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THOUGHTS ON TROUT-FISHING
OF THE INNER TEMPLE AND MIDLAND CIRCUIT
Lord, who would live turmoiled in the Court,
HENRY VI Part II Act iv, Sc. 10
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It is incumbent upon any one who writes a new book about fishing to open with an apology. He cannot put forward the novelty and freshness of the subject. When so much has already been written, a man hesitates before presenting his work to the public. I am profoundly conscious that a great deal that is said in the following pages about trout-fishing is stale. Yet I believe that fishing is a subject that is not and, indeed, cannot be exhausted. Like travel, hunting, drinking, love, and other simple and primitive human passions, it is of eternal interest. Most books about fishing have been designed to impart instruction. I am too modest about my own skill to suppose that any one, except a mere beginner, can learn much from my teaching. Yet it is gratifying, as the years go on, to find that one improves in the art of throwing a fly and catches fish which used to defy one. That has been my experience, and I trust that others
We cannot all hope to become what are called beautiful fishermen.
I myself gave up that ambition many years ago ; but every one can attain a certain manual dexterity, and,
a by exercising his wits as well, will learn how to
may share it.