
and left the water calm. We tossed to the fish humbugs of wool, silk
and feathers, gauds such as captivate the greedy or the guileless. The
trout, on the lookout for novelty, dashed up and swallowed disappointing
juiceless morsels, and with them swallowed hooks. Then, O Walton! O
Davy! O Scrope! ye fishers hard by taverns! luxury was ours of which ye
know nothing. Under the noble yellow birch we cooked our own fish. We
used our scanty kitchen-battery with skill. We cooked with the high art
of simplicity. Where Nature has done her best, only fools rush in to
improve. On the salmonids, fresh and salt, she has lavished her
creative refinements. Cookery should only ripen and develop."--_Theodore
Winthrop_.

"As a general thing, it is a waste of time to be forever changing your
flies. If the trout are not rising, it is entirely useless to fling an
assortment of flies at them."--_T. S. Up de Graff, M.D._

"In taking the fly, I award the palm to the trout, as he usually throws
himself out of the water to do so. The salmon does not, he scarcely more
than shows himself; but after being hooked the sport commences, and it
is all activity to the death, rarely any sulking."--_Charles W. Stevens_



A TROUTING TRIP TO ST. IGNACE ISLAND.

By W. Thomson

Towards the end of August, 1877, I had become pretty well fagged out
with office work and felt that I must have a week or two of out-door
recreation or sport of some kind, so I naturally decided upon a
troutfishing expedition; and I selected, as the scene, the island of St.
Ignace, in Lake Superior, of which I had heard most excellent accounts
in regard to fish products. I had, it is true, caught a great many brook
trout throughout the summer, in small streams close at hand; but these
were mostly fish of inferior size, few indeed reaching one pound in
weight; while I was assured by an ancient fisherman of repute, that at
the Island, the real _Salmo fontinalis_ often attained to four, five,
and even seven pounds.

This was the kind of ground I had been, for many years, anxious to find,
and I made up my mind to try it at all events.

The first thing to do was to secure two suitable companions, and a man
or boy of all work. The former I quickly enlisted in the persons of a
genial M.D. and an overworked limb of the law. The latter opportunely
turned up in the shape of "Jim," a colored youth of sixteen, as black
as the ten of spades, but no less celebrated for his culinary skill
than for his impish tricks and imperturbable good humor and honesty. To
banish formality once for all, and put things upon an easy and familiar
footing at the start, I christened the M.D. "Squills" and the lawyer
"Bluffy," out of compliment to his usual style of treating witnesses
in court. In deference to my advanced age and _general good looks_, the
boys called me "Governor," I being then about fifty-three and neither
of them thirty. Our supplies, consisting of a ten by twelve tent, three
camp beds and bedding, two small boats, a stock of provisions for
six men for two weeks, one rifle, two fowling pieces, and our fishing
tackle, were soon got together, and in twenty-four hours from the first
proposal, we were ready to take the cars for Collingwood. At that point
we secured an ample supply of ice; and then embarked with our traps on
board a steamer bound for Duluth and intermediate ports, and touching at
St. Ignace on her way.

This island is situated in Canadian waters, about thirty-five miles from
the mouth of Nepigon River, forty-seven miles east of the famous Silver
Islet and some seventy from Thunder Bay. I say island, but there are in
fact _two_ called St. Ignace; the largest being about sixteen miles
long by ten wide; with generally bluff shores and high headlands, one
of these rising to a height of thirteen hundred and fifty feet above the
lake level. The smaller island, at which steamers touch and upon which
we camped, is separated from the larger by a channel of from fifty to
a hundred yards wide, and is about two miles by a half a mile in size,
having one bold headland five hundred feet high. Neither island is
inhabited except by occasional Indians and other fishermen; nor do
either of them, so far as I observed, contain any agricultural land, the
formation being rock. Both, however, as well as contiguous groups, are
mostly covered with a thick growth of spruce, balsam, birch and mountain
ash. This last is so plentiful that in the autumn its brilliant red
leaves may be seen from quite a distance at sea, framed in a background
of dark green spruce, and presenting a most charming view. The larger
island contains in itself numerous small lakes which abound in pike
(_E. Indus_), and what we Canadians call yellow pickerel (_Stizostedium
vitreum_), really pike-perch. No one bothers catching these, however, as
the surrounding waters yield an enormous supply of choicer fish,
among which are said to be ten varieties of the salmon family; besides
whitefish, some of which attain to seventeen pounds in weight! I took
some trouble to ascertain the local names by which the various species
of trout are known, and the greatest attested weight of individuals of
each. I am indebted to Mr. Wm. Boon, of Barrie, Ontario, a professional
fisherman who spends four months of every year upon the island, for the
following list, which I give without vouching in any way for this queer
addition to the salmon family:

1. Salmon trout, weight up to..................... 70 lbs.

2. "Siskowitt," weight up to...................... 12 "

3. Half-breed Siskowitt, weight up to............ 5 "

4. "Potgut," very inferior fish, weight up to..... 12 "

5. Rock or black trout, weight up to.............. 40 "

6. Large gray or shovel-nose trout, weight up to.... 70 "

7. "California trout/yellow spots and flesh, weight up to 10"

8. "Half-breed red trout," weight up to........... 15 "

9. Common brook or speckled trout, weight up to.. 7 "

10. "Red trout," weight up to.......................42 "

All of these, of course, are local names, but the fish are all true
trout; crossed and re-crossed, I presume, _ad infinitum_. The brook
trout is the only species found here with a square tail, those of all
the others being more or less forked. The "red trout" is far superior to
any of its confrères, and is called by the Indians--Pugwashooaneg, that
is, Paysplatt--District-fish, as it is taken only in this locality, and
only in the fall of the year as a rule. The Indians come from Nepigon
expressly to fish for it, and care for no other trout in comparison.
It is much more highly esteemed than the brook trout. This very day on
which I write this article, I had a salted piece of one of these "red
trout" for dinner and found the flesh of a bright pink, and the flavor
exquisite. I shall refer to it again.

On our passage from Collingwood we touched at the following ports and
"landings," viz.: Meaford, Owen Sound, Killarney, Little Current,
Bruce Mines, Hilton, or St. Joseph Island, Garden River, and the Sault.
Thence, via Michipicoton Island to St. Ignace. I may say here, before I
forget it, that among the useful productions of this last are incredible
quantities of huckleberries and "sand cranberries." The former were just
in season at the date of our visit, and after the first day "Jim" always
gave us capital puddings and pies made from them.

We found many pleasant people on board the steamer, with whom we picked
acquaintance in that free and easy manner peculiar the world over to
anglers.

After a delightful trip of four days, we made the landing on our Island
at about five o'clock on a beautiful evening, and, having got our whole
outfit ashore, selected a charming spot in the midst of a spruce grove
as a camping ground. The tent was put up, beds and bedding arranged,
supplies for present use unpacked, a table improvised and things
generally "set out" in a most orderly manner by the Doctor and "Bluffy,"
while I employed myself in the construction of a fish corral, the use
of which will be seen further on. Meantime, "Jim" had, with a few loose
stones, made for himself a very passable fire-place, and soon had tea
and coffee prepared, several appetizing dishes cooked, and called us to
supper at 6.30. After a hearty and enjoyable meal, we proceeded to put
the finishing touches to our work; sorted out and overhauled our fishing
tackle; caught a few minnows and placed them in a perforated bucket
in the lake; and before dark were all in ship-shape and thoroughly
comfortable. "Jim" slung his hammock between and beneath two umbrageous
trees, and by eight o'clock, with a full stomach and clear conscience,
was roosting in it, happy as a lord! From this coign of vantage, with
the gathering darkness to hide his _blushes_, he favored us with several
choice negro melodies rendered in a style and with a pathos which any
"professional" might have envied. As the night deepened we drank in with
appropriate senses all the delights of our surroundings. The great fire
before which we three sat, lighting up with weird and fantastic effects
the sombre foliage of the adjacent forest; the plaintive cry of the
distant loon; the harsher notes of the bittern, and the even, gentle
murmur of the softly lapping waves, all united to inspire us with a
sense of freedom and happiness unknown to the busy world. Serene and
contented, we "turned in" at ten, with blissful anticipations for the
morrow. We had not forgotten that prime necessity of a well-ordered
camp, light, but had brought with us several pounds of sperm candles,
two gallons of oil and a good swinging lamp, which, suspended from the
centre-pole, not only rendered the tent cheerful, but gave facilities
for performing with ease and comfort the thousand and one little jobs
which precious daylight could not be wasted upon. Reader, did you ever
"camp out" in the midst of a dense grove of pine or spruce trees? If
not, you have yet to enjoy the luxury of the most balmy and refreshing
sleep which can bless mortal man. There is a something in the delicious
aroma of the resinous woods which induces a perfect repose, obtainable,
in my experience, through no other means. A sound, sweet, wholesome, and
yet not heavy sleep; quiet and dreamless, and from which you awake, not
drowsy and cross, but with a buoyancy of spirits, a strength of body and
clearness of mind which make even hard daily toil seem a mere pastime.
And so, with thankful hearts sank we to rest on this our first night at
St. Ignace. There are no black flies on the Island, and the season was
too far advanced for mosquitoes to be troublesome; facts which added
not a little to our serenity of mind and took away the last excuse for
ill-humor.

The next morning, after partaking of a breakfast which fully sustained
Jim's reputation as a cook, "Squills" and "Bluffy" agreed to go out in
the larger of the two boats, leaving the small one for me. They were
provided with various kinds of bait, including frogs, worms, grubs,
grasshoppers, and minnows, as well as a goodly supply of spoons and
other lures. I had decided upon trying flies for the first day, and if
found effective I intended to stick to them. The boys anchored out at
about a hundred yards from shore and went to work; and I moved slowly
along the coast-line, closely examining the bottom and the lay of the
submerged rocks, as well as the trend of the contiguous land. When an
angler is in strange waters he will find this preliminary survey to be
always a paying operation. By and by I found a lovely-looking reef which
extended from the shore to deep water. This reef or ledge was broad and
smooth on one side, but the other dipped down sharply, and presented
a rough, jagged, and cavernous face. Here, if anywhere, I judged
_fontinalis_ would be sure to lurk; so I anchored within twenty feet of
the precipitous edge of the reef, with water apparently about ten feet
deep under the boat, but of profound depth a few yards from the ledge.
At that time I had no split bamboo rod, a fact which I have ever since
regretted, but I had an excellent ash and lance-wood, which had killed
myriads of fish, and is still to the fore. I never was and never will
be a skilful fly-fisherman, or perhaps I should say--as too much modesty
savors of affectation--a skilful fly-_caster_.

That is I never could, nor can I yet, make an effective and proper cast
of over forty-two feet from reel to fly. I have always found, however,
that I _take as many fish_ as those artistic anglers who can cast more
than double that distance. On this occasion I tried a white miller as
tail fly, and a common gray hackle as dropper, and they succeeded so
well that I only thereafter changed them as a matter of experiment. I
never at any time during this trip used more than two flies at once, as
that number gave me quite enough to do.

Well, this morning of which I am now writing, was one to make glad
the heart of an angler. A southwest wind blew softly, and the sun was
obscured by warm gray clouds. No fish of any decency or self-respect
could _help_ biting on such a day! I felt so sure of good luck that I
put overboard a wicker-work basket, with a hole in the lid, so arranged,
with a falling spring door, that fish could be put in but could not get
out. This floated astern and would keep fully a hundred pounds of fish
alive, if necessary, for any length of time. Having fixed everything to
my liking, I stood up and made my first cast along the edge of the reef.
No result! but I thought I saw a faint suspicion of a shadowy form or
two, and a slight movement of the water just behind my flies. Have been
too quick, I thought; and so tried again, letting the flies this time
rest until they sank an inch or so below the surface, when I _attempted_
to draw them slowly in. I say attempted, because they had not moved
six inches when first the dropper and then the tail fly were taken in a
rush, by two large trout which didn't draw towards me worth a cent, for
some fifteen minutes at least. On the contrary they darted away as if
the Old Hick was after them with a red-hot frying-pan; pulling in unison
like a pair of well-broken colts and severely trying my rather too light
tackle. Any decided check was out of the question. I could only put
on such pressure as the single gut leader would bear, and that was
sufficient to make a half-circle of my rod. I had beautiful open water
in which to play the fish, but as they rushed along and down the face
of the submerged cliff, I did not know what hidden dangers might lurk in
the unseen depths, nor at what moment a sharp, jagged rock might cut the
line, or some profound recess furnish a retreat from whence it might be
impossible to withdraw my prize. So far however, all went well. The fish
in their terror had sought deep water and not touched rock at all. Soon
the distraction of the heavy, ceaseless strain caused them to forget
the glorious maxim that, "in union is strength." and they began to pull
different ways. Now I was sure of them! and very gradually and gently,
inch by inch, I coaxed them away from the dangerous ground, and got them
safely above the smooth bottom of the plateau on the farther side of
the boat, where I could see their every motion and watch their brave
struggles for life. A prettier sight I never witnessed than the curious
way in which the movements of one fish neutralized those of the other.
If one sought the bottom, his mate went for the surface; if one rushed
away seawards, the other came towards the boat. They literally _played
each other_, and I was for awhile a mere spectator! After looking upon
these cross-purposes for some minutes, I noticed that the fish on
the tail fly became entangled with the line above his comrade on the
dropper, and both then began to whirl furiously round and round after
the usual manner of trout in a like predicament. When the wildest of
this flurry was over, I drew them cautiously to the boat and dipped up
both at once with my landing net. An immediate application of my pocket
scale proved their weight to be twenty-nine and thirty-three ounces
respectively, the heaviest trout being that on the drop or upper fly.
They were evidently a mated pair, and both were broad-shouldered, deep
fish, but not very long, the largest being only sixteen and a half
inches. Their backs were beautifully clouded and mottled, but the
carmine spots on their sides were not quite so vivid as those of dark
river-water trout. Fortunately they were merely lip-hooked, and being
at once placed in the floating creel, soon revived. Now I began to feel
big, and thought myself quite an expert, but in less than five minutes
the conceit was taken out of me with a vengeance, for on my very next
cast I struck a magnificent fish and lost him, and half my leader,
instanter. On feeling the hook old _Salmo_ went like a shot over the
brow of the declivity and (I suppose) into a hole, and cut the line
short off. After that mishap I became more careful, and never dropped my
fly more than six inches from the edge of the reef; and whenever a
fish was struck I drew him at once, at all hazards, away from the risky
ground and played him on the plateau.

By ten o'clock I had secured fifteen beauties, some running close upon
three pounds. Eleven of these were as lively as ever, but four had been
hooked in the throat and soon died.

As the day was now becoming bright and hot, I thought it time to look
after my boys, who were out of sight around a point. I soon came up with
them and found "Squills" asleep in the bottom of the boat while "Bluffy"
sat smoking, with his rod lying idly across the gunnel with the line in
the water. "What luck, boys?" I shouted. "Squills" awoke and replied,
"What luck yourself, Governor? Not one blessed fish in this region." I
settled on my sculls, ready for a quick start, and said, "Why,
Squills, you don't know _how_ to fish. Just compound a few of your best
prescriptions and throw them overboard. They have generally proved fatal
to your patients, and will murder the fish sure."

"Squills" made a wicked dab at my head with his long-handled net, but
a stroke put me in safety, and I added, "And you, friend 'Bluffy,' just
rehash that famous trespass-case speech of yours, which gave the judge
fits and nearly killed the jury, and if you don't have lots of dead
fish, I'm a Dutchman." The poor boys, however, were past joking; and I
rowed back and examined their ground. They had actually been fishing all
the morning in water nine feet deep; over a bottom smooth as a billiard
table, without a weed, rock or stone to hide them from the fish; all of
which, within a hundred yards, could plainly see them and their boat. So
I said, "Come boys, we'll go to camp and have an early trout dinner, and
in the evening you shall catch fish to your heart's content." Then up,
after this manner, spoke the dolorous "Squills".

"That is all right, Governor, but it strikes me that in order fully to
enjoy a trout-dinner, it is, above all things, necessary first to have
the trout."

"True, most sapient medicus, and here they are," I rejoined, at the same
time lifting the lid of my creel. "Glory to Galen!"

"Thunder and turf!"

"Ghost of Walton! where did you get those, Governor?" both exclaimed
in a breath. "Boys," said I, "you are hungry, tired, and cross; possess
your souls in patience; come to camp; take some lime-juice and water,
with a little of something in it; eat, drink, and recover your strength,
and you shall have the best afternoon's sport you ever saw." These words
of wisdom cheered the fellows up wonderfully, and we all put off for
camp.

That redolent and shiny youth, Jim, soon cleaned two of the dead fish,
together about five pounds, cooked them in a style of his own, and we
sat down at the unfashionable hour of eleven to our first camp dinner.
I will, for once, give the _menu_, merely to show what awful _hardships_
we had to encounter!

Brook trout, fried in red-hot lard, garnished with bread crumbs; broiled
mutton chops; baked potatoes; cold tongue; pickles; sauces and jellies:
aftercourse--pancakes with maple syrup; wind up--Stilton cheese. Didn't
we just suffer for our country? After the inevitable and welcome pipe
(not cigars), and some choice and (I am happy to say) _chaste_ anecdotes
by "Bluffy," we laid down for a two hours' siesta. Oh, the glory, the
happiness of out-door life, away from posts, telegraphs, or newspapers!
Oh, the delight of feeling that every fresh breath of pure ozone-laden
air, adds to health and wholesome animal spirits, and is rapidly
re-invigorating your system, and fitting you to more effectually take
part in renewed and honest work!

At four o'clock the sun was again obscured by kindly clouds and we all
went ont to the reef; the boys, as before, in one boat, and I in
the other. And then occurred sport such as is seldom seen in genuine
troutfishing. My friends stuck to their minnow and grasshopper bait,
while I retained the fly. I induced them to anchor quite close to the
edge of the reef, so that they might, if necessary, drop their lines
perpendicularly down its face. They had not fished five minutes when
"Bluffy" gave a whoop, which might have awakened a petit-juror or scared
a witness out of his boots. I glanced that way, and found the man of
law standing up in the boat with curved and straining rod and a glow
of intense satisfaction pervading his jolly countenance. "I've got
him, Governor! He's a whopper; an old he fellow! None of your three
pounders," he yelled in great excitement. Sure enough, he _had_ him, and
after ten minutes of skilful play, landed a trout of over four pounds.

This beat me all hollow! Indeed the largest _S. fontinalis_ I took on
this trip weighed three pounds, one ounce, being two ounces lighter than
the heaviest I have ever yet caught.

"Squills" now got his hand in and brought out a dashing fish of three
and a-half pounds, in a manner so pretty and artistic as to elicit a
warm eulogium from the "Governor," who, of course, had not meantime been
idle himself. In fact, I had taken a double and single while the boys
got their two; but these outweighed my three. All through our excursion
the _largest_ fish were invariably taken by bait, but not so many of
them as by the fly. However, the fly was so much less trouble and so
much prettier, and cleaner to handle, I did not care to change, seeing
at once that we should catch more fish than we wanted anyway.

It was a great treat to me to watch the enjoyment the boys had in their
sport. Neither of them had been out before for years, and no student at
the beginning of a long vacation could have manifested such unbounded
delight at his freedom, as did they with their fishing and its
accompanying pleasures. It is a fact worthy of note that while I, using
the fly, took only speckled trout (_S. fontinalis_), my friends, with
bait, secured several of other and larger kinds.

Well, amid laughter, joke and repartee, the afternoon wore away, and
evening shades came all too quickly.

Our sport had been almost unique in its exhilarating success and
joyousness. When the sun sank below the waters we had taken in all
seventy-six fine trout, none under one pound. Of this number my fly was
responsible for thirty-two, "Squills" had taken twenty-one, and "Bluffy"
twenty-three. A lovelier lot of fish was never seen; and with the
exception of eight dead ones, we transferred them all safely to the
corral, built in the edge of the lake near our tent, with large stones.
Here, about eighty per cent, of all the fish taken on this trip remained
alive during the whole time of our stay. Whenever one showed signs of
failing we dipped him out for present use. This corral, hacked up by our
supply of ice, gave us full assurances that our good luck would not be
followed by reckless waste.

But I had almost forgotten the chief incident of this memorable day.
As we approached the camp we saw "Jim" on the shore dancing a double
"Virginny break-down" and grinning all over from head to foot; his
shining ebony face and gleaming teeth fairly illuminating the coming
darkness. On seeing us he yelled out, "I got him, gentlemen; I beats you
all; takes this nigger to catch fish!"

The imp had actually made for himself a raft of drift-wood, paddled it
out to deep water, and taken with bait a great salmon trout of twenty
pounds! and it was now swimming about in the corral like a yery
leviathan among my morning's catch. This tickled us all so immensely
that we then and there bestowed upon "Jim" an extra "quarter" each. This
boy was indeed a treasure; a first-class cook and care-taker; willing,
faithful, and honest; while his store of songs, exhibits of dancing, and
never-failing fun and good-humor, would haye sufficed to keep cheerful
any camp in the world. Poor fellow! he was drowned two years later in
Lake Michigan, while bathing.

If I did not fear to spin out this already dull narrative to an
inordinate length, I should like to give a detailed account of each of
the twelve days we fished and shot in this vicinity.

_Twelve_ days only, mind you, for not a line was wet on Sunday.

Our one rifle proved a useful adjunct, but we found no use for the
shot-guns, the season being too early and the weather too fine for
ducks. The delicately sighted Winchester, however, procured us several
fine specimens of the loon or great northern diver, and one or two large
blue cranes, all of which, I presume, now adorn "Squills'" sanctum in
British Columbia.

Almost every day we had choice sport, and we limited our catch only by
the facilities we possessed for saving and carrying away the fish.

One particular day we devoted to salmon and red trout, which we fished
for away off in very deep water, all of us using either spoons or
live herring bait, in trolling. We had plenty of wholesome exercise in
rowing, and very fair luck as regards fish; taking in all, seven salmon
trout and five red trout.

The honors of this day fell to "Squills," who captured with his spoon a
salmon trout of nineteen pounds, while I got a red trout of ten pounds.
This last named fish is as pink in the flesh and as fine flavored as
_Salmo salar_. It is said by local fishermen to be in fact the same
fish, and they suppose that in ages long past sea salmon had some means
of reaching this lake, and when the waters subsided some were left,
and that from them the red trout is descended. As I have myself no
scientific knowledge whatever I cannot offer an opinion upon this point.
I can only say that if a skilled fisherman, or even a scientist, were to
receive one of these fish from, say Quebec, he could hardly distinguish
it from the veritable _Salmo salar_, though it bears even a more exact
resemblance to the salmon of Frazer Fiver, British Columbia.

I am told that this red trout will rise to the fly, but I cannot vouch
for the fact, as all we took were captured with bait or spoon.

A rather curious, though frequently occurring, thing happened one
evening as we were all fishing, with our boats not more than fifty feet
apart. I had hooked, and was playing a medium sized speckled trout, when
it was seized and gorged by a sixteen-pound salmon trout. I realized
the situation instantly and gave line freely, so as to allow the poacher
lots of time to swallow his stolen prey. The rifle was in the other
boat, and I asked the boys to come alongside, as we should probably have
to use cold lead, the fish being too large for our landing nets. By the
time they were in position, about sixty feet of my line had gone slowly
out, and I judged that the large fish had got the small one fairly in
his stomach. I then began to reel in very gently, and was surprised to
find that the big trout followed my lead with great docility until I had
brought him quite near the surface. Then he became alarmed and dashed
off--a proceeding to which I made no resistance, as I feared pulling the
bait from his throat. Being apparently satisfied that all was right,
my unknown friend soon became quiescent, and I could only feel a slight
tremor of the line as he settled his supper satisfactorily in his maw.
Again I coaxed him slowly and cautiously towards the boat in which
stood "Bluffy" with poised rifle. This time I ventured to make him show
himself within twenty feet of the muzzle of the gun, when "Bluffy" very
neatly put a bullet through his head, and he turned belly up and was got
on board. "Well done, "Bluffy," said "Squills;" "your _practice_ could
not have done greater _execution_ if you had been making out a bill of
costs for a client."

"Well, no," says 'Bluffy;' "but I think perhaps one of _your curative
pills_ would have killed the fish more unutterably dead."

"Peace, boys, peace," said the "Governor"; "this is a solemn occasion;
we have used unlawful and unsportsmanlike means to take a game fish; but
as it could not be helped we will condone the offence by giving the fish
away to the first deserving object we meet."

"And that will be 'Jim,' quietly observed 'Squills.'"

But dear me! what is the use of trying to tell all the fun and glorious
sport we had? The pen of a "Frank Forester" or a Hallock might do
justice to the subject, mine cannot. Suffice it to say that, as the days
went on, each one made me feel younger and younger, until I found it
hard to convince myself that I was over twenty-five. As to my comrades,
we had not been out a week before they were boys of sixteen!

Last days will come, however, and all too quickly, let us bear up never
so bravely. The fifteenth morning saw us packing up and preparing to
return once more to civilized life and "the busy haunts of men."

I am afraid to say how many trout we had at the finish, but I know that
we packed in ice more than three hundred pounds weight to take home with
us; and gave away, almost alive from the corral, nearly as many more
to the captain of the steamer, thereby calling down upon our heads the
earnest blessings of passengers and crew.

I find, on looking over this MS. that I have forgotten to say that we
discovered several places along the channel edge of the island where
most excellent trout-fishing could be had from the shore; and that, by
the advice of local fishermen, my friends tried the "hearts" of killed
trout as bait, and found such very effective. This "heart" is a piece of
flesh which lies inside the pointed part of the fish's belly which
runs between the gill covers. It looks much like a genuine heart, and
_pulsates_ for several seconds after being removed from the fish. I
suppose that it is in fact a real heart. Never once did this bait fail
to attract a bite; but, of course, not many hearts could be obtained,
as we extracted the delicate morsel only from such fish as were required
for immediate consumption.

Me finally bade farewell to our two weeks' elysium, with sorrowful
feelings, but before the lapse of twenty-four hours, kind and loving
thoughts of wives, little ones, and home re-asserted themselves, and
we landed at Collingwood in jubilant spirits and vigorous health, fully
prepared to resume our several avocations, and fight again the battles
of life with renewed courage and hope.

P.S.--We were absent from Barrie twenty-five days in all, and the whole
trip cost us only one hundred and thirty-five dollars, or forty-five
dollars each. Our ice was kept almost intact by being wrapped in
blankets and covered with spruce boughs. Mr. Boon, before referred to,
has built and is this winter (1883) filling a large ice-house on the
small island for his own use and that of any visitors who may fish in
the neighborhood next summer. Mr. Boon took five hundred half barrels of
choice fish on these grounds last season; with nets, of course.



THE ANGLER'S GREETING.

By W. David Tomlin.

Whither away, friend! Your black slender rod-box and the creel denote
you are on fishing intent, but where are you bound?

A momentary glance, a cordial good evening; the question then came--To
whom am I indebted for this greeting? An exchange of cards resulted in
a long and cordial grasp of hands; glad to meet you! Is it possible? The
magic pasteboard revealed two names not unknown to each other through
the columns of their favorite angling journal, and this visitor had
come to the little country station in quest of some of the fishing often
spoken of in the said paper.

The fates had led the correspondent to the railway station to bid
good-bye to a friend when the angler unlimbered himself therefrom; and
was looking around as strangers do.

"Can you recommend a quiet inn near this point where I can find decent
treatment? I am not inclined to be fussy."

A few minutes' walk and I introduced him to mine host, who was a genuine
piscator, and nothing pleased him better than to have an angler under
his roof: he took possession of him and considered nothing too much
trouble, so long as he gave his guests good fishing, clean beds, a
square meal, and satisfaction.

While supper was being prepared, we pleasantly chatted over the prospect
of sport, and the angler's aim and ambition. He wanted a day or two of
trouting, and some roach fishing with a fly, as he had read some letters
giving an experience in fishing for these dainty fish, and intended
trying them. The inspection of a well-filled fly-book showed how
carefully he had selected his stock.

The early supper over, we strolled up the hillsides overlooking this
lovely vale. On the grassy downs we seated ourselves, and I pointed out
to him the various fishing points; yonder is a splendid reach where the
trout are always found; see that sheeny rivulet coming down through
that clump of trees! that is the best trout stream in this section of
country.

Note the different water-courses. The canal runs through the middle
of the valley; see here, clear away to the west, a little brook comes
tumbling in; see just below that point, a silvery-looking stream on
the farther side of the canal--that is a fine trout stream; follow its
course until it loses itself in that big clump of willows: a saw-mill is
hidden in those willows, and the stream, after supplying the mill with
power, drops into a culvert under the bed of the canal; there it is
again in that piece of open moorland; there it is coming out from that
long clump of willows, and finally joining the stream mentioned before
as the best trout stream in this region; thus the two streams, the Gade
and the little Bourne, are swallowed up in the canal; and have always
been splendid waters for roach fishing.

The hills hide the canal and streams in their winding course, or I
would point out to you the best fishing grounds for miles along this
Hertfordshire valley; but I presume there lies under your observation
enough fishing ground for a day or two.

The sun is tending downward like a huge ball of fire, the vale is in a
dreamy shade; how glistening the appearance of the water-courses, like a
big silvery thread winding in and out along the vale! the evening air
is full of music; the bee is humming around you; what a flood of music
comes from the throat of that woodland thrush in yonder thorn hedge! the
strain is taken up, and the very woods echo again with the song of the
black-bird. As he ceases his roundelay, the soft clear note of another
bird strikes on the ear; for the moment' nature seems hushed; almost
breathless you wait; the notes come rich and clear, as silvery as a
lute, a flood of melody; the sound dies away and instantly the woods
ring again; all the sweet-throated songsters seem as if applauding the
song of the nightingale; we sit and drink in these sounds, until one by
one the songs drop into silence, leaving the nightingale to pour out its
tuneful music until far into the night. At this moment there comes in
the air the quivering boom of a bell ringing ont the hour of nine from
the steeple of the church yonder, faintly limned on the evening shadows.
Ah! listen again! there comes the evening chime. How the quivering notes
pulsate up here on these-hilltops! how silvery the tones; as the chords
of the vesper hymn rings out sweet and clear, our hearts beat in
rhythm to the strain! Lovely vale! Israel's grandest seer, who with eye
undimmed and natural force unabated, even from Pisgah's lofty heights
gazed on no lovelier scene than this we have surveyed. We descend into
the shadows; promising to meet my angling friend some time during the
following day, I wend my way homeward and to rest.

The evening shadows were again falling ere I could join our angler, but
the flies were on the waters and roach were fairly jumping, the surface
of the stream was alive with fish, both roach and dace breaking water
around us. My friend was no novice; I found him whipping the stream from
bank to bank, and his creel testified to his success. He was using a
tail fly and dropper, a red hackle for the former, and an imitation of
the common blue house-fly for the dropper. These fish are fastidious in
their tastes; they do not rise at flies like a trout, but come to the
surface of the water and just break for the fly and at once turn tail
up. He who fishes for them must have a quick eye and steady hand; then
he can kill readily enough. They are a toothsome fish, but a trifle
bony. Eye and hand must work together, and when fish are feeding they
will readily take the fly. They are tender in the mouth and require care
in handling. They afford good sport in streams where they are abundant,
and are often killed weighing from one and a-half to two pounds.

My angling friend had come well prepared with letters introducing him to
the owners of the fine trout streams, and readily obtained permission to
fish these preserved waters. It was rare sport to watch him daintily lay
out his line across the stream, his stretcher a June fly, or at times a
floating May-fly skittered across the surface until close to the farther
hank. Here lay a big _Salmo fario_. We had been watching him lazily
coming to the surface to suck in a fly or bug that had tumbled from the
trees overhead. A big cockchafer came spinning and buzzing down stream.
All laziness gone in an instant, up came the _Salmo_ showing his huge
sides. A fierce lunge and a heavy splash and the chafer was gone into
the cavern of the open mouth. The fly-book was out in an instant. A
dark brown fly somewhat resembling the 'chafer replaced the stretcher.
A careful cast a little up stream, a lunge and a miss from the trout.
Another cast close in to the bank, a slight jerk and the fly assumed the
appearance of the buzzing chafer; the same sharp dash, the hand was
as quick as the trout this time, the hook was driven home and the fun
began. Such a dashing, splurging, rushing I had never seen. He was
determined to use every art known to trout-lore before he surrendered.
The rod bent and sprung, the line fairly swished as he tore up stream;
above him lay the limb of a tree, scraggy and ragged; toward this he
plunged, but the line tightened on him; he tugged and jerked, but gained
not an inch; he came to the surface and thrashed the water with his
broad tail. Fatal error! as he did so the line came in as fast as
fingers could fly round, the landing net was slipped under him, a quick
upward movement and Master _Salmo_ was flung high and dry. He was too
big for the net and so was ignominiously flung ashore.

What a noble trout! His silver sides and belly gleamed in the light, his
blood-red spots seemed to glow with indignation at his cruel death. He
had long been a lordling over the other trout and now was strangling!
Kill him! I cannot bear to see a trout gasping. Killed and scaled he
weighs three and a half pounds. A credit to the angler: but at times,
during the contest, it was a question to which the honor belonged; it
was: "Splendid rod!" "Ah! how skilfully he handles his fish."

"Who would have dreamt that little thing would have stood such a
strain?"

Gentle angler, let us leave our friend to the contemplation of the
beauties of the fairest of all England's garden landscapes, and the
preserved trout streams, and plunge with me into an American forest.

By a beautiful lake in the famous State of Michigan a little settlement
is springing up. Over in that bay is a trout creek emptying; it is full
of trout--trout _galore_--trout by the hundreds can be seen. Come with
me, I will show them to you. Let me drop a fly into this hole. Ah! there
he is! see him dash for it. He won't come again, let us push along.

Push along, you say? do you expect I am coming through that brush? Hot
much; I am not a crank. If you are so fond of trying to break your neck
for a string of trout, why go. I go! am quite willing to be alone on
this lovely little creek, for it contains some of the handsomest trout
it has ever been my good luck to kill. Here and there I drop in a
fly; sometimes a "Yellow May," sometimes a "Professor," sometimes a
"Stone-fly"; once in a while an "Ibis" is fancied by some fastidious
trout. How and then a "Floating May-fly" seems a favorite. Where the
brush overhangs and is a darksome, lonely spot, I drop in a "Royal
Coachman," and out comes a big trout lusty and fighting; sometimes fancy
flies are spurned and hackles of all colors kill; then a fly composed of
alternate feathers, red and white, of no name, but a favorite with the
writer, will kill when trout will not take any other fly.

I am enjoying the fun, and the creel is getting heavy. Half a mile of
fishing and twenty-five handsome trout is doing good enough for mid-day
fishing.

As the evening falls I take my split bamboo and the fly-book, pull on
the wading hoots, and go down to the mouth of the creek, wading out
until I am as far as the sand runs. I cast out more for practice than to
expect trout. I have on a big bass-fly large enough for a salmon-fly. As
it strikes the water twenty-five feet from me there is a commotion. "Ye
gods and little fishes!" What was the fuss? I cast again, and as true as
I am here if a number of trout did not jump clear out for that fly,
big as it was! Hastily reeling in I put on a dun-colored fly, and cast
again; the same jump and dash, but no trout. Changing my flies until at
last I put on as a stretcher a "White Miller," I flung out clear beyond
any former cast into the midst of what appeared like a boiling spring.
The fly dropped softly and out came a host of trout. School kept just
then, for I certainly had struck a school of trout. Striking, I fastened
into a fine fish; reeling in, I dried my fly and cast again and hooked
again. The fun grew fast and furious; my little bamboo swished and bent;
hooks were snipped off; I was excited and jubilant, when along came
an itinerant parson. The twenty-five or thirty trout I had, set him
longing; he must fish. Jerking off his boots, pulling up his pants, he
waded into the icy cold water equipped with a stick cut from the forest.
He had nosed out a line and some hooks from a supply I had left on the
bank in my fishing-case, and without so much as "by your leave" began
threshing the water as close to the school as he could get his line;
this was baited with a piece of dead fish. To say that I was disgusted
faintly expresses my feeling. I would have ceased fishing, but my friend
with whom I was staying said, "Ho, don't stop while sport is so good."
I put on a "Royal Coachman" and cast out again, hooking and bringing
out trout every second or third cast. I began casting wide, the school
followed my flies. I tried the "Professor's," "Dun's," "Hackle's," "Seth
Green," "Governor," and "May-flies," with good success. With one pure
"Yellow May" I caught a dozen handsome trout, but in this event the
evening shadows were fast falling. As they deepened, the "Royal
Coachman" and "White Millers" were the killing flies. I cast until I
could not see where my flies fell, and even then once in a while hooked
and brought in a trout.

I had been thoughtless enough to leave my creel up in the house, never
expecting to have this run of good luck. All my trout were taken from
the hook and thrown twenty-five feet to shore. I lost many of them in
this way. Thirty my friends claimed, yet when I came to count tails, I
found forty as handsome trout as ever man wished to see, and all caught
from 6 in the evening until dark, about 7.45. I had no net, no creel,
therefore had to lead my trout into my hand. The friend at whose house I
was staying claims I lost more than I caught by having them flounder off
the hook while trying to take them by the gills, and by flinging them
ashore.

I have used flies on this creek many times, but never had such luck
before nor since. My experience has been that the fine fancy flies of
the eastern streams are useless on these Michigan streams; the nearer
the flies approach to a species of small moth found flitting amidst the
foliage of the forest, the greater the success. A word, brother angler,
and I have done. Learn to cast a fly, and you will never go back to
bait fishing from choice. Get good flies, and you won't regret the
extra money they cost you; don't buy cheap imitations or trade made
flies--"they are frauds."

Don't buy a pole big enough for the staff of a Philistine Goliath;
to fish for trout, buy a fine rod, take care of it, learn to use it
thoroughly. Never buy a cheap rod; a rod fit for trouting must be as
fine as it is possible to make them, and it should not make a shadow on
the water. Cheap rods are like cheap guns, scham-dahms! Good trout
rods cost a good deal of time and labor; cheap rods are turned out in
a rapid-running lathe. They are a delusion. Get the best materials of
everything you need, and buy of a good maker. Never be tempted to buy
"cheap flies because they are bargains"--cheap rods because some one is
selling out; "want to get out of the business, no money in it." Remember
you are the party who will be sold. Cheap things for trouting are a
"fraud, a delusion, and a snare."

Almost every angler has been bitten, but the prevailing opinion is: buy
the best tackle your pocket-book can afford and take care of it. And my
word for it, as an angler who learned to cast a line for pickerel at ten
years old, you will love the sport and think it the best way to spend a
summer's vacation of any amusement under the sun.

"In using the fly the object is to imitate the movements of the natural
insect as nearly as possible. To drop the line naturally on the water,
and then to keep the fly endued with life, is the stratagem. From the
moment the fly touches the water the angler should keep his eye on it.
Trout often feed a little under the surface; they do not always break
when they rise, but quietly suck in the fly."--_Charles Hallock_.

"'An angler, sir, uses the finest tackle, and catches his fish
scientifically--trout, for instance--with the artificial fly, and he is
mostly a quiet, well-behaved gentleman. A fisherman, sir, uses any kind
of 'ooks and lines, and catches them any way; so he gets them it's all
one to 'im, and he is generally a noisy fellah, sir, something like a
gunner.'"--_Doctor Bethune._

[Illustration: 0148]

16. Silver Black.

17. Scarlet Ibis.

18. Stone Fly.

19. White Miller.

20. Fiery Brown.

21. Yellow Drake.

22. Grir. King.

23. Imbrie.

24. Soldier Palmer.

25. Cha

26. Portland.

27. Ethel May.

28. Pale Evening Dun.

29. Great Dun.

30. Whimbrel.

"Be stil moving your fly upon the water, or casting it into the
water; you yourself, being also alwaies moving down the stream.--_Izaak
Walton._

"When once alarmed, trout will never bite."--_Seth Green_.

"Fly-fishers are usually brain-workers in society. Along the banks of
purling streams, beneath the shadows of umbrageous trees, or in the
secluded nooks of charming lakes, they have ever been found, drinking
deep of the invigorating forces of nature--giving rest and tone to
over-taxed brains and wearied nerves--while gracefully wielding the
supple rod, the invisible leader, and the fairy-like fly."--_James A.
Henshall, M.D._

"It is generally true that if a trout is pricked by a fly-hook he will
not rise to it again."--_W. C. Prime_.

"Christopher North.--Would you believe it, my dear Shepherd, that my
piscatory passions are almost dead within me; and I like now to saunter
along the banks and braes, eyeing the younkers angling, or to lay me
down on some sunny spot, and with my face up to heaven, watch the slow
changing clouds!"

"Shepherd.--I'll no believe that, sir, till I see't--and scarcely
then--for a bluidier-minded fisher nor Christopher North never threw a
hackle. Your creel fu'--your shootin'-bag fu'--your jacket-pouches fu',
the pouches o' your verra breeks fu'--half-a-dozen wee anes in your
waistcoat, no' to forget them in the croon o' your hat,--and, last o'
a', when there's nae place to stow awa ony mair o' them, a willow-wand
drawn through the gills of some great big anes, like them ither
folk would grup wi' the worm or the mennon--buta' gruppit wi' the
flee--Phin's delight, as you ca't,--a killen inseck--and on gut that's
no easily broken--witness yon four pounder aneath Elibank wood, where
your line, sir, got entangled wi' the auld oak-root, and yet at last ye
landed him on the bank, wi' a' his crosses and his stars glitterin' like
gold and silver amang the gravel! I confess, sir, you're the King o'
Anglers. But dinna tell me that you have lost your passion for the art;
for we never lose our passion for ony pastime at which we continue to
excel."



THE LURE.

By "Bourgeois."

Among the delightful summer resorts of Colorado Estes Park may be justly
considered one of the most attractive. It is now easy of access. Seven
years ago it began to be frequented, the trail having given way to the
wagon road. Before the days of easy ingress, I had m cast my lures upon
the waters of the Thompson and Fall River, with gratifying success.

In the summer of 1875, the Governor, the Governor's mother, and myself,
determined upon Estes Park for a six weeks' vacation. With this end in
view, in the latter part of July, I sent off the team loaded with the
camp outfit.

Two days after we took the morning train for Longmont, on the Colorado
Central, and had an early lunch at the tail end of the wagon just
outside the town. Before noon we were on the fifteen-mile drive into the
canon of the St. Vrain, for camp.

By sunrise the following morning we had started, with twenty miles to
make over a new road part of the way, and no road at all in places,
and the places were many. However, we had to hitch on to the end of
the tongue but once, to snake the wagon over an otherwise impassable
boulder. The rock stood a foot out of ground, stretched entirely across
where the road was to be, and at an angle of 45°. The team could barely
get a foothold upon the top, when the traces were let out full, and the
double-tree hooked on the end of the tongue. The horses understood
their business, and upon a word settled their shoulders into the collars
together, the breeching gradually lifted as their knees bent a little;
without a slip their iron-shod hoofs held to the hard granite, and we
were up as deftly as a French dancing master would raise his hat to a
lady. In travelling in the hills there is nothing so gratifying as a
team whose pulling powers you can swear by; a balky horse is an engine
of destruction or death; if you know his failing, shoot him before you
reach the foothills.

As the sun dropped behind the range, lighting up the high peaks with
his golden rays, and the pines were beginning to take on tints of darker
green, we reached the head of the Park, and within three miles of our
camping ground. To the right of us "Olympus," with the dying sunlight
dancing on his granite head, to the left Long's Peak, with patches of
snow here and there, towering godlike above the surrounding giants.
Before us, Prospect Mountain with its rugged front far reaching above
its robes of green, while around its base and toward us came leaping the
beautiful mountain stream for two miles through the meadow-hued park,
with scarce a willow upon its banks. What a place to cast a fly! Aye,
indeed it is; and what a place it was to catch trout. But we must move
on around Prospect Mountain to Ferguson's for camp, which we make on a
little eminence near a great spring and close by the cabin where we know
we shall be welcome.

A late supper disposed of, and the Governor stowed away in the blankets,
Ferguson and I fall talking at his broad fire-place about Horse Shoe
Park and Fall River; of course trout are plenty there; he had been up
the day before and knew whereof he spoke; yes, there were quite a number
of tourists in the park, but the streams were not "fished out." He
rather thought that with "a pole" to every rod of the stream the fishing
improved; at least for him.

Our genial friend who obeyed Joshua in the long ago, was out of bed next
day sooner than I. Dick, the pony, gave me a cheerful good morning as
I put in an appearance and changed his picket pin. I received his
salutation as a good omen.

Breakfast over and Dick saddled, it was eight o'clock. We had five miles
to go. I strapped my rod and creel to the pommel, and with a caution to
the Governor's mother not to let him fall into the spring, Ferguson
and I were off. There was no occasion to hurry; if we reached the
beaver-dams in Horse Shoe Park by ten o'clock we would be just in time.
Experience had taught me that the two hours before noon, and after five
o'clock were the hours for success.

Our route was a "cut off" without any trail, but familiar; across the
Thompson, up stream, westward for a mile, we turned up a "draw" to the
right, for a swale in the ridge dividing the Thompson and its tributary,
Fall River. By nine o'clock we had reached the summit of the divide.
Before and below us lay a beautiful park, three miles in length, by a
mile in width toward its upper end, where it rounded at the base of
the mountain range, giving it the shape of a horse shoe, which no doubt
suggested its name. To the north it is guarded by an immense mountain
of rocks, where towering and impenetrable cliffs stand out against
the background of blue sky, as though the Titans had some time builded
there, and mother earth had turned their castles into ruins, and
left them as monuments of her power. To the south a long, low-lying,
pine-covered hill, while from the range in the west with its snow
covered summit and base of soft verdure, comes a limpid stream winding
down through the grass-covered park, its course marked by the deeper
green of the wild grass and the willows. A mile away a band of mountain
sheep are feeding; they have evidently been down to water and are making
their way back to their haunts in the cliffs, and whence we know they
will quickly scud when they see or wind us. Ferguson longed for his
rifle; it was just his luck; he had the "old girl" with him the last
time, but "nary hoof" had he seen. To me they were precious hints of
man's absence, and the wilderness.

Reaching the stream we picketed the ponies in the grass to their knees;
the nutritions mountain grass, the mother of cream so thick that you
have to dip it ont of the jug with a spoon. The ponies were happy, and
I became nervous; it seemed half an hour before I could get my tackle
rigged. But after I had sent my favorite gray hackle on its mission and
had snatched a ten-inch trout from his native element, my nerves were
braced. A second and a third followed; I heard nothing from Ferguson
except the "swish" of his old cane pole above the music of the waters.
The trout struck and I landed them so fast that the sport began to be
monotonous, and I followed up the sound of the cane. Going round a clump
of willows I discovered the old gentleman upon the edge of the pool, and
that old rod going up and down with the regularity of a trip hammer, the
owner combining business and sport. I asked him what he was doing; he
said he was fishing, and I thought he was.

Wandering up stream, taking it leisurely, I had by noon filled my creel,
and was enjoying a sandwich under the shelter of some willows, when my
companion came along with his sixteen pound lard-can filled, besides a
dozen upon a stick. I asked him when he intended to quit. He said he had
never seen fish "bite" so; he hated to stop, and yet had all he could
carry, but concluded with me that enough was as good as a feast. Then
he began to banter me about my ash and lancewood, and the excess of his
catch over mine. I told him to wait till some other day. It came in the
course of time, upon the same stream. The trout refused everything I
had, grasshoppers included. Finally I fished up an old fly-book from
the depths of my coat pocket, and in it were half a dozen nameless
blue-bodied flies with a mouse-colored feather upon a number six Kirby.
Upon sight, I remembered to have discarded them in disgust, but I
thought I would try one for luck, and lo! the mystery was solved. I had
been working industriously for two hours and had two trout. Ferguson had
been no more successful, but was in sight when the trout began to rise
to my cast-off fly. He came down my way, wanted to know what I
was using, and I gave him one; he lost that and his leader in some
half-sunken brush, and I gave him another. But his good genius had
deserted him; I persuaded a trout right away from his lure, and he quit
in disgust, while I said never a word. Though a little sensitive upon
the score of success, he was and is a genial and companionable angler,
and one who can make a good cast withal, an he have proper tools.

Willow Park, an adjunct to Estes Park, through which runs a branch of
the Thompson, has afforded me many a day's sport, and is nearer to camp.
Upon a memorable occasion I had been fishing down stream, when, with a
well-filled creel, I encountered a gigantic boulder on the hank. Just
beyond it was a pool that was suggestive; to reach the base of the
boulder it was necessary to get over a little bayou of about five feet
in width and three in depth. To jump it were easy but for the willows,
yet I must get to that pool. Selecting a place where I think the willows
will give way to my weight, I essay the leap. My feet reach the opposite
hank, my body presses back the brush, but I feel a rebound that assures
me of my fate. I clutch frantically at the swaying bush; it breaks in
my hand, and I sit down quite helplessly, muttering a prayer till the
cold water bids me shut my mouth. Emerging I hear a well defined laugh,
but not being in the mind to fear the spirits that haunt these wilds, I
make for the base of that boulder and the coveted pool. A moment after
I discover a face bedecked with glasses upon the opposite side of the
brook, and recognize the smiling countenance of a genial member of the
guild looking at me through the willows.

"Oh, is that you?"

To this lucid inquiry I reply in the affirmative. "Where's Ferguson?"

"At home, I suppose."

"I thought I heard him fall in the creek."

I told him I did not think Ferguson had a monopoly of the bathing
privileges of the Thompson and its tributaries.

"Well, I thought it was funny."

"Thought what was funny?"

"Why, I heard the splash, and supposed it was Ferguson; then I
remembered Ferguson was a church member in good standing."

I took my revenge by competing with my brother for the contents of that
pool, and beat him by one. But to this day he greets me with a smile.
When I got back to camp I learned that the Governor had been trying to
follow in the footsteps of his father, and had tumbled into the spring.
He had been fished out by the combined efforts of his mother and Mrs.
Ferguson, and I discovered him swathed in a blanket by the kitchen
stove, mad as a hornet; I shook hands with him.

Our camp is pitched in a pleasant spot, with two tall pines, a hundred
feet away, for sentinels. _Coup de soleil_ is unknown in Colorado, so I
prefer the sun's rays to lightning, especially while trees seared from
top to bottom are plentiful in the Park as monitors. To the right is
Prospect Mountain, with its west end a beetling cliff, perhaps two
thousand feet high, where I once had the buck-ague during an interview
with a "big-horn." To the left and in front, the range, where the
storm-king holds high carnival, while lower down and nearer is a
mountain of towers and pinnacles of brown and red and gray, carved out
by that whimsical sculptor, Old Time. With the sun for my artist, the
range for both his easel and background, I have lounged away many an
hour under one of the old janes. My gaze wandering down the green slope
to the river half a mile away, and with the weird music of the tumbling
waters coming and receding on the summer breeze to help my dreams, we
have together wrought out fantastic ruins and ghostly shapes to people
them. A drifting cloud, perhaps, will change a barbacan to a spire, and
a Doric capital to a Corinthian, or the knight panoplied to a brownie
with a lily for a throne, and

               "......jolly satyrs, full of fresh delight,

               Come dancing forth, and with them nimbly ledd

               Faire Helenore, with girlonds all bespredd,

               Whom their May-lady they had newly made;"

to give place again, as the golden meshes weave, to cowled monks or
ladies, fair, as suits the whim of the artist's patron. Again, the
goblins of the range begin their game of nine-pins, and the fleecy
clouds that have been slowly drifting, drifting all the day, settle down
upon the mountain top and change from white to gray and from gray to
black as the sport grows furious. Something these elves must have to
light up their frolic, and presently it comes in great flashes of wicked
steel-blue and red, zigzaging down the mountain side, or in straight
blinding bolts that rive paths in the hard granite, scattering the loose
rock and shivering the pines, while the noise of the jolly nine-pins
rattles and re-echoes among the crags, and dies away to come again more
quickly, until the mountain-top is a sheet of lurid flame and the din
unceasing, so closely follows peal upon peal. The game is too violent
to last, but the gnomes love to hug the range in their pastime, and I,
understanding the signs, and having no fear of their electric lights,
watch the fast growing rift of azure that crowds hard upon the driving
blackness. At last the mellow rays touch up my mountain ruins, and they
are arrayed in new splendors and peopled with other phantoms.

So I have dreamed, and might go on dreaming, but this time I am brought
back to the green slope and a little figure. The Governor is toiling
up the trail with a quart bucket, his special chattel, from the spring,
whence he volunteered to bring a drink for his mother. I can see no
impediment in his path, yet he stumbles and falls. Would I had been
there to warn him; but the water is spilled. He does not cry, but
gathers himself and his property up, and goes back to begin his task
over again. Just then there came to me pat, an aphorism, I think, of
"Poor Goldsmith": "True greatness consists not in never falling, but
in rising every time we fall;" and I took it as an omen of good for the
boy.

The time is approaching when we must break camp and go back to the brick
and mortar and the realities of civilization. Duties to be performed
will be undertaken with better zest when I get to them, but I cast
lingering looks toward my mountain ruins as the day of departure draws
nigh. I even have a thought that it would be pleasant to relapse into
barbarism, if out of such as mine our civilization has grown--we might
build up a better. As this may not be, I am encouraged by the thought
that another season will come, and with hope in my heart I am better
prepared for the work awaiting me. I know that I shall go back with a
fresher feeling for my kind, and more charity. So when one September
morning, after a day of gray mist hanging oyer the îange, the wind comes
down chill from the heights, and the morning sun lights up my castles
and pinnacles in diadems of new-fallen snow, I say we must be off. We
gather together our lares of nomadic life, and with a regretful farewell
to those I cannot bring away, we make the journey home, a better man and
woman, with a nut-brown, healthy boy, for much of which I give credit to
the artificial fly, and the beautiful denizens of the mountain streams.



FLY FISHING IN THE YOSEMITE.

By A. Louis Miner, Jr.

A merry party had come for a holiday to the Yosemite, and their camp
was established between the north and south domes near the forks of the
Merced. Toward the east the Tenajo Canon opened, revealing through its
vista of granite crags the highest peak of "Clouds' Rest," crowned with
eternal snows. Westward, the Sentinel Rock, like a minaret among the
domes, pierced the sky.

There were seven in the party, including a heathen from the flowery
kingdom, almond-eyed--Ah Yang. His nominal function was to do as he was
bid, and serve as man of all work, but in reality he ruled; and ruled
with a rod of iron. Yang had been induced to come by motives purely
sordid; but the others, aside from seeing the wondrous valley, had
various reasons for making the journey.

The Judge came for relaxation. He needed it. For the last dozen years he
had devoted himself to reading the morning papers, lunching at his club,
and entertaining his friends sumptuously at dinner.

His wife, who, in the levelling atmosphere of camp, came to be styled
the _Judgess_, imagined herself on the verge of a decline, and sought
recuperation in the forest. If the Judgess were described as fat and
forty, omitting the fair, the description would fall far short of truth.
In spite of her ailments, the Judgess would haye enjoyed herself in a
way, had it not been for the young woman she was chaperoning. This was
Madge. Certain young men in San Francisco called her a _rattler_,
and certainly there was nothing slow about her. The chief end of her
existence, at home and everywhere, seemed to be the pursuit of fun;
to this end she flirted with anything that came in her way, from stray
herdsmen on the plains to an English baronet at a Yosemite hotel. When
nothing else was at hand, and to the Judgess' indignation, she flirted
with the Judge. With charming zest she played continued games of poker
with him till his honor's purse was far thinner than its owner. The
Judge's admiration for Madge was profound, but after an hour at cards,
he would usually remark, "that girl has the devil in her, _as it were_,
bigger than a wolf."

It is said that all men have a ruling passion. Be that as it may, a
passion certainly ruled a worthy clergyman of the company. The men of
our generation affected with beetle mania are many, but his Reverence
was absolutely devoted to bugs. The Judgess, a zealot to such a degree
that Mary of England was but lukewarm in comparison, said that his
Reverence valued a butterfly more than a human soul; and Madge
insisted that, while he pretended to read his office, he was engaged in
dissecting a coleoptera or something.

The Doctor, who was Madge's unworthy brother, had come with the avowed
intention of sketching. All the long way from San Francisco he had been
at work with brushes and blotting paper. Often the "prairie schooner,"
in which the party travelled, had "lain to" while the Doctor washed in
patches of blue and white to represent cloud-effects, or a jagged gray
band against streaks of orange, portraying sunrise in the Sierras.

The last member of the party without professional distinction, and
familiarly called "Jack," had also a _penchant_, though many years had
passed since it had been gratified. When they had left the San Joaquin
plain and its sluggish rivers oozing their way through mud and reeds,
and had climbed into the mountain, a halt was made in a deep canon. Here
was a stream indeed. How blithely it danced along, eager to find the
Golden Gate and the Pacific! How it sang to Jack of fellow streams near
the other ocean! How it whispered of trout streams ahead! Presently a
long-cherished fly book was produced and Jack was poring over it. His
Reverence, attracted by the little volume, looked over Jack's shoulder.
He was entranced. A volume of ecclesiastical Latin would not have
interested him half so much. He began to criticise and expound. Some
were perfect. Some were caricatures of diptera. The other members of the
party drew around. "Pooh!" said the Doctor, "I hope you don't expect to
catch any trout with those things in Yosemite! Everybody knows that the
Merced trout don't take the fly." The Doctor went on to say, "that with
a common string, such as any grocer would use to tie up a package of
tea, a good strong hook, and a worm," he would catch in the same time,
more fish than could all the sportsmen of California, fishing with fancy
flies.

The Doctor, like most cynics, was somewhat given to hyperbole.

During the remainder of the journey into the valley, Jack felt himself
regarded as the victim of a mild halucination.

The Doctor could sketch; beetles were awaiting his Reverence's
microscope; flirtation and frolic were dawning on Madge's horizon; even
the Judge and Judgess could get rid of a stone or two avoirdupois if
they tried; but poor Jack had come, it appeared, to fish, and there
were no fish to catch, or at least to catch with a fly. Such was the
tradition, and so the Doctor had asserted, and no one ever disputed the
Doctor excepting Yang, the Chinaman.

Our friends had been revelling in the enchantments of the valley a week;
had climbed the trails that crept zig-zag up the dizzy heights; had
spent hours among the soft mist and rainbows at the first landing of
that wonder of the world, the Yosemite Falls; and still Jack had not
accomplished the cherished desire of his heart. He had not the moral
courage to take from its swaddling clothes his beloved rod (which the
Doctor would persist in calling "your fish-pole"). Never had he so
longed to cast a fly; but he thought, of the teasing Madge and waited.
At best, he was but a poor male creature. Madge, in his place, would
have been whipping the stream, with defiance and determination, an hour
after her arrival.

His Reverence and the Doctor had arranged to ascend Clouds' Rest on a
Thursday and return next day. Early Thursday morning, before Yang or the
birds were stirring, Jack sauntered forth to his morning bath in the
icy waters of the river. This Rio, de la Merced, would it prove to
him indeed a _river of mercy_, or a river of humiliation? But what
a glorious stream it was! Here it glided through wooded banks, the
opposite side black in the shadow of overhanging manzanita, while nearer
the rippling waters were checkered with the shadows of the cotton-wood
leaves, trembling in the growing light. Further on, the river whirled
and eddied around great boulders, resting among the mossy rocks in deep,
dark pools, bordered with fern and flecked with patches of lace-like
foam. Further still, it wound silently through the sedges, reflecting on
its glassy surface the storaied-carved Cathedral Rocks, or the huge mass
of El Capitan. Here was an ideal trout stream, but were there trout in
it! No doubt, for the Doctor had taken his grocers' string and a worm
and a veritable pole, and after a day's tramp had returned to camp wet,
hungry, in a sulphurous mood, but with four unmistakable trout. These,
served up the next morning, were appropriated by the Judgess, and made
an excellent appetizer to more abundant bacon and flap-jacks.

Jack had reached that pearl of waters, the Mirror Lake, and was watching
the marvellous beauties pictured on its bosom, when suddenly there was
a soft plash, the sleeping depths were troubled, a circling ripple crept
toward him, and Jack's pulses bounded. A trout had risen!

Through the dewy chaparral and the fragrant whispering pines, our friend
hurried back to camp in a fever of impatience. He tried to help Yang
with breakfast, but was told by that dignitary to "giv' us a rest," and
so humbly retired. He then waked his Reverence. He wakened the Doctor
and was greeted by language far from complimentary. He aroused the
Judgess, and was pierced with daggers from her eyes while she hurriedly
adjusted her teeth.

After breakfast more torturing delays, the Judgess declined to join the
mountain party. The others must not think that she feared to ride the
mules, for she adored mountain climbing, and the exercise and all that.
(This was a dreadful fib, which was probably made use of at her
next confession.) Both the Judge and herself were pining for a few
refinements of life at the hotel. Without napkins and finger-bowls, life
became a burden. The poor Judge had to acquiesce and said: "She wants
a little civilization _as it were_." Then Jack rebelled. There was a
general confusion, in the midst of which Yang began to fire his pistol.
This pistol was the idol of his pagan soul, and his frequent salutes the
terror of the party. No one dared to interfere. At this time the volley
was continued and promiscuous. The Judgess screamed, and having no
immediate revenge in the shape of ill-cooked dinners to fear, sharply
expostulated. Thereupon Yang, with utmost _sang froid,_ told her to
"shut your head" and journey to regions he had probably heard the Doctor
name. This was too much. The Judgess climbed into the wagon and stated
her opinion of people who permitted such "goings on" and of a priest
who allowed a Christian woman to be sworn at. Madge was convulsed with
laughter, even his Reverence smiled, while the Judge, poor man, looking
as if every brewery on the continent had been burned, snapped his whip,
and the wagon was lost to sight beneath the arching sequoias.

It was high noon when the sure-footed mules had arrived and the party
fairly started off. Jack waved an adieu with one hand, and with the
other reached down his rod from the branches of a live oak. Yang
proceeded to dissect a sucker he had caught for bait, saying: "If you
fisliee, me fishee too, but j'ou no sabee nothing."

Later in the afternoon Jack stood on the grassy point where the lake
narrows into the river. He had adjusted his flies, and everything was
in readiness. He paused to watch Yang, who was stationed below on the
river, fasten a cubic inch of sucker to his hook, expectorate upon it,
turn around three times, and fling it with a tremendous splash into
the water. Whether these performances were the result of Oriental
superstition, or whether the Chinaman imitated some American example, he
did not stop to consider. His long unpractised hand, trembling a little
now, had sent the flies far out beneath the shadows of some willows.
Another cast was made, and then another. At the fourth there was a rise,
and the fish was hooked. The struggle was short but spirited. Yang,
abandoning his primitive tackle, was ready with the landing-net, and the
fish was killed. As the sport continued, Jack grew calmer, while Yang's
excitement increased. He trembled as if the ague were upon him. His
stoicism was laid aside. He laughed, jabbered, and Jack was obliged to
address him as the Chinaman had addressed the Judgess. Yang begged to
try the rod, and by reason of his imitative faculties might have made
good use of it, but he had to content himself with the net.

At last the lengthening shadows deepened into twilight, and the
gathering darkness put an end to the sport. The great dome of Mt.
Watkins, inverted in the motionless water, had changed from gold
to crimson, and from crimson to violet; they paid no heed until the
reflection faded, then, looking up, the real mountain, circled by rising
mists, seemed to float in the darkening sky, and Jack, with that feeling
of perfect content and peace which kings can never know unless they are
anglers, stowed away his flies, unjointed his rod, while Yang shouldered
the catch.

It was a happy couple that went down the Tenajo canon that evening. The
moon smiled upon them; an owl hooted enviously; Jack softly whistled
a strain from Schubert, while Yang made the towering rocks echo and
re-echo to the joyous banging of the pistol.

The fish were dressed, supper eaten, Yang's tin dishes washed, and
everything was snug for the night. Jack, stretched beneath a giant
pine and smoking his evening pipe, was watching the weird play of the
firelight in the canopy of foliage above. The Celestial appeared.

"Me heap lonesome, got no more cartridges; you no care; go down hotel
stay Chinaboy to-night."

Unselfish, devoted, and charitable as Yang claimed to be, he could
hardly pretend to heroism. The Chinaman was permitted to go, and Jack,
appropriating the Judgess' hammock, turned in. This hammock owed Jack a
lodging. All the way across the plains, and up the mountains, and in the
valley, that hammock had almost nightly collapsed. Perhaps the Judge did
not know how to tie a knot; perhaps the ample physique of the Judgess
was too much for any knot, but the thing kept occurring, to the great
discomfiture of the Judgess and all the rest of the party. As Jack, with
his feet at the fire, and his head on a sack of barley, lay studying
the midnight heavens, there would come a shock as of an earthquake. The
Judge was a little deaf and after a night or two of experience,
would lie just beyond reach of whatever member his better half could
disentangle with which to punch him. First, his Reverence would be
summoned; but he slept the sleep of the just. Then cries for Ah Yang and
the others would follow. Yang was too wise a Chinaman to awaken. Jack
sometimes rolled over and kicked the Doctor till he roused, and the good
lady hearing his exclamations, claimed his assistance; but sometimes
Jack also shed his blankets and relieved the massive limbs from a state
of suspension.

With content Jack rolled himself in the hammock. Never had he slept in
such profound solitude. The nearest camp was far away down the valley;
and towards the east, beyond the mountain-barrier, nothing but the wild
desert, and solitary, sage-clad hills of Nevada.

The river murmured over the pebbles, the pines faintly whispered, and
that was all. For once he was alone, and oh! the peace of it! Was it
such a night as this that tempted men to leave their fellows for a
hermitage? Such visions came to him as seldom visit men beneath a roof.
At last he slept, and dreamed of the first trout he had killed in a
little New England meadow-brook. He was filling a creel with bass from a
fair Wisconsin lake. He was in a plunger off Montauk Point, striking the
blue-fish. He was trolling for pike through Champlain, and casting a fly
from a canoe on Adirondack waters.

The South Dome was glowing in the ruddy morning light; a flock of
blackbirds were piping cheerily; an odor of fried trout and coffee was
in the air, and Yang was tugging at the blankets, and saying:

"Come, you heap laze, bleakfast all leddy. Git up!"

What a dinner Yang and Jack had in readiness for the party that night!
The Judge and spouse, after much pressing, had come. The lady could not
withstand the trout, especially on a Friday. The judicial pair arrived
just as Madge and his Reverence raced into camp on the sturdy mules.
The Doctor and guide followed. Madge's cheeks were glowing, her eyes
sparkling, and her tongue rattling, as she leaped from her saddle. "Such
a time as they had had! His Reverence had been a duck, and the Doctor
for once had behaved himself and kept civil." She gave her hand to the
Judgess, but kissed the Judge.

At Yang's summons, a jovial company sat down to such a table as campers
in the Sierras seldom see. Madge was in ecstasies, and even the Judgess
expressed approval. There was real damask upon it, with napkins and
silver forks and wine from the hotel, with all sorts of garnitures of
Yang's contrivance.

The dinner began, continued, and ended with fish; but fish cooked in
every way which Oriental imagination could devise, and camp facilities
permit. Even "Simpson's Fish Dinner," of seven courses, in Billingsgate,
could not surpass it. The Judgess, having disposed of about a dozen
fish, remarked that, after all, these were _only_ California trout, and
entirely lacked the flavor, as they lacked the beauty, of their Eastern
cousins. She thought, however, that Yang's salad--of cresses from the
Merced--was not bad; but wine--even if it was champagne--when sipped
from a tin cup, left much to be desired. Alas! Jack had forgotten to
borrow the glasses.

All that evening, around the camp-fire, the party listened to an
account of the catch. The Doctor did not hesitate to express his entire
disbelief in the story. It was his opinion that Jack had hired the
Indians to fish for him, and bribed Yang to hold his tongue. Then Yang
spoke:

"You think you heap smart. Jack heap sabee how fish, and you no sabee,
but me sabee you. Last Fliday you go fish, and when me water horse, see
Injun sellee you fish. I sabee _you_."

In the peals of laughter which followed, the Doctor went away to his
blankets muttering. So the trout the Judgess had enjoyed a week before
were not the Doctor's catching, after all.

A week longer the party lingered in the valley. Madge and his Reverence
became quite expert with the fly. The lake seemed to have yielded all
its finny treasures to Jack, but the Merced afforded ample sport. Many
strings of trout were sent to fellow-campers, and to friends at the
hotel; and one little hamper made the long journey by stage and rail to
San Francisco.

The "trout-camp" became famous in the valley, and paragraphs noticing
the catch appeared in the _Stockton Independent_, and even in the
_Sacramento Bee_. Jack had accomplished his purpose, and had not come to
the Yosemite in vain.

Then the prairie schooner sailed away through the mountains, Madge and
his Reverence driving by turns, while the Judge held his ponderous foot
on the brake. Yang was mounted on a mustang, while the doctor and Jack
trudged through the dust. Frequent halts were made, the Judgess taking
her noon-day siesta; the "three fishers," as she called Madge, his
Reverence and Jack, striking out for some neighboring stream. Near the
Tuolumne big trees his Reverence took the largest trout of the trip--a
four-pounder. On the Tuolumne Biver the three met with fair success; but
on the upper waters of the Stanislaus the sport was better. They tarried
by the stream winding through that dead little mining town, Big Oak
Flat. The banks of the little river were honey-combed by the old placer
mining. The population of the Flat wondered to see Madge cast a fly.
Even the Chinamen who were still washing for gold, would throw aside
their cradles and pans to gaze.

An ancient beau of the town stranded there fifteen years ago (such a man
as Bret Harte would have gloried in), became so enamored with the fair
angler that he would have followed in her wake; but the fickle object
of his admiration eluded her admirer, and the miner sadly headed his
mustang toward his mountain home, promising to call "next time he went
to 'Frisco." The schooner dropped anchor in Oakland. The Judge asked all
to dine with him that day week--"a sort of a re-union, _as it were_, you
know." His Reverence hastened to don something more in keeping with his
cloth than a blue shirt; Madge threw a kiss to Jack as the Doctor handed
her into a carriage; and Jack was left to cross the ferry alone. Yang,
however, had not abandoned him. He produced a piece of red paper and
asked Jack to write his address upon it.

"I hab one fliend who come get your washee Monday."

Jack, inured to submission, could not refuse, and Yang's "fliend" still
does his "washee."

Since the Yosemite excursion Jack has trailed salmon flies on the
noble Columbia River, and whipped the California trout streams from the
cactus-covered plains of the Mexican border to the glaciers of Mount
Shasta, but he has never had such keen enjoyment with the fly as on that
afternoon at Mirror Lake.

When he arranges his tackle for a little holiday sport on the Russian
River, or the streams among the red woods of Santa Cruz, he sees again
the reflected fir-trees and granite dome trembling in the water as the
trout leap to his fly; he again hears Yang's ejaculations and commands.
"Fifty-sleven, Jack. Hi! that big fish; fifty-eight. You _heap_
sabee. Hold him tight.'Rusalem, him sabee how swim! Pull like hella,
fifty-nine!"

"Trout take some flies because they resemble the real fly on which they
feed. They take other flies for no such reason."--_W. C. Prime._

"The oft-repeated quotation, 'Spare the rod and spoil the child,' has
been misconstrued for many a long day, and if I had known early in
life its real significance it would hardly have made so doleful an
impression. There is no doubt to-day in my mind that this 'rod' meant a
_fishing-rod_, and the timely cherishing of it in youth tends to
develop the portion of one's nature to which the former use was entirely
innocent."--_Thomas Sedgwick Steele._

"My favorite fly of all is a snipe feather and mouse body."--"_Frank
Forester_."

[Illustration: 0178]

31. Cinnamon.

32. Deerfly.

33. Red Fox.

34. Camlet Dun.

35. Governor.

36. Green Drake.

37. Alder.

38. Cheney.

39. Soldier.

40. Hod.

41. Kingdom.

42. Oak Fly.

43. Gray Coflin.

44. Fire Fly.

45. Beaverkill.

46. Yellow May.

47. Black Jun..

48. Quaker.


"Often the whereabouts of a trend is betrayed by a break or a leap from
the surface, and the wide-awake angler will make it his business to toss
his fly over the spot sooner or later. Sometimes the trout rush at the
lure like a flash, leaping clear over it in their eagerness. They are
difficult to hook then."--_Charles Bollock._

"No description of the brook trout, that has ever been given, does him
justice. It stands unrivalled as a game fish."--_Theodatus Garlick,
M.D._

"The best flies to use are imitations of those which are born on the
water; for, though trout will often take land flies, and indeed almost
any insect you can throw on the water, yet it is on the water-flies
which he chiefly depends for his sustenance."--_Francis Francis_.

"A trout does not always get the fly when he attempts to; it may be
lying against the leader, making it impossible for him to get it in his
mouth; you may strike too quickly, taking it out of reach; the strike
may be too hard, tearing his mouth. More trout by far are pricked than
hooked. Practice only can teach you when to strike; you see a faint
gleam under the surface, when you instinctively twitch, to find you
have hooked a beauty. Few fishermen can separate force from quickness of
motion. Never use your arm in making the strike, only your wrist; then
will the difficulty be overcome."-- _T. S. Up de Graff, M.D._

"Innocent stranger! Thou who readest these lines! perhaps you never
caught a trout. If so, thou knowest not for what life was originally
intended. Thou art a vain, insignificant mortal! pursuing shadows!
Ambition lures thee, fame dazzles, wealth leads thee on, panting! Thou
art chasing spectres, goblins that satisfy not. If thou hast not caught
a trout, this world is to thee, as yet, a blank, existence is a dream.
Go and weep."--_Thaddeus Norris._

"On one occasion the writer was awakened at a very early hour, when, lo!
Mr. Webster, who happened to be in a particularly playful mood, was
seen going through the graceful motions of an angler throwing a fly and
striking a trout, and then, without a word, disappeared. As a matter of
course, that day was given to fishing."--_Lawman's Life of Webster_.



HOW TO CAST A FLY.

By Seth Green.

I am asked a great many times what is the secret of fly-casting? There
are three principles. First, quick out of the water; second, give the
line time to straighten behind you; third, throw. I will explain these
principles more definitely.

Raise your rod straight up, or nearly so, the inclination being
backward; then make a quick stroke forward. When you take the line from
the water it should be done with a quick jerk; then give your line time
to straighten behind; then give it the same stroke forward that you did
to get it out of the water.

Why so many fail in fly-casting is, they throw the rod backward too near
the ground behind them, and when they make the forward stroke, and the
line gets straightened out, it is some distance above the water and
kinks back, so that when it falls upon the water it lies crooked, and
is some distance short of what it would have been if it had struck the
water as soon as it was straightened out.

If a fish should strike at your flies at this time you are pretty sure
to miss him. By never throwing your rod back more than to a slight angle
from the perpendicular, and making the stroke forward, your line goes
straight out and the flies go to the point you desire.

Great care should be taken when you have thrown the line behind you,
that the line is given time to straighten before making the stroke
forward. I have t thrown seventy feet of line against a strong wind,
first, by giving my rod a quick, strong back stroke, carrying my rod
but slightly back of the perpendicular, and giving my line time to
straighten behind me, then making the same stroke forward that I did to
get it back of me.

I nearly forgot to mention that it is more important to have your line
fit your rod than it is to have your coat fit your back.

You may think it strange that I should tell you three or four times over
in the same article, that in order to do good fly-casting you must
throw your rod back only just so far, and then wait for your line to
straighten behind you; and when your line is straight, to make a quick
stroke forward, without carrying your rod forward, even a little, before
delivering your line, but these movements are the essential principles
in flycasting. By observing them one may hope to become a skilful
fly-caster.


TROUT:

MEETING THEM ON THE "JUNE RISEN BY "NESSMUK."

               There is a spot where plumy pines

                   O'erhang the sylvan banks of Otter;

               Where wood-ducks build among the vines

                   That bend above the crystal water.

               And there the blue-jay makes her nest,

                   In thickest shade of water beeches;

               The fish-hawk, statuesque in rest,

                   Keeps guard o'er glassy pools and reaches.

                   Tis there the deer come down to drink,

                   From laurel brakes and wooded ridges;

               The trout, beneath the sedgy brink,

                   Are sharp on ship-wrecked flies and midges.

And of the scores of mountain trout-streams that I have fished, the
Otter is associated with the most pleasing memories.

It is, or was, a model trout-stream; a thing to dream of. Haying its
rise within three miles of the Tillage, it meandered southward for ten
miles through a mountain valley to its confluence with the second fork
of Pine Creek, six miles of the distance being through a forest without
settler or clearing.

The stream was swift, stony, and exceptionally free of brush, fallen
timber and the usual _débris_ that is so trying to the angler on most
wooded streams. Then, it was just the right distance from town. It was
so handy to start from the Tillage in the middle of an afternoon in
early summer, walk an hour and a half at a leisurely pace, and find
one's self on a brawling brook where speckled trout were plenty as a
reasonable man could wish.

Fishing only the most promising places for a couple of miles always gave
trout enough for supper and breakfast, and brought the angler to the
"Trout-House," as a modest cottage of squared logs was called, it being
the last house in the clearings and owned by good-natured Charley Datis,
who never refused to entertain fishermen with the best his little house
afforded. His accommodations were of the narrowest, but also of the
neatest, and few women could fry trout so nicely as Mrs. Davis. True,
there was only one spare bed, and, if more than two anglers desired
lodgings, they were relegated to the barn, with a supply of buffalo
skins and blankets. On a soft bed of sweet hay this was all that could
be desired by way of lodgings, with the advantage of being free from
mosquitoes and punkies. The best of rich, yellow butter with good bread
were always to be bad at Charley's, and his charges were 12 1/2 cents
for meals, and the same for lodging.

The two miles of fishing above the "Trout-House" led through clearings,
and the banks were much overgrown with willows, making it expedient to
use bait, or a single fly. I chose the latter: my favorite bug for such
fishing being the red hackle, though I am obliged to confess that the
fellow who used a white grub generally beat me.

But the evening episode was only preliminary; it meant a pleasant
walk, thirty or forty brook-trout for supper and breakfast, and a quiet
night's rest. The real angling commenced the next morning at the bridge,
with a six-mile stretch of clear, cold, rushing water to fish. My
old-fashioned creel held an honest twelve pounds of dressed trout, and
I do not recollect that I ever missed filling it, with time to spare,
on that stretch of water. Nor, though I could sometimes fill it in a
forenoon, did I ever continue to fish after it _was_ full. Twelve pounds
of trout is enough for any but a trout-hog.

But the peculiar phase of trout lore that most interested me, was the
"run" of trout that were sure to find their way up stream whenever we
had a flood late in May or the first half of June. They were distinct
and different from the trout that came up with the early spring
freshets. Lighter in color, deeper in body, with smaller heads, and
better conditioned altogether.

They could be distinguished at a glance; the individuals of any school
were as like as peas in color and size, and we never saw them except
on a summer flood. The natives called them river trout. They came in
schools of one hundred to five times as many, just as the flood was
subsiding, and they had a way of halting to rest at the deep pools and
spring-holes along their route. Lucky was the angler who could find them
at rest in a deep pool, under a scooped out bank, or at the foot of a
rushing cascade. At such times they seemed to lose their usual shyness,
and would take the fly or worm indifferently, until their numbers were
reduced more than one-half. To "meet them on the June rise" was the
ardent desire of every angler who fished the streams which they were
accustomed to ascend. These streams were not numerous. The First,
Second, and Third Forks of Pine Creek, with the Otter, comprised the
list so far as I know. And no man could be certain of striking a school
at any time; it depended somewhat on judgment, but more on luck. Two or
three times I tried it on the Otter and missed; while a friend who
had the pluck and muscle to make a ten-mile tramp over the mountain to
Second Fork took forty pounds of fine trout from a single school. It
was a hoggish thing to do; but he was a native and knew no reason for
letting up.

At length my white day came around. There was a fierce rain for three
days, and the raging waters took mills, fences and lumber down stream in
a way to be remembered. Luckily it also took the lumbermen the same way,
and left few native anglers at home. When the waters had subsided to
a fair volume, and the streams had still a suspicion of milkiness, I
started at 3 P.M. of a lovely June afternoon for the Trout-House. An
easy two hours walk, an hour of delightful angling, and I reached the
little hostelry with three dozen brook trout, averaging about seven
inches in length only, but fresh and sweet, all caught on a single red
hackle, which will probably remain my favorite bug until I go over the
last carry (though I notice it has gone well out of fashion with modern
anglers).

A supper of trout; an evening such as must be seen and felt to be
appreciated; trout again for breakfast, with a dozen packed for lunch,
and I struck in at the bridge before sunrise for an all day bout, "to
meet 'em on the June rise." I didn't do it. I took the entire day to whip
that six miles of bright, dashing water. I filled a twelve-pound creel
with trout, putting back everything under eight inches. I put back more
than I kept. I had one of the most enjoyable days of my life; I came
out at the lower bridge after sundown--and I had not seen or caught
one fresh-run river trout. They were all the slender, large-moutlied,
dark-mottled fish of the gloomy forest, with crimson spots like fresh
drops of blood. But I was not discouraged. Had the trout been there I
should have met them. I walked half a mile to the little inn at Babb's,
selected a dozen of my best fish for supper and breakfast, gave away the
rest, and, tired as a hound, slept the sleep of the just man.

At 4 o'clock the next morning I was on the stream again, feeling my way
carefully down, catching a trout at every cast, and putting them mostly
back with care, that they might live; but' for an hour no sign of a
fresh-run river trout.

Below the bridge there is a meadow, the oldest clearing on the creek;
there are trees scattered about this meadow that are models of arborial
beauty, black walnut, elm, ash, birch, hickory, maple, etc. Most of them
grand, spreading trees. One of them, a large, umbrageous yellow-birch,
stood on the left bank of the stream, and was already in danger of a
fall by

               "The swifter current that mined its roots."

It was here I met them on the June rise.

I dropped my cast of two flies just above the roots of the birch, and
on the instant, two fresh-run, silver-sided, red-spotted trout immolated
themselves, with a generous self-abnegation that I shall never forget.

Standing there on that glorious June morning, I made cast after cast,
taking, usually, two at each cast. I made no boyish show of "playing"
them. They were lifted out as soon as struck. To have fooled with them
would have tangled me, and very likely have scattered the school.

It was old-time angling; I shall not see it again.

My cast was a red hackle for tail-fly, with something like the brown hen
for hand-fly. I only used two, with four-foot leader; and I was about
the only angler who used a fly at all in those days, on these waters.

I fished about one hour. I caught sixty-four trout, weighing thirteen
and three quarter pounds. I caught too many. I was obliged to _string_
some of them, as the creel would not hold them all. But my head was
moderately level. When I had caught as many as I thought right I held
up; and I said, if any of these natives get on to this school, they will
take the last trout, if it be a hundred pounds. And they will _salt them
down_. So when I was done, and the fishing was good as at the start, I
cut a long "staddle," with a bush at the top, and I just went for that
school of trout. I chevied, harried and scattered them, up stream and
down, until I could not see a fish. Then I packed my duffle and went to
the little inn for breakfast. Of course every male biped was anxious to
know "where I met 'em." I told them truly; and they started, man and boy,
for the "Big Birch," with beech rods, stiff linen lines,' and a full
stock of white grubs.

I was credibly informed afterward, that these backwoods cherubs did not
succeed in "Meeting 'em on the June rise." I have a word to add, which is
not important though it may be novel.

There is a roaring, impetuous brook emptying into Second Fork, called
"Rock Run." It heads in a level swamp, near the summit of the mountain.
The swamp contains about forty acres, and is simply a level bed of loose
stones, completely overgrown with bright green moss.

"Rock Run" heads in a strong, ice-cold spring, but is soon sunken
and lost among the loose stones of the swamp. Just where the immense
hemlocks, that make the swamp a sunless gloom, get their foothold, is
one of the things I shall never find out. But, all the same, they are
there. And "Rock Run" finds its way underground for 80 rods with never
a ray of sunlight to illumine its course. Not once in its swamp course
does it break out to daylight. You may follow it by its heavy gurgling,
going by ear; but you cannot see the water. Now remove the heavy coating
of moss here and there, and you may see glimpses of dark, cold water,
three or four feet beneath the surface. Drop a hook, baited with
angle-worm down these dark watery holes, and it will be instantly taken
by a dark, crimson-spotted specimen of simon pure Salmo funtinalis.
They are small, four to six inches in length, hard, sweet; the _beau
ideal_ of mountain trout. Follow this subterranean brook for eighty
rods, and you find it gushing over the mountain's brink in a cascade
that no fish could or would attempt to ascend. Follow the roaring brook
down to its confluence with Second Fork, and you will not find one trout
in the course of a mile. The stream is simply a succession of falls,
cascades, and rapids, up which no fish can beat its way for one hundred
yards. And yet at the head of this stream is a subterranean brook
stocked with the finest specimens of _Salmo fontinalis_. They did not
breed on the mountain top. They _cannot_ ascend the stream. Where did
they originate? When, and how did they manage to get there? I leave
the questions to _savans_ and _naturalists_. As for myself, I state the
fact--still demonstrable--for the trout are yet there. But I take it to
be one of the conundrums "no fellah can ever find out."

P. S.--A word as to bugs, lures, flies, etc. Now I have no criticism to
offer as regards flies or lures. I saw a Gotham banker in 1880, making a
cast on Third lake, with a leader that carried _twelve_ flies. Why not?
He enjoyed it; and he caught some trout. Even the guides laughed at him.
I did not: he rode his hobby, and he rode it well. Fishing beside him,
with a five-dollar rod, I caught two trout to his one. What did he care?
He came out to enjoy himself after his own fashion, and he did it. Like
myself, he only cared for the sport--the recreation and enough trout for
supper. (I cannot cast twelve flies.)

Now my favorite lures--with forty years' experience--stand about thus.
Tail fly, red hackle; second, brown hen; third, Romeyn. Or, tail fly,
red ibis; second, brown hackle; third, queen of the waters. Or, red
hackle, queen, royal coachman. Sometimes trout will not rise to the fly.
I respect their tastes. I use then--tail fly, an angle worm, with a bit
of clear pork for the head, and a white miller for second. If this fails
I go to camp and sleep. I am not above worms and grubs, but prefer the
fly. _And I take but what I need for present use_. Can all brother
anglers say the same?

"It has so happened that all the public services that I have rendered
'in the world, in my day and generation, have been connected with the
general government. I think I ought to make an exception. I was ten days
a member of the Massachusetts Legislature, and I turned my thoughts
to the search of some good object in which I could be useful in that
position; and after much reflection I introduced a bill which, with the
consent of both houses of the Legislature, passed into a law, and is now
a law of the State, which enacts that no man in the State shall catch
trout in any manner than in the old way, with an ordinary hook and
line."--_Daniel 'Webster_.

"If you do not know a river it is always most desirable to have someone
with you who does."--_Francis Francis_.

[Illustration: 0194]

49. The Teal.

50. Reuben Wood.

51. Red Spinner.

52. No. 68.

53. Hawthorne.

54. Dorset.

55. Widow.

56. Grasshopper.

57. Stebbins.

58. March Brown.

59. Shoemaker.

60. Orange Black.

61. King of the Water.

62. Gen: Hooker.

63. Gray Drake.

"The angler atte the leest, hath his holsom walke, and mery at his ease,
a swete ayre of the swete savoure of the mede floures, that makyth him
hungry; he hereth the melodyous armony of fowles; he seeth the yonge
swannes, heerons, duck's, cotes, and many other fowles, wyth theyr
brodes; whyche me semyth better than allé the noyse of houndys, the
blastes of hornys, and the scrye of foulis, that hunters, fawkeners,
and fowlers can make. And if the angler take fysshe; surely, thenne,
is there noo man merier than he is in his spyryte."--_Dame Juliana
Berners._

"Skill, and trained skill at that, does the good work, and the angler's
score is just in proportion to his knowledge of 'how to do it.'"--_Wm.
C. Harris._

"A gray-haired bait-fisher is very rare, while the passion for
fly-easting, whether for trout or salmon, grows by what it feeds
upon, and continues a source of the highest pleasure even after the
grasshopper becomes a burden."--_George Dawson._

"It is not the number of fish he captures that makes the angler
contented, for the true angler can enjoy the mere casting of the fly
if he has only an occasional fish to reward his efforts."--"_Random
Casts._"

"The great charm of fly-fishing for trout is derived from the fact that
you then see the movements of your fish, and if you are not an expert
hand, the chances are that you will capture but one out of the hundred
that may rise to your hook. You can seldom save a trout unless you
strike the very instant that he leaps. The swiftness with which a trout
can dart from his hiding-place after a fly is truly astonishing; and we
never see one perform this operation without feeling an indescribable
thrill quivering through our frame."--_Charles Lanman_.

"There is nothing grovelling in fly-fishing--nothing gross or
demoralizing."--_Charles Hallock_.

"Angling is a maist innocent, poetical, moral and religious amusement.
Gin I saw a fisher gruppin creelfu' after creelfu' o' trouts, and then
flingin' them a' awa among the heather and the brackens on his way hame,
I micht begin to suspee that the idiot was by nature rather a savage.
But as for me, I send presents to my freens, and devour dizzens on
dizzens every week in the family--maistly dune in the pan, wi' plenty
o' fresh butter and roun' meal--sae that prevents the possibility
o' cruelty in my fishin', and in the fishin' o' a' reasonable
creatures."--_James Hogg_.



WHY PETER WENT A-FISHING.

By W. C. Prime.

Never was night more pure, never was sea more winning; never were the
hearts of men moved by deeper emotions than on that night and by that
sea when Peter and John, and other of the disciples, were waiting for
the Master.

Peter said, "I go a-fishing." John and Thomas, and James and Nathanael,
and the others, said, "We will go with you," and they went.

Some commentators have supposed and taught that, when Peter said, "I go
a-fishing," he announced the intention of returning to the ways in which
he had earned his daily bread from childhood; that his Master was gone,
and he thought that nothing remained for him but the old, hard life of
toil, and the sad labor of living.

But this seems scarcely credible, or consistent with the circumstances.
The sorrow which had weighed down the disciples when gathered in
Jerusalem on that darkest Sabbath day of all the Hebrew story, had given
way to joy and exultation in the morning when the empty tomb revealed
the hitherto hidden glory of the resurrection, joy which was ten-fold
increased by are interview with the risen Lord, and confirmed by his
direction, sending them into Galilee to await Him there. And thus it
seems incredible that Peter and John--John, the beloved--could have
been in any such gloom and despondency as to think of resuming their old
employment at this time, when they were actually waiting for His coming,
who had promised to meet them.

Probably they were on this particular evening weary with earnest
expectancy, yet not satisfied; tired of waiting and longing, and looking
up the hillside on the Jerusalem road for His appearance; and I have no
doubt that, when this weariness became exhausting, Peter sought on the
water something of the old excitement that he had known from boyhood,
and that to all the group it seemed a fitting way in which to pass the
long night before them, otherwise to be weary as well as sleepless.

If one could have the story of that night of fishing, of the surrounding
scenes, the conversation in the boat, the unspoken thoughts of the
fishermen, it would make the grandest story of fishing that the world
has ever known. Its end was grand when in the morning the voice of
the Master came over the sea, asking them the familiar question, in
substance the same which they, like all fishermen, had heard a thousand
times, "Have you any fish?"

* * * * *

The memory of this scene is not unfitting to the modern angler. Was it
possible to forget it when I first wet a line in the water of the Sea of
Galilee? Is it any less likely to come hack to me on any lake among the
hills when the twilight hides the mountains, and overhead the same stars
look on our waters that looked on Gennesaret, so that the soft night air
feels on one's forehead like the dews of Hermon?

I do not think that this was the last, though it be the last recorded
fishing done by Peter or by John. I don't believe these Galilee
fishermen ever lost the love for their old employment. It was a
memorable fact for them that the Master had gone a-fishing with them on
the day that He called them to be His disciples; and this latest meeting
with Him in Galilee, the commission to Peter, "Feed my sheep," and
the words so startling to John, "If I will that he tarry till I
come,"--words which He must have recalled when He uttered that last
longing cry, "Even so come, Lord"--all these were associated with that
last recorded fishing scene on the waters of Gennesaret.

Fishermen never lose their love for the employment, and it is notably
true that the men who fish for a living love their work quite as much as
those who fish for pleasure love their sport. Find an old fisherman, if
you can, in any sea-shore town, who does not enjoy his fishing. There
are days, without doubt, when he does not care to go out, when he would
rather that need did not drive him to the sea; but keep him at home a
few days, or set him at other labor, and you shall see that he longs for
the toss of the swell on the reef, and the sudden joy of a strong pull
on his line. Drift up along side of him in your boat when he is quietly
at his work, without his knowing that you are near. You can do it
easily. He is pondering solemnly a question, of deep importance to him,
and he has not stirred eye, or hand, or head for ten minutes. But see
that start and sharp jerk of his elbow, and now hear him talk, not
to you--to the fish. He exults as he brings him in, yet mingles his
exultation with something of pity as he baits his hook for another.
Could you gather the words that he has in many years flung on the sea
winds, you would haye a history of his life and adventures, mingled with
very much of his inmost thinking, for he tells much to the sea and the
fish that he would never whisper in human ears. Thus the habit of going
a-fishing always modifies the character. The angler, I think, dreams of
his favorite sport oftener than other men of theirs.

There is a peculiar excitement in it, which perhaps arises from somewhat
of the same causes which make the interest in searching for ancient
treasures, opening Egyptian tombs and digging into old ruins. One does
not know what is under the surface. There may be something or there may
be nothing. He tries, and the rush of something startles every nerve.
Let no man laugh at a comparison of trout-fishing with antiquarian
researches. I know a man who has done a great deal of both, and who
scarcely knows which is the most absorbing or most remunerating; for
each enriches mind and body, each gratifies the most refined taste, each
becomes a passion unless the pursuer guard his enthusiasm and moderate
his desire.

*****

To you, my friend, who know nothing of the gentle and purifying
association of the angler's life, these may seem strange notions--to
some, indeed, they may even sound profane. But the angler for whom
I write will not so think them, nor may I, who, thinking these same
thoughts, have cast my line on the sea of Galilee, and taken the
descendants of old fish in the swift waters of the Jordan.

Trout fishing is employment for all men, of all minds. It tends to
dreamy life, and it leads to much thought and reflection. I do not know
in any book or story of modern times a more touching and exquisite scene
than that which Mrs. Gordon gives in her admirable biography of her
father, the leonine Christopher North, when the feeble old man waved his
rod for the last time over the Dochart, where he had taken trout from
his boyhood. Shall we ever look upon his like again? He was a giant
among men of intellectual greatness. Of all anglers since apostolic
days, he was the greatest; and there is no angler who does not look to
him with veneration and love, while the English language will forever
possess higher value that he has lived and written. It would be thought
very strange were one to say that Wilson would never have been half the
man he was were he not an angler. But he would have said so himself, and
I am not sure but he did say so, and, whether he did or not, I have no
doubt of the truth of the saying.

It has happened to me to fish the Dochart, from the old inn at Luib down
to the bridge, and the form of the great Christopher was forever before
me along the bank, and in the rapids, making his last casts as Mrs.
Gordon here so tenderly describes him:

"Had my father been able to endure the fatigue, we too would have had
something to boast of, but he was unable to do more than loiter by the
river-side, close in the neighborhood of the inn--never without his rod."

"How now do his feet touch the heather? Not, as of old, with a bound,
but with slow and unsteady step, supported on the one hand by his stick,
while the other carries his rod. The breeze gently moves his locks, no
longer glittering with the light of life, but dimmed by its decay. Yet
are his shoulders broad and unbent. The lion-like presence is somewhat
softened down, but not gone. He surely will not venture into the deeps
of the water, for only one hand is free for a 'cast.' and those large
stones, now slippery with moss, are dangerous stumbling-blocks in the
way. Besides, he promised his daughters he would not wade, but, on the
contrary, walk quietly with them by the river's edge, there gliding
'at its own sweet will,' Silvery band of pebbled shore leading to loamy
colored pools, dark as the glow of a southern eye, how could he resist
the temptation of near approach? In he goes, up to the ankles, then to
the knees, tottering every other step, but never falling. Trout after
trout he catches, small ones certainly, but plenty of them. Into his
pocket with them all this time, manouvering in the most skilful manner
both stick and rod; until weary, he is obliged to rest on the bank,
sitting with his feet in the water, laughing at his daughters' horror,
and obstinately continuing the sport in spite of all remonstrance.
At last he gives in and retires. Wonderful to say, he did not seem to
suffer from these imprudent liberties."

And Mrs. Gordon gives us another exquisite picture in the very last day
of the grand old Christopher:

* * * "And then he gathered around him, when the spring mornings brought
gay jets of sunshine into the little room where he lay, the relics of a
youthful passion, one that with him never grew old. It was an affecting
sight to see him busy, nay, quite absorbed with the fishing tackle
scattered about his bed, propped up with pillows--his noble head, yet
glorious with its flowing locks, carefully combed by attentive hands,
and falling on each side of his unfaded face. How neatly he picked out
each elegantly dressed fly from its little bunch, drawing it out with
trembling hand along the white coverlet, and then replacing it in his
pocket-book, he would tell ever and anon of the streams he used to
fish in of old, and of the deeds he had performed in his childhood and
youth."

There is no angler who will not appreciate the beauty of these pictures,
and I do not believe any one of us, retaining his mental faculties, will
fail, in extremest age, to recall with the keenest enjoyment, of which
memory is capable, the scenes of our happiest sport.

Was Peter less or more than man? Was John not of like passions with
ourselves? Believe me, the old dweller on Patmos, the old Bishop of
Ephesus, lingering between the memories of his Lord in Galilee and the
longing for Him to come quickly yet again, saw often before his dim eyes
the ripple on Gennesaret and the flashing scales of the silver fish that
had gladdened him many a time before he knew the Master.

It is one of the most pleasant and absorbing thoughts which possess the
traveller in those regions, that the child Christ was a child among the
hills of Galilee, and loved them with all the gentle fervor of his human
soul. Doubtless many times before He had challenged the fisher on the
sea with that same question which we anglers so frequently hear, "Have
you taken any fish?" He may have often seen Peter and the others at
their work. Perhaps sometimes He had talked with them, and, it may well
be, gone with them on the sea, and helped them. Por they were kindly
men, as fishermen are always in all countries, and they loved to talk
of their work, and of a thousand other things, of which, in their
contemplative lives, they had thought without talking.

In an age when few men were learned, and, in fact, few in any grade or
walk of life could even read or write, I am inclined to think there was
no class from whom better trained intellects could be selected than
from among these thoughtful fishermen. They had doubtless the Oriental
characteristics of calmness and reserve, and these had been somewhat
modified by their employment. Given to sober reflection, patient to
investigate, quick to trust when their faith was demanded by one whom
they respected, slow to act when haste was not necessary, prompt and
swift on any emergency, filled full of love for nature, all harsh
elements of character softened into a deep benevolence and pity and
love--such are the fishermen of our day, and such, I doubt not, were the
fishermen of old. They were men with whom a mother would willingly trust
her young boy, to whom he would become attached, with whom he would
enjoy talking, and, above all, who would pour out their very souls in
talking with him, when among their fellow-men they would be reserved,
diffident, and silent. They were men, too, who would recognize in the
boy the greatness of his lineage, the divine shining out from his eyes.
Who shall prevail to imagine the pleasantness of those days on the sea
when Peter and John talked with the holy boy, as they waited for the
fish, and their boat rocked to the winds that came down from Lebanon.
Who can say that there were not some memories of those days, as well as
of the others when we know Christ was with him, which, when he was tired
of the waiting, led Peter to say, "I go a-fishing!"

I believe that he went a-fishing because he felt exactly as I have felt,
exactly as scores of men have felt who knew the charm of the gentle art,
as we now call it. The other has such attraction. Men love hunting, love
boating, love games of varied sorts, love many amusements of many kinds,
but I do not know of any like fishing to which men go for relief in
weariness, for rest after labor, for solace in sorrow. I can well
understand how those sad men, not yet fully appreciating the grand truth
that their Master had risen from the dead, believing; yet doubting, how
even Thomas, who had so lately seen the wounds and heard the voice; how
even John, loving and loved, who had rejoiced a week ago in Jerusalem
at the presence of the triumphant Lord; how Peter, always fearful; how
Nathanael, full of impulsive faith, how each and all of them, wearied
with their long waiting for Him on the shore of the sea, sought comfort
and solace, opportunity and incitement to thought in going a-fishing.

I can understand it, for, though far be it from me to compare any
weariness or sorrow of mine with theirs, I have known that there was no
better way in which I could find rest.

I have written for lovers of the gentle art, and if this which I have
written fall into other hands, let him who reads understand that it is
not for him. We who go a-fishing are a peculiar people. Like other men
and women in many respects, we are like one another, and like no others,
in other respects. We understand each other's thoughts by an intuition
of which you know nothing. So closely are we alike in some regards, so
different from the rest of the world in these respects, and so important
are these characteristics of mind and of thought, that I sometimes
think no man but one of us can properly understand the mind of Peter, or
appreciate the glorious visions of the son of Zebedee.



FROM "GAME FISH OF THE NORTH."

By R. B. Roosevelt.

There are innumerable rules applicable to trout fishing, and innumerable
exceptions to each; neither man nor fish is infallible. A change of
weather is always desirable; if it has been-clear, a rainy day is
favorable; if cold, a warm one; if the wind has been north, a southerly
one is advantageous; a zephyr if it has been blowing a tornado.
Generally, in early spring, amid the fading snows and blasts of winter,
a warm day is very desirable; later, in the heats of summer, a cold,
windy day will insure success. Dead calm is dangerous, although many
trout are taken in water as still, clear and transparent as the heavens
above. The first rule is never to give up; there is hardly a day but
at some hour, if there be trout, they will rise, and steady, patient
industry disciplines the mind and invigorates the muscles. A southerly,
especially a south-easterly wind, has a singular tendency to darken
the surface, and in clear, fine waters is particularly advantageous; a
south-wester comes next in order; a north-easter, in which, by-the-by,
occasionally there is great success, is the next; and a north-wester
is the worst and dearest of all. Give me wind on any terms, a southerly
wind, if I can have it; but give me wind. It is not known what quality
of wind darkens the water; it may be a haziness produced in the
atmosphere, although with a cloudy sky the water is often too
transparent; it may be the peculiar character of the waves, short and
broken, as contra-distinguished from long and rolling; but the fact is
entitled to reliance.

Slight changes will often affect the fish. On one day in June, in the
writer's experience, after having no luck until eleven o'clock, the
trout suddenly commenced rising, and kept on without cessation, scarcely
giving time to cast, till two, when they as suddenly stopped. There
was no observable change in the weather, except the advent of a slight
haze, the wind remaining precisely the same. I was much disappointed,
not having half fished the ground, and being prevented, by the numbers
that were taken, from casting over some of the largest fish that broke.
As it was I caught seventy trout in what are ordinarily considered the
worst hours of the day. But in this particular, also, the same rules
apply as to the warmth of the weather. In early spring it is useless
to be up with the lark, even supposing such a bird exists; no fish will
break water till the sun has warmed the air; but in summer, the dawn
should blush to find the sportsman napping. In fact, trout will not rise
well unless the air is warmer than the water. They do not like to risk
taking cold by exposing themselves to a sudden draught.

There is a very absurd impression that trout will not take the fly early
in the season; this is entirely unfounded. As soon as the ice disappears
they will be found gambolling in the salt-water streams, and leaping
readily at the fly. At such times, on lucky days, immense numbers are
taken. In March they have run up the sluice-ways and are in the lower
ponds, lying sullenly in the deepest water; then is the Cowdung,
politely called the Dark Cinnamon, the most attractive fly. In
April, May and June they are scattered, and entrapped by the Hackles,
Professor, Ibis, and all the medium-sized flies. In July and August they
have sought the head-waters of navigation, the cool spring brooks, and
hide around the weeds and water-cresses, whence the midges alone can
tempt them.

Any flies will catch fish, cast in any manner, if the fish are plenty
and in humor to be caught. A few feathers torn from the nearest and
least suspicious chicken, and tied on an ordinary hook with a piece of
thread, will constitute a fly in the imagination of a trout, provided he
follows, as he sometimes appears to do, the advice of young folks--shuts
his eyes and opens his mouth. I cannot recommend such tackle, being
convinced the most skilfully made is the best; but I do advise
simplicity of color.

*****

Good luck, that synonym for all the virtues, does not depend so much
upon the kind of flies as the skill in casting, and a poor fly lightly
cast into the right spot will do better execution than the best fly
roughly cast into the wrong place. The lure must be put where the fish
habit, often before their very noses, or they will not take it; and when
they lie, as they generally do in running streams, in the deep holes
under the banks, where the bushes are closest and cause the densest
shade, it requires some skill to cast properly into the exact spot.
Sacrifice everything to lightness in casting; let the line go straight
without a kink if you can, drop the fly into the right ripple if
possible, but it must drop gently on the surface of the water. An ugly
splash of a clear day in pure water, and the prey will dart in every
direction, and the angler's hopes scatter with them.

A beginner may practice a certain formula, such as lifting the line with
a wave and smart spring, swinging it backward in a half circle, and when
it is directly behind him, casting straight forward; but as soon as he
has overcome the rudimentary principles, he should cast in every manner,
making the tip of his rod cut full circles, figure eights, and all other
figures, behind him, according to the wind; bearing in mind, however,
ever to make his fly drop as lightly as a feather. He should use his
wrist mainly, and practice with each hand, and should never be otherwise
than ashamed of a bungling cast, though he be alone, and none but the
fish there to despise him. If the line falls the first time with a
heartrending splash, all in a tangle, it is useless to make the next
cast properly. The fish have found out the trick, and know too much to
risk their necks in any such noose.

A skilful fisherman can cast almost any length of line, but practically,
fifty feet, counting from the reel, is all that can be used to
advantage. Some English books say only the leader [gut links] should
alight in the water; but this is nonsense, for at least one-half the
line must fall into the water, unless the fisherman stand on a high
bank. With a long line, the difficulties of striking and landing the
fish are greatly increased. In striking, there is much slack line to
be taken up. In landing, it requires some time to get the fish under
control, and he is apt to reach the weeds or a stump.

That most excellent fisherman and learned scholar, Dr. Bethune, in his
edition of Walton, Part II., page 73, says that candid anglers must
confess that nine out of ten trout hook themselves. This may be so in
streams teeming with fish, where a dozen start at once, frantically
striving to be the first; but in clear, well-fished streams, not one
fish in a thousand will hook himself; and on Long Island, an angler
would grow gray ere he filled his basket if he did not strike, and that
quickly. Striking, to my mind, is by far the most important point, and
hundreds of fish have I seen escape for want of quickness. It must be
done quickly but steadily, and not with a jerk, as the latter is apt,
by the double action of the rod, to bend the tip forward, and loosen
instead of tightening the line. There are days when fish cannot be
struck, although they are rising freely. Whether they are playing or
oyer-cautious, I never could determine; whether they are not hungry, or
the water is too clear, they put a man's capacities at defiance. Their
appearance must be signalled to the eye, by that reported to the brain,
which then directs the nerves to command the muscles to move the wrist;
and ere this complicated performance is completed, the fish has blown
from his mouth the feathery deception, and has darted back to his haunts
of safety. A fish will occasionally leap up, seize the fly, discover the
cheat, and shaking his head, jump several feet along the surface of the
water to rid his mouth of it, and do this so quickly as not to give a
quick angler time to strike. How often fish are caught when they rise
the second time, as then the angler is more on the alert; whereas,
on the first rise, he was off his guard! How often fish rise when
the angler's head is turned away from his line, or when he is busy at
something else, and how rarely are they caught! In my experience, it
is so great a rarity, that it might almost be said they never hook
themselves. In the language of youth, the only hooking they do, is to
hook off.

Dr. Bethune, page 97, says the rod should not exceed one pound in
weight. Indeed, it should not; and if it does, it exemplifies the old
maxim, so far as to have a fool at one end. If we could fish by steam,
a rod exceeding a pound and measuring over fourteen feet might answer
well; but in these benighted days, while wrists are of bone, muscles,
cartilages, and the like, the lighter the better. A rod--and if
perfection is absolutely indispensable, a cedar rod--of eleven or twelve
feet, weighing nine or ten ounces, will catch trout. Cedar rods can only
be obtained in America, and then only on compulsion; but this wood
makes the most elastic rods in the world. They spring instantly to every
motion of the hand, and never warp. They are delicate. The wood is like
woman--cross-grained, but invaluable, if carefully treated. The reel
should be a simple click, never a multiplier, but large-barrelled, and
fastened to the butt with a leather strap. The line silk, covered, with
a preparation of oil, tapered, if possible, at each end, and thirty
to forty yards long. The basket--positive--a fish basket; the
angler--comparative--a fisherman.

Thus equipped, go forth mildly, approving where the writer's opinions
coincide with yours, simply incredulous where they do not.

*****

There are several ways of landing a trout, but not all equally
sportsmanlike. Large trout may be gaffed; small ones landed in a net;
and where neither of these means is at hand, they must be dragged out of
the water, or floated up among the bushes, according to the taste of the
angler and the strength of his tackle.

A tyro was once fishing in the same boat with me, using bait, when he
struck his first trout. One can imagine how entirely misspent had been
his previous existence, when it is said he had never taken a trout, no,
nor any other fish, before. It was not a large fish; such luck rarely
falls to the share of the beginner; and in spite of what elderly
gentlemen may say to the contrary, an ignorant countryman, with his
sapling rod and coarse tackle, never takes the largest fish nor the
greatest in quantity. Were it otherwise, sportsmen had better turn
louts, and tackle makers take to cutting straight saplings in the woods.
My companion, nevertheless, was not a little surprised at the vigorous
rushes the trout made to escape, but his line being strong and rod
stiff, he steadily reeled him in. Great was the excitement; his whole
mind was devoted to shortening the line, regardless of what was to be
done next. We had a darkey named Joe with us, to row the boat and
land the fish, and our luck having been bad during the morning he was
delighted with this turn of affairs, and ready, net in hand, to do
his duty. The fish was being reeled up till but a few feet of the line
remained below the top, when with a shout of "land, Joe, land him!" my
companion suddenly lifted up his rod, carrying the trout far above our
heads. There it dangled, swaying to and fro, bouncing and jumping, while
the agonized fisherman besought the darky to land him, and the latter,
reaching up as far as he could with the net, his eyes starting out of
his head with wonder at this novel mode of proceeding, came far short
of his object. Never was seen such a sight; the hopeless despair of my
friend, the eagerness of the darky, who fairly strove to climb the rod
as the fish danced about far out of reach. What was to be clone? The
line would not render, the rod was so long we could not reach the tip in
the boat; and the only horrible alternative appeared to be my friend's
losing his first fish. The latter, however, by this remarkable course
of treatment, had grown peaceable and when he was dropped back into the
water, made but feeble efforts, while my companion, as quietly as he
could, worked out his line till he could land him like a Christian.
Great were the rejoicings when the prize earned with so much anxiety was
secured. That is the way not to land a trout.

One afternoon of a very boisterous day, I struck a large fish at the
deep hole in the centre of Phillipse's Pond, on Long Island. He came
out fiercely, and taking my fly as he went down, darted at once for the
bottom, which is absolutely covered with long, thick weeds. The moment
he found he was struck he took refuge among them, and tangled himself so
effectually that I could not feel him, and supposed he had escaped. By
carefully exerting sufficient force, however, the weeds were loosened
from the bottom, and the electric thrill of his renewed motion was again
perceptible. He was allowed to draw the line through the weeds and play
below them, as by so doing they would give a little, while if confined
in them he would have a leverage against them, and could, with one
vigorous twist, tear out the hook. When he was somewhat exhausted,
the question as to the better mode of landing him arose. The wind was
blowing so hard as to raise quite a sea, which washed the weeds before
it in spite of any strain that could be exerted by the rod, and drifted
the boat as well, rendering the latter almost unmanageable, while the
fish was still so vigorous as to threaten every moment to escape. I
besought the boatman, who was an old hand, and thoroughly up to his
business, to drop the boat down to the weeds and let me try and land
my fish with one hand while holding the rod with the other. He knew the
dangers of such a course, and insisted upon rowing slowly and carefully
for shore at a shallow place sheltered from the wind, although I greatly
feared the hook would tear out or the rod snap under the strain of
towing both weeds and fish; once near shore, he deliberately forced an
oar into the mud and made the boat fast to it, and then taking up the
net watched for a favorable chance. He waited for some time, carefully
putting the weeds aside until a gleaming line of silver glanced for
a moment beneath the water, when darting the net down he as suddenly
brought it up, revealing within its folds the glorious colors of a
splendid trout. That was the way to land a trout under difficulties,
although I still think I could have done it successfully by myself.

Generally the utmost delicacy should be shown in killing a fish, but
there are times when force must be exerted. If the fish is making for a
stump, or even weeds, he must be stopped at any reasonable risk of the
rod's breaking or the fly's tearing out. A stump is the most dangerous;
one turn around that and he is off, leaving your flies probably in a
most inconvenient place and many feet below the surface of the water.
But remember the oft-repeated maxim of a friend of the writer, who had
been with him many a joyous fishing day, "That one trout hooked is worth
a dozen not hooked." Small trout are more apt to escape than large ones,
because the skin around the mouth of the latter is tougher. With either,
however, there is risk enough. The hook is small, and often takes but
a slight hold; the gut is delicate, and frequently half worn through by
continual casting. Fish are, in a majority of instances, hooked in the
corner of the upper jaw, where there is but a thin skin to hold them;
by long continued struggling the hole wears larger, and finally, to the
agony of the fisherman, the hook slips out.

There are occasions when force must be exerted, and then good tackle and
a well-made rod will repay the cost. At dusk, one night, I cautiously
approached the edge of a newly made pond, that was as full of stumps as
of fish, both being about the extreme limit, and casting into the clear
water struck a fine fish of three-quarters of a pound. Not a minute's
grace did he receive, but I lugged and he fought, and after a general
turmoil I succeeded in bringing him to land, in spite of weeds and
stumps and twigs, which he did his best to reach. The same was done with
Severn fish after a loss of only three flies and with a rod that weighed
only eight ounces.

In landing a fish wait till he is pretty well exhausted, bring his mouth
above water, and keep it there till he is drawn into the net, and warn
your assistant to remove the net at once if he gets his head down. By
diving after him with the net the assistant would certainly not catch
the fish and might tangle one of your other flies. The fish should be
led into the net, and the latter kept as still as possible; he knows as
well as you do what it is for, and if his attention is drawn to it will
dart off as madly as ever.

* * * * *

The trout is admitted to be the most beautiful of all our fish; not so
large or powerful as the salmon, he is much more numerous, abounding in
all the brooks and rivulets of our Northern States. He lives at our
very doors; in the stream that meanders across yon meadow, where the
haymakers are now busy with their scythes, we have taken him in our
early days; down yonder in that wood is a brook filled with bright,
lively little fellows; and away over there we know of pools where there
are splendid ones. Who has not said or thought such words as he stood in
the bright summer's day under the grateful shade of the piazza running
round the old country house where he played--a boy?

He does not make the nerves thrill and tingle like the salmon, he does
not leap so madly into the air nor make such fierce, resolute rushes; he
has not the silver sides, nor the great strength; but he is beautiful
as the sunset sky, brave as bravery itself, and is our own home darling.
How he flashes upon the sight as he grasps the spurious insect, and
turns down with a quick little slap of the tail! How he darts hither and
thither when he finds he is hooked! How persistently he struggles till
enveloped in the net! And then with what heart-rending sighs he breathes
away his life! Who does not love the lovely trout? With eye as deep and
melting, skin as rich and soft, and ways as wildly wilful as angelic
woman--who loves not one loves not the other. Who would not win the one
cares not to win the other. Strange that man should kill the thing he
loves but if to possess them kills them, he must kill. If women, like
the _Ephemerae_, died, as they often do, in their love, we should still
love them. Such is man; do not think I praise him. No one kills fish for
the pleasure of killing; but they cannot live out of water, nor we in
it, therefore one of us must die.

The man who kills to kill, who is not satisfied with reasonable sport,
who slays unfairly or out of season, who adds one wanton pang, that man
receives the contempt of all good sportsmen and deserves the felon's
doom. Of such there are but few.

We seek this, our favorite fish, in early spring, when the ice has just
melted, and the cold winds remind one forcibly of bleak December, and
when we find him in the salt streams, especially of Long Island and Cape
Cod; but we love most to follow him in the early summer, along the merry
streams of old Orange, or the mountain brooks of Sullivan county; where
the air is full of gladness, and the trees are heavy with foliage--where
the birds are singing on every bough, and the grass redolent of violets
and early flowers. There we wade the cold brooks, leafy branches bowing
us a welcome as we pass, the water rippling over the hidden rocks,
and telling us, in its wayward way, of the fine fish it carries in its
bosom. With creel upon our shoulder and rod in hand, we reck not of the
hours, and only when the sinking sun warns of the approaching darkness
do we seek, with sharpened appetite, the hospitable country inn, and the
comfortable supper that our prey will furnish forth.

*****

There is no fish more difficult to catch, nor that gives the true angler
more genuine sport, than the trout. His capture requires the nicest
tackle, the greatest skill, the most complete self-command, the highest
qualities of mind and body. The arm must be strong that wields the rod,
the eye true that sees the rise; the wrist quick that strikes at the
instant; the judgment good that selects the best spot, the most suitable
fly, and knows just how to kill the fish. A fine temper is required to
bear up against the loss of a noble fish, and patient perseverance to
conquer ill luck.

Hence it is that the fisherman is so proud of his basket of a dozen
half-pound trout. He feels that any one more awkward or less resolute
could not have done so well. He feels conscious that he does not owe his
success to mere luck, but has deserved the glory. He feels that he has
elevated himself by the very effort. Do not suppose I mean that there is
no skill in other fishing; there is in all, even in catching minnows for
bait, but most of all in trout-fishing.


TROUT FLIES.

"That _we are_ wise men, I shall not stoop to maintain, but that we
do love angling we are assured of, and therein we know that we are in
unison with very many greatly wise and wisely good men."--_Thaddeus
Norris._

"The true angler is not confined to fly-fishing, as many imagine. When
the fly can be used it always should be used, but where the fly is
impracticable, or your fish will not rise to it, he is a very foolish
angler who declines to use bait."--_W. C. Prime_.

"The creative power of genius can make a feather-fly live, and move,
and have being; and a wisely stricken fish gives up the ghost in
transports."--"_J. Cypress, Jr._"

[Illustration: 0224]

64. Jungle Cock.

65. Lake Green.

66. Jenny Lind.

67. Poor Man's Fly.

68. Pheasant.

69. Romeyn.

70. Morrison.

71. Katy-did.

72. Claret.

73. Hoskins.

74. Caldwell.

75. Iron Dun.

76. Queen of the Water.

77. Olive Gnat.

78. Brown Coffin.


"The deftly-tossed fly, taking wing on the nerve of a masterly cast,
will drop gracefully far out in the stream where the heavier gear of the
bait rod would never aspire to reach."--_Charles Bullock._

"Fly-fishing may well be considered the most beautiful of all rural
sports."--"_Frank Forester_."

"To be a perfect trout fisher, to my mind, a man should follow no other
branch of fishing. It spoils his hand if he does. I myself, from the
practice of striking so hard in both salmon, pike and other fishing,
lose numbers of fish and flies in the course of the season; and what
makes it the more vexing is that they are nearly always the best and
heaviest fish."--_Francis Francis_.

"If a pricked trout is chased into another pool, he will, I believe,
soon again take the artificial fly."--_Sir Humphry Davy._

"It is only the inexperienced and thoughtless who find pleasure in
killing fish for the mere sake of killing them. No sportsman does
this."--_W. C. Prime._

"We persevered, notwithstanding the storm, and got our hundred trout,
all alive and active, into Lake Salubria. They did not, however,
multiply as we hoped they would. For years one would hear occasionally
of a great trout being caught in the lake, till at last they were all
gone. They lacked the ripples and the running water. They lived to be
old, and then died without progeny, 'making no sign.'"--_S. H. Hammond._

"The trout is such a light food, that eight of them, some ten inches
long, will not make a supper for a hearty man, leading this wilderness
life."--"_Porte Crayon_."

"I believe I am sincere in saying that I enjoy seeing another man throw
a fly, if he is a good and graceful sportsman, quite as much as doing it
myself."--_W. C. Prime_.

"I was content with my one glimpse, by twilight, at the forest's great
and solemn heart; and having once, alone, and in such an hour, touched
it with my own hand and listened to its throb, I have felt the awe of
that experience evermore."--_A. Judd Northrup._



THE POETRY OF FLY FISHING

By F. E. Pond.

It has been said that the angler, like the poet, is born, not made. This
is a self-evident fact. Few men have risen to the dignity of anglers who
did not in early youth feel the unbearable impulse to go a-fishing.
There are, of course, noteworthy exceptions, but the rule holds good.
It might be added, too, that the genuine angler is almost invariably
a poet, although he may not be a jingler of rhymes--a ballad-monger.
Though, perhaps, lacking the art of versification, his whole life is in
itself a well-rounded poem, and he never misses the opportunity to "cast
his lines in pleasant places."

This is particularly true of the artistic fly-fisher, for with him
each line is cast with the poetry of motion. Ned Locus, the inimitable
character of J. Cypress' "Fire Island Ana," is made to aver that he
"once threw his fly so far, so delicately, and suspendedly, that it took
life and wings, and would have flown away, but that a four-pound trout,
seeing it start, jumped a foot from the water and seized it, thus
changing the course of the insect's travel from the upper atmosphere to
the bottom of his throat." Being quoted from memory, these may not be
the words exactly, as Toodles would say, but the sentiment is the same.
There is the true poetical spirit pervading the very air, whispering
from the leaves, murmuring in the brook, and thus the surroundings of
the angler complete that which nature began, and make him a poet. In
common with other sports of the field, though in greater degree:

                   "It is a mingled rapture, and we find

                   The bodily spirit mounting to the mind."

Bards have sung its praises, traditions have hallowed it, and
philosophers have revelled in the gentle pastime, from the days of
Oppian and Homer down to Walton, Christopher North and Tennyson.

Although the art of fly-fishing was not known to the ancients, the
poetry of angling has been enriched by the bards of ye-olden-time to
a remarkable degree. In Pope's translation of the Iliad, the following
passage occurs:

               "As from some rock that overhangs the flood,

               The silent fisher casts the insidious food;

               With fraudful care he waits the finny prize,

               Then sudden lifts it quivering to the skies."

One of the most familiar of Æsop's fables, in rhyme, is that of the
Fisherman and the Little Fish, while Theocritus, who flourished about
the year 270 B. c., gives us a spirited idyl representing the life of a
Greek fisherman. Oppian and Aristotle each prepared a classical volume
on fish and fishing. Pliny in his "Historia Naturalis" treats at length
of the finny tribes, and Ansonius in his poem, "Mostella," describes the
tench, salmon and other varieties of fish.

Among the early contributions to English literature on angling, the
"Poeticæ," generally attributed to a Scottish balladist known as Blind
Harry, is conspicuous. Then the "Boke of St. Albans," by Dame Juliana
Berners, and quaint old Izaak Walton's "Compleat Angler"--a brace of
classic volumes dear to the heart of all who love the rod and reel.

In modern times the literature of angling has had scores of staunch
and able supporters among the writers of Britain and our own land. Sir
Humphry Davy's "Salmonia"; Christopher North's essays on angling, in
"Noctes Ambrosianæ"; Stoddart's Angling Songs; all these and a score
of others are familiar to rodsters on both sides of the Atlantic. The
clever poet and satirist, Tom Hood, discourses thus in praise of the
gentle art:

"Of all sports ever sported, commend me to angling. It is the wisest,
virtuousest, discreetest, best; the safest, cheapest, and in all
likelihood the oldest of pastimes. It is a one-handed game that would
have suited Adam himself; and it was the only one by which Noah could
have amused himself in the ark. Hunting and shooting come in second and
third. The common phrase, 'fish, flesh and fowl,' clearly hints at this
order of precedence. * * * To refer to my own experience, I certainly
became acquainted with the angling rod soon after the birchen one, and
long before I had any practical knowledge of 'Nimrod' or 'Ramroch' The
truth is, angling comes by nature. It is _in the system_, as the doctors
say."

It is no exaggeration to state that the real poetry of fly-fishing, as
given in the grand old book of Nature, is appreciated to the fullest by
American anglers. The breezy air of the forest leaves is found in the
charming works of Bethune, of Herbert, Hawes, Norris, Dawson, Hallock
and many other worthies, past and present. The modern Horace--he of the
traditional white hat--never wrote a better essay than that descriptive
of his early fishing days. The same is true of Rev. Henry Ward Beecher,
and Charles Dudley Warner's most graphic pen picture is his inimitable
sketch, "A Fight with a Trout." The number of really good books on
American field sports is principally made up of angling works, a fact
which goes far to establish the truth of Wm. T. Porter's assertion,
namely: "No man ever truly polished a book unless he were something
of an angler, or at least loved the occupation. He who steals from
the haunts of men into the green solitudes of Nature, by the banks of
gliding, silvery streams, under the checkering lights of sun, leaf and
cloud, may always hope to cast his lines, whether of the rod or the
'record book,' in pleasant places."

This may be appropriately supplemented by the opinion, poetically
expressed by the same author, with reference to the art of fishing with
the artificial fly, thus: "Fly-fishing has been designated the royal and
aristocratic branch of the angler's craft, and unquestionably it is the
most difficult, the most elegant, and to men of taste, by myriads of
degrees the most pleasant and exciting mode of angling. To land a trout
of three, four or five pounds weight, and sometimes heavier, with a hook
almost invisible, with a gut line almost as delicate and beautiful as a
single hair from the raven tresses of a mountain sylph, and with a rod
not heavier than a tandem whip, is an achievement requiring no little
presence of mind, united to consummate skill. If it be not so, and if
it do not give you some very pretty palpitations of the heart in the
performance, may we never, wet a line in Lake George, or raise a trout
in the Susquehanna."

Thomson, the much admired author of "The Seasons," was in his youth a
zealous angler, frequently casting his fly in the rippling waters of the
Tweed, a trout-stream justly famous along the Scottish border. The
poet has eulogized his favorite pastime of fly-fishing in the following
elegant lines:

               "Now, when the first foul torrent of the brooks,

               Swell'd with the vernal rains, is ebb'd away;

               And, whitening, down their mossy tinctur'd stream

               Descends the billowy foam, now is the time,

               While yet the dark brown water aids the guile

               To tempt the trout. The well-dissembled fly--

               The rod, fine tapering with elastic spring,

               Snatch'd from the hoary stud the floating line.

               And all thy slender wat'ry stores prepare;

               But let not on thy hook the tortur'd worm

               Convulsive twist in agonizing folds,

               Which, by rapacious hunger swallow'd deep,

               Gives, as you tear it from the bleeding breast

               Of the weak, helpless, uncomplaining wretch,

               Harsh pain and horror to the tender hand."


               When, with his lively ray, the potent sun

               Has pierc'd the streams, and rous'd the finny race,

               Then, issuing cheerful to thy sport repair;

               Chief should the western breezes curling play,

               And light o'er ether bear the shadowy clouds,

               High to their fount, this day, amid the hills

               And woodlands warbling round, trace up the brooks;

               The next pursue their rocky-c-hannel'd maze

               Down to the river, in whose ample wave

               Their little Naiads love to sport at large.

               Just in the dubious point, where with the pool

               Is mix'd the trembling stream, or where it boils

               Around the stone, or from the hollow'd bank

               Reverted plays in undulating flow,

               There throw, nice judging, the delusive fly;

               And, as you lead it round the artful curve,

               With eye attentive mark the springing game.

               Straight as above the surface of the flood

               They wanton rise, or, urged by hunger, leap,

               Then fix, with gentle twitch, the barbed hook;

               Some lightly tossing to the grassy bank,

               And to the shelving shore slow dragging some

               With various hand proportion'd to their force.

               If yet too young, and easily deceiv'd,

               A worthless prey scarce bends your pliant rod.'


               Him, piteous of his youth, and the short space

               He has enjoy'd the vital light of heaven,

               Soft disengage, and back into the stream

               The speckl'd captive throw; but, should you lure

               From his dark haunt, beneath the tangled roots

               Of pendent trees, the monarch of the brook,

               Behooves you then to ply your finest art.

               Long time he, following cautious, scans the fly,

               And oft attempts to seize it, but as oft

               The dimpled water speaks his jealous fear.

               At last, while haply o'er the shaded sun

               Passes a cloud, he desperate takes the death

               With sullen plunge: at once he darts along,

               Deep struck, and runs out all the lengthen'd line,

               Then seeks the farthest ooze, the sheltering weed,

               The cavern'd bank, his old secure above,

               And flies aloft, and flounces round the pool,

               Indignant of the guile. With yielding hand,

               That feels him still, yet to his furious course

               Gives way, you, now retiring, following now,

               Across the stream, exhaust his idle rage,

               Till floating broad upon his breathless side,

               And to his fate abandon'd, to the shore

               You gayly drag your unresisting prize."

Angling, like every other manly pastime, has had numerous
assailants--some of them "men of mark," as in the case of Lord Byron,
whose "fine plirensy" in denouncing Walton and the gentle art failed not
to draw down upon himself the laughter of a world. The plaint of Lord
Byron runs thus:

               "Then there were billiards; cards, too; but no dice,

               Save in the clubs no man of honor plays--

               Boats when'twas water, skating when'twas ice,

                   And the hard frost destroy'd the scenting days;

               And angling, too, that solitary vice,

                   Whatever Izaac Walton sings or says;

               The quaint old cruel coxcomb in his gullet,

               Should have a hook, and a small trout to pull it."

Another famous satirist of the old school defines angling as "a stick
and a string, with a fish at one end and a fool at the other," while a
third, the well-known Peter Pindar, in closing a "Ballad to a Pish in
the Brook," takes occasion to say:

               "Enjoy thy stream, oh, harmless fish,

          "And when an angler for his dish,

                        Through gluttony's vile sin,

                   Attempts--a wretch--to pull thee out,

                   God give thee strength, oh, gentle trout,

                        To pull the rascal in."

All who love to go a-fishing can well afford to smile at the malicious
flings of morbid critics, and while recreating both mind and body in
casting the mimic fly along the dashing mountain stream, think of the
deluded satirists in pity rather than condemnation.

Let us, then, in unison with the quaint and charming poet, Gay:

               "Mark well the various seasons of the year,

               How the succeeding insect race appear,

               In their revolving moon one color reigns,

               Which in the next the fickle trout disdains;

               Oft have I seen a skilful angler try

               The various colors of the treach'rous fly;

               When he "with fruitless pain hath skim'd the brook,

               And the coy fish rejects the skipping hook.

               He shakes the boughs that on the margin grow,

               Which o'er the stream a weaving forest throw;

               When if an insect fall (his certain guide)

               He gently takes him from the whirling tide;

               Examines well his form with curious eyes,

               His gaudy vest, his wings, his horns, his size.

               Then round his hook the chosen fur he winds,

               And on the back a speckled feather binds;

               So just the colors shine through every part,

               That nature seems to live again in art."



A PERFECT DAY

By Geo. W. Van Siclen.

I take my rod this fair June morning, and go forth to be alone with
nature. No business cares, no roar of the city, no recitals of others'
troubles and woes which make the lawyer a human hygrometer, no doubts
nor fears to disturb me as, drinking in the clear, sweet air with
blissful anticipation, I saunter through the wood-path toward the
mountain lake. As I brush the dew from the bushes around me, I spy in a
glade golden flowers glowing on a carpet of pure green, mingled with the
snowy stars of white blossoms; with their fragrance comes the liquid,
bell-like voice of the swamp-robin, hidden from curious eyes. Soon
seated in my boat, I paddle to the shade of a tall, dark hemlock and
rest there, lulled by the intense quiet. Ever and anon as I dreamily
cast my ethereal fly, a thrill of pleasure electrifies me, as it is
seized by a vigorous trout.

I have long classed trout with flowers and birds, and bright sunsets,
and charming scenery, and beautiful women, as given for the rational
enjoyment and delight of thoughtful men of aesthetic tastes. And if

               "By deeds our lives shall measured be,

                   And not by length of days,"

then a perfect life has been lived by many a noble trout whose years
have been few, but who, caught by the fisher's lure (to which he was
predestined, as aforesaid), has leaped into the air and shaken the
sparkling drops from his purple, golden, crimson, graceful form and
struggled to be free, to the intense delight of the artist who brought
him to the basket, where he belonged.

Thus resting, and floating apparently between the translucent crystal
and the blue ether, silent, I have felt the presence of a spirit who
inspires one with pure thoughts of matters far above the affairs of
daily life and toil, of the universe and what lies beyond the blue sky,
and of the mind and soul of man, and his future after death. *

     * I _love_ the mountains, and the meadows, and the woods.

Later satisfied, but not satiated, with fair provision of corn, and
wine, and oil, and my creel well filled, the shadows lengthen and the
day begins to die.

Some day I shall hear no more forever the birds sing in the sylvan
shade. My eyes will no more behold the woods I love so well. For the
last time my feet will slowly tread this woodland road, and I shall
watch for the last time the changing shadows made by the clouds upon the
hillsides.

There will come a time when the setting sun will paint the west as the
bridegroom colors the cheek of the bride; but I shall not know it, and I
shall never again share such hours of peace with the leafy trees. Then,
with folded hands upon my quiet breast, my friends will briefly gaze
upon my face and I shall be gone. In that last day, so full of deepest
interest to me, may my soul be pure.

Filled with such thoughts, I regret that I cannot express them like the
poet, whose name I know not, but whose words I will recall:

                        "Good-bye, sweet day, good-bye!

               I have so loved thee, but I cannot hold thee;

               Departing like a dream the shadows fold thee.

               Slowly thy perfect beauty fades away;

                        Good-bye, sweet day.

                        "Good-bye, sweet day, good-bye!

               Dear were the golden hours of tranquil splendor.

               Sadly thou yieldest to the evening tender,

               Who wert so fair from thy first morning ray.

                        Good-bye, sweet day.

                        "Good-bye, sweet day, good-bye!

               Thy glow and charm, thy smiles and tones and glances

               Vanish at last and solemn night advances.

               Ah! couldst thou yet a little longer stay.

                        Good-bye, sweet day.

                        "Good-bye, sweet day, good-bye!

               All thy rich gifts my grateful heart remembers,

               The while I watched thy sunset's smouldering embers

               Die in the west beneath the twilight gray.

                        Good-bye, sweet day."


As the balsam-breathing night wind begins to blow, I turn my back upon
the silver glancing of the moonlight on the rippling waves of the fairy
lake, and step bravely into the darkness of the woods, where I cannot
see the places where my foot shall fall, but I know that others have
safely passed it before, and that I shall find comfort and home at the
end.

Note.--"Description of a day on Balsam Lake (headwaters of the
Beaverkill) where no house was ever built. From the lake it is two
miles through the woods (about ten miles in the dark) to the nearest
house,"--Extract from letter accompanying article.

"I handle this 'brown hackle' as gently as a relic, not alone because
it is the memento of an unusual achievement, but because the sight of it
brings up vividly before me the beautiful lake where the trout lay; its
crystal waters; the glinting of its ruffled surface as the bright sun
fell upon it; the densely wooded hills which encircled it; the soughing
of the tall pines as the summer's breeze swept through their branches;
and the thrill which coursed through every nerve as trout after trout
leaped to the cast, and, after such manipulation and 'play' as only
those who have had personal experience can comprehend, were duly
captured."--_George Dawson._

"Don't be in too great a hurry to change your flies."--_Francis
Francis._

[Illustration: 0242]

1. Brown Hackle.

2. Scarlet Hackle.

3. White Hackle.

4. Yellow Hackle.

5. Ginger Hackle.

6. Gray Hackle.

7. Black Hackle.

8. Coch-y-Bouddr.

9. Gray Hackle.


1. Emerald Gnat.

2. Black C.

3. Soldier Gnat.


1. Brown Pennell. Pennell Hackles.

2. Yellow Pennell.

3. Green Pennell.


"And now we have got through the poetry of the art. Hitherto things
have gone happy as a marriage bell. I unhesitatingly declare, and I
confidently appeal to my brother Angler, whether he, a fly fisherman,
does not feel similarly. To me fly-fishing is a labor of love; the
other is labor--alone. But notwithstanding such are my feelings, it
by no means follows that every one else so fancies it. Every one to his
taste."--_Capt. Peel ("Dinks")_

When Spring comes round, look to your tackle with careful inspection,
and see that all are in perfect order. Above all, look well to your
flies; reject all specimens that have been injured by use, and all
frayed gut lengths. It is better to throw away a handful now, than
to lose flies and heavy fish together the first time you fasten to a
rise."--_Charles Hallock_.

"That hook is for a very little fly, and you must make your wings
accordingly; for as the case stands it must be a little fly, and a very
little one too, that must do your business."--_Charles Cotton._

"For some reason which I have not succeeded in fathoming, the yellow fly
always seems to kill best in the position of dropper, or bob-fly, and
the green when employed as the stretcher, or tail-fly. The brown can be
used in either position."--_H. Gholmon-deley-Pennell._

"Note that usually, the smallest flies are best; and note also, that the
light flie does usually make most sport in a dark day; and the darkest
and least flie in a bright or clear day."--_Izaak Walton_.

"No description with pen or tongue can teach you how to cast a fly.
Accompany an expert and watch him."--_T. S. Up de Graff, M. D._

"There is no more graceful and healthful accomplishment for a lady
than fly-fishing, and there is no reason why a lady should not in every
respect rival a gentleman in the gentle art."--_W. C. Prime._

"Everything which makes deception more alluring should be resorted to by
an Angler; for, let his experience be ever so great, he will always find
opportunities to regret his deficiencies."--_Parker Gilmore._



SUGGESTIONS

By Charles F. Orvis.

During my long intercourse with the angling fraternity, I have always
found its members very ready to receive and impart suggestions, in the
most friendly manner. It appears to me that those who are devoted to
"the gentle art," are especially good-natured; and while very many have
their own peculiar ideas as to this or that, yet they are always
willing and anxious to hear the opinions of others. Believing this, I am
prompted to make a few suggestions, in regard to fly-fishing for trout,
and the tackle used for that purpose; and if I differ from any, which
will be very likely, I trust that what appears erroneous will be
regarded charitably; and if I shall be so fortunate as to make any
suggestions that will add to the enjoyment of any "brother of the
Angle," I shall be content.

The rod, of course, is of the first importance in an outfit, as very
much depends on its perfection.

For ordinary fly-fishing for trout, a rod from ten to twelve feet in
length will be found most convenient.

I use a ten-foot rod, and find it meets all my requirements.

It is well to let your rod have weight enough to have some "back-bone"
in it; _very_ light and _very_ limber rods are objectionable, because
with them one cannot cast well against, or across the wind; and it is
impossible to hook your fish with any certainty--especially with a long
line out--or to handle one properly when hooked.

A _very_ limber rod will not re-act quickly enough, nor strongly enough
to lift the line and fix the hook firmly; because, when the upward
motion is made, in the act of striking, the point of the rod first goes
down; and, unless it is as stiff as it will do to have it and cast well,
it will not re-act until the fish has found out his mistake and rejected
the fraud.

Rods ten to twelve feet long should weigh from seven and one-half to ten
and one-half ounces, depending on the material and weight of mountings,
size of handpiece, etc. Many, perhaps, would say, that eight to ten
ounces, for a single-handed fly-rod, is too heavy; that such rods
would prove tiresome to handle. Much depends on how the rod hangs. If a
ten-ounce rod is properly balanced, it will be no harder work to use it
than a poorly balanced seven-ounce rod--in fact, not as fatiguing. Some
men can handle an eleven-foot rod with the same ease that another could
one that was a foot shorter. Hence, the rod should be adapted to the
person who is to use it.

The stiffness of a split bamboo rod is one of its great merits. When
I say stiffness, I mean the steel-like elasticity which causes it to
re-act with such quickness.

For material for fly-rods, bamboo ranks first, lance-wood next;
after mentioning these, there is not much to say. Green-heart is too
uncertain. Paddlewood is very fine, but as yet, extremely difficult to
obtain in any quantity.

The balance, or "hang," of a rod is of the greatest importance. Let it
be never so well made otherwise, if not properly balanced it will be
worthless.

The elasticity should be uniform, from tip to near the hand; a true
taper will not give this, because the ferules interfere with the uniform
spring of the rod. For this reason a little enlargement between the
ferules should be made, to compensate for the non-elasticity of the
metal. These enlargements cannot be located by measurements, as much
depends on the material and the length of the joint.

Spliced rods can be made nearer a true taper, for obvious reasons;
although there is no doubt that a spliced rod is stronger and much more
perfect in casting qualities, yet they require such care to preserve the
delicate ends of the splice, and are so troublesome in many ways, that
few will use them.

The details of rod-making having been so often told, I do not purpose
making any suggestions on that subject, but will say that, in order
to make a good fly-rod, the maker ought to know how to handle it, when
finished.

I believe in a very narrow reel, and use one that is only one-half inch
between outside plates. As both outside and spool plates are perforated,
my line never mildews or gets tender. Hence, it is unnecessary to take
the line off to dry it, as should be done when solid reel plates are
used.

With such a reel my line never tangles. If your reel be narrow between
plates, and large in circumference, it will take up line rapidly, and
obviate the use of a multiplier, which is objectionable for fly-fishing.
A light click is desirable, just strong enough to hold the handle and
keep the line from over-running. More friction is of no use, and may
cause you the loss of many fish.

Experience satisfies me that you should use your reel on the under side
of your rod, with handle towards the right--because the weight of the
reel so placed holds the rod in proper position without your giving it
a thought, and your right hand finds the reel handle without trouble;
because your reel is thus entirely out of the way of your arm; because
with the rod always in proper position, your left hand finds the line
every time, to draw it from the reel when wanted for a longer cast;
because with the reel on the under side the rod is always exactly
balanced, and you will not have to grasp it with anywhere near the force
required with the reel on the upper side. And you can make your casts
with ease and lay out your flies gently and more accurately than you
could with the firmer grip needful to be kept on the rod with the reel
in the latter position, and because, without constant attention,
your reel is never on the upper side of the rod to any certainty, but
anywhere and everywhere. Keep your reels well oiled.

Enamelled, or water-proof, braided silk, tapered, American fly-lines,
are the best made for fly-fishing. It is important that the size of
the line should be adapted to the rod. A heavy line on a very light rod
would be bad. A very light line on a heavy rod would be worse. No. 3 or
E, and Ko. 4 or E, are the two best sizes. I find many are inclined to
use too light lines, supposing the lighter the line the less trouble
there will be in casting it. This, I think, is an error.'

It is impossible to cast well against or across the wind, with a
very light line; and very light lines do not "lay out" as easily or
accurately as heavier ones.

Leaders, or casting lines, I like rather heavy, proportionate to the
line. To use a very light leader on a Ko. 4 line is not well; for
what is the leader but a continuation of the line? Therefore it should
approximate the size of the line, that there may be no sudden change in
size where the leader begins, in order that the flies shall keep ahead,
where they belong.

Leaders should be made with loops at proper intervals, to which the
flies are to be attached. Leaders with such loops will last at least
twice as long as those without them.

Three flies are generally used; perhaps two are just as good. But I use
three and often find the increased number to work well, as presenting a
greater variety to the fickle notions of the many trout, and it is best
to take all the chances.

The first dropper loop should be about thirty inches from the
stretcher, or tail-fly. Second dropper, twenty-four inches above first
dropper--depending somewhat on the length of the leader. Let the
flies be as far apart as I have indicated. A greater distance is not
objectionable--a lesser is.

Leaders should be tapered and made of the best quality of round gut.
"Mist colored" or stained leaders are, by many, thought to be better
than the clear white gut; but I must say I never have been able to see
that they are, or that there is any difference, practically. There is no
great objection to the colored leaders, and I use them myself usually.
I will not undertake to settle the much-discussed question. Either plain
or colored are good enough, if properly made and from good gut.

Always let your leader lie in the water awhile before commencing to
cast, that the gut may soften--or you may lose your leader, fish and
temper, and blame some one because you think you have been cheated, when
no one was in fault but yourself in your haste. When you have finished
fishing, wind your leader around your hat, and the next time you use
it it will not look like a cork-screw, and bother you half an hour in
casting.

To one who has not acquired the art of fishing with the fly, let
me suggest that a day or two with an expert will save much time and
trouble. There are many little things that cannot well be described, and
would take a long time to find out by experience, that can be learned
very quickly when seen. It is not easy to tell one exactly how to fish
with the fly.

I remember well my first trout; I remember as well, the first fine rod
and tackle I ever saw, and the genial old gentleman who handled them.
I had thought I knew how to fish with the fly; but when I saw my old
friend step into the stream and make a cast, I just wound that line of
mine around the "pole" I had supposed was about right, and I followed
an artist. (I never used that "pole" again.) I devoted my time that
afternoon to what to me was a revelation, and the quiet, cordial way
in which the old gentleman accepted my admiration, and the pleasure he
evidently took in lending to me a rod until I could get one, is one of
the pleasant things I shall always retain in memory.

To really enjoy fly-fishing one must be able to cast at least fairly
well; to cast a very long line is not at all important--to cast
easily and gently is. Fifty to sixty feet is all that is necessary for
practical purposes, the great majority of trout are taken within forty
feet.

It is not easy to tell one how to cast. The art must be acquired by
practice. As I have said, much can be learned by observing an expert.
There is one great mistake made by most beginners; i.e., far too much
strength is used. Let me suggest to the novice to begin with the line
about the length of the rod; learn to lay that out gently, and as you
take your flies off the water, do it with a quick movement, decreasing
the motion until your rod is at an angle of not quite forty-five degrees
behind you, this angle to be varied according to circumstances which
cannot be foreseen. Then the rod must come to a short pause, just long
enough to allow the line and leader time to straighten out fairly, no
more. Then the forward motion must be made with a degree of force and
quickness in proportion to the length of line you have _out_, decreasing
the force until the rod is about horizontal; do not bring your rod to
a sudden stop, or your line and your flies will come down with a splash
and all in a heap; but lay your line out gently, my friend, and your
flies will fall like snowflakes. It is not muscle but "gentle art" that
is required. "Take it easy" and keep trying.

In an open space, from a boat for instance, take your flies very nearly
straight off the water; never dropping the point of your rod much to the
right, as this leaves your line on the water and makes it hard to lift.
Take your flies up with a quick movement, nearly vertical, and wait for
them to straighten and cast again directly towards the point to which
you wish them to go.

After you have acquired the skill to cast straight 'before you will be
time enough for you to practise side casts, under casts, etc., that you
will have to use where there are obstacles before and behind you. The
same movements to cast and retrieve your lines, will apply under all
circumstances, whether in open water or on streams overhung with trees,
or fringed with bushes. Much vexatious catching of flies may be avoided
by not being too eager, and by not using too long a line. Let me
add--just before your flies touch the water, draw back your rod slightly
and gently; this will straighten the line, and your flies will fall
exactly where you want them.

Cast your flies so that they fall as lightly as possible, with your
leader extended to its full length; then draw your flies in the
direction you wish, being careful not to draw them too far, or you will
have trouble in retrieving your line for another cast. With your rod too
perpendicular you cannot lift your line quickly enough to carry it back
with sufficient force to straighten it out, and your next cast will be
a failure. There is also much danger of breaking your rod. Usually you
will get your rise just an instant after your flies touch the water, or
before you have drawn them more than a little distance. It is better
to cast often and draw your flies back just far enough so that you can
easily lift your line for another cast. Moreover, with your rod too
perpendicular it is not easy to hook your fish; so cast often and cover
all parts of the pool.

I think most skilful fly-fishers draw their flies with a slightly
tremulous motion, to make the flies imitate the struggles of an insect,
and I believe it to be a good method. It certainly is not objectionable,
and you will find it can be done without thought; the habit once formed
and it will be difficult for you to draw your flies otherwise.

The instant you see a rise at one of your flies, strike quickly, but not
too strongly, nor with a long pull, but with a short, sharp motion, not
too strong or long enough to raise even a small fish from the water, but
just enough to drive the hook firmly in. This may be done by an upward
and inward motion, or a side motion, as circumstances may dictate. A
slight turn of the wrist is often all that is required; but if you have
a long line out, you will have to use your arm and more force. Your
fish hooked, keep him well in hand; don't give him any more line than
is necessary. When he is determined to run, let him do so; but keep
your fingers on the line and put all the strain on him you safely can,
increasing the strain the further he goes. Turn him as soon as possible,
and the instant you have done so, begin to reel him in. When he runs
again, repeat the dose and get his head out of the water a little as
soon as you dare. This exhausts him quickly. Don't raise him too far out
of the water, or in his struggles he will break loose.

Should a fish try to run under the boat, reel up until your line is no
longer than your rod, or nearly so, then firmly guide him around the
end--remembering always "it is skill against brute force."

In stream-fishing, always wade if you can. When fishing from a boat
never stand up if you can help it, but learn to cast sitting down. It
is just as easy if you once learn how. On streams it is better to wade,
because your feet produce no jar for you cannot well raise them out of
the water, and dare not often. And for various reasons a person alarms
the fish less in wading than in fishing from the bank.

Fish down stream always if possible. You can, in so doing, look over the
pools and approach them to the best advantage. It is easier to wade with
the current, and as you cast your flies you can let them float naturally
for just an instant, without their being drawn under the surface. This
instant is the time that, in a great majority of cases, you get your
rise. Every one who has fished much with a fly knows how often he has
whipped every inch of a pool and failed to get a rise where he was sure
his flies could be seen from any part of it, and at last, when he placed
his flies in one particular spot, his hopes were realized in an instant.

Why did not the trout rise before? Because he waited until his food came
to him.

In streams, especially, trout usually rise an instant after the flies
touch the water, and I believe that trout in streams commonly wait for
their food to come to them, and do not often dart out from where they
are lying to any great distance, but wait until the fly comes nearly or
quite over them, and then rise to the surface and take the fly with a
snap and instantly turn head down to regain the position they had left.
In doing this they often turn a somersault and throw themselves out of
the water; as they go over, their tails come down on the water with a
splash, which some persons think is intentionally done to strike the fly
or insect in order to kill or injure it and then afterwards capture
it. Such persons fail to see the trout's head at all, for very often it
barely comes to the surface, but the quick motion to go down throws the
tail up and over--hence the error, as I consider it. Any one who will
take the trouble to throw house flies to trout in an aquarium, will
never again think trout strike their prey with their tails.

The kinds of flies to be used vary with the locality, stream, state and
stage of the water, weather, etc. The fly that pleased the fancy of the
trout to-day--to-morrow perhaps in the same stream and under the same
conditions, as far as any one could see, would fail. The only way is to
keep trying until the one is found that _does_ please. Don't change too
often, but give each "cast" a fair trial.

I do not believe in certain flies for certain months in the year. I have
stood up to my knees in snow and taken trout, in mid-winter, with the
same flies I had used in mid-summer.

In low, clear water, especially in streams, small flies should be used.
In higher water, larger flies are better, as a rule. When the water is
high--as early in the season--larger and brighter-colored flies may be
used to more advantage. Later, when the water is low and clear, smaller
flies and more sober colors are best. I believe, however, that rules for
the choice of flies have a great many exceptions, and the best rule I
know of, is to keep trying different kinds and sizes until successful.

It is often said, "there is no need of so great a variety of flies." I
do not think this is true. Doubtless there are many styles that might
well be dispensed with, but one never knows which to discard, and no
man can tell him, for the very flies one man would say were worthless,
another would consider the best--and prove it, plainly, by the success
he had had with that very fly. So it is well to be provided with many
kinds and sizes. I have learned of the merits of so many different kinds
of flies that I sometimes think nearly all are good--at some time or
under some circumstances. There is much doubt in my mind as to the
necessity of having the artificial flies like the insects that are near
or on the water. One of the best flies that has ever been known--the
Coachman--does not in the least resemble any known insect, I
believe--and but few of the many patterns made imitate anything in
nature. The Cowdung fly, another one of the most "taking" flies--_does_
very much resemble the natural fly of that name--but I never saw or
heard of their being on or near the water.

Early in the season, while the weather is yet cold, the middle of the
day is usually quite as good, and I think the best time for fly-fishing.
Later, in warm weather, the evening is the best, and often the last two
hours of a pleasant day are worth all the rest of it.

Generally speaking, a gentle southerly breeze is the most favorable
wind; yet I have had splendid sport during a strong north-easterly wind,
but not often.

In conclusion, be patient and persevering, move quietly, step lightly,
keep as much out of sight of the fish as possible, and remember, trout
are not feeding all the time. Perhaps during the last hour before dark
you may fill your basket, that has been nearly empty since noon. Don't
give up, as long as you can see--or even after--and you may when about
to despair take some fine large fish.

Unless one can enjoy himself fishing with the fly, even when his efforts
are unrewarded, he loses much real pleasure. More than half the intense
enjoyment of fly fishing is derived from the beautiful surroundings,
the satisfaction felt from being in the open air, the new lease of life
secured thereby, and the many, many pleasant recollections of all one
has seen, heard and done.



BASS FLIES.

"Doubt not, therefore, sir, but that angling is an art, and an art
worth your learning; the question is, rather, whether you be capable of
learning it, for angling is somewhat like poetry, men are to be born
so: I mean with inclinations to it, though both may be heightened by
discourse and practice; but he that hopes to be a good angler must not
only bring an inquiring, searching, observing wit, but he must bring a
large measure of hope and patience, and a love and propensity to the art
itself; but having once got and practised it, then doubt not but angling
will prove to be so pleasant that it will prove to be like virtue, a
reward to itself."--_Izaak Walton_.

"The black bass are unquestionably as fine a fish for angling
purposes as any we possess, and as an article of food are equal to our
best."--_Parker Gilmore._

[Illustration: 0260]

1. Cheney.

2. White Miller.

3. La Belle.

4. Scarlet Ibis.

5. Shad-Fly.

6. Green and Gold.


"Never use too much power in casting; it is not only not necessary,
but it is injurious. You cast the line with the top and half the second
joint, and very little force suffices to bring this into play. If you
use more, all the effect is to bring the lower part of the rod into
action, which has very little spring compared with the top of it."--
_Francis Francis._

"Although trout are taken with numerous angle worms, still frequently
all these will fail, and a colored imitation fly will lure them, and
herein lastly consists the science of the fisherman, in judging what
style of fly is appropriate to a peculiar state of the atmosphere or
reality." _A. Robinson Warren._

"Black bass when struck and played will always head down stream."--_W.
C. Harris._

"Fish always lose by being 'got in and dressed.' It is best to weigh
them while they are in the water. The only really large one I ever
caught got away with my leader when I first struck him. He weighed ten
pounds."--_Charles Dudley Warner._

"The aim of the angler ought to be, to have his artificial fly
calculated, by its form and colors, to attract the notice of the fish;
in which case he has a much greater chance of success, than by making
the greatest efforts to imitate any particular species of fly."
--_Professor Rennie._

"I fear it will be almost deemed heresy to place the black bass on a par
with the trout; at least, some such idea I had when I first heard the
two compared; but I am bold, and will go further. I consider he is the
superior of the two, for he is equally good as an article of food,
and much stronger and untiring in his efforts to escape when
hooked."--_Parker Gilmore_.

"The one great ingredient in successful fly-fishing is patience. The man
whose fly is always on the water has the best chance. There is always a
chance of a fish or two, no matter how hopeless it looks. You never know
what may happen in fly-fishing."--_Francis Francis._

"In bass fishing we have thought the moon to be an advantage. If it does
not guide the prey to the lure, it at least lends beauty to the scene
and bathes in its pale light the surroundings of the fisherman, which
are often so exceedingly beautiful. In addition, it assists him in his
work and enables him to handle his tackle more easily and play his fish
more comfortably."--_Seth Green._



THE RESOURCES OF FLY-FISHING.

By Dr. James A. Henshall.

The charms of fly-fishing have been sung in song and story from time
immemorial by the poetically gifted devotees of the gentle art, who have
embalmed the memory of its aesthetic features in the living green of
graceful ferns, in the sweet-scented flowers of dell and dingle, and in
the liquid music of purling streams.

The fly-fisher is a lover of Nature, pure and simple, and has a
true and just appreciation of her poetic side, though he may lack the
artist's skill to limn her beauties, or the poet's genius to describe
them.

               "To him who in the love of Nature holds

               Communion with her visible forms, she speaks

               A various language."

And what delightful converse she holds with the fly-fisher, as with rod
and creel he follows the banks of the meandering stream, or wades
its pellucid waters, easting, ever and anon, the gossamer leader and
feathery lure into shadowy nooks, below sunny rapids, over foam-flecked
eddies, and on silent pools. She speaks to him through the rustling
leaves, murmurs to him from the flowing stream, and sighs to him in
the summer breeze. She is vocal in a myriad of voices, and manifest in
innumerable ways.

The still fisher, reclining on the mossy bank, is disposed to dreamy
reveries, to pleasant fancies; but the fly-fisher, with quickened
senses, has an ear for every sound, an eye for every object, and is
alive to every motion. He hears the hum of the bee, the chirp of the
cricket, the twitter of the sparrow, the dip of the swallow; he sees the
gay butterfly in its uncertain flight, the shadow of the drifting cloud,
the mossy rock, the modest violet, the open-eyed daisy; he is conscious
of the passing breeze, of the mellow sunlight, of the odors of the
flowers, of the fragrance of the fields. Nothing escapes his keen notice
as he easts his flies, hither and yon, in the eager expectation of a
rise.

Fly-fishing is, indeed, the poetry of angling. The capture of the salmon
is an epic poem, the taking of the trout an idyl. But it is not my
presumptuous purpose to ring the changes on the delights of salmon or
trout fishing, for they have been immortalized by the pens of gifted
anglers for ages. My feeble effort would be but a sorry imitation of
those glorious spirits who have made their last cast, who have crossed
to the other side of the river, and

                        "Gone before

               To that unknown and silent shore."

So, leaving the salmon, the trout, and the grayling to their well-earned
laurels, I wish to say a word for several less pretentious, because less
known, game-fishes, whose merits are perhaps as great for the fly-fisher
as those familiar game-beauties of the waters.

It is among the possibilities, in this world of transitory things, that
fly-fishing for the salmonids in the United States will, in the near
future, be known only by tradition. It should, therefore, be a source
of great consolation to the fly-fisher to know that there are now,
and perhaps will ever be, in the streams and lakes of this broad land,
percoid game-fishes equally worthy of his skill, which require only to
be known to be properly appreciated.

First among these is the black bass, which already ranks the brook trout
in the estimation of those anglers who know him best: and when I say
black bass, I include both species. The black bass is, at least, the
peer of the trout in game qualities, and in rising to the artificial
fly, under proper conditions. An allusion to a few of these conditions
may not seem out of place.

As a rule, the best time of day for fly-fishing for the black bass is
from an hour before sunset until dark, though there are times when he
will rise to the fly at almost any hour of the day.

It is important that the angler keep out of sight, and that the shadow
of his rod be not disclosed to the wary and suspicious bass; for if
he sees either, he will not notice the flies, however skillfully and
coaxingly they may be cast. Thus it is that the earlier and later hours
of the day are best; the angler, facing the sun, the shadows are cast
far behind him; or, before sunrise or after sunset, or on cloudy days,
the shadows are not so apparent, and the bass are more apt to rise. If
the fly-fisher for black bass will faithfully follow these precautions,
he will not be disappointed at the result.

There is another condition, equally important, that must ever be borne
in mind: The black bass will rise to the fly only in comparatively
shallow water, say from one to six feet in depth. This is a feature
often overlooked by many fly-fishers in their first experiences in black
bass fishing. They seem to think that he should rise to the fly in any
situation where he can be taken with bait; but a moment's consideration
will show this to be fallacious. A brook trout will take a bait twenty
feet below the surface, but will not rise to a fly from the same depth.
Trout streams are generally shallow, while the salmon swims very near
the surface; thus it is that the angler is seldom disappointed in their
rising to the fly. On the other hand, the black bass, while inhabiting
larger and deeper streams, is, unlike the trout, a great rover, or
forager, frequenting both deep and shallow waters. As a rule, he is in
shallow water early in the season, retiring to the depths in the hottest
weather; again appearing on the shallows in the fall, and in winter
seeking the deepest water to be found. Trout inhabiting deep ponds and
lakes rise to the fly only when in comparatively shallow water, or
when near the surface. The fly-fisher, therefore, must expect to be
successful only when the proper conditions exist. I would like to pursue
this subject further, but in so brief an article as this, only the most
general and important features can be noticed.

Any good trout fly-rod, from ten to eleven feet long, and from eight to
nine ounces in weight, will answer for black bass fishing; the heavier
rod to be used only where the bass run quite large, averaging three
pounds or more. The best line is one of braided silk, tapered,
waterproof, and polished. The leader should be six feet of strong single
gut, and but two flies should be used in the cast. As to flies, the
angler must take his choice. My experience has led me to confine myself
to a dozen varieties for black bass fishing, and they are usually,
though not always, best in the order named: Polka, King of the Waters,
Professor, Oriole, Grizzly King, Coachman, Henshall, Oconomowoe, Ped
Ibis, Lord Baltimore, White and Ibis, and the various hackles
(palmers), the best being the brown. The Abbey, or Soldier, may often be
substituted for the King of the Waters, being similar in appearance, and
others may be substituted in like manner for several in the above list.

The Polka, Oriole, Oconomowoc and Henshall, are flies of my own
designing, and are usually very killing, especially the Polka, Their
construction is as follows:

Polka.--Body, scarlet, gold twist; hackle, red; wings black with white
spots (guinea fowl); tail, brown and white, mixed.

Oriole.--Body, black, gold tinsel; hackle, black; wings, yellow or
orange; tail, black and yellow, mixed.

Oconomowoc.--Body, creamy yellow; liackle, white and dun (deer's tail);
tail, ginger; wings, cinnamon (woodcock).

Henshall.--Body, peacock herl; hackle, white hairs from deer's tail;
wings, light drab (dove); tail, two or three fibres of peacock's
tail-feather.

The Lord Baltimore fly originated with Prof. Alfred M. Mayer, of the
Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey, its formula being
as follows:

Lord Baltimore.--Body, orange; hackle, tail, and wings black, with small
upper wings of jungle-cock.

Professor Mayer and myself, being natives of Baltimore, designed,
unknown to each other, a fly to embody the heraldic colors of Lord
Baltimore and the coat of arms of Maryland--black and orange. He named
his fly, "Lord Baltimore," while mine I designated the "Oriole," from
the Baltimore oriole, or hanging bird, which beautiful songster was
named in honor of Lord Baltimore, its colors being black and orange.

Black bass flies should not be too large, nor yet too small, the largest
brook trout flies being about the right size. They should be tied on
Sproat or O'Shaughnessy hooks, the first-named being the best, from Nos.
2 to 5. In the above list of flies, most of them are "general" flies,
one of which, at least, can be used in the cast under almost any
circumstances. The darkest ones are best for bright days and clear
water, the brighter ones for dark days or high water, and the lightest
ones, e. g.; Coachman and White and Ibis, after sundown.

There are several other inland fishes belonging to the same family
(_Centrarchidoe_) as the black bass, which, though generally lightly
esteemed, are good pan-fishes, are quite gamy, will rise eagerly to the
fly, and in the absence of more desirable fishes, afford good sport to
the fly-fisher with light and suitable tackle.

The Rock Bass (_Ambloplites rupestris_), sometimes called "Red-eye," is
well-known west of the Allegha-nies. Its color is olive-green, with dark
mottled markings and brassy and coppery reflections. The iris of the eye
is scarlet. The dorsal fin has eleven spines and eleven soft rays; anal
fin, six spines and ten soft rays. It has a large mouth, rises well
to the fly, and when it attains its maximum weight of a pound or two,
fights vigorously on a six-ounce fly-rod and light tackle. Any of the
"general" trout flies, tied on Sproat hooks, Nos. 5 to 7, will answer
for rock bass.

The Calico Bass (_Pomoxys sparoides_), variously known as "Northern
Croppie," "Strawberry Bass," "Grass Bass," "Silver Bass,"
"Chincapin Perch," etc., is a very handsome fish, bright green and
silvery, with purplish reflections, and numerous dark spots or blotches.
The fins are also much mottled, especially the anal fin. It has a
smaller mouth, and is not quite so gamy as the rock bass, but is,
withal, a great favorite with many anglers. The radial formula of its
fins are: Dorsal, seven spines, fifteen soft rays; anal, six spines,
eighteen soft rays.

The Southern Croppie (_Pomoxys annularis_) is also called "Bachelor,"

"Tin-month,"

"Speckled-perch,"

"New-light,"

"Campbellite," etc. It is closely allied to the last-named species,
but is not quite so deep in body, and has a larger, thinner, and more
delicate mouth. It is also much lighter in color, olivaceous, and
silvery, sometimes quite pale, with much smaller spots, and the anal
fin is pale and scarcely marked. Its dorsal fin has but six spines,
and fifteen soft rays; anal fin, six spines, eighteen rays. Both the
"Croppies" have large anal fins, fully as large as the dorsals. They
grow to two or three pounds in weight, usually swim in schools, and
lurk about logs, brush, or fallen trees, under dams, etc. They give fair
sport on a five-ounce rod. Trout flies of subdued tints should be used
for croppies, as the gray, brown and red hackles, gray drake, brown
drake, stone fly, black gnat, blue dun, etc.

The Black Sunfish (_Chaenobryttus gulosus_), known in the South as the
"War-mouth Perch," is more nearly related to the black bass than any
other member of the family in its large mouth, the radial formula of its
fins, and to some extent in its coloration; it also partakes of the gamy
nature of the black bass to no inconsiderable degree. Its color is dark
olive-green on the back, the sides lighter, with blotches of blue and
coppery red, the belly brassy or yellowish; iris red; ear-flap black,
bordered with pale red. It has teeth on the tongue. Dorsal fin, ten
spines, nine soft rays; anal, three spines, eight rays. With a six-ounce
fly-rod, and any of the flies named for black bass, the fly-fisher will
find this fish worthy of his steel, as it grows to two pounds in weight.

The Blue Sunfish (_Lepomis pallidus_) is a very common and
widely-diffused species. In the South, it is known as the "Blue Bream,"
and "Copper-nosed Bream." Its mouth is quite small. In color it is
olivaceous or bluish-green, with a distinct dusky spot on the last rays
of dorsal and anal fins. The dorsal has ten spines, eleven rays; anal,
three spines and ten soft rays. It is closely allied to the following
species.

The Long-eared Sunfish (_Lepomis megalotis_), or "Red-bellied Bream,"
or "Red-bellied Perch," of the Southwest, is one of the handsomest
sunfishes. Its color is bluish on the back, with the belly red or
orange; cheeks with blue and red stripes; colors very brilliant; iris
bright red; ear-flap very large, black, with pale border. Dorsal fin
with ten spines, ten soft rays; anal, three spines, ten rays. Both this
and the last-named species are quite wary, very gamy, and are greatly
esteemed by Southern anglers, and not without reason. When they reach a
pound or two in weight they furnish excellent sport on a five-ounce rod.
Any of the trout-flies of gay patterns, as Red Ibis, White and Ibis,
Professor, Grizzly King, etc., on Sproat hooks, Nos. 8 to 10, will
answer, if the day be not too bright, in which event less showy flies
should be used. As a rule, any of the hackles (palmers), are good flies
for these or any fishes of this family.

The striped-bass group, or sub-family (_Labracinoe_), is composed of
some of our best game-fishes. They will all rise to the fly, but more
especially the fresh water species. Those of the coast, the striped-bass
or rock-fish (_Roccus lineatus_), and the white perch (_Roccus
americanus_), when they enter brackish and fresh-water streams, are
frequently taken with a gaudy fly.

The White Bass (_Roccus chrysops_), also called "Striped Lake Bass," and
"Fresh-water Striped Bass," is a well-known game-fish of the great
lakes and Upper Mississippi Valley, and is rightly held in much favor
by western anglers. Its color is silvery, darker above, with a number of
dark stripes along the sides, four or five being above the lateral line.
The mouth is large. There are two distinct dorsal fins, being entirely
separated. The first dorsal has nine spines; the second dorsal, one
spine and fourteen soft rays; anal fin has three spines and twelve soft
rays. A patch of teeth on base of tongue. Its usual weight is one to
three pounds, though it is occasionally taken up to four or five pounds.
It is good game, rises well to the fly, and on a six or seven-ounce rod
is capable of giving fine sport.

The Yellow Bass (_Roccus interruptus_), or "Brassy Bass," or "Short
Striped Bass" takes the place of the white bass in the Lower Mississippi
Valley, and is closely allied to it, though it usually does not grow so
large by a pound or two. It has a smaller mouth, and has no teeth on the
base of its tongue. Its color is brassy, olivaceous above, with seven
very black stripes along its sides. The dorsal fins are somewhat
connected at the base. First dorsal has nine spines; second dorsal has
one spine and twelve soft rays; anal fin, three spines, nine soft rays.
Any of the flies recommended for the black bass, though made smaller and
tied on Sproat hooks, Nos. 4 to 6, will be found excellent for the white
and yellow bass.

In the perch family (_Percidoe_) are several species that are excellent
for the table, and not to be despised as game-fishes. The most commonly
known is The Yellow Perch (_Perca americana_), which inhabits most of
the waters of the Northwest and East, being found in both fresh and
brackish waters. In color it is dark olive with yellow sides, and some
halfdozen dark vertical bars; upper fins, dusky yellowish; lower fins,
reddish. Mouth moderate in size. First dorsal fin has thirteen spines;
second dorsal, one spine and thirteen soft rays; anal, two spines, eight
soft rays. It grows usually to a pound, though sometimes to double that
weight. It rises pretty well at times, to a small gaudy fly, and on a
five-ounce rod will give considerable sport to the angler.

The Pike-Perch (_Stizostedium vitreum_), likewise known as "Mall-eyed
Pike," "Glass Eye," and in some waters called "Salmon," and in Canada
known as "Pickerel," is a fine table fish, growing occasionally to
fifteen or twenty, and even to forty pounds, though its usual weight is
from four to six pounds. Its color is a greenish-olive, mottled with
brassy yellow; it has a large black spot on the first dorsal fin. Eye
large. First dorsal fin has thirteen spines; second dorsal, two spines
and twenty soft rays; anal, two spines, twelve rays.

There is a much smaller variety of this species (var. _salmoneum_),
which grows to but two or three pounds. It has a larger eye. Its color
is bluer, or greener than the above, and not so brassy. First dorsal has
fourteen spines; second dorsal, one spine, twenty soft rays; anal fin,
two spines, thirteen soft rays.

Both of these fishes, together with the next-named, are hard-pulling,
vigorous fishes on the rod, though they do not exhibit much dash or take
much line. They swim away rather slowly, but are constantly jerking,
tugging and pulling on the line in such a way as to compel the angler to
handle them carefully to preserve his tackle intact. They are regarded
with much favor by anglers in the West and Northwest. The same tackle is
used as for black bass.

The Saugek (_Stizostedium canadense_) is also called "Jack,"

"Sand-pike,"

"Gray-pike," and "Battle-snake-pike." It is closely related to the
foregoing species, though smaller, growing to a length of twelve to
fifteen inches. It is longer and rounder in proportion than any of the
pike-perches, with a more pointed head and smaller eye. Its color is
paler, grayish above, with brassy sides, which are marked by several
blackish blotches or patches. First dorsal fin has two or three rows of'
round black spots. First dorsal has twelve spines; second dorsal, one
spine, seventeen soft rays; anal, two spines, twelve soft rays.

Both species of pike-perch are nocturnal (the last not so much so), and
are very similar in their habits. Usually they rise best to the fly at
sundown, continuing until late in the evening, especially on moonlight
nights; therefore at least one fly in the cast should be some
light-colored fly, as the Coachman, White and Ibis, or Miller.
Sometimes, however, darker flies are just as good after nightfall as
during daylight. The flies for pike-perch should be as large or larger
than bass flies, and should be tied on Sproat hooks, Nos. 1 to 3.

The angler who is so unfortunately situated as to be debarred from
salmon, trout, or black bass fly-fishing, can always find in the small
streams or ponds near him, one or more of the fishes described in the
foregoing account, when, by the use of very light and suitable
tackle, he can enjoy to a great degree the delights and pleasures of
fly-fishing.

Even the despised pike or pickerel species (_Esocidoe_) and some of the
catfishes will rise to a large and gaudy fly. In Florida I have taken
catfish with the artificial fly until my arms ached and I was fain
to cry quits. I have also taken many marine species with the fly,
as red-fish, blue-fish, sea-trout, snappers, groupers, crevalle,
bone-fish, snooks, etc., etc., and once, as a matter of experiment,
a five-foot alligator. The 'gator was taken with a "fly" tied on a
shark-hook, the hackled body being a squirrel's tail, with wings of a
small seagull. The rod, used on that occasion only, was a light pine
sprit (belonging to the sail of a small boat), fifteen feet in length,
an inch and a half in diameter at the centre and tapering to an inch at
each end.

Thus it will be seen that the opportunities and resources for
fly-fishing are nearly as great as for baitfishing, and that it only
remains for the angler to take advantage of them, study the habits of
the fishes, attain the necessary skill in casting, and practice due
caution in fishing.

"All the charm of the angler's life would be lost but for these hours of
thought and memory. All along a brook, all day on lake or river,
while he takes his sport, he thinks. All the long evenings in camp, or
cottage, or inn, he tells stories of his own life, hears stories of
his friends' lives, and if alone calls up the magic of memory."--_W. C.
Prime._

"It is a mooted question among the very best 'fly-fishers,' whether an
exact representation of the living insect is necessary to insure success
in angling with the fly. The Scotch flies are not imitations of living
insects; and the best anglers in that country maintain the opinion that
it is absolutely useless and unnecessary to imitate any insect either
winged or otherwise."--"_Frank Forester._"

[Illustration: 0278]

7. Henshall.

8. "Oconomowoc."

9. Oriole.

10. Polka.

11. Ondawa.

12. "W. T."


"Sometimes, of course, the loss of fish, or even fish and tackle,
cannot be avoided: but good, careful work and the best materials will
frequently obviate so annoying an ordeal. However, having struck your
fish, the tackle and your own coolness are generally responsible for the
issue, and woe betide you if careless knot or indifferent tying should
have been made in constructing your leader or fry,"--_Parker Gilmore_.

"It is well known that no person who regards his reputation will ever
kill a trout with anything but a fly. It requires some training on
the part of the trout to take to this method. The uncultivated,
unsophisticated trout in unfrequented waters prefers the bait and the
rural people, whose sole object in going a-fishing appears to be to
catch fish, indulge them in their primitive taste for the worm. No
sportsman, however, will use anything but a fly, except he happens to be
alone."--_Charles Dudley Warner._

"The true fly-fisher, who practises his art _con amore_, does not
delight in big catches, nor revel in undue and cruel slaughter. He is
ever satisfied with a moderate creel, and is content with the scientific
and skilful capture of a few good fish. The beauties of nature, as
revealed in his surroundings--the sparkling water, the shadow and
sunshine, the rustling leaves, the song of birds and hum of insects, the
health-giving breeze--make up to him a measure of true enjoyment, and
peace, and thankfulness, that is totally unknown to the slaughterer of
the innocents, whose sole ambition is to fill his creel and record his
captures by the score."--_James A. Henshall, M.D._

"In the fly book the sportsman collects his treasures--the fairy
imitations of the tiny nymphs of the water side--and it is the source of
much delight in inspecting, replenishing and arranging during the season
that the trout are safe from honorable pursuit."--_R. B. Roosevelt_.

"There have been caught in Walden, pickerel, one weighing seven pounds,
to say nothing of another which carried off a reel with great velocity,
which the fisherman safely set down at eight pounds, because he did not
see him. I am thus particular, because the weight of a fish is commonly
its only title to fame."--_Henry D. Thoreau_.

"Wet days in camp try 'grit.' 'Clear grit' brightens more crystalline
the more it is rained upon; sham grit dissolves into mud and
water."--_Theodore Winthrop_.



WINTER ANGLING

By Frank S. Pinckney.

The best winter angling is to be Had in that charming interval between
the hallowed old holidays and that sloppy period which, of late years,
heralds the slow approach of spring in these our latitudes.

The practice of angling at this season of the year for large trout,
immense black bass and preternatural mascalonge, has grown of late to
proportions which seem to warrant some special mention of so delightful,
if unseasonable, a sport, as well as some brief description of the
tackle and paraphernalia required for its fullest enjoyment.

To the winter angler a first-class outfit is of prime importance. The
poles should be of well-seasoned hickory or hard maple, from eight to
ten inches in diameter, in sections about three feet in length. These
need not to be divested of their rich covering of bark, curved, bronzed
and lichened, but should be fitted, fresh from the sheltered pile, with
careful skill into an old-fashioned open fire-place, about which,
in years agone, the angling forefathers of the angler of to-day told
marvellous tales of deeds of "derring do" with "dipscys," bobs and
poles; and about which now _his_ children list with wonder, not
unmingled with some tinge of incredulity, to His yet more wondrous
recitals of brave contests and curious captures with dainty rods and
delicate reels.

The winter anglers wading shoes may be made of any soft material that
will protect his feet should they chance to slip from the old brass
fender down upon the sombre painted brick hearth below, during some
delicious drowse. Most anglers have lady friends--fair cousins and
others, who make them nicely with substantially embroidered lily-pads
and firm strong rosebuds and vigorous elastic daffadowndillys. These are
a good protection--but the soles?

Two dollars and a half, without hob nails, and no deduction for small
feet! Even winter angling has its drawbacks.

The winter angler's fishing coat should be warmly quilted to protect him
from the cold, and may be of a color to suit his complexion if he has
one. It should be given him by his wife or "ladye faire" as a sample of
her skill in manipulating the needle and--the dressmaker.

As to the kind of lure required, much must depend upon the taste of the
individual angler, but it certainly ought to be hot and not have _too_
much water in it.

For protection against black flies, midgets and mosquitoes, he may, if
he likes, smear his face and hands with oils either of tar or of
pennyroyal, or he may build a "smudge" on the library table, but the
most successful winter anglers I know use for this purpose a hollow tube
of convenient length with a bowl at one end and a set of teeth, either
real or artificial, at the other. The bowl may be filled with any
harmless weed capable of burning slowly as, for example, tobacco. As
a rule, one of these will answer the purpose, but if the flies are
especially troublesome, or the angler should chance to be bald-headed,
he may be forced to ask a brother angler to come to his assistance with
a contrivance of a similar nature. Together they will probably be able
to defy all attacks of the black flies or even the blues.

As to creels (or baskets) the merest mention will suffice. At the
nearest newspaper office will be found one of suitable size and fair
proportions. It is called a "waste basket" and is specially constructed
to hold the abnormal catches made by winter anglers.

Possibly the highest charm of winter angling (or as some call it
"Fireside fishing") is the grand wide ranging freedom of it. Three
vast realms are at one's command. The realm of Memory, with its myriad
streams of recollection filled with the fish and fancies of the Past.
The realm of Anticipation bright with golden dreams of the coming open
season, and lastly the realm of Pure Lying, wherein from the deep,
dark pools of his own inner turpitude the angler at each cast hooks a
speckled-sided Hallucination (_Salmo Hullucionidus_), a large-moutlied
Prevarication (_Micropterus Prevaricatrix_), or a silver-gleaming
Falsehood (_Salmoides Falsus_), each more huge than the other, and all
"beating the record" quite out of the field. *

     * Note--The writer respectfully submits this nomenclature to
     revision by Dr. Henshall, an unquestioned authority.

What wonderful vistas, what remotely narrowing perspectives, stretch
away into the vague distances of the first two of these grand realms!
How far reachingly the life-lines of anglers uncoil in both directions
from the reel of time--"playing" the hoarded treasures of memory at one
end, and making tournament easts into the future with the other! Are not
the time-worn rod-case and the well-thumbed fly-book and note-book on
his table, side by side with the last daintily tapered product of
his plane, rasp and scraper--his rod, just finished for the coming
summer--which, perchance for him may never come?

Is he not at once revelling in the past and dreaming of the future?

There is no sport, when known in all its branches, that is so fully an
all-the-year-round delight as is angling.

Many an idle hour of the long winter evenings may be pleasantly passed
by the angler in "going over" his tackle, oiling his reels, airing his
lines, and re-arranging his flies, freeing them from the moth and rust
that do corrupt. He is but a slovenly worshipper at the shrine of the
good Saint Izaak, who casts aside his panoply after the last bout of
autumn and gives no thought to it again till spring makes her annual
jail-delivery of imprisoned life. Constant care of the belongings of his
art, be he fly or bait fisher, is characteristic of the faithful angler,
and only simple justice to the tackle maker. There is nothing sadder or
more dejected-looking than a crippled rod and a neglected "kit" full of
snarled lines, rusty hooks, and moth-eaten flies.

In the matter of winter angling, the fly-fisherman has a decided
advantage over him who uses bait alone. The art for him has more side
issues. He may, if he can, learn to tie flies or contrive and construct
newfangled fly-books. The effort to learn will probably ruin his temper
and break up his domestic relations if he has any, but it is not for
me to say that "_le jeu ne vaut pas la chandelle_." If no domestic ties
trend him toward caution as yet, and he dreads none in the future, he
may even venture the attempt to make his own rods.

Let me say a word here of amateur tackle-making from the standpoint of
personal experience. It is agreeable--it is even fascinating, but it
does not _pay_; very few have the mechanical deftness, the patience,
taste, and judgment combined to really excel in any of its branches. No
young man with a career to make for himself by dint of constant toil or
close application to a business or profession has any right to devote to
these arts the time and attention they demand if even a fair degree of
skill is to be attained. For the angler of "elegant leisure" this has no
weight perhaps, but he too will, as a rule, find better tackle than he
can make, readily at his command at a cost so inconsiderable as to quite
justify me in saying that his amateur work will not _pay_--for, if he be
young, out-of-door sports will far better serve to lay up in his still
developing frame the treasures of health and vitality for future use.
There are those, indeed, for whom it is a proper employment of time and
who are endowed with the peculiar faculties required. To such it is a
charming occupation, a delightful distraction, and a choice factor in
the enjoyment of the winter angler by the fireside.

Every angler ought to keep a record or diary of his angling bouts. Most
anglers do so, I think. Therein should be recorded not only the weight
and size of daily catch, the number saved, and the number _thrown back_,
(I look back with especial pride upon my record in this direction),
but also some jottings of scenes, impressions, and incidents. Reading
therefrom years after at the fireside he will detect a faint perfume
of old forests in the winter air, and hear again in fancy the swirl of
swift waters sweeping among mossy rocks.

I take up my own, quoting from it almost at random note, if you please,
how, in untamed words, have expressed themselves the exhilaration of the
stream--the tingling of healthy blood through ample veins--the joy in
nature's aspects, and the delightful sense of unrestraint that comes
only of fresh air, of wholesome exercise, of angling.

"May 20th.-- * * * The streams hereabout lack two important elements
which are the charm of my favorite-----kill, to wit, picturesqueness
and the possibility of large trout--large, I mean, for our mountain
brooks where still found _au naturel_. I went over the other day to
Bright's Run. I don't know exactly where it is, and I consider it (next
to Bright's disease of the kidneys) the very worst thing Bright has
developed. It is a stream such as might properly empty into the Dismal
Swamp, and find itself quite at home there. It is totally devoid, of
romantic beauty--and nearly so of trout. I never worked so hard in my
life for twenty-two little ones, that put me to the blush as I put them
in the basket. I was perpetually in a row with the overhanging thickets
and the underlying logs, and my thoughts were a monologue of exclamation
points. I would not angle in Bright's turgid waters again for all the
trout the most minute analysis might discover in them.

"Yesterday I had a much more agreeable day without a seven-mile ride on
a pesky buck-board. I went quite alone, up the Buckhill as far as the
Fall. This is a pleasant stream full of nature--and sawdust--with here
and there a speckled trout and here and there a black snake. (By special
permission of mr. Tennyson.) There really are now and then cool little
nooks which make one envy the trout; and an occasional spring dripping
with a fresh _rat-tat-tat_ over rocks and moss and into one's whiskey in
spite of all one can do. This sort of thing is what makes a trout-stream
after all. You may catch a whale in a goose-pond but it isn't angling.
To me much depends upon surroundings. I like to form a picturesque part
of a picturesque whole. Even when there is no audience in the gallery.

"Given, a dark glen fringed with pines that sigh and pine high up
aloft--a pool whose sweep is deep, around which rocks in tiers, mossy
as tombstones centuries old, bow their heads in mourning--heads crowned
with weeds, and grave-mounds of mother earth, and pallid flowers, pale
plants and sapless vines that struggle through shadows of a day in coma,
laid in the hearse of night, without a proper permit, and I am happy. I
don't know just why, but if I meet an undertaker I mean to ask him. All
these deep, dark hiding spots of nature seem but so many foils to the
keen sense of life and thrills of vitality that fill me. My nervous
system sparkles against such sombre backgrounds.

"Then, too, the Fall was lovely. Next to Niagara, the Kauterskill and
Adams', this Buckhill Fall is one of the most successful, in a small
way, that I know of. It might be bigger and higher and have twenty-five
cents worth more water coming over it out of a dam; but for a mere
casual Fall gotten up inadvertently by nature, it is very good, in an
amateurish sort of away, you know!

"There is, I believe (hang it, there _always_ is!) a romantic legend
connected with--but stay!--you already guess it. Big Buck Indian--years
ago--in love with mother-in-law--commits suicide--jumps over the
ledge--ever since on moonlight nights, water the color of blood
(probably tannery just above the Fall), Buck Kill, now corrupted into
Buckhill. In the march of civilization the last _impedimenta_ to be left
by the wayside are the beautiful superstitions of ignorance.

"I am now quite alone here. A young music composer, hitherto my
companion, left yesterday, so I am handcuffed to nature in solitary
confinement.

"By the way, my composer was a voluntary exile from the domestic arena.
He had but recently married--to formulate it by proportions--say about
a ton of mother-in-law to about an ounce of wife, and when the contest
waxed fiercer than became the endurance of a sensitive nature, he
packed his bag and came a-fishing. He was a capital angler--a phenomenal
musician and had an appetite and digestion like one or more of the
valiant trencher men of England's merrie days, so he solaced his
grief with Sonatas and buckwheat cakes in the mornings and tears and
ginger-bread in the evenings. He was a born genius and as beautiful as a
dream, so I advised him to go home, choke his m-in-l, kiss his wife and
live happily all the days of his life. I think he has gone to try the
plan.

"Speaking of buckwheat cakes, you can go out here most any time and
catch a nice mess running about a half a pound and _game_ all the way
through. No! No!

"I'm thinking of the trout! I mean they are light as a feather, and taste
to me just as did those I never had half enough of when I was a lad with
my good old Presbyterian grandmother, who would not 'set' the batter on
Saturday night lest it should 'work' on the Sabbath.

"Just here I wish to record an event which has happened to me while yet
each detail is fresh in my memory.

"The day had been showery, yet the fishing had been very poor, so I went
at sunset to try my luck in the stream near the house, where are some
fair pools and a semi-occasional trout.

"The darkness had begun to gather, indeed it was so dark that I knew
only by the instinct of habit where my flies fell upon the water, for I
could not fairly see them. I had just made a cast across a little rock
which protruded somewhat above the surface into a small pool behind,
and was slowly drawing my line toward me, when I perceived a frog seated
upon the rock, watching the proceedings with some apparent anxiety.
Hardly had I made out his frogship in the gloaming, when pop! he went
into the water. 'Kerchung!' At this instant I felt a _strike_ and
returned the compliment sharply, so as to set my hook well in and make
sure of my trout. He was very _game_, and I was obliged to play him with
a five and a half ounce rod for some time, but finally landed him in
good form, only to discover that instead of a trout I had taken froggy
on a black hackle fly, setting the hook firmly into the thin membrane
which connects the two hind legs and just where the tail _ought_ to
be. This left him the fullest freedom of action and gave him so good
a chance to fight me that I never suspected him of being anything less
than a half-pounder. He must have jumped from the rock directly on to
the fly trailing behind it and been thus hooked by my 'strike.' Mem.
--This story is true as gospel, but better not tell it where you enjoy
an exceptional reputation for veracity.

"_July 19th._ * * * Nothing has happened! Nothing ever does happen here.
Delightful existence, free from events! I remember hearing Homer Martin
once say that it was the height of his artistic ambition to paint a
picture without objects. The confounded objects, he said, always would
get wrong and destroy his best effects. How far this was intended to be
a humorous paradox and how far the suggestion of an artistic ideal, I
know not, but I surely somewhere have seen a painting--from whose brush
I cannot say--which quite nearly fulfilled this strange condition. It
represented an horizon, where met a cloudless, moonless, starless summer
sky and a waveless, almost motionless sea--these and an atmosphere. The
effect was that one could hardly perceive where the sea ceased and the
sky began. I wonder if it would not be thus with a life quite devoid of
events--would one be able to distinguish such from Heaven?

"The charm of it is that it leaves both the physical and intellectual in
one to develop freely. When a cow, grazing in a woodland pasture, comes
at noonday to the brook to drink and then calmly and not without a
certain ungainly majesty of movement, crosses the deep pool and climbs
the steep hank on the other side, by no apparent motive urged save of
her own sweet will, she always looks refreshed and filled in some
sort with the stolid bovine expression of great contentment. Mark how
different it all is when the same cow crosses the same brook driven by
the barefooted urchin with a gad and shrill cries and a possible small
dog in the background. How wearily and breathlessly she wades, and with
what distressful pan tings she climbs, and how unhappy and enduring
and long-suffering she appears, as you watch her shuffle away down the
cow-path homeward! It's the Must that hurts. It's the barefooted urchin
Necessity with his infernal gad Ambition and his ugly little cur dog
Want, always chasing and shouting after one, that makes it so tiresome
to cross the stream.

"Then, too, as to the mind. Shall not one gain better intellectual
growth when beyond the reach of the imperial ukase of daily custom which
fixes the mind upon and chains the tongue to some leading event of the
passing hour?

"In swift and endless succession come foul murders, robberies,
revolutions, sickening disasters, nameless crimes, and all the long list
of events, and are as so many manacles upon the mind.

"I hate Events. They bore me. _All except taking a pound trout_.

"Alas! what a rent these last words make in the balloon I have been
inflating! Logic (another troublesome nuisance, evolved, probably, at
Hunter's Point) forces me from the clouds to earth and insists that I
shall accept a trite aphorism: 'Little events fill little minds; great
events for big ones.'

"Then if I take refuge in the cowardly device of saying I don't want a
big mind, what becomes of my theory of intellectual development as the
outgrowth of an eventless life!

"I decline to follow out more in detail this or any other line
of argument. One can't argue in the face of such an event as the
thermometer in the nineties away up here in the mountains.

"This chance allusion to logic reminds me that I have recently heard
from a dear old angling friend. He writes incidentally that since his
return to his active professional duties he has made money enough to pay
many times over the expenses of his recent two weeks' fishing bout with
me. I have written him that he might find it well to start at once upon
another trip. I have no doubt there exists a certain correlation
of forces whereby a week's fishing, with its resultant increase of
oxygenation, and rebuilding of gray tissue, accurately represents a
certain amount of possible mental labor and thus, indirectly, a fixed
sum of money.

"It is then alarming to think how abnormally rich a man might become if
he fished all the time."

If I have thus quoted somewhat at length vaporings of other days from
my note book it has been only to suggest to others, whose angling
experiences are and have been wider and more varied than my own, how
readily they can organize a "preserve" for winter angling. Believe me,
no event, no feeling, no passing observation of your surroundings can
be too trivial to record, and each written line will, in years to come,
suggest a page of pleasant memories when as "Nessmuk" says--

                   "The Winter streams are frozen

                   And the Nor'west winds are out."


"Mr. Webster's sport of angling has given him many opportunities for
composition, his famous address on Bunker Hill having been mostly
planned out on Marshpee Brook; and it is said that the following
exclamation was first heard by a couple of huge trout immediately on
their being transferred to his fishing-basket, as it subsequently
was heard at Bunker Hill by many thousands of his fellow-citizens:
'Venerable men! you have come down to us from a former generation.
Heaven has bounteously lengthened out your lives that you might behold
this joyous day.'"--_Lan-man's Life of Webster._

"How, I love fishing dearly. There is no sport like it for me, but there
is a vast deal in fishing besides catching fish."--_H. H. Thompson._

[Illustration: 0296]

13. The Triumph.

14. Alexandra.

15. Seth Green.

16. Jungle Cock.

17. Fitz-Maurice.

18. Caddis.

19. Davis.


"When fish are basking during the mid-day hours in the hot summer
months, they are not always to be drawn to the surface. But the
combination more suitable for this method is the dressing known as the
'Alexandra Fly.'"--_David Foster._

"The exertion of crossing the Atlantic for fly-fishing will be amply
repaid the sportsman by the quantity and weight of the fish he will
capture; for there the fish are not troubled with the fastidiousness of
appetite which in Great Britain causes it always to be a source of doubt
whether the water is in proper order, the wind in the east, or thunder
overhead, either of which, or all combined, too frequently cause the
most industrious to return, after a long and laborious day, with an
empty basket."--_Parser Gilmore._

"Of all places, commend me, in the still of the evening, to the long
placid pool, shallow on one side, with deeper water and an abrupt
overhanging bank opposite. Where the sun has shone all day, and legions
of ephemera sported in its declining rays; the bloom of the rye or
clover scenting the air from the adjoining field! Now light a fresh
pipe, and put on a pale Ginger Hackle for your tail-fly, and a little
white-winged Coachman for your dropper. Then wade in cautiously--move
like a shadow--don't make a ripple. Cast, slowly, long, light; let your
stretcher sink a little. There, he has taken the Ginger--lead him around
gently to the shallow side as you reel him in, but don't move from your
position--let him tug awhile, put your net under him, break his neck,
and slip him into your creel. Draw your line through the rings--cast
again; another and another--keep on until you can see only the ripple
made by your fly; or know when it falls, by the slight tremor it imparts
through the whole line down to your hand--until the whip-poor-will
begins his evening song, and the little water-frog tweets in the grass
close by not till then is it time to go home."--_Thaddeus Norris_.

"You may always know a large trout when feeding in the evening. He rises
continuously, or at small intervals--in a still water almost always in
the same place, and makes little noise--barely elevating his mouth to
suck in the fly, and sometimes showing his back-fin and tail. A large
circle spreads around him, but there are seldom any bubbles when he
breaks the water, which usually indicates the coarser fish."--_Sir
Humphry Davy_.

"It is not difficult to learn how to cast; but it is difficult to learn
not to snap the fins off at every throw."--_Charles Dudley Warner._



NOT ALL OF FISHING TO FISH

By A. Nelson Cheney.

"We cast our flies on many waters, where memories and fancies and facts
rise, and we take them and show them to each other, and, small or large,
we are content with our catch."--_W. G. Prime_.

The commonly accepted definition of fly-fishing is the casting--with
a light, strong, elastic, pliant rod--of two, three or four artificial
flies, on a delicate leader attached to a fine tapered silk line over
the surface of waters inhabited by the lordly, silver-coated salmon;
that aristocratic beauty, the speckled trout, or the more sombre-colored
but gamy black bass.

This, in truth, is called the acme of fishing, the highest degree
attainable in the school of the angler. But of what a small portion,
comparatively, of the pleasure of angling does the mere casting of the
fly, however artistic, and the creeling of the fish, however large,
consist.

If it were all of fishing to fish; if fish were only to be obtained
in pools, in a desert waste that never reflected leaf or twig; from
walled-in reservoirs, where fish are fattened like a bullock for the
shambles; from sluggish, muddy streams within the hearing of great
towns, redolent of odors that are bred and disseminated where humanity
is massed between walls of brick and mortar, or even from a perfect fish
preserve, where everything is artificial except the water; or if the
beginning of fishing was making the first cast and the end the creeling
of the last fish, would the gentle art under such conditions have been
a theme for the poet's pen, a subject for the artist's brush, or a topic
for the interesting story during the centuries that have passed since
the first line was written, or the first words sung? I think not.

Fishing for the fish alone would not have inspired Dame Juliana Berners,
Izaak Walton, Charles Cotton, Sir Humphry Davy, John Bunyan, Sir Walter
Scott, "Christopher North," and other and more modern writers to tell
of the peace, the quiet, the health and the pleasure to be gained in the
pursuit of this pastime.

The skill exercised and the delicate tackle used by a past master of
the art would have been unnecessary to cultivate or fashion, solely to
supply the brain with food through the alimentary canal.

An angler's brain is fed by absorption as well as by assimilation.

There might be reason in calling a fisherman with an eye simply to the
catching of fish, a "lover of cruel sport," but the cruelty would be of
the same kind, but in a less degree, as that displayed by the butcher
who supplies our tables with beef and mutton.

To an angler the pleasures of the rod and reel are far-reaching and have
no boundary save when the mind ceases to anticipate and the brain to
remember. I have had the grandest sport on a midwinter's night with the
snow piled high outside and the north wind roaring down the chimney,
while I sat with my feet to the blaze on the hearth, holding in my hand
an old fly-book. The smoke from my lighted pipe, aided by imagination,
contained rod, fish, creel, odorous balsam, drooping hemlock and purling
brook or ruffled lake. I seemed to hear the twittering birds, leaves
rustled by the wind and the music of running water, while the incense of
wild flowers saluted my nostrils. The heat of the fire was but the warm
rays of the sun and the crackle of the burning wood the noise of the
forest. Thus streams that I have fished once or twice have been fished a
score of times.

I had nothing to show for the later fishings, but I could feel that God
was good and my memory unimpaired. The fish in the pipe-smoke has been
as active as was the fish in the water, and afforded as fine play. My
reel has clicked as merrily in the half-dream as on the rod in the long
ago, and my rod has bent to the play of the fish as though it were in my
hand instead of lying flat on a shelf in a cool room up-stairs. I have
had in my musings all the pleasure of actual fishing, everything but the
fish in the flesh.

When Winter comes and the ravages in tackle have been repaired and all
is in perfect order for another season, I put my rods where they will
not be injured by the modern furnace heat, each joint of each rod placed
flat on a shelf. But the tackle trunk, securely locked that no vandal
hand may get to its treasures, is where my eye rests upon it daily, and
my fly books are in one of the drawers of my writing desk where I can
easily reach them. 'When I take one of the books out of an evening, or
at any time during my walking hours in early winter, I generally seek
out some tattered fly that is wrapped carefully in a paper and placed in
one of its pockets. The book may be full of flies, sombre or gorgeous in
all the freshness of untried silk, mohair, feathers and tinsel; but take
for instance this one with the legend written on its wrapper:

"Puffer Pond, June, 1867.--Thirty-five pounds of trout in two hours. The
last of the gentlemen that did the deed."

This, to me, tells the story of a very pleasant week spent in the
Adirondacks. I remember, as I hold the ragged, faded fly in my hand and
see that it still retains something of the dark blue of its mohair body
and the sheen of its cock-feather wings, that it was one of six flies
that I had in my fly-book that June day that stands out from other June
days, in my memory, like a Titan amongst pygmies. The fly had no name,
but the trout liked it for all that, and rose to it with as much avidity
as though they had been properly introduced to some real bug of which
this was an excellent counterfeit.

That glorious two hours' time--with its excitement of catching and
landing without a net some of the most beautiful and gamy fish that ever
moved fin--comes back to me as vividly as though at this moment the four
walls of my room were the forest-circled shores of that far-away pond,
and I stand in that leaky boat, almost ankle deep in the water that
Frank, the guide, has no time to bail, occupied as he is in watching
my casts and admiring my whip-like rod during the play of a fish, or
fishes, and in turning the boat's gunwale to the water's edge to let
my trout in when they are exhausted. It is sharp, quick work, and the
blue-bodied fly is always first of all the flies composing the cast to
get a rise, until I take off all but the one kind, and then one after
another I see them torn, mutilated and destroyed. Later they will be
put away as warriors gone to rest and the epitaph written on their
wrappings:

"Thy work was well done; thy rest well earned."

Now there is no time to mantle the fallen or sing paeans to the victors;
the action is at its height. I put my last blue fly on my leader and
cast it again and again with success, before those dark open jaws, that
come out of the water every time it falls on the surface, have destroyed
its beauty forever. Frank says the time is up and we must go.

The boat, propelled with broken oars, is headed for the landing-place,
and I sit back in the stern admiring those sleek beauties that lie
in the bottom, and that have fought so well and so vainly. My rod is
inclined over my shoulder and the blue fly is trailing on the water
astern. Suddenly I feel a twitch and hear a splash, and turning around
find I am fast to a fish, the noblest Roman of that, day's struggle.
Once, twice, thrice he shows himself in all his fair proportions.

"Two pounds and a half, if an ounce," says Frank.

I get down on my knees in the water of the cranky boat, as the reel
sings the merriest tune that ever delighted the ear of an angler. Two or
three mad dashes, and I think the trout is tiring. I reel him slowly in,
but the sight of the boat gives him new life and he darts under it in
spite of my efforts to swing him around the stern. The rod tip is passed
clear of the boat and the fight continues.

Exhausted? The fight is only begun.

The unwieldy boat is far too slow to follow the fish, and I see my line
growing rapidly less on my reel with no sign of weakness on the part
of the fish. I am compelled to advance the butt of the rod and the tip
droops nearer and, hesitatingly, still nearer to it, as though the tip
would whisperingly confess that the strain is greater than it can
bear, while the stout nature of the wood rebels at the confession.
Involuntarily I raise myself by a muscular action as though the cords
and sinews of my body could relieve the pressure on the lancewood and
save the rod.

"You'll smash your pole!" is the warning Frank utters.

I care not now, for the fight has been a glorious one, but the "pole"
survives to fight many another fight; the trout is turned and, at last,
comes side up, to the boat, vanquished but not subdued.

Here, in another paper, are three flies fastened together. A Chicken Red
Palmer Hackle, a Grizzly King and a fly with black body, brown
wings, red tail and tip. They are large trout flies and won honorable
retirement by catching three small-mouthed black bass at one and the
same time. Fishing from a boat in the Hudson River, above a long rough
rapid, I cast inshore and saw the stretcher fly taken by a small bass;
immediately after the two droppers were taken by other bass that did not
show themselves when taking the lures. My rod was the same that I
have already mentioned, an ash and lancewood of eight ounces--scale
weight--and my entire attention was directed to it and the fish, that
were bending it like a willow wand; when, suddenly, I discovered that
the boatman had also been interested in the play of the fish and allowed
the boat to drift into the swift water at the head of the rapids.
The boatman made an effort to row up stream at the same time the fish
decided to go down, and I found I must either smash my tackle and
lose the fish--at this time I had seen but the one bass that took the
stretcher fly--or run the rapids at the risk of an upset. I was very
anxious to see the size of the fish that were struggling on my leader in
that swift running water, and every angler will know the decision that
was instantly made, to "shoot the rapids."

The sight of these old tinseled lures brings back to me the wild
excitement of that driving, whirling ride through the racing, seething
waters. Hatless I crouch down in the boat, one hand clutching the
gunwale of the broad river craft, and the other holding aloft my rod.
I give no thought to the possible fate of the occupants of the boat. My
anxiety is for the fish. When the curved line is straight again, will I
feel the bass at the end or only the bare flies? These very flies!

Very soon the boat is rocking in the lumpy water at the foot of the
chute, and I stand up, fill my lungs, and find my fish are still fast.
Here in the broad water I bring to net three small-mouthed bass that
together weigh four and one-quarter pounds, only one of which, at any
time, showed himself above water. As I put the faded flies back into
their paper coverings I find that my pulse has quickened and my pipe no
longer burns.

I must not exhibit all my treasures here, to the public. These old
souvenirs are only for the eyes of sympathizing angling friends when me
meet to blow a cloud and talk of other days.

A little brown-eyed maiden once, looking into my fly-book, asked why I
had the old frayed flies tied up in separate papers and marked, while
the nice new flies did not show this care. Had she been of maturer years
I might have quoted Alonzo of Aragon's commendation of old friends, but
instead, I merely said:

"The nice new flies I can easily buy, but no one sells such old flies,
therefore I take the greater care of them because of their rarity."

The new flies will not be slighted, for they, also, have their season of
admiration and caressing touch. When their day has come the old veterans
of many a fight will not be forgotten either, but while maturing plans
for augmenting their numbers, the recruits in their new, bright dress
will be inspected to see what claims they may have for future honors.

The lengthening days and diminishing snowbanks naturally turn the
angler's thoughts forward, and he sniffs the south wind as though he
would discover some slight remaining odor of fragrant apple blossoms
borne to him from the far southland as the forerunner of warm air, blue
sky, bursting buds, open streams, green grass, "gentle spring," and time
to go a-fishing. Then the untried flies are examined and speculation is
rife as to their excellence, each for its own particular kind of fish.

Day dreams and evening musings give place to an activity of mind and
body when fishing is under consideration. The lessons of the last season
and other seasons are brought to bear to perfect all arrangements for
a fresh campaign. Consultations with brother anglers are frequent, and
plans many and various are weighed and discussed. The tackle box is
overhauled again and again, notwithstanding the attention paid to it at
the close of the last season, to be sure that nothing is wanting or left
undone. Lines are tested; leaders are subjected to the closest scrutiny
to see that no flaws or chafed places exist to give way at a critical
moment during some future contest, when a trifle will turn the scales;
reels are taken apart and carefully oiled; rods sent to the maker for
a new coat of varnish, and, perhaps, a few new whippings for the guide
rings; fishing shoes, although they have a row of holes just above the
soles, get an extra dressing of oil to keep the leather soft; and an
inventory of the wardrobe is taken and old garments are selected that
appear for the time, considering the use they are to serve, far more
faultless than when first sent home by the tailor. "About these days
your business letters, if written to people into whose souls the love of
angling has entered, may terminate as follows:

"P. S.--What are the prospects for the spring fishing in your
neighborhood? Did the late freshets of last fall destroy the trout eggs
deposited in the streams about you?" or, "Did the unusual severity of
the winter cause destruction to the trout spawn in the headwaters of
your brooks?"

Some evening when the "fever is on" you will write to a guide up in the
North Woods, some honest, faithful fellow that you have known in all
weathers for many seasons:

"Be sure and take a boat over to Mahogany Pond, (that is not the name
of it, for its title is taken from a domestic wood that grows on
its shores), before the snow goes off and keep me informed as to the
condition of things, for I wish to start and be with you as soon as the
water is free from ice. I shall bring a friend with me, the gentleman I
told you about last summer, who knows the name of every plant that grows
in the woods, as well as the name of every fish that swims in the water.
The old camp, with a few repairs, will answer, as Mr. ------ is an old
woodsman and angler of the first order, and requires no more than the
few simples that you usually take to camp. He, like myself, goes into
the woods to fish and fill his lungs with the pure mountain air that you
live in."

When Dick reads the letter he smiles, for it contains nothing unknown to
him before. It is his own idea to carry a boat to the pond on the snow,
for there is no road, path or trail, but he only says to himself:

"He's got it just as bad this spring as ever. The medicine will be ready
for him."

The angler does all this and more; mind, I say the _angler,_ for the
other fellow that goes a-fishing because it is the thing to do, or
because he has heard some one dilate upon the pleasure to be found in
practising the art, will do nothing of the sort. It is too much trouble,
or, more likely, these things never occur to him.

How the man of severe aspect who, if he smiles, looks as though he
wore a petrified smile that he had bought at a bargain, and whose sole
ambition and pleasure is to make money, live as long as he can in
doing so, and die as rich as possible; this man, if he could know, and
comprehend, what is passing through the angler's mind at this season,
would say such vagabonds are the cumberers of the earth; but he could
not find a "cumberer" in all the land who would change places with him,
take his joyless life, sapless heart, frozen visage, narrow views
and great wealth, and give in return the angler's light heart, happy
disposition, love of God, his fellow-man and Nature; his resources
within himself, engendered by his fondness for the wild woods, to enjoy
the past and anticipate the future, whatever betide; his desire to see
good in every thing, his clear conscience and his fishing tackle.

Bear in mind that the pleasure of angling is not alone the consummation
of your hopes for a large score. Hear what Sir Humphrey Davy says on
this subject:

"From the savage in his rudest and most primitive state, who destroys
a piece of game, or a fish, with a club or spear, to man in the most
cultivated state of society, who employs artifice, machinery, and the
resources of various other animals, to secure his object, the origin of
the pleasure is similar, and its object the same: but that kind of it
requiring most art may be said to characterize man in his highest or
intellectual state; and the fisher for salmon and trout with the fly
employs not only machinery to assist his physical powers, but applies
sagacity to conquer difficulties; and the pleasure derived from
ingenious resources and devices, as well as from active pursuits,
belongs to this amusement. Then, as to its philosophical tendency, it
is a pursuit of moral discipline, requiring patience, forbearance, and
command of temper.

"As connected with natural science, it may be vaunted as demanding
a knowledge of the habits of a considerable tribe of created
beings--fishes, and the animals that they prey upon, and an acquaintance
with the signs and tokens of the weather, and its changes, the nature of
waters, and of the atmosphere. As to its poetical relations, it carries
us into the most wild and beautiful scenery of nature, amongst the
mountain lakes, and the clear and lovely streams that gush from the
higher ranges of elevated hills, or that make their way through the
cavities of calcareous strata. How delightful in the early spring, after
the dull and tedious time of winter, when the frosts disappear and
the sunshine warms the earth and waters, to wander forth by some clear
stream, to see the leaf bursting from the purple bud, to scent the odors
of the bank perfumed by the violet, and enamelled as it were with the
primrose and the daisy; to wander upon the fresh turf below the shade of
trees, whose bright blossoms are filled with the music of the bee; and
on the surface of the waters to view the gaudy flies sparkling like
animated gems in the sunbeams, whilst the bright and beautiful trout
is watching them from below; to hear the twittering of the water-birds,
who, alarmed at your approach, rapidly hide themselves beneath the
flowers and leaves of the water-lily; and, as the season advances, to
find all these objects changed for others of the same kind, but better
and brighter, till the swallow and the trout contend as it were for the
gaudy Mayfly, and till in pursuing your amusement in the calm and balmy
evening, you are serenaded by the songs of the cheerful thrush and
melodious nightingale, performing the office of paternal love, in
thickets ornamented with the rose and woodbine."

While it is not all of fishing to fish, it does not consist entirely of
preparation, and it must have something substantial as a basis for
the day dream or fireside musing. You must catch some fish, as capital
stock, to talk about. I never knew an angler that was satisfied to do
all the listening.

In my native State the law makes it legally possible to wet a hook for
speckled trout, for the first time each year on April first, and this
day has come to be called "Opening Day," and is spoken of in such
glowing language that one might think it the opening of some vast
commercial enterprise instead of the opening of the fishing season.
As the result of an angler's hopes and preparations, as I have tried,
imperfectly, to sketch them, I will quote from my fishing diary what is
there set down as one consummation:

"_April 1st_, 1878.--Opening day. Fished Halfway brook from Morgan brook
to, and through the woods; then fished Ogden brook from Van Husen's
road to Gleason's. Banks more than full of roily snow water; weather
decidedly cold; strong wind from the Northwest; cloudy sky. Caught one
small trout that I returned to his native element to grow; discovered
from my single specimen of the _Salvelinus fontinalis_ that they have
the same bright spots that they have always had; look the same, smell
the same, _feel_ the same; other peculiarities lacking. Warm sun and
rain required to develop the characteristics we so much admire in our
leaping friend. Managed to fall into the Ogden brook--in fact, went in
without the slightest difficulty, amid applause from the bank;
discovered from my involuntary plunge that the water is just as wet as
last year, and if memory serves, a trifle colder. Reached home in the
evening, cold, wet, tired and hungry. Nevertheless, had a most _glorious
time_."

"These flies, I am sure, would kill fish."--_Charles Cotton_.

"I would advise all experts to keep a well-filled fly-book. It is a
pleasure to experiment, and the educated eye takes delight in looking at
the varieties of colors, shapes and forms which the skilled workman
in fly-art has provided as lures for the speckled beauties."--_George
Dawson_.

"Fly-fishing and bait-fishing are co-ordinate branches of the same
study, and each must be thoroughly learned to qualify the aspirant
to honors for the sublime degree of Master of the Art."--_Charles
Hallock._

"Americans have reason to be proud of the black bass, for its game
qualities endear it to the fisherman, and its nutty, sweet flavor to the
_gourmand_."--_Parker Gilmore._

[Illustration: 0316]

20. Black Maria.

21. Tipperlinn.

22. Premier.

23. Grizzly King.

24. Ferguson.

25. Californian.


"'What flies do you most affect here?' 'Any, at times, and almost all.
In some weather I have killed well with middlesized gaudy lake-flies;
but my favorites, on the whole, are all the red, brown, orange and
yellow hackles, and the blue and yellow duns.'"--_Henry Wm. Herbert._

"Fish will frequently, although breaking freely, refuse the fly,
but generally a few will be misled, and occasionally one will be
caught."--_P. B. Roosevelt._

"The _natural_ and acquired skill actually necessary before any man can
throw a 'neat fly' is only known to those who have made this method of
angling their study and amusement."--"_Frank Forester_."

"Luck has little to do with the size of an angling score; for skill in
handling, a knowledge of the haunts of the fish, of the conditions of
wind, weather and water, character of baits to be used, of the changes
and drift of tideways, sun-rays and shadows, and a familiar acquaintance
with the natural history of the family pisces, their habits, habitat,
and idiosyncrasies (for no other animal is so erratic as these scaly
fins), all go to make up the complete angler, known as such from the
days and writings of Izaak Walton, in the seventeenth, up to this great
nineteenth century."--_Wm. C. Harris_.

"What is the use of my telling you what manoeuvres that trout will
perform before he comes to the landing-net, gently as a lamb? I don't
know what he will do; never saw two of them act alike."--_Oliver Gills,
Jr._

"Probably the secret of the infatuation of this amusement to most or
many of the brothers of the angle, is to be found in the close and quiet
communion and sympathy with nature essential to the pursuit of the spoil
of the water."--_John Lyle King_.

"The principle of the rod is in reality only this, that it is the home
end of the line, stiffened and made springy, so that you can guide and
manage it--cast and draw it, keep a gentle pressure with it on the hook,
so that the fish shall not rid himself of it, and finally lift him to
the landing net."--_W. C. Prime._



FLY-FISHING IN FLORIDA

By Dr. J. C. Kenworthy.

The votaries of the rod and reel have overlooked an important field for
sport, for, in my opinion, no portion of the United States offers such
advantages for fly-fishing as portions of Florida during the winter
months. The health of the State is beyond cavil or dispute; the climate
is all the most fastidious can ask; there is an almost total absence of
insect pests, and last though not least, a greater variety of fish
that will take the fly than in any other section of the Union. My own
experience is mainly based on opportunities for observation on the
south-west coast, and it is possible that points on the eastern coast,
as the Indian River inlet and the outlet of Lake Worth, may offer
advantages over the section referred to.

As far as my knowledge extends, fly-fishers are indebted to my
friend, Geo. C. Johnson, of Bridgeport, Conn., for the development
of fly-fishing in Florida. Some years since I met Mr. Johnson on his
arrival in this city _en route_ to Homosassa. He remarked that he had
brought his fly-rod with him, and I suggested that a heavy bass rod
would prove more serviceable.

On the evening of his arrival at Homosassa he visited the dock in front
of Jones' house, and noticed fish breaking water near the shore. He
proceeded to the house, rigged his rod, and was followed to the dock
by a number of laughing sceptics, who ridiculed the "spindly rod and
feather baits." In compliance with Mr. Johnson's request, Dr. Ferber
rowed him a short distance from the dock, and the fun commenced with
large-mouthed bass and red trout; and from that evening fly-fishing
became an established institution on the south-west coast of Florida.
For a number of years Dr. Ferber has devoted his winters to fly-fishing
on the south-west coast, and it is to be regretted that he was not
requested to give his ripe and ample experience, instead of one who is
far beneath him in experience and ability to wield the split bamboo or
pen.

The next season after Mr. Johnson's visit to Homosassa Mr. Francis
Endicott, of New York, visited the locality and indulged in fly-fishing.
He informed me that he had captured with the fly eight distinct species
of fish on the Homosassa River; and I will ask where else in the United
States can the devotee of the gentle art capture eight distinct species
of fish with the fly on a river but ten miles in length?

My friend, Dr. Ferber, on his return from the southwest coast in April
last, visited me, and stated that he had caught on that coast, with
artificial flies, eleven distinct species of fish. Among the number
I may mention large-mouthed bass (trout of the South), channel bass,
cavalli, ravallia, skip jacks, sea trout, brown snappers, roach, and
three species of bream.

Instead of wading icy-cold and over-fished brooks, tearing clothes and
flesh in creeping through briers and brush, and being subjected to the
sanguinary attention of mosquitoes and black flies in bringing to creel
a few fingerlings, in Florida the angler can cast his fly from a sandy
beach or boat, inhale an invigorating atmosphere, bask in the sunshine,
and capture specimens of the finny tribe, the weight of which can be
determined by pounds instead of ounces.

Sea trout of the South are closely allied to the weak fish of the North,
and frequent rapid waters, oyster beds and weedy flats. They range from
one to five pounds, are good biters and make a noble resistance to avoid
the landing net.

Large-mouthed black bass (trout of the South) exist in great numbers in
the lakes and streams of the State. In very clear lakes and streams they
are not disposed to indulge in artificial baits. As fighters they are
unworthy of the notice of experts. It has been my lot to capture them
in many localities, and I have found that after the first few struggles
they open their mouths and come to gaff like a grain bag.

Brown snappers exist in countless numbers in some of the streams of the
State--as in the Homosassa. They range from six ounces to one pound, and
cannot resist the temptation to capture a hook decorated with feathers.
They are good biters and full of game. Owing to the presence of a number
of rat-like teeth, they play sad havoc with flies; and we would advise
those who propose engaging in the capture of this fish to provide an
ample supply of feathery lures.

Skip-jacks (or bone-fish) visit the streams in schools. They range from
two to six pounds. They readily take a fly and die game. Owing to
their build, size of fins, and muscular development, they are worthy of
notice. On one occasion I was camped at Little Gasparilla pass, and at
the bay side of the inlet there existed an eddy in which I could see
hundreds of skip-jacks. Tor some time I amused myself by casting, and
the moment the bait would touch the water the surface would be in a
boil. I would strike and the next instant a bone-fish would be two or
three feet in the air. As a rule they enter the streams with the flood
tide, and as they are constantly breaking the water they can be followed
in a boat. By following the fish on the flood and ebb the rodster may
enjoy a number of hours of exciting sport. Between Esteno and Marco
passes I have seen them for hours at a time feeding on minnows near the
beach.

The Ravallia is a fish with which I am unacquainted, although I have
reason to believe that it exists in quantity at certain points on the
south-west coast. My friend Dr. Ferber, informed me that in one of his
cruises he entered Billy Bow Legs Creek and noticed a deep pool. He made
a cast and landed a ravallia. Nearly every cast he would land one or two
ranging from one to three pounds, unless a ravenous cavalli interfered.

The cavalli of large size would seem to tire of the flouncing and
floundering of their neighbors, and would join in the fray, when the
doctor would part with a fly or leader. The doctor assured me that
the sport was kept up until he was surfeited. He describes the fish as
resembling a pike perch of the North, and is loud in its praise as a
game fish. Friends have informed me that they have captured specimens of
this fish, with cut bait, weighing thirty pounds. My impression is, that
if pools and inlets south of Punta Passa were thoroughly tried with the
fly that the piscator would be rewarded with large-sized specimens.

Bream of several species exist in great numbers in many of the streams
and lakes of the State. They range from four ounces to one pound, and
afford considerable sport on a light rod. Roach are not plentiful, but
there they exist they will not refuse a brown hackle.

In many of the streams of the State war-mouthed perch exist in numbers,
ranging from one to three pounds. When the streams are low, they readily
take a fly, and give the angler all lie can attend to.

In some of the creeks tributary to the St. Johns' and in some of the
interior lakes, pickerel exercise their snapping propensities, and do
not object to appropriate a gaudy fly in the early mom or at the close
of the day.

On the Eastern Coast, more especially at Indian River inlet, small blue
fish congregate in numbers during the winter months, and at times will
not refuse a fly. They are fair fighters, and as the piscator can fish
from a sandy beach, much enjoyment can be secured.

In Florida cat fish will take a fly, and I may also add a spinner.
In this State we have a number of species of this fish, and one is a
surface feeder. In the evening, when they are feeding on the surface,
they will not reject a large and gaudy fly. To those who have been
accustomed to capture with a stout rod diminutive specimens of catties,
I will say, hook on to a catty weighing from six to twelve pounds and
there will be "music in the air," and unless skill is exercised on
the part of the fisherman the leader will go to where the "woodbine
twineth."

In Florida, as everywhere else, the best fishing is near where A., B.
or C. run a hotel or keep a boarding house, or where certain steamboats
make a terminal landing. But in my experience the best places to fish,
as a rule, are where there are no hotels or specimens of the colored
persuasion with their cast nets. When "I go a-fishing" I leave
civilization, hotels, and boarding-houses in the rear.

The best points for fly-fishing for large-mouthed bass are on the
upper St. Johns, the tributaries of Indian river, the Kessimmee and the
streams and lagoons on the south-west coast. For pickerel and bream the
best points are the tributaries of the St. Johns between Mandarin and
Lake Monroe. For war-mouthed perch, the best streams will be found in
Alachua County.

From all that I can glean from gentlemen who have fished the locality,
the lower Indian River and its tributaries will furnish a fine field for
the fly-caster. West of Cedar Keys to St. Marks is a shoal coast covered
with marine algæ; and the coast line is cut up with a number of small
streams stocked--nay, swarming--with fish. This section is uninhabited,
the streams have not been fished, and a fine field for sport awaits the
fisherman. In addition, hand line or bass rod fishing can be enjoyed for
sheepshead and channel bass. The woods abound with deer, the hummocks
contain plenty of turkeys, and the bays and grassy flats during the
winter are alive with ducks, and in certain localities geese and brant
will be found. Beech birds, as snipe and curlews, can be bagged in
quantity.

The first stream worthy of notice on the southwest coast is the
Homosassa River, forty miles south of Cedar Keys. But this beautiful
river has lost its greatest attraction, "Mother Jones." I have been
informed that she left Homosassa, and, as a sequence, there will be
wanting the clean rooms and beds, the stewed and scalloped oysters,
the aromatic coffee, the delicious breakfast bacon, and the luscious
sheepshead done to a turn. With "Mother Jones" will depart many of
the attractions of the place, more particularly the cuisine. I write
feelingly, for I was the first to make known the attractions of my
favorite Homosassa.

According to my friend, Dr. Ferber, Billy Bow Legs Creek, a tributary
of Sarasota Bay, presents many attractions to the fly-fisher, more
especially in the capture of cavalli and ravallia. Long Boat Inlet, an
entrance to this bay, must not be overlooked.

Many points in Charlotte Harbor offer inducements to the fly-fisher. If
he tires of using the split bamboo, he can troll with a spinner and land
large channel bass and cavalli; for diversement he can seat himself in
an arm chair on the dock at Punta Passa and imitate my friend Matthew
Quay (late Secretary of State of Pennsylvania), who landed fifty-six
large sheepshead in one hour. If dissatisfied with this description of
sport the piscator can indulge in the capture of Jew-fish, weighing from
one to three hundred pounds. On the Calloosahatchee, above the islands,
the fly caster can be satiated with sport in landing large-sized
eavalli. From Charlotte Harbor southward every entrance, bay, pass and
lagoon will afford royal sport.

Delicate mist-colored leaders are not a necessity, for Florida fish have
not been educated or posted with regard to the tricks of the craft. They
seem to recognize but little difference between a single strand of gut
and a clothes-line. The main things requisite are strong leaders and
large-sized hooks, for when fish are so plentiful and valueless the
fisherman is apt to try and see how many he can land within a given
period. With regard to flies, almost any of the more common ones will
answer a good purpose. My choice for channel bass, eavalli, sea trout
and bone fish is a large-sized gaudy fly with a large-sized hook.

To reach the south-west coast persons can go direct from Savannah or
Fernandina, or visit Jacksonville _en route_. At Cedar Keys, Tampa, or
Manatee they can charter a sloop or schooner of from four to six tons
for five or six dollars per day. This amount will cover captain, boy,
small boat, bedding, stove and cooking utensils. Fish, beach birds,
oysters and clams are plentiful, and the expense of the culinary
department will be from fifty cents to five dollars per capita per diem,
according to the Dutch proclivities of the persons comprising the party.

The coast is shallow, the ten-fathom line ranging from thirty to forty
miles from shore, and as a consequence there is no undertow, rollers or
heavy seas. The passage from Cedar Keys to Bay Biscayne can be made in a
small boat at almost any time. On one occasion the writer made the trip
from Key West to Cedar Keys in a boat sixteen feet in length.

Fly-fishing in Florida is a recent development, and it offers a large
field for experiment and investigation; and I trust that the period is
not far distant when the sport will be indulged in by the many. By
the first of January, 1884, Tampa will be reached from this city in
twenty-four hours via Sanford and Kissimmee. From what we know of
railroads in this State we feel assured that one will be completed to
Punta Passa within two years; when Charlotte Harbor and Estero Bay, the
greatest of fishing points, will be rendered accessible to all.

In preparing this article we have used the common names of fish, and
the reason for so doing will be obvious to all. In passing through this
city, if fly-fishers will call upon me between 12 m. and 2 p.m., I will
endeavor to smooth the road for them.

Jacksonville, Fla.



FLY-FISHING.

By Col. E. Z. C. Judson.--"Ned Buntline."

Fishermen are _born_ such--not made! That is my private opinion,
publicly expressed. It is founded upon the experience of full half a
century on ocean, lake, river, and brook. I have taken a mature man with
me on a fishing trip, who had never cast "a line in pleasant places,"
lent him rod and tackle, made a few casts in his presence, caught
perhaps a half a dozen trout, and then watched his imitative power
combined with the tact _born_ in him. If he was one of the right sort he
would go right on improving every hour, and in a little while begin to
fill his creel with the best of us.

My personal knowledge of fish and fishing began early. My father had few
superiors as an angler, and trouting was his specialty. He made his own
rods, lines and flies. The first was a tapering ashen pole--generally
about ten feet long--scraped, oiled and varnished till it was as smooth
and bright as glass. The line was made from horse-hair and braided with
a care and patience that used to be a wonder to me.

The blue-jay, the red-headed woodpecker, the pheasant and wood-duck were
shot for fly-feathers. When I was a wee toddler in skirts I used to hold
hooks and snells and play at "helping papa."

All this was done here at the head of the Delaware, where both my father
and myself were born. But a change came. When I was about six years old
my father bought a large tract of wild land in the wildest part of Wayne
County, Pennsylvania, and settled on it. The Lackawaxen Creek ran
right through it, and that then lovely stream was literally alive with
speckled trout. From the day we entered our log house there I was a
_fisher_-boy. I caught trout every day in the summer, for a big spring
rose within a rod of the house and from it ran a lively brook to the
main stream, ten rods away, and even a pin-hook and linen thread would
draw them out.

As I grew older I would go with my father to the big eddies and deep
holes, where he would lure the largest to his fly and I was only
too--too utterly happy when allowed to wade waist deep in the water to
carry or float his string of trout toward home.

Since then never a summer has passed, except when actively engaged in
naval or military service for my country, that has not found me fishing
somewhere. I have covered the best waters in Maine, New Hampshire and
Vermont; Canada and the British Provinces know me of old; California,
Oregon and British Columbia--all along the Big Rockies--have seen me
testing flies and bait, the former often tied rudely on the spur of
necessity, but generally very effectively. For where trout are _very_
plenty, food is scarce, and they will bite at anything. I speak of trout
mostly, for that is my _favorite_ fish. Salmon next, although the work
comes in when you strike anything oyer eight or ten pounds, and sport
degenerates when it becomes _labor_. I have heard of "labors of love,"
but I never took stock in anything of the kind.

In all this active piscatorial life, I have studied _Fishermen_ as
well as fish. And I have come to the conclusion which opens this
article--that fishermen are _born_ for it and can't he manufactured out
of _raw_ material!

I have felt thankful to our Father above that nine out of ten of the
_tourists_ who take to the streams in easy reach, are indifferent
fishermen. For thereby the streams still contain fish. Were all who
fish in them skillful and hoggish, in a little while there would be no
fishing except in "far-away" places, difficult to reach.

I do not claim to hold a Master's Degree as a fly-fisherman.

I do delight in the art, for one of the arts and sciences it surely is.
I have bowed my head in reverence before the skilled hand of my dear
friend, George Dawson--now beside the bright waters of the Happy Land
above. I have stood silent and pleased while Seth Green deftly made
casts which I could only feebly imitate.

Yet those who know me best say that I _can_ use a fly-rod and catch
trout and salmon therewith, so I essay a few words on the subject,
speaking only from my own experience. I have never been observant enough
to see a trout strout strike a fly with his tail, drown it and then eat
it. I always take a trout in the mouth on my fly--generally hooked in
the upper lip, showing that he does _his_ part of the business in a
straightforward way and does not come tail first to the lure.

I own to be a little particular about my rod, the middle joint not too
limber, but with back-bone as well as spring; it suits me if it tapers
so as to describe a perfect arc when the tip is brought near to the
butt. I specify no makers--though I own to favorites in that line. I
wish to make no petty jealousies here.

A rod as near ten feet long as may be, for trout fishing, weight from
seven to eight ounces, never over ten, with the reel close to and
_under_ the butt; an easy running click-reel; a line of braided hair and
silk, strong and weighty enough for a cast against the wind as well as
with it; a clear, strong, looped leader for a quick change of flies;
a book well supplied with the latter to give the speckled beauties a
choice, and I am ready for work.

The idea of special flies for special seasons of the year I have found
to be a humbug. Trout are exceedingly whimsical about flies. Watch those
that are on the stream, see which the trout leap for and get as near the
like of them as your book will allow.

Always, if possible, fish down stream. It is easier. You can detect
swirls, eddies, shaded pools, coverts of rock, mossy-banks and
overhanging branches, from above, better than below. Trout do not scare
so easily that a cast of fifteen or twenty feet will not find them ready
to rise if they are hungry. You have also the aid of the current in
guiding your fly to each coveted spot after it touches the water.

Enter a stream, say its average width is seventy-five or one hundred
feet, few of our mountain streams are so much, and a skilled rodster
can cover it with ease--for wading down lie chooses his water, makes his
casts, seldom over twenty or twenty-five feet of line to a cast, much of
oftener less, and in "good waters" fills his creel.

For a forward cast, with your line as far out as may be necessary
for the distance, throw your rod sharply back to an angle of not over
fifteen degrees, and then bring it forward quickly till, as your line
and flies are extended, the tip is on a level with your breast, never
lower so as to dip water. With a line "taut," so to speak, if a trout
rises as your fly or flies touch the stream, a sharp, quick turn of the
wrist will strike the hook home and secure him. Your strike must be firm
and decisive; give the trout one second to understand and he _spits_ the
fly out. Laugh if you will, but that is what he does.

When hooked, if not too large for your tackle, _draw_ the trout swiftly
to you, _lift_ him out, and break his neck, by bending back the head
where it joins the back-bone. Thus he is out of pain, and does not
bruise and flop himself soft, while dying, in your creel. "Playing" a
trout for the mere fun of the thing, is unnecessary torture; besides,
you frighten more than you secure, in the process. A very large trout,
of course, must be weakened in the water, but many fishermen think there
is no sport without they "play" a fish, no matter how small he is.

Never cast a foot more line than you need. You cannot gather slack half
as easy as you can pay it out.

In regard to flies--I have found the brighter the day, as a general
thing, the darker fly do trout want. At early dawn, or in the soft
twilight of evening, a very light fly--a Coachman, is best. Next, Gray
Miller, and especially the Stone fly. I use more Coachmen, Black Gnats
and Stone flies in _one_ season, than I do of all other flies put
together in three summers.

Be sure, of all things, that your line runs easy through the standing
guides, or guide-rings. I like the former best.

In casting right or left, to reach under bushy or over-hanging limbs,
the same sharp, or quick action which makes an over-cast successful, is
required, and great care not to draw any slack line when your fly drops
where you want it.

Many fly-fishermen are considered adepts according to the _length_
rather than the grace and certainty of their casts. I do not think in
actual stream fishing an average of a day's casting, would reach over
fifteen feet to a cast. I never made but one _very_ long cast in actual
angling in my life.

Once, on the bank of a mill-pond in the upper part of Alder Brook, in
Ulster County, N. Y., I saw a trout in shoal water, the largest I ever
caught in that vicinity. To reach him without alarm, I cast seventy-two
feet, _measured_ afterward from a knot on my line near my reel, and got
my fish.

He weighed two and a quarter pounds, and I had to play him some to save
him.

And now, with a word to young fishermen and old _beginners_, I will
close.

Learn first to cast a line and take a trout with bait before you try a
fly. You will thereby gain confidence, learn to hook your fish at the
instant he strikes, and gain the supple use of arm and wrist which makes
the fly-fisherman skillful.

My dear wife, by whose sick bed I pen these words, for one long joyous
summer in camp, fished by my side, using bait while she saw me casting
no lure but flies.

The next time we went on the stream she had a six-ounce fly-rod, and
fifty beautiful trout in two hours to her basket proved how apt a pupil
she had been.

With many words of cheer to all who love the glorious pastime, I remain,
as of yore--Uncle Ned--_a born fisherman_.

"Eagle's Nest," Delaware Co., N. Y.


"There are two peculiarities of all sorts of fish, which are frequently
unnoticed; that they are largely attracted to their food by scent, and
that they feed at night."--_Seth Green_.

"The first and last object of the fly-fisher is to show as much of the
fly to the fish as possible, and as little of anything else."--_Francis
Francis_.

"The notion of the main mass of anglers would appear to be, that if an
unusually cunning fish takes up an impregnable-looking position he is to
be religiously left unassailed. 'Breakers ahead!' seem to be scented by
the over-cautious pliers of the rod, when the chances of conquest are
really 'as even' as in less dangerous localities; and even supposing
this were not so, the greater the difficulties the more exciting the
sport, and the keener the pleasure."--_David Foster._

(Illustration Missing)

26. Manchester.

27. Blue Jay.

28. Imperial.

29. McLeod.

30. Black and Gold.

31. White and Jungle Cock.

"Many men of fame, even equal to Dr. Johnson's, have been eminent as
anglers, and have redeemed and disculpated angling from his surly and
foolish sneer."--_John Lyle King._

"I invariably endeavor, when dressing a fly, to imitate the living
insect; still I have seen nondescript flies beat all the palmer hackles
and the most life-like flies that ever graced a casting-line."--"_Frank
Forester_."

"If we are content with an ungainly fly, we will be satisfied with
inferiority of rod and tackle; and although the fish may not see the
difference, the angler may become, from neglecting one point, slovenly
in all. A well-made fly is a beautiful object, an ill-made one an
eye-sore and annoyance; and it is a great satisfaction both to exhibit
and examine a well-filled book of handsomely tied flies."--_R. B.
Roosevelt_.

"What is life, after all, but just going a-fishing all the time, casting
flies on many rivers and lakes, and going quietly home as the day is
ending?"--_W. C. Prime._

"This fishing story is at an end; not for want of material, for there
are other scenes and other times of equal pleasure that crowd my memory
as I write these lines. And so it will ever be to you, my friend, should
you, even in your later years, take up the angler's art: it grows with
its growth, and strengthens with its strength, and, if uncurbed, may
perchance, with many of us, become a passion.

"But, for all that, it will fill the storehouse of our memories with
many a scene of unalloyed pleasure, which in the sunset of life we may
look back upon with fondest satisfaction.

"If in the minds of any one of you who as yet are ignorant of the charm
of fishing, as it has here been revealed. I have induced the desire
for a test, 'Stand not upon the order of your going, but go at once,'
provided it be the season, and, the word of an old fisherman for it, you
will thank me for these random pages."--_Charles W. Stevens._





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