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a finer sight, though I have often seen the May-fly on well-stocked waters.

HAL.- This river it most strictly preserved ; not a fish has been killed here since last August, and this is the moment when the large fish come to the surface, and leave their cad bait search and minnow hunting. But I have hardly time to talk; I have hold of a good fish: they take either alder or May-fly, and having never been fished for this year, they make no distinction, and greedily seize any small object in motion on the water. You see the alder-fly is quite as successful as the May-fly ; but there is a fish which has refused it, and because he has been feeding, gluttonlike, on the May-fly : that is the fifth he has swallowed in a minute. Now I shall throw the drake a foot above him. It floats down, and he has taken it. A fine fish; I think at least 4lbs. This is the largest fish we have yet seen, but in the deep water still lower down, there are still greater fish. One of 5lbs. I have known taken here, and once a fish a little short only of 6lbs.

POIET.-I have just landed a fish which I suppose you will consider as a small one ; yet I am tempted to kill him.

HAL.—He is not a fish to kill, throw him back, he is much under 2lbs., and, as I ought to have told you before, we are not allowed to kill any fish of less size ; and I am sure we shall all have more han we ought to carry away even of this size. Pray put him into the well, or rather give him to the fisherman to turn back into the water.

POIET. I cannot say I approve of this manner of fishing : I lose my labour.

Hal. As the object of your fishing, I hope, is innocent amusement, you can enjoy this, and show your skill in catching the animal; and if every fish that took the May-fly were to be killed, there would be an end to the sport in the river, for none would remain for next year.

Phys. The number of flies seems to increase as the day advances, and I never saw a more animated water scene: all nature seems alive; even the water-wagtails have joined the attack upon these helpless and lovely creations from the waters.

Hal. It is now one o'clock; and between twelve and three is the time when the Mayfly rises with most vigour. It is a very warm day, and with such a quantity of fly, every fish in the river will probably be soon feeding. See, below the wear, there are two or three large trout lately come out; and from the quiet way in which they swallow their prey, and from the size of the tranquil undulation that follows their rise, I suspect they are the giants of this river. Try if you cannot reach them : one is near the bank in a convenient place for a throw, for the water is sufficiently rough to hide the deception, and these large fish do not take the fly well in calm water, though with natural flies on the hook they might all be raised.

POIET.-I have him ! Alas! he has broken me, and carried away half my bottom line. He must have been a fish of 7 or 8lbs. What a dash he made! He carried off my fly by main force.

HAL. You should have allowed your reel to play and your line to run: you held him too tight.

POIET.--He was too powerful a fish for my tackle ; and even if I had done so, would probably have broken me by running amongst the weeds.

Hal.—Let me tell you, my friend, you should never allow a fish to run to the weeds, or to

strike across the stream ; you


carry him always down stream, keeping his head high, and in the current. If in a weedy river you allow a large fish to run up stream, you are almost sure to lose him. There, I have hooked the companion of your lost fish on the other side of the stream,-a powerful creature : he tries, you see, to make way to the weeds, but I hold him tight.

POIET.-I see you are obliged to run with him, and have carried him safely through the weeds.

Hal.-I have him now in the rapids on the shallow, and I have no fear of losing him, unless he strikes the hook out of his mouth.

POIET.—He springs again and again.

HAL.-He is off; in one of these somersets he detached the steel, and he now leaps to celebrate his escape. We will leave this place, where there are more great fish, and return to it after a while, when the alarm produced by our operations has subsided.

Phys.—That fish take the artificial fly at all is rather surprising to me, for in its most perfect form it is but a rude imitation of nature ; and from the greedy manner in which it is seized, fish, I think, cannot possess a refined sense of smell, or any nervous system corres

ponding to the nasal one in animals that breathe air: no scent can be given to water by an artificial fly, or, at least, none like that of the natural fly.

Hal. The principal use of the nostrils in fishes, I believe, is to assist in the propulsion of water through the gills for performing the office of respiration, but I think there are some nerves in these organs which give fishes a sense of the qualities of the water, or of substances dissolved in, or diffused through it, similar to our sense of smell, or, perhaps, rather our sense of taste, for there can be no doubt that fishes are attracted by scented pastes and scented worms, which are sometimes used by anglers that employ ground-baits ; and in old angling-books there are usually receipts for attracting fish in this manner, and though the absurdity of many of these prescriptions is manisest, yet I do not think this proves that they are entirely useless, for, upon such principles, all the remedies for diseases in the old pharmacopoeias would be null.

With respect to the fly, as it usually touches the stream by a very small surface, that of the air-bubbles on the fringes on its legs, it can scarcely affect the water so as to give it any

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