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name is Barker, where I shall be ready, as long as please God, to satisfie them, and maintain my art, during life, which is not like to be ong ; that the younger fry may have my experiments at a smaller charge than I had them, for it would be too heavy for every one that loveth that exercise to be at that charge as I was at first in my youth, the losse of my time with great expences. Therefore I took in consideration, and thought fit to let it be understood, and to take pains to set forth the true grounds and wayes that I have found by experience both for fitting of the rods and tackles both for ground-baits and flyes, with directions for the making thereof, with observations for times and seasons, for the ground-baits and flyes, both for day and night, with the dressing, wherein I take as much delight as in the taking of them, and to shew how I can perform it, to furnish any Lord's table, onely with trouts, as it is furnished with flesh, for 16 or 20 dishes. And I have a desire to preserve their health (with help of God) to go dry in their boots and shooes in angling, for age taketh the pleasure from me.'
We, too, could moralise over the præteritos annos ; but let that pass. Meanwhile for the sake of the gentleman angler, of whom Barker writes, “that he goeth to the river for his pleasure,' and hath neither judgment, knowledge, nor experience, we subjoin one or two of Thomas's hints; there can be no better :
* The first thing he must do is to observe the sun and the wind. The sun proves cloudy; then must you set forth either your groundbait tackles, or of the brightest of your flyes. If the sun prove bright and clear, then must you put on the darkest of your flyes; thus must you to work with your flyes, light for darkness and dark for lightness.'
Be sure you do not overload yourself with lengths of your line. Before you begin to angle, make a triall, having the wind on your back, to see at what length you can cast your fye, that the flye light first into the water, and no longer; for if any of the line fall into the water before the flye, it is better uncast than thrown. Be sure you be casting always down the stream, with the wind behind you and the sun before you. It is a speciall point to have the sun and moon before you, for the very motion of the rod drives all pleasure from you, either by day or by night; in all your anglings, both with worms and flyes, there must be a great care of that.'
His observations on the use of the naturall flye,' which is sure angling, and will kill great store of trouts with much pleasure,' are equally good; and then comes a short narrative which might seem to savour a little of poaching in these delicate days, but which so completely bears the stamp of truth, that we cannot forbear to quote it.
*My Lord,' says the worthy Thomas, who glories in his art, and plumes himself thereon, as all fishermen have done from time immemorial,• ' sent to me at sun-going-down, to provide him a good dish of trouts * See Athenæus-Deipn. vi. xi.
against against the next morning, by sixe of the clock. I went to the door to see how the wanes of the aire were like to prove. I returned answer that I doubted not, God willing, but to be provided at his time appointed. I went presently to the river, and it proved very dark; I drew out a line of three silks and three hairs twisted for the uppermost part, and a line of two silks and two hairs twisted for the lower part, with a good large hook. I baited my hook with two lob-worms, the four ends hanging as meet as I could guess them in the dark: I fell to angle. It proved very dark, so that I had good sport, angling with the lobworms as I do with the flye, on the top of the water. Then you must loose a slack line down to the bottom, as nigh as you can guess; then hold your line strait, feeling the fish bite, give time, there is no doubt of losing the fish, for there is not one among twenty but doth gorge the bait; the least stroke you can strike fastens the hook and makes the fish sure; letting the fish take a turn or two, you may take the fish up with your hands. The night began to alter and grow somewhat lighter ; I took off the lob-worms, and set to my rod a light palmer-flye, made of a large hook; I had sport for the time, until it grew lighter; so I took off the white palmer and set to a red palmer, made of a large hook; I had good sport untill it grew very light: then I took off the red palmer and set to a black palmer; I had sport, made up the dish of fish. So I put up my tackles, and was with my Lord at his time appointed for the service. These three flyes, with the help of the lob-worms, serve to angle all the year for the night, observing the times as I have shewed you in this night-work-the white flye for darknesse, the red flye in medio, and the black flye for lightnesse. This is the true experience for angling in the night, which is the surest angling of all, and killeth the greatest trouts.'
We can bear witness to that, as Tony says in the play. Moreover, we well remember seeing, at a very early period of our career, the practical effect of these white,' or rather greyishwhite, owl flies.
A party had obtained permission to fish in a well-stored river, which was weedy in parts, but clear as the transparent floor of the apartment into which the Queen of Sheba was ushered by
The wisest man the warld e'er saw,' when he successfully sought to gratify his royal eyes with a sight of her majesty's well-turned ancles.* Unfortunately for us, the day had been very bright-nay, cloudless--and there was but one trout among the three rods, and that not killed by the only
* In the palace which Solomon ordered to be built against the arrival of the Queen of Sheba, the floor or pavement was of transparent glass, laid over running water, in which fish were swimming. This led the queen into a very natural mistake, which the Koran has not thought beneath its dignity to commemorate. It was said unto her, Enter the palace. And when she saw it she imagined it to be a great water; and she discovered her legs, by lifting up her robe to pass through it. Whereupon Solomon said to her, Verily, this is the place evenly floored with glass.' Chap. xxvii.-Note to Lalla Rookh.
craftsman craftsman of the party, as good a fisherman as ever cast fly from a single-handed rod on this side of the Tweed, and who soon gave the matter up as desperate. The rest of us, determined to have our fishing, toiled throughout the burning day, during the greater part of which we might as well have thrown our hats in the water as a fly,—and so he told us.
The sun was now sinking fast, and the shadows of the lofty elms far away from the bank already reached the river, when, tired out with our no sport, we put up our tackle and began to wend our way homeward. Our path wound up a rising ground on the other side, just above a part of the broad water where the weeds formed a sort of long floating island down the middle, leaving a deep, free, and limpid channel on each side. We looked back, and saw a man of some fifty years, with a greyish-white hat, coming briskly down the meadow, followed by a boy carrying two double-handed rods and a landing.net. The sun was setting when they reached that part of the river already described. The master took from his boy's shoulder one of the rods, waved it round his head, and cast an owl-fly clean over the weeds upon the clear run beyond. At the second throw he rose and hooked a big fish, which he immediately dragged over the weeds before the trout had time to think about it, got him into the clear channel on his own side, took himn down stream, and his boy soon landed him. The fisherman lost no time, but while the boy was disengaging the hook and killing the fish, he took up the other rod, threw again across, his moth-fly alighting like thistle-down on the water, and again he dragged a large fish over the weeds, treating him in all respects like the other. All this was done in about three minutes. standing on the hill-side in the deepening shade of the evening, anxious to see more of his master-work, when we were roused by the distant halloo of our companions, who had walked on, for we had far to go.
But we cannot yet part with Barker, who was a cook of no mean quality, also a poet ;-e. g. “ Restorative broth of trouts learn to make :
Some fry and some stew, and some also bake.
And when thou dost fortune a great trout to kill,
But the calvor'd boyl'd trout will make thee to dine
And the marrionate trout I dare to be bold
If covered close and preserved from wind.
With oysters and lemmon, clove, nutmeg, and mace,
When the brave spotted trout hath been boyled apace
In Ambassadours' kitchins learn'd my cooker-y.
Observe well my rules and you'l say so too.” He adds in prose~ I have been admitted into the most am bassadors' kitchens that have come into England this forty years, and do wait on them still at the Lord Protector's charge, and I am paid duly for it: sometimes I see slovenly scullions abuse good fish most grosly.' We are sorry that he does not detail more of his culinary secrets in verse—but the variety of his receipts, and the lyrical in medias res style in which he often commences them, as if he were actually in the kitchen :—We must have a trout-pie to eat hot, and another cold.'--There is one good trout of a good length, eighteen or twenty inches, -we will have that roasted,'-bring the whole savoury scene before you. His directions for boiling and calvoring trout contain the whole secret of the art of boiling fish. Having directed the operator to make the liquor boyle with a fierce fire made of wood,' he finishes by saying, “First put in one trout. let one blow up the fire untils the liquor boyle, then put in artother: so do untill all are in and boyled.' Sir Humphry Davy got some credit for his directions in re Salmon.—- Carry him to the pot, and before you put in a slice let the water and salt boil furiously, and give time to the water to recover its heat before you throw in another; and so proceed with the whole fish.'*— Pereant qui, &c.
The Complete Angler, by Izaak Walton, first appeared in 1653. Barker has been kept a good deal in the background, and is comparatively but little known: we have therefore thought it our duty to give him elbow-room, that those who wish it may form a more extensive acquaintance with him. It is sufficient to name Walton. Who docs not know his charming pastoral by heart? It has stood the test of nearly two centuries, and has gone through at least twenty-five editions, in all shapes, and with every degree of luxury.
The halo thrown over the Contemplative Man's Recreation by Walton, and the good men whom he enumerated as brothers of the angle, invested the art with new interest. Dignified clergymen were among its votaries; and why not? Though fly-fishing may, we admit, be open to the objection that it is a light and volatile amusement, we are at a loss to imagine what can be urged against the clerical sobriety of a ground-bait. We accordingly find that, after Walton, treatises soon began to * Salmonia, or Days of Fly-fishing, p. 188.
multiply: but, not to weary the reader, we shall only mention those of Venables, John Williamson, Brookes, Bowlker, Best, and Kirby, in the last century; and, in this, Taylor, Captain Williamson, Salter, Carroll, Bainbridge's Fly-Fishers' Guide (an excellent book, which has passed through several editions), Davy's delightful Salmonia, of which three have already been published, and Stoddart. Colonel Hawker, in his · Instructions to Young Sportsmen,' has only some twenty pages relating to trout-fishing, but they are well worthy of attention.
We now come to the · Angling' part of The Rod and the Gun, which is a reprint of the article 'Angling,' in the Encyclopædia Britannica, with additions. It is not merely a good compilation, cleverly illustrated by one well versed in the natural history of the tribes with which his vocation brings him in contact; it contains, also, a good deal of practical and valuable information, conveyed in a lively manner, though, perhaps, with rather too visible determination to be funny-and, above all, a trick of petty personal allusions which might have been well enough in a magazine paper. The history of the fishes with which the angler has to deal is brought down to the latest period, and, of course, includes those interesting experiments which have at last settled * the great Par question. Mr. Shaw, of Drumlanrig, has proved,
- 1st, that par are the young of salmon, being convertible into smolts; and, 2ndly, that the main body, if not the whole of these smolts, do not proceed to the sea until the second spring after that in which they are hatched. Those best qualified to judge go further, and contend that each of the Salmonidæ has its Pur-probation. We proceed to give Mr. James Wilson's notion of the most refined branch of the sport.
Fly-fishing has been compared, though by a somewhat circuitous mode of reasoning, to sculpture. It proceeds upon a few simple principles, and the theory is easily acquired, although it may require long and severe labour to become a great master in the art. Yet it is needless to encompass it with difficulties which have no existence in reality, or to render a subject intricate and confused which is in itself so plain and unencumbered. In truth, the ideas which at present prevail on the matter degrade it beneath its real dignity and importance. When Plato, speaking of painting, says that it is merely an art of imitation, and that our pleasure arises from the truth and accuracy of the likeness, he is surely wrong; for if it were so, where would be the superiority of the Roman and Bolognese over the Dutch and Flemish schools ? So also in regard to fishing. The accomplished angler does not condescend to imitate specifically, and in a servile manner, the detail of things; he attends, or ought to attend, only to the great and invariable ideas which are inherent in universal nature. He throws his fly lightly and with elegance on the surface of the glittering waters, because he knows that