OREALD.COM - An Old Electronic Library
eng: a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z


Pages: <1> 2

The Trout is next in importance to the Salmon in the piscatory world; in the rivers of the Midland Counties, the average weight of the Trout is from one to two. pounds, more being taken under than over that weight: the color, shape and quality of the fish varying according to the water it inhabits. An intelligent and sagacious individual, he carefully avoids thick or dirty waters, and revels in the clear mountain stream, calling forth the utmost efforts of the ingenuity and skill of the Angler ere he becomes his captive. When in full season, observe his fascinating and prepossessing figure, sparkling in all the gorgeous colors of the rainbow, and shaped in strict accordance with the most refined rules of symmetrical proportion. Look at the reverse of the picture, and see him out of condition, and the contrast is wonderful. A thin black wretched-looking creature, with a head apparently too large for his body, who that has not seen him in both conditions, would believe that this was the nice and fastidious exquisite who charmed our senses with his every movement?

Allusion has been made as yet, only to the ordinary river Trout; but there are other varieties, such as the sea-trout, bull-trout, lake-trout, and the large Thames-trout. This latter grows to an extremely large size, and although an occasional one or two may be taken with a fly, yet the great majority are taken with the spinning-bait; one was taken in Marlow Weirpool, May 11th, 1803, weighing fifteen pounds, which was preserved and may be seen at the Anglers, Marlow Bridge; and I believe there are others in the neighbourhood of even larger size.

Trout spawn about October or November, the law allowing them to be taken, in the Thames, after the end of January;

hut the season does not really commence till the 1st of April, and in most other rivers not till the 1st of May. They are influenced very much in their recovery from Spawning, by the state of the weather; as an instance, a few seasons since, I caught, one (in the Thames) weighing nearly thirteen pounds early in April; in the fallowing year, but one day later in the month, I took one weighing seven pounds and a half, and the difference in appearance was extraordinary. The first year, the weather had been very warm and the fish in April were in first-rate condition; the second year had been altogether as cold and the fish were proportionately thin and black.

All Trout have their haunt or retreat, generally some large stone, or root of a tree; each fish appearing to have its regular portion of water, and seldom trespassing on that belonging to its neighbour. If one of these sections of the stream becomes vacant, a new occupant soon takes possession. And it is simply by being aware of the position of these haunts, that an Angler knowing a river, possesses such a decided advantage over one who does not, however skilful he may be in other respects. In the Spring, Trout are found in rough streams and shallows; seeking deeper water in the summer. They also delight in whirlpools and holes beneath a rapid shallow; under bridges, rocks and below weirs. Those that frequent overhanging banks and bushes, or lie hidden under cover of trees during sunshine, are much darker and yellower, than those that love the unshaded stream with a clear sandy bottom; these are altogether as silvery and bright, though belonging to the same family.

Trout are taken with the fly; by spinning a minnow or other small fish; and with the worm, gentle, &c.

The most useful length for a Trout fly-rod is between eleven and twelve feet, in four pieces and with an extra top. Do not have a rod too whippy, fur a novice it is better rather stiff than otherwise. The fly-line should be thirty yards in length (in some rivers you may require more) on a light multiplying winch. The material of the winch-line may be cither prepared plaited silk, or silk and hair, spun or plaited, and tapering toward the point, to which is attached the casting-line; this is of silkworm gut, three yards in length, and tine in proportion to the river you intend fishing.

With regard to Flies there are about as many different patterns as there are days in the year. In the Spring I should use the Dark Dun, Olive Dun, Hare's Ear, Partridge Hackle, Red Spinner, Hofland, Wellington, March Brown, Soldier Palmer, Coch-y-bonddhu, Emperor, and Stone Fly. Summer: Oak, Cowdung, Sand, Grannam, Alder, the various Palmers, Whirling Dim, Dotteril, Gold Plover, Carshalton Cocktail, Wrentail, Grouse, Yellow Sally, Fern, Coachman, the Green and Grey Drakes. Autumn: Ant, Pale Dun, August Dun, Cinnamon, Alder, Governor and the Palmers. Be guided in the size of fly, of course, by the river you are visiting; in the Thames, for example, you will require a very- large size for Trout, whilst, in the Wandle, none but the very smallest cock-tails, will tempt the appetite of the spotted beauties of this stream, upon which the may-fly is never seen.

One indispensable qualification of a fly-fisher is, to be able to throw a fly well to any spot he may wish; this is an art that can only be learnt by practise, in fact, whilst you are learning and the fish are in season, there should be nulla dun sine lined. Remember, in fly-fishing:, as in spinning, one or two practical lessons at the waterside, are worth all the teaching that can be written. Put together the Rod, so that all the rings are standing in a straight line, fix the winch to the butt, and draw the line through all the rings till you have four or five yards hanging uncoiled from the end ring of the top. Hold the rod in the right hand, a little above the winch, the thumb pointing straight along the rod on the upper aide of the butt, which must be encircled by the remaining fingers Now hold the rod almost perpendicular, but pointing some what to the left, with the tip of the line between the thumb and forefinger of the left hand. Use no flies or gut casting line till you can throw the plain running-line with a tolerable degree of certainty. Poising the rod freely and easily, move your right wrist and forearm round to the right; let go the tip of the line, held in the left hand, when it begins to feel taut, at the same time, describing a sort of oval in the air with the point of the rod, by bringing it from left to right over the right shoulder, and casting forward by a motion of the wrist and forearm. When you have propelled the line forward the action of casting should be gradually checked directly the line is straightening out to the front. If held properly, that portion of the butt, between your hand and the spike, will touch the under part of the forearm, at the same time that the line is coming in contact with the water; this will prevent the point of the rod falling too low, and thus causing too much line to fall on the surface. Begin with about five yards of slack line, increasing a yard or two at a time, till you can manage ten with tolerable ease; when you may add the casting-line. Practise till you can ensure the gut falling on the surface of the stream ere any of the reel line touches it. There are various other methods of throwing the fly, but when you have become thoroughly perfect in this, which I consider the easiest style, then you can soon vary the different movements, according as circumstances may arise; such as a variation in the direction of the wind, or obstructions on the bank, or in the river.

Commence with one fly at the end of the gut-line, this is termed the "stretcher"; when you can work this in a satisfactory manner, add a second, called a "dropper" fastened about two feet up the line at one of the joinings; and afterwards another "dropper," about two feet higher again. The joinings of the gut-cast being formed of two slip knots, the end of the gut to which the dropper is tied, is knotted and pushed through; the slip knots being drawn tight, all is secure.

Anglers are divided in opinion, at which end of the stream you should commence. The best way, to my idea, is to fish up stream; then if you hook a heavy fish, ten to one that he bolts downstream, disturbing only, water that you have already fished. Keep as far from the edge of the water as possible; delivering your cast, float your flies down, humouring them on the surface of the stream and working them round towards the bank. Repeat your cast a step higher up and so on; strike gently from the wrist, the moment you see and feel a "rise," with a very quick, yet gentle motion, by which the hand is displaced about two inches only. This, when done at the moment the fish has closed his mouth on the fly, is certain to secure a hold for the hook in some portion of the mouth. Having hooked your fish, he probably endeavours at first, to shake out the hook by splashing on the surface; pointing your rod slightly to him. will cause him to quit it. The moment he sinks, keep him well in hand, according to his size, raising the point of the rod well up; as he rushes away, hold him gently and when possible, show him the butt, by inclining the rod backwards over the shoulder. Do not strain on him too much, but after checking him a few times, and you find his struggles become weaker, wind up; and guiding him to the easiest landing place, bring him within reach of the landing net. Bo careful not to use this roughly so as to frighten the Trout at the last moment, when you might possibly be unprepared for a violent plunge; but. sink the net and bringing him quietly over it, lift it up without jerking and secure your prize.

In some streams, dibbing for Trout with the natural fly is very much practised. 'When the may-fly is on the water, this method is extremely killing. Use the ordinary fly-rod with a very fine gut casting-line attached to the winch lino; and a No. 9 or 10 hook. Catching one of the flies at which you observe the Trout rising, place it carefully on the hook. Standing as far back as possible, allow the wind to carry it on to the water; if a fish does not rise, lift and drop it again. Strike directly it is taken.

For the best general list of trout rivers and the flies peculiar to them, I would advise the reader to consult Hoflaud's " British Angler's Manual."

Spinning for Trout is much practised in the Thames, and occasionally with great success, especially at the commencement of the season; early in the morning and towards sunset are generally the best times. In my " Complete Guide to Spinning and Trolling," will be found the following remarks, extremely characteristic of the Thames Trout: - " When dropping down the stream quietly in a punt, on a fine summer's evening, while the setting sun tinges the distant water with gold, the Trout may be observed feeding on the shallows, and driving the minnows and other small fish in shoals towards the shore, being as voracious in that respect us their mortal enemy, the Pike; their mouth is admirably adapted for the purpose, the jaws and tongue being studded with small teeth, they are thus enabled to destroy multitudes of small bleak, minnows and gudgeons."

" Next to the lordly Salmon, to which, to my mind, it is quite equal in beauty, the Trout may be considered the most game of fresh-water fish. Who, that has ever experienced it, can forget the first rush of a noble Thames Trout in full season, especially if the Angler be spinning from a weir; he dashes down the run, some sixty yards or so, like a flash of lightning, making the line whistle through the rings, and as if determined to carry all before him; now he rises to the surface, and springing out full a yard, throws a somersault in the air, and tries by that means to rid himself of the hooks: but the skilful Angler frustrates this little device, by lowering the point of the rod and meeting him half-way. By careful management ho is at last tired out, and his captor taking advantage of a moment's quiet, descends from his position on the weir, and safely lands his prize on the grassy bank below."

The Spinning Rod I use is of mottled cane, about thirteen feet in length; light and somewhat springy, as the bait and trace being rather light (unless when fishing very rapid water) the spring of the rod will be found of great assistance in throwing the bait. The rod should be in four pieces for convenience of carriage and with two extra tops; a large wooden button should be screwed to the socket of the butt, to press against the hip when spinning. I always use the check-winch; with a spring handle, to allow of the handle being turned over when not in use and save it from the chance of being bent by a fall or blow. Some prefer the hardwood winches. Instead of allowing the line, in spinning, to lie at their feet in the usual manner, they throw the line directly from the winch, using rather a long rod, and wind it in again on to the winch instead of drawing it in with the hand. But as these wooden winches, or reels, run extremely easy, they require considerable care in use; for if the line is thrown from them with the least- jerk, the bait will go in any direction but the right one, and when it has dropped in the water and the line ceased running-out, the winch, from the impetus it has received, "will run on and wind the line the reverse way, often entangling it and getting it into knots.

We next come to the Line; this should be of the best plaited silk, from sixty to a hundred yards in length, and fine; properly prepared with waterproof dressing, which prevents it kinking, as it is impossible to throw a bait properly with a line that kinks or curls up in knots as the undressed lines invariably do when they are soaked with water; be particular to dry the lino well after use, before putting it away, in order to keep it from rotting.

The next thing required is the Trace. The one I use in the Thames is about two yards in length, of gut, slightly coloured: with four swivels, and from eight to sixteen shots in the middle of the trace, as in the sketch; the same style of trace may be used in any river, varying of course, the strength and the weight according to the size of the fish and the rapidity of the current. In the Colne, and similar small rivers, I should use the finest gut for the traces and flights of hooks, weighting them in proportion.

An extremely useful weight for the trace is that known as the " Field " lead; so called, through being originated by one of the editors of that celebrated Sporting Newspaper. The shape is given in the annexed sketch; it w ill be observed, that the lead is made so that all the weight will be on one side, the other side being just thick enough to cover the hole through which the gut passes. The swivels on this trace are ail below the lead; and when in use, the weight being entirely underneath, it effectually prevents the line, above it, turning round or kinking. It is much used in trailing.

>>> Next page >>>
Pages: <1> 2

Pictures for Trout

Home | Privacy Policy | Copyright | About