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SECOND DAY.

HALIEUS--POIETES-ORNITHER--PHYSICUS.

TROUT FISHING, DENHAM.—MAY, 1810.

Morning.

HAL.--I am delighted to see you, my worthy friends, on the banks of the Colne; and am happy to be able to say,

that
my

excellent host has not only made you free of the river for this day's angling, but insists upon your dining with him,-wishes you to try the evening fishing, and the fishing to-morrow morning,—and proposes to you, in short, to give up twentyfour hours to the delights of an angler's Mayday.

Polet.-We are deeply indebted to him ; and I hardly know how we can accept his offer, without laying ourselves under too great an obligation.

HAL.-Fear not: he is as noble minded a man as ever delighted in good offices ; and so benevolent, that I am sure he will be almost as happy in knowing you are amused, as you can be in your sport; and he hopes for an additional satisfaction in the pleasure of your conversation.

POIET.—So let it be.

HAL.-I will take you to the house ; you shall make your bow, and then you will be all free to follow your own fancies. Remember, the dinner hour is five; the dressing bell rings at half-past four ; be punctual to this engagement, from which

you

will be free at seven. POIET.- This is really a very charming villa scene, I may almost say, a pastoral scene. The meadows have the verdure which even the Londoners enjoy as a peculiar feature of the English landscape. The river is clear, and has all the beauties of a trout stream, of the larger size,—there rapid, and here still, and there tumbling in foam and fury over abrupt dams upon clean gravel, as if pursuing a natural course.

And that island with its poplars and willows, and the flies making it their summer paradise, and its little fishing-house, are all in character; and if not extremely picturesque, it is at least a very pleasant scene,

from its verdure and pure waters, for the lovers of our innocent amusement.

Hal.-It is ten o'clock : you may put up your rods, or take rods from the hall. for so hospitable is the master of this mansion, that every thing is supplied to our hands. And Physicus, as you are the only one of our party ignorant of the art of fly fishing, I will fit you with a rod and flies; and let me advise you to begin with a line shorter than your rod, and throw at first slowly and without effort, and imitate us as well as you can.

As for precepts, they are of little value; practice and imitation will make you an angler.

Point.--I shall put together my rod, and fish with my own flies. It may be fancy, but I always think I do best with tackle with which I am used to fish.

HAL.—You are right ; for fancy is always something: and when we believe that we can do things better in a particular way, we really do, by the influence of imagination, perform them both better and with less effort. I agree with moralists, that the standard of virtue should be placed higher than any one can reach ; for in trying to rise, man will attain a more excellent state of being than if no effort were made. But to our business. As far as the perfection of the material for the angler is concerned, the flies you find on this table are as good as can be made, and for this season of the year, there is no great variety on this river. We have had lately some warm days, and though it is but the 18th of May, yet I know he May-fly has been out for three or four days, and this is the best period of this destructive season for the fisherman. There are, I observe, many male flies on the high trees, and some females on the alders.

Phys.—But I see flies already on the water, which seem of various colours,-brown and gray, and some very pale,--and the trout appear to rise at them eagerly.

Hal.— The fly you see is called by fishermen the alder fly, and appears generally in large quantities before the May-fly. Imitations of this fly, and of the green

and the

gray

drake of different shades, are the only ones you will need this morning, though I doubt if the last can be much used, as the gray drake is not yet on the water in any quantity.

Phys.-Pray can you give us any account of these curious little animals ?

as

HAL.We ought to draw upon your stores of science for information on these subjects.

Phys. I really know nothing of Entomology, but I am desirous of acquiring knowledge.

HAL.-I have made few observations on flies a philosophical naturalist. What I know I will state at another time. But see, the green drake is descending upon the water, and some are leaving the alders to sport in the sunshine, and to enjoy the pleasures of their brilliant, though short existence; and their life, naturally ephemeral, is made one of scarcely a moment, by the fishes and birds : that which the swallow or the duck spares is caught by the fish. The fly is new, and in the imitation, I recommend the olive tint, or what the Irish call the green monkey. That is, an artificial fly, with a wing of dyed yellow drake's feather, a body of yellow monkey's fur, and a small quantity of olive mohair for legs. For myself, I shall fish for some time with a large red alder fly, and I dare say, with as much suc

That is, with a fly with a dark peacock's harle for body, a red hackle for legs, and wings of the land-rail below, and starling above.

Poist.—The water is quite in motion, what noble fish I see on the feed ! I never beheld

cess.

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