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catch trout. It may be that some passages in what I have written about the dry-fly, the sunkAy, the use of too fine tackle, and the pleasures of filling a creel with heavy trout may invite some of the fraternity to denounce me as a poacher. The border-line between a sportsman and a poacher is hard to define. Big trout in clear streams are so well able to take care of themselves in these days, that the most sportsmanlike fly-fisher who wants to catch them must exercise his craftiest powers. I am a firm believer in the efficacy of fishing upstream under almost all conditions, but I will not venture to instruct. It may seem bold to write a book on fishing with the avowed object of amusing rather than teaching. But I myself have derived such great delight from what others have written about fishing, that I cannot help hoping that other fishermen may get a little pleasure from reading

Some parts of this volume have already been printed in the Edinburgh Review, National Review, Spectator, Outlook, and County Gentleman. I am grateful for the leave that has been given me to republish. But in most cases I have altered and added so much that little remains of the original form.

H. R. LONDON, April, 1911.

my book.



Fish, nature, streams, discourse, the line, the hook,
Shall form the motley subject of my book.


Every thoughtful angler must, I imagine, sometimes ask himself why it is that fishing is so delightful an occupation. Our pleasure begins when we make ready the tackle and lay plans beforehand so that no time may be wasted. Next, there is the actual catching of fish, which rouses excitement of a kind that no person who is not an angler can picture to himself. Lastly, when a good day is over and the basket is laid out for inspection, there is great satisfaction in the feeling that you, as a fisherman, have done well. The pleasures of memory come later, and on these it is but necessary to touch very briefly. Often,


when we are far from the streams that we love most, incidents in a day's fishing come suddenly into our thoughts; and we remember, with the most minute and astonishing fidelity where our fly fell, or how some fish rose. We see in remembrance the exact ripples that broke the surface and some bit of rock or piece of grass that stood by the edge of the water. Why it is that such trivial events of the day should be so indelibly fixed in our memory is not easy to explain. Given a good conscience as to one's past and hope in the prospects of the future, it is probable that nothing adds more to a man's happiness than a mind stored with clear memories of days spent in the open. So the angler always feels that a day spent on fishing has not been quite wasted, though often he may regret having, by bad fishing, wasted precious bits of the day. To discover only when the rise was over what the trout were taking, or to lose a big fish by not testing one's cast or by tying a bad knot, rouses regrets which are as profound but not as lasting as those evoked by the recollection of wasted



in youth.

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