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The three last-mentioned flies conclude the season for fly-fishing. From the middle of May till August, you will find great variety of flies and gnats upon the water every day, so that you must observe it as a general rule to fish with the first fly that comes on in the morning; that fly being the first which is on the water in the day that is first mentioned in every month, and then you
will see the other flies and gnats, coming down every day in regular succession, every succeeding day till August. The great number of flies and insects that are on the water, all the hot summer months, and the great variety of food that the fishes have, both at top and bottom, makes them very nice, and more difficult to be taken, than in the spring or in the autumn : the great number of flies and insects which are on the water all the summer months, totally disappear about the middle of August, so that your diversion is, as certain with the three autumnal flies, viz. the Little Whirling Blue, the Pale Blue, and the Willow-fly, as with the three spring flies, which are the Red-fly, the Blue Dun, and the Brown. In these two seasons of the year, if the weather is favorable, and water in order, you will find your sport more certain and regular than in the hotter months. This last list of flies may be deemed the standard of artificial fiy-fishing; they are the ingenious Bowlker's of Ludlow in Shropshire. For their excellency they are not to be equalled. They will kill fish in any county of England and Wales, and are, what I call, the angler's treasure. Their names are universally known : As for the flies called Lochaber's, Golden Sooty's, 66. &c. which are to be met with in a late publication, they are not sufficiently known to be of general use.
Not only these flies that are most useful, in the recreation of angling, but miriads more come under the angler's observation, when in pursuit of his pastime, which will not only fill his mind with wonder and admiration, at the incomprehensible works of Nature, but likewise make him praise that Almighty Power, from whom both himself and them derive their being.
There is so beautiful a passage a-propos to this subject, in Mr. Thomson's Summer, that I think the insertion of some part of it, must prove acceptable to the informed and pious mind :
Nor shall the muse disdain
Wak’d by his warmer ray, the reptile young Come wing'd abroad, by the light air upborne, Lighter and full of soul. From ev'ry chink And secret corner, where they slept away Their wintry storins, or rising from their tombs To higher life, by miriads forth at once Swarming they pour, of all the varied hues Their beauty-beaming parent can disclose. Ten thousand forms, ten thousand different tribes, People the blaze. To sunny waters some By fatal instinct fly, where on the pool They sportive wheel; or falling down the stream, Are snatch'd immediate by the quick-ey'd Trout Or darting Salmon. Thro' the green-wood glade Some love to stray, there lodg'd, amus'd, and fed, In the fresh leaf : luxurious, others make The meads their choice, and visit ev'ry flow'r
And ev'ry latent herb, for the sweet task
Resounds the living surface of the ground;
Gradual from these what num'rous kinds descend
Let no presuming impious railer tax
The best Rules for Artificial Fly fishing.
turbed with rain, or in a cloudy day, when the waters are moved with a gentle breeze: the south and west winds are the best; and if the wind blows high, yet not so but that you may conveniently guide your tackle, the fishes will rise in the still deeps; but if there is little wind stirring, the best angling is in swift streams.
In casting your line do it always before you, and in such a manner that the fly may fall first on the water, and as little of your line with it as possible, but if the wind is high, you will then be forced to drown a gond part of it, that you may keep the fly on the water; and endeavour, as much as you can, to have the wind at your back, and the sun in your face; but the winding of the river will frequently render that impracticable.
When you throw your line, wave the rod in a small circumference round your head, and never make a return of it before it has had its full scope, for if you do the fly will snap off.
Although when you angle the day is cloudy and windy, and the water thick, you must keep the fly in continual motion, otherwise the fishes will discern the deceit.
Upon the curling surface let it glide, - With nat'ral motion from your hand supply'd,
“ Against Against the stream now gently let it play, “ Now in the rapid eddy roll away.”
Let the line be twice as long as the rod, unless the river is encumbered with wood: and always stand as far off the bank as the length of your line will permit, when you cast the fly to the contrary side; but if the wind blows so that you must throw your line on the same side you are on, stand on the very brink of the river, and cast your fly at the utmost length of the rod and line, up or down the stream as the wind serves.
You must have a quick sharp eye, and active hand, to stưike directly a fish rises: or else finding the mistake he will spew out the hook.
Small light-coloured flies are for clear waters and clear atmospheres, large dark-coloured flies when vice versa
When after rain the water becomes brownish, an orange-coloured fly is taken greedily.
When fishes rise at the Ay very often and yet never take it, you may conclude that it is not what they like: therefore change it for one they do.
When you see a fish rise, throw your fly beyond him, and draw it gently over the place where he rose; and if it is a proper fly for the season, and you cast it with a nicety, the fish is your own.
When you angle in slow-running rivers, or still places, with an artificial fly, cast it across the water, and let it sink a little in the water, and then draw it gently over to you again, letting the current carry it slowly down: this is the best way for slow waters; but for quick ones your fly must always swim on the top, under the continual inspection of your eyes, which ought, for this kind of angling, to be as sharp as the basilisk's.