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The Complete Angler 1653
by Isaak Walton
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There is also in Northumberland, a Trout, called a Bull Trout, of a much greater length and bignesse then any in these Southern parts; and there is in many Rivers that relate to the Sea, Salmon Trouts as much different one from another, both in shape and in their spots, as we see Sheep differ one from another in their shape and bigness, and in the finess of their wool: and certainly as some Pastures do breed larger Sheep, so do some Rivers, by reason of the ground over which they run, breed larger Trouts.

Now the next thing that I will commend to your consideration is, That the Trout is of a more sudden growth then other fish: concerning which you are also to take notice, that he lives not so long as the Pearch and divers other fishes do, as Sir Francis Bacon hath observed in his History of life and death.

And next, you are to take notice, that after hee is come to his full growth, he declines in his bodie, but keeps his bigness or thrives in his head till his death. And you are to know that he wil about (especially before) the time of his Spawning, get almost miraculously through Weires and Floud-Gates against the stream, even through such high and swift places as is almost incredible. Next, that the Trout usually Spawns about October or November, but in some Rivers a little sooner or later; which is the more observable, because most other fish Spawne in the Spring or Summer, when the Sun hath warmed both the earth and water, and made it fit for generation.

And next, you are to note, that till the Sun gets to such a height as to warm the earth and the water, the Trout is sick, and lean, and lowsie, and unwholsome: for you shall in winter find him to have a big head, and then to be lank, and thin, & lean; at which time many of them have sticking on them Sugs, or Trout lice, which is a kind of a worm, in shape like a Clove or a Pin, with a big head, and sticks close to him and sucks his moisture; those I think the Trout breeds himselfe, and never thrives til he free himself from them, which is till warm weather comes, and then as he growes stronger, he gets from the dead, still water, into the sharp streames and the gravel, and there rubs off these worms or lice: and then as he grows stronger, so he gets him into swifter and swifter streams, and there lies at the watch for any flie or Minow that comes neer to him; and he especially loves the May flie, which is bred of the Cod-worm or Caddis; and these make the Trout bold and lustie, and he is usually fatter, and better meat at the end of that month, then at any time of the year.

Now you are to know, that it is observed that usually the best Trouts are either red or yellow, though some be white and yet good; but that is not usual; and it is a note observable that the female Trout hath usually a less head and a deeper body then the male Trout; and a little head to any fish, either Trout, Salmon, or other fish, is a sign that that fish is in season.

But yet you are to note, that as you see some Willows or Palm trees bud and blossome sooner then others do, so some Trouts be in some Rivers sooner in season; and as the Holly or Oak are longer before they cast their Leaves, so are some Trouts in some Rivers longer before they go out of season.



CHAP. IV.

And having told you these Observations concerning Trouts, I shall next tell you how to catch them: which is usually with a Worm, or a Minnow (which some call a Penke;) or with a Flie, either a natural or an artificial Flie: Concerning which three I wil give you some Observations and Directions.

For Worms, there be very many sorts; some bred onely in the earth, as the earth worm; others amongst or of plants, as the dug-worm; and others in the bodies of living creatures; or some of dead flesh, as the Magot or Gentle, and others.

Now these be most of them particularly good for particular fishes: but for the Trout the dew-worm, (which some also cal the Lob-worm) and the Brandling are the chief; and especially the first for a great Trout, and the later for a lesse. There be also of lob-worms, some called squirel-tails (a worm which has a red head, a streak down the back, and a broad tail) which are noted to be the best, because they are the toughest, and most lively, and live longest in the water: for you are to know, that a dead worm is but a dead bait, and like to catch nothing, compared to a lively, quick, stirring worm: And for a Brandling, hee is usually found in an old dunghil, or some very rotten place neer to it; but most usually in cow dung, or hogs dung, rather then horse dung, which is somewhat too hot and dry for that worm.

There are also divers other kindes of worms, which for colour and shape alter even as the ground out of which they are got: as the marsh-worm, the tag-tail, the flag-worm, the dock-worm, the oake-worm, the gilt-tail, and too many to name, even as many sorts, as some think there be of severall kinds of birds in the air: of which I shall say no more, but tell you, that what worms soever you fish with, are the better for being long kept before they be used; and in case you have not been so provident, then the way to cleanse and scoure them quickly, is to put them all night in water, if they be Lob-worms, and then put them into your bag with fennel: but you must not put your Brandling above an hour in water, and then put them into fennel for sudden use: but if you have time, and purpose to keep them long, then they be best preserved in an earthen pot with good store of mosse, which is to be fresh every week or eight dayes; or at least taken from them, and clean wash'd, and wrung betwixt your hands till it be dry, and then put it to them again: And for Moss you are to note, that there be divers kindes of it which I could name to you, but wil onely tel you, that that which is likest a Bucks horn is the best; except it be white Moss, which grows on some heaths, and is hard to be found.

For the Minnow or Penke, he is easily found and caught in April, for then hee appears in the Rivers: but Nature hath taught him to shelter and hide himself in the Winter in ditches that be neer to the River, and there both to hide and keep himself warm in the weeds, which rot not so soon as in a running River in which place if hee were in Winter, the distempered Floods that are usually in that season, would suffer him to have no rest, but carry him headlong to Mils and Weires to his confusion. And of these Minnows, first you are to know, that the biggest size is not the best; and next, that the middle size and the whitest are the best: and then you are to know, that I cannot well teach in words, but must shew you how to put it on your hook, that it may turn the better: And you are also to know, that it is impossible it should turn too quick: And you are yet to know, that in case you want a Minnow, then a small Loch, or a Sticklebag, or any other small Fish will serve as wel: And you are yet to know, that you may salt, and by that means keep them fit for use three or four dayes or longer; and that of salt, bay salt is the best.

Now for Flies, which is the third bait wherewith Trouts are usually taken. You are to know, that there are as many sorts of Flies as there be of Fruits: I will name you but some of them: as the dun flie, the stone flie, the red flie, the moor flie, the tawny flie, the shel flie, the cloudy or blackish flie: there be of Flies, Caterpillars, and Canker flies, and Bear flies; and indeed, too many either for mee to name, or for you to remember: and their breeding is so various and wonderful, that I might easily amaze my self, and tire you in a relation of them.

And yet I wil exercise your promised patience by saying a little of the Caterpillar, or the Palmer flie or worm; that by them you may guess what a work it were in a Discourse but to run over those very many flies, worms, and little living creatures with which the Sun and Summer adorn and beautifie the river banks and meadows; both for the recreation and contemplation of the Angler: and which (I think) I myself enjoy more then any other man that is not of my profession.

Pliny holds an opinion, that many have their birth or being from a dew that in the Spring falls upon the leaves of trees; and that some kinds of them are from a dew left upon herbs or flowers: and others from a dew left upon Colworts or Cabbages: All which kindes of dews being thickened and condensed, are by the Suns generative heat most of them hatch'd, and in three dayes made living creatures, and of several shapes and colours; some being hard and tough, some smooth and soft; some are horned in their head, some in their tail, some have none; some have hair, some none; some have sixteen feet, some less, and some have none: but (as our Topsel hath with great diligence observed) [in his History of Serpents.] those which have none, move upon the earth, or upon broad leaves, their motion being not unlike to the waves of the sea. Some of them hee also observes to be bred of the eggs of other Caterpillers: and that those in their time turn to be Butter-flies; and again, that their eggs turn the following yeer to be Caterpillars.

'Tis endlesse to tell you what the curious Searchers into Natures productions, have observed of these Worms and Flies: But yet I shall tell you what our Topsel sayes of the Canker, or Palmer-worm, or Caterpiller; That wheras others content themselves to feed on particular herbs or leaves (for most think, those very leaves that gave them life and shape, give them a particular feeding and nourishment, and that upon them they usually abide;) yet he observes, that this is called a Pilgrim or Palmer-worm, for his very wandering life and various food; not contenting himself (as others do) with any certain place for his abode, nor any certain kinde of herb or flower for his feeding; but will boldly and disorderly wander up and down, and not endure to be kept to a diet, or fixt to a particular place.

Nay, the very colours of Caterpillers are, as one has observed, very elegant and beautiful: I shal (for a taste of the rest) describe one of them, which I will sometime the next month, shew you feeding on a Willow tree, and you shal find him punctually to answer this very description: "His lips and mouth somewhat yellow, his eyes black as Jet, his ore-head purple, his feet and hinder parts green, his tail two forked and black, the whole body stain'd with a kind of red spots which run along the neck and shoulder-blades, not unlike the form of a Cross, or the letter X, made thus cross-wise, and a white line drawn down his back to his tail; all which add much beauty to his whole body." And it is to me observable, that at a fix'd age this Caterpiller gives over to eat, and towards winter comes to be coverd over with a strange shell or crust, and so lives a kind of dead life, without eating all the winter, and (as others of several kinds turn to be several kinds of flies and vermin, the Spring following) [view Sir Fra. Bacon exper. 728 & 90 in his Natural History] so this Caterpiller then turns to be a painted Butterflye.

Come, come my Scholer, you see the River stops our morning walk, and I wil also here stop my discourse, only as we sit down under this Honey-Suckle hedge, whilst I look a Line to fit the Rod that our brother Peter has lent you, I shall for a little confirmation of what I have said, repeat the observation of the Lord Bartas.

_God not contented to each kind to give, And to infuse the vertue generative, By his wise power made many creatures breed Of liveless bodies, without_ Venus _deed.

So the cold humour breeds the Salamander, Who (in effect) like to her births commander With child with hundred winters, with her touch Quencheth the fire, though glowing ne'r so much.

So in the fire in burning furnace springs The fly_ Perausta _with the flaming wings; Without the fire it dies, in it, it joyes, Living in that which all things else destroyes_.

[Sidenote: Gerb. Herbal. Cabdem]

_So slow_ Booetes _underneath him sees In th'icie Islands_ Goslings _hatcht of trees, Whose fruitful leaves falling into the water, Are turn'd ('tis known) to living fowls soon after.

So rotten planks of broken ships, do change To_ Barnacles. _Oh transformation strange! 'Twas first a green tree, then a broken hull, Lately a Mushroom, now a flying Gull_.

Vi. Oh my good Master, this morning walk has been spent to my great pleasure and wonder: but I pray, when shall I have your direction how to make Artificial flyes, like to those that the Trout loves best? and also how to use them?

Pisc. My honest Scholer, it is now past five of the Clock, we will fish til nine, and then go to Breakfast: Go you to yonder Sycamore tree, and hide your bottle of drink under the hollow root of it; for about that time, and in that place, we wil make a brave Breakfast with a piece of powdered Bief, and a Radish or two that I have in my Fish-bag; we shall, I warrant you, make a good, honest, wholsome, hungry Breakfast, and I will give you direction for the making and using of your fly: and in the mean time, there is your Rod and line; and my advice is, that you fish as you see mee do, and lets try which can catch the first fish.

Viat. I thank you, Master, I will observe and practice your direction as far as I am able.

Pisc. Look you Scholer, you see I have hold of a good fish: I now see it is a Trout; I pray put that net under him, and touch not my line, for if you do, then wee break all. Well done, Scholer, I thank you. Now for an other. Trust me, I have another bite: Come Scholer, come lay down your Rod, and help me to land this as you did the other. So, now we shall be sure to have a good dish of fish for supper.

Viat. I am glad of that, but I have no fortune; sure Master yours is a better Rod, and better Tackling.

Pisc. Nay then, take mine and I will fish with yours. Look you, Scholer, I have another: come, do as you did before. And now I have a bite at another. Oh me he has broke all, there's half a line and a good hook lost.

Viat. Master, I can neither catch with the first nor second Angle; I have no fortune.

Pisc. Look you, Scholer, I have yet another: and now having caught three brace of Trouts, I will tel you a short Tale as we walk towards our Breakfast. A Scholer (a Preacher I should say) that was to preach to procure the approbation of a Parish, that he might be their Lecturer, had got from a fellow Pupil of his the Copy of a Sermon that was first preached with a great commendation by him that composed and precht it; and though the borrower of it preach't it word for word, as it was at first, yet it was utterly dislik'd as it was preach'd by the second; which the Sermon Borrower complained of to the Lender of it, and was thus answered; I lent you indeed my Fiddle, but not my Fiddlestick; and you are to know, that every one cannot make musick with my words which are fitted for my own mouth. And so my Scholer, you are to know, that as the ill pronunciation or ill accenting of a word in a Sermon spoiles it, so the ill carriage of your Line, or not fishing even to a foot in a right place, makes you lose your labour: and you are to know, that though you have my Fiddle, that is, my very Rod and Tacklings with which you see I catch fish, yet you have not my Fiddle stick, that is, skill to know how to carry your hand and line; and this must be taught you (for you are to remember I told you Angling is an Art) either by practice, or a long observation, or both.

But now lets say Grace, and fall to Breakfast; what say you Scholer, to the providence of an old Angler? Does not this meat taste well? And was not this place well chosen to eat it? for this Sycamore tree will shade us from the Suns heat.

Viat. All excellent good, Master, and my stomack excellent too; I have been at many costly Dinners that have not afforded me half this content: and now good Master, to your promised direction for making and ordering my Artificiall flye.

Pisc. My honest Scholer, I will do it, for it is a debt due unto you, by my promise: and because you shall not think your self more engaged to me then indeed you really are, therefore I will tell you freely, I find Mr. Thomas Barker (a Gentleman that has spent much time and money in Angling) deal so judicially and freely in a little book of his of Angling, and especially of making and Angling with a flye for a Trout, that I will give you his very directions without much variation, which shal follow.

Let your rod be light, and very gentle, I think the best are of two pieces; the line should not exceed, (especially for three or four links towards the hook) I say, not exceed three or four haires; but if you can attain to Angle with one haire; you will have more rises, and catch more fish. Now you must bee sure not to cumber yourselfe with too long a Line, as most do: and before you begin to angle, cast to have the wind on your back, and the Sun (if it shines) to be before you, and to fish down the streame, and carry the point or tip of the Rod downeward; by which meanes the shadow of yourselfe, and Rod too will be the least offensive to the Fish, for the sight of any shadow amazes the fish, and spoiles your sport, of which you must take a great care.

In the middle of March ('till which time a man should not in honestie catch a Trout) or in April, if the weather be dark, or a little windy, or cloudie, the best fishing is with the Palmer-worm, of which I last spoke to you; but of these there be divers kinds, or at least of divers colours, these and the May-fly are the ground of all fly-Angling, which are to be thus made:

First you must arm your hook, with the line in the inside of it; then take your Scissers and cut so much of a browne Malards feather as in your own reason wil make the wings of it, you having with all regard to the bigness or littleness of your hook, then lay the outmost part of your feather next to your hook, then the point of your feather next the shank of your hook; and having so done, whip it three or four times about the hook with the same Silk, with which your hook was armed, and having made the Silk fast, take the hackel of a Cock or Capons neck, or a Plovers top, which is usually better; take off the one side of the feather, and then take the hackel, Silk or Crewel, Gold or Silver thred, make these fast at the bent of the hook (that is to say, below your arming), then you must take the hackel, the silver or gold thred, and work it up to the wings, shifting or stil removing your fingers as you turn the Silk about the hook: and still looking at every stop or turne that your gold, or what materials soever you make your Fly of, do lye right and neatly; and if you find they do so, then when you have made the head, make all fast, and then work your hackel up to the head, and make that fast; and then with a needle or pin divide the wing into two, and then with the arming Silk whip it about crosswayes betwixt the wings, and then with your thumb you must turn the point of the feather towards the bent of the hook, and then work three or four times about the shank of the hook and then view the proportion, and if all be neat, and to your liking, fasten.

I confess, no direction can be given to make a man of a dull capacity able to make a flye well; and yet I know, this, with a little practice, wil help an ingenuous Angler in a good degree; but to see a fly made by another, is the best teaching to make it, and then an ingenuous Angler may walk by the River and mark what fly falls on the water that day, and catch one of them, if he see the Trouts leap at a fly of that kind, and having alwaies hooks ready hung with him, and having a bag also, alwaies with him with Bears hair, or the hair of a brown or sad coloured Heifer, hackels of a Cock or Capon, several coloured Silk and Crewel to make the body of the fly, the feathers of a Drakes head, black or brown sheeps wool, or Hogs wool, or hair, thred of Gold, and of silver; silk of several colours (especially sad coloured to make the head:) and there be also other colour'd feathers both of birds and of peckled fowl. I say, having those with him in a bag, and trying to make a flie, though he miss at first, yet shal he at last hit it better, even to a perfection which none can well teach him; and if he hit to make his flie right, and have the luck to hit also where there is store of trouts, and a right wind, he shall catch such store of them, as will encourage him to grow more and more in love with the Art of flie-making.

Viat. But my loving Master, if any wind will not serve, then I wish I were in Lapland, to buy a good wind of one of the honest witches, that sell so many winds, and so cheap.

Pisc. Marry Scholer, but I would not be there, nor indeed from under this tree; for look how it begins to rain, and by the clouds (if I mistake not) we shall presently have a smoaking showre; and therefore fit close, this Sycamore tree will shelter us; and I will tell you, as they shall come into my mind, more observations of flie-fishing for a Trout.

But first, for the Winde; you are to take notice that of the windes the South winde is said to be best. One observes, That

When the winde is south, It blows your bait into a fishes mouth.

Next to that, the west winde is believed to be the best: and having told you that the East winde is the worst, I need not tell you which winde is best in the third degree: And yet (as Solomon observes, that Hee that considers the winde shall never sow:) so hee that busies his head too much about them, (if the weather be not made extreme cold by an East winde) shall be a little superstitious: for as it is observed by some, That there is no good horse of a bad colour; so I have observed, that if it be a clowdy day, and not extreme cold, let the winde sit in what corner it will, and do its worst. And yet take this for a Rule, that I would willingly fish on the Lee-shore: and you are to take notice, that the Fish lies, or swimms neerer the bottom in Winter then in Summer, and also neerer the bottom in any cold day.

But I promised to tell you more of the Flie-fishing for a Trout, (which I may have time enough to do, for you see it rains May-utter). First for a May-flie, you may make his body with greenish coloured crewel, or willow colour; darkning it in most places, with waxed silk, or rib'd with a black hare, or some of them rib'd with silver thred; and such wings for the colour as you see the flie to have at that season; nay at that very day on the water. Or you may make the Oak-flie with an Orange-tawny and black ground, and the brown of a Mallards feather for the wings; and you are to know, that these two are most excellent flies, that is, the May-flie and the Oak-flie: And let me again tell you, that you keep as far from the water as you can possibly, whether you fish with a flie or worm, and fish down the stream; and when you fish with a flie, if it be possible, let no part of your line touch the water, but your flie only; and be stil moving your fly upon the water, or casting it into the water; you your self, being also alwaies moving down the stream. Mr. Barker commends severall sorts of the palmer flies, not only those rib'd with silver and gold, but others that have their bodies all made of black, or some with red, and a red hackel; you may also make the hawthorn-flie which is all black and not big, but very smal, the smaller the better; or the oak-fly, the body of which is Orange colour and black crewel, with a brown wing, or a fly made with a peacocks feather, is excellent in a bright day: you must be sure you want not in your Magazin bag, the Peacocks feather, and grounds of such wool, and crewel as will make the Grasshopper: and note, that usually, the smallest flies are best; and note also, that, the light flie does usually make most sport in a dark day: and the darkest and least flie in a bright or cleare day; and lastly note, that you are to repaire upon any occasion to your Magazin bag, and upon any occasion vary and make them according to your fancy.

And now I shall tell you, that the fishing with a naturall flie is excellent, and affords much pleasure; they may be found thus, the May-fly usually in and about that month neer to the River side, especially against rain; the Oak-fly on the Butt or body of an Oak or Ash, from the beginning of May to the end of August it is a brownish fly, and easie to be so found, and stands usually with his head downward, that is to say, towards the root of the tree, the small black fly, or hawthorn fly is to be had on any Hawthorn bush, after the leaves be come forth; with these and a short Line (as I shewed to Angle for a Chub) you may dap or dop, and also with a Grashopper, behind a tree, or in any deep hole, still making it to move on the top of the water, as if it were alive, and still keeping your self out of sight, you shall certainly have sport if there be Trouts; yea in a hot day, but especially in the evening of a hot day.

And now, Scholer, my direction for fly-fishing is ended with this showre, for it has done raining, and now look about you, and see how pleasantly that Meadow looks, nay and the earth smels as sweetly too. Come let me tell you what holy Mr. Herbert saies of such dayes and Flowers as these, and then we will thank God that we enjoy them, and walk to the River and sit down quietly and try to catch the other brace of Trouts.

_Sweet day, so cool, so calm, so bright, The bridal of the earth and skie, Sweet dews shal weep thy fall to night, for thou must die.

Sweet Rose, whose hew angry and brave Bids the rash gazer wipe his eye, Thy root is ever in its grave, and thou must die.

Sweet Spring, ful of sweet days & roses, A box where sweets compacted lie; My Musick shewes you have your closes, and all must die.

Only a sweet and vertuous soul, Like seasoned timber never gives, But when the whole world turns to cole, then chiefly lives.

Viat. I thank you, good Master, for your good direction for fly-fishing, and for the sweet enjoyment of the pleasant day, which is so far spent without offence to God or man. And I thank you for the sweet close of your discourse with Mr. Herberts Verses, which I have heard, loved Angling; and I do the rather believe it, because he had a spirit sutable to Anglers, and to those Primitive Christians that you love, and have so much commended.

Pisc. Well, my loving Scholer, and I am pleased to know that you are so well pleased with my direction and discourse; and I hope you will be pleased too, if you find a Trout at one of our Angles, which we left in the water to fish for it self; you shall chuse which shall be yours, and it is an even lay, one catches; And let me tell you, this kind of fishing, and laying Night-hooks, are like putting money to use, for they both work for the Owners, when they do nothing but sleep, or eat, or rejoice, as you know we have done this last hour, and fate as quietly and as free from cares under this Sycamore, as Virgils Tityrus and his Melibaeus did under their broad Beech tree: No life, my honest Scholer, no life so happy and so pleasant as the Anglers, unless it be the Beggers life in Summer; for then only they take no care, but are as happy as we Anglers.

Viat. Indeed Master, and so they be, as is witnessed by the beggers Song, made long since by Frank Davison, a good Poet, who was not a Begger, though he were a good Poet.

Pisc. Can you sing it, Scholer?

Viat. Sit down a little, good Master, and I wil try.

_Bright shines the Sun, play beggers, play, here's scraps enough to serve to day: What noise of viols is so sweet As when our merry clappers ring? What mirth doth want when beggers meet? A beggers life is for a King: Eat, drink and play, sleep when we list, Go where we will so stocks be mist. Bright shines the Sun, play beggers, &c.

The world is ours and ours alone, For we alone have world at will; We purchase not, all is our own, Both fields and streets we beggers fill: Play beggers play, play beggers play, here's scraps enough to serve to day.

A hundred herds of black and white Upon our Gowns securely feed, And yet if any dare us bite, He dies therefore as sure as Creed: Thus beggers Lord it as they please, And only beggers live at ease: Bright shines the Sun, play beggers play, here's scraps enough to serve to day_.

Pisc. I thank you good Scholer, this Song was well humor'd by the maker, and well remembred and sung by you; and I pray forget not the Ketch which you promised to make against night, for our Country man honest Coridon will expect your Ketch and my Song, which I must be forc'd to patch up, for it is so long since I learnt it, that I have forgot a part of it. But come, lets stretch our legs a little in a gentle walk to the River, and try what interest our Angles wil pay us for lending them so long to be used by the Trouts.

Viat. Oh me, look you Master, a fish, a fish.

Pisc. I marry Sir. that was a good fish indeed; if I had had the luck to have taken up that Rod, 'tis twenty to one he should not have broke my line by running to the Rods end, as you suffered him; I would have held him, unless he had been fellow to the great Trout that is neer an ell long, which had his picture drawne, and now to be seen at mine Hoste Rickabies at the George in Ware; and it may be, by giving that Trout the Rod, that is, by casting it to him into the water, I might have caught him at the long run, for so I use alwaies to do when I meet with an over-grown fish, and you will learn to do so hereafter; for I tell you, Scholer, fishing is an Art, or at least, it is an Art to catch fish.

Viat. But, Master, will this Trout die, for it is like he has the hook in his belly?

Pisc. I wil tel you, Scholer, that unless the hook be fast in his very Gorge, he wil live, and a little time with the help of the water, wil rust the hook, & it wil in time wear away as the gravel does in the horse hoof, which only leaves a false quarter.

And now Scholer, lets go to my Rod. Look you Scholer, I have a fish too, but it proves a logger-headed Chub; and this is not much a miss, for this wil pleasure some poor body, as we go to our lodging to meet our brother Peter and honest Coridon—Come, now bait your hook again, and lay it into the water, for it rains again, and we wil ev'n retire to the Sycamore tree, and there I wil give you more directions concerning fishing; for I would fain make you an Artist.

Viat. Yes, good Master, I pray let it be so.



CHAP. V.

Pisc. Wel, Scholer, now we are sate downe and are at ease, I shall tel you a little more of Trout fishing before I speak of the Salmon (which I purpose shall be next) and then of the Pike or Luce. You are to know, there is night as well as day-fishing for a Trout, and that then the best are out of their holds; and the manner of taking them is on the top of the water with a great Lob or Garden worm, or rather two; which you are to fish for in a place where the water runs somewhat quietly (for in a stream it wil not be so well discerned.) I say, in a quiet or dead place neer to some swift, there draw your bait over the top of the water to and fro, and if there be a good Trout in the hole, he wil take it, especially if the night be dark; for then he lies boldly neer the top of the water, watching the motion of any Frog or Water-mouse, or Rat betwixt him and the skie, which he hunts for if he sees the water but wrinkle or move in one of these dead holes, where the great Trouts usually lye neer to their hold.

And you must fish for him with a strong line, and not a little hook, and let him have time to gorge your hook, for he does not usually forsake it, as he oft will in the day-fishing: and if the night be not dark, then fish so with an Artificial fly of a light colour; nay he will sometimes rise at a dead Mouse or a piece of cloth, or any thing that seemes to swim cross the water, or to be in motion: this is a choice way, but I have not oft used it because it is void of the pleasures that such dayes as these that we now injoy, afford an Angler.

And you are to know, that in Hamp-shire, (which I think exceeds all England for pleasant Brooks, and store of Trouts) they use to catch Trouts in the night by the light of a Torch or straw, which when they have discovered, they strike with a Trout spear; this kind of way they catch many, but I would not believe it till I was an eye-witness of it, nor like it now I have seen it.

Viat. But Master, do not Trouts see us in the night?

Pisc. Yes, and hear, and smel too, both then and in the day time, for Gesner observes, the Otter smels a fish forty furlong off him in the water; and that it may be true, is affirmed by Sir Francis Bacon (in the eighth Century of his Natural History) who there proves, that waters may be the Medium of sounds, by demonstrating it thus, That if you knock two stones together very deep under the water, those that stand on a bank neer to that place may hear the noise without any diminution of it by the water. He also offers the like experiment concerning the letting an Anchor fall by a very long Cable or rope on a Rock, or the sand within the Sea: and this being so wel observed and demonstrated, as it is by that learned man, has made me to believe that Eeles unbed themselves, and stir at the noise of the Thunder, and not only as some think, by the motion or the stirring of the earth, which is occasioned by that Thunder.

And this reason of Sir Francis Bacons [Exper. 792] has made me crave pardon of one that I laught at, for affirming that he knew Carps come to a certain place in a Pond to be fed at the ringing of a Bel; and it shall be a rule for me to make as little noise as I can when I am a fishing, until Sir Francis Bacon be confuted, which I shal give any man leave to do, and so leave off this Philosophical discourse for a discourse of fishing.

Of which my next shall be to tell you, it is certain, that certain fields neer Lemster, a Town in Herefordshire, are observed, that they make the Sheep that graze upon them more fat then the next, and also to bear finer Wool; that is to say, that that year in which they feed in such a particular pasture, they shall yeeld finer wool then the yeer before they came to feed in it, and courser again if they shall return to their former pasture, and again return to a finer wool being fed in the fine wool ground. Which I tell you, that you may the better believe that I am certain, If I catch a Trout in one Meadow, he shall be white and faint and very like to be lowsie; and as certainly if I catch a Trout in the next Meadow, he shal be strong, and red, and lusty, and much better meat: Trust me (Scholer) I have caught many a Trout in a particular Meadow, that the very shape and inamelled colour of him, has joyed me to look upon him, and I have with Solomon concluded, Every thing is beautifull in his season.

It is now time to tell you next, (according to promise) some observations of the Salmon; But first, I wil tel you there is a fish, called by some an Umber, and by some a Greyling, a choice fish, esteemed by many to be equally good with the Trout: it is a fish that is usually about eighteen inches long, he lives in such streams as the Trout does; and is indeed taken with the same bait as a Trout is, for he will bite both at the Minnow, the Worm, and the Fly, both Natural and Artificial: of this fish there be many in Trent, and in the River that runs by Salisbury, and in some other lesser Brooks; but he is not so general a fish as the Trout, nor to me either so good to eat, or so pleasant to fish for as the Trout is; of which two fishes I will now take my leave, and come to my promised Observations of the Salmon, and a little advice for the catching him.



CHAP. VI.

The Salmon is ever bred in the fresh Rivers (and in most Rivers about the month of August) and never grows big but in the Sea; and there to an incredible bigness in a very short time; to which place they covet to swim, by the instinct of nature, about a set time: but if they be stopp'd by Mills, Floud-gates or Weirs, or be by accident lost in the fresh water, when the others go (which is usually by flocks or sholes) then they thrive not.

And the old Salmon, both the Melter and Spawner, strive also to get into the Sea before Winter; but being stopt that course, or lost; grow sick in fresh waters, and by degrees unseasonable, and kipper, that is, to have a bony gristle, to grow (not unlike a Hauks beak) on one of his chaps, which hinders him from feeding, and then he pines and dies.

But if he gets to Sea, then that gristle wears away, or is cast off (as the Eagle is said to cast his bill) and he recovers his strength, and comes next Summer to the same River, (if it be possible) to enjoy the former pleasures that there possest him; for (as one has wittily observed) he has (like some persons of Honour and Riches, which have both their winter and Summer houses) the fresh Rivers for Summer, and the salt water for winter to spend his life in; which is not (as Sir Francis Bacon hath observed) [in his History of Life and Death] above ten years: And it is to be observed, that though they grow big in the Sea, yet they grow not fat but in fresh Rivers; and it is observed, that the farther they get from the Sea, the better they be.

And it is observed, that, to the end they may get far from the Sea, either to Spawne or to possess the pleasure that they then and there find, they will force themselves over the tops of Weirs, or Hedges, or stops in the water, by taking their tails into their mouthes, and leaping over those places, even to a height beyond common belief: and sometimes by forcing themselves against the streame through Sluces and Floud-gates, beyond common credit. And 'tis observed by Gesner, that there is none bigger then in England, nor none better then in Thames.

And for the Salmons sudden growth, it has been observed by tying a Ribon in the tail of some number of the young Salmons, which have been taken in Weires, as they swimm'd towards the salt water, and then by taking a part of them again with the same mark, at the same place, at their returne from the Sea, which is usually about six months after; and the like experiment hath been tried upon young Swallows, who have after six months absence, been observed to return to the same chimney, there to make their nests, and their habitations for the Summer following; which hath inclined many to think, that every Salmon usually returns to the same River in which it was bred, as young Pigeons taken out of the same Dove-cote, have also been observed to do.

And you are yet to observe further, that the He Salmon is usually bigger then the Spawner, and that he is more kipper, & less able to endure a winter in the fresh water, then the She is; yet she is at that time of looking less kipper and better, as watry and as bad meat.

And yet you are to observe, that as there is no general rule without an exception, so there is some few Rivers in this Nation that have Trouts and Salmon in season in winter. But for the observations of that and many other things, I must in manners omit, because they wil prove too large for our narrow compass of time, and therefore I shall next fall upon my direction how to fish for the Salmon.

And for that, first, you shall observe, that usually he staies not long in a place (as Trouts wil) but (as I said) covets still to go neerer the Spring head; and that he does not (as the Trout and many other fish) lie neer the water side or bank, or roots of trees, but swims usually in the middle, and neer the ground; and that there you are to fish for him; and that he is to be caught as the Trout is, with a Worm, a Minnow, (which some call a Penke) or with a Fly.

And you are to observe, that he is very, very seldom observed to bite at a Minnow (yet sometime he will) and not oft at a fly, but more usually at a Worm, and then most usually at a Lob or Garden worm, which should be wel scowred, that is to say, seven or eight dayes in Moss before you fish with them; and if you double your time of eight into sixteen, or more, into twenty or more days, it is still the better, for the worms will stil be clearer, tougher, and more lively, and continue so longer upon your hook.

And now I shall tell you, that which may be called a secret: I have been a fishing with old Oliver Henly (now with God) a noted Fisher, both for Trout and Salmon, and have observed that he would usually take three or four worms out of his bag and put them into a little box in his pocket, where he would usually let them continue half an hour or more, before he would bait his hook with them; I have ask'd him his reason, and he has replied, He did but pick the best out to be in a readiness against he baited his hook the next time: But he has been observed both by others, and my self, to catch more fish then I or any other body, that has ever gone a fishing with him, could do, especially Salmons; and I have been told lately by one of his most intimate and secret friends, that the box in which he put those worms was anointed with a drop, or two, or three of the Oil of Ivy-berries, made by expression or infusion, and that by the wormes remaining in that box an hour, or a like time, they had incorporated a kind of smel that was irresistibly attractive, enough to force any fish, within the smel of them, to bite. This I heard not long since from a friend, but have not tryed it; yet I grant it probable, and refer my Reader to Sir Francis Bacons Natural History, where he proves fishes may hear; and I am certain Gesner sayes, the Otter can smell in the water, and know not that but fish may do so too: 'tis left for a lover of Angling, or any that desires to improve that Art, to try this conclusion.

I shall also impart another experiment (but not tryed by my selfe) which I wil deliver in the same words as it was by a friend, given me in writing.

Take the stinking oil drawn out of Poly pody of the Oak, by a retort mixt with Turpentine, and Hive-honey, and annoint your bait therewith, and it will doubtlesse draw the fish to it.

But in these things I have no great faith, yet grant it probable, and have had from some chemical men (namely, from Sir George Hastings and others) an affirmation of them to be very advantageous: but no more of these, especially not in this place.

I might here, before I take my leave of the Salmon, tell you, that there is more then one sort of them, as namely, a Tecon, and another called in some places a Samlet, or by some, a Skegger: but these (and others which I forbear to name) may be fish of another kind, and differ, as we know a Herring and a Pilcher do; but must by me be left to the disquisitions of men of more leisure and of greater abilities, then I profess myself to have.

And lastly, I am to borrow so much of your promised patience, as to tell you, that the Trout or Salmon, being in season, have at their first taking out of the water (which continues during life) their bodies adorned, the one with such red spots, and the other with black or blackish spots, which gives them such an addition of natural beautie, as I (that yet am no enemy to it) think was never given to any woman by the Artificial Paint or Patches in which they so much pride themselves in this age. And so I shall leave them and proceed to some Observations of the Pike.



CHAP. VII.

Pisc. It is not to be doubted but that the Luce, or Pikrell, or Pike breeds by Spawning; and yet Gesner sayes, that some of them breed, where none ever was, out of a weed called Pikrell-weed, and other glutinous matter, which with the help of the Suns heat proves in some particular ponds (apted by nature for it) to become Pikes.

Sir Francis Bacon [in his History of Life and Death] observes the Pike to be the longest lived of any fresh water fish, and yet that his life is not usually above fortie years; and yet Gesner mentions a Pike taken in Swedeland in the year 1449, with a Ring about his neck, declaring he was put into the Pond by Frederick the second, more then two hundred years before he was last taken, as the Inscription of that Ring, being Greek, was interpreted by the then Bishop of Worms. But of this no more, but that it is observed that the old or very great Pikes have in them more of state then goodness; the smaller or middle siz'd Pikes being by the most and choicest palates observed to be the best meat; but contrary, the Eele is observed to be the better for age and bigness.

All Pikes that live long prove chargeable to their keepers, because their life is maintained by the death of so many other fish, even those of his owne kind, which has made him by some Writers to bee called the Tyrant of the Rivers, or the Fresh water-wolf, by reason of his bold, greedy, devouring disposition; which is so keen, as Gesner relates, a man going to a Pond (where it seems a Pike had devoured all the fish) to water his Mule, had a Pike bit his Mule by the lips, to which the Pike hung so fast, that the Mule drew him out of the water, and by that accident the owner of the Mule got the Pike; I tell you who relates it, and shall with it tel you what a wise man has observed, it is a hard thing to perswade the belly, because it hath no ears.

But if this relation of Gesners bee dis-believed, it is too evident to bee doubted that a Pike will devoure a fish of his own kind, that shall be bigger then this belly or throat will receive; and swallow a part of him, and let the other part remaine in his mouth till the swallowed part be digested, and then swallow that other part that was in his mouth, and so put it over by degrees. And it is observed, that the Pike will eat venemous things (as some kind of Frogs are) and yet live without being harmed by them: for, as some say, he has in him a natural Balsome or Antidote against all Poison: and others, that he never eats a venemous Frog till he hath first killed her, and then (as Ducks are observed to do to Frogs in Spawning time, at which time some Frogs are observed to be venemous) so throughly washt her, by tumbling her up and down in the water, that he may devour her without danger. And Gesner affirms, that a Polonian Gentleman did faithfully assure him, he had seen two young Geese at one time in the belly of a Pike: and hee observes, that in Spain there is no Pikes, and that the biggest are in the Lake Thracimane in Italy, and the next, if not equal to them, are the Pikes of England.

The Pike is also observed to be a melancholly, and a bold fish: Melancholly, because he alwaies swims or rests himselfe alone, and never swims in sholes, or with company, as Roach, and Dace, and most other fish do: And bold, because he fears not a shadow, or to see or be seen of any body, as the Trout and Chub, and all other fish do.

And it is observed by Gesner, that the bones, and hearts, & gals of Pikes are very medicinable for several Diseases, as to stop bloud, to abate Fevers, to cure Agues, to oppose or expel the infection of the Plague, and to be many wayes medicinable and useful for the good of mankind; but that the biting of a Pike is venemous and hard to be cured.

And it is observed, that the Pike is a fish that breeds but once a year, and that other fish (as namely Loaches) do breed oftner; as we are certaine Pigeons do almost every month, and yet the Hawk, a bird of prey (as the Pike is of fish) breeds but once in twelve months: and you are to note, that his time of breeding or Spawning is usually about the end of February; or somewhat later, in March, as the weather proves colder or warmer: and to note, that his manner of breeding is thus, a He and a She Pike will usually go together out of a River into some ditch or creek, and that there the Spawner casts her eggs, and the Melter hovers over her all that time that she is casting her Spawn, but touches her not. I might say more of this, but it might be thought curiosity or worse, and shall therefore forbear it, and take up so much of your attention as to tell you that the best of Pikes are noted to be in Rivers, then those in great Ponds or Meres, and the worst in smal Ponds.

And now I shall proceed to give you some directions how to catch this Pike, which you have with so much patience heard me talk of.



His feeding is usually fish or frogs, and sometime a weed of his owne, called Pikrel-weed, of which I told you some think some Pikes are bred; for they have observed, that where no Pikes have been put into a Pond, yet that there they have been found, and that there has been plenty of that weed in that Pond, and that that weed both breeds and feeds them; but whether those Pikes so bred will ever breed by generation as the others do, I shall leave to the disquisitions of men of more curiosity and leisure then I profess my self to have; and shall proceed to tell you, that you may fish for a Pike, either with a ledger, or a walking-bait; and you are to note, that I call that a ledger which is fix'd, or made to rest in one certaine place when you shall be absent; and that I call that a walking bait, which you take with you, and have ever in motion. Concerning which two, I shall give you this direction, That your ledger bait is best to be a living bait, whether it be a fish or a Frog; and that you may make them live the longer, you may, or indeed you must take this course:

First, for your live bait of fish, a Roch or Dace is (I think) best and most tempting, and a Pearch the longest liv'd on a hook; you must take your knife, (which cannot be too sharp) and betwixt the head and the fin on his back, cut or make an insition, or such a scar as you may put the arming wyer of your hook into it, with as little bruising or hurting the fish as Art and diligence will enable you to do, and so carrying your arming wyer along his back, unto, or neer the tail of your fish, betwixt the skin and the body of it, draw out that wyer or arming of your hook at another scar neer to his tail; then tye him about it with thred, but no harder then of necessitie you must to prevent hurting the fish; and the better to avoid hurting the fish, some have a kind of probe to open the way, for the more easie entrance and passage of your wyer or arming: but as for these, time and a little experience will teach you better then I can by words; for of this I will for the present say no more, but come next to give you some directions how to bait your hook with a Frog.

Viat. But, good Master, did not you say even now, that some Frogs were venemous, and is it not dangerous to touch them?

Pisc. Yes, but I wil give you some Rules or Cautions concerning them: And first, you are to note, there is two kinds of Frogs; that is to say, (if I may so express my self) a flesh and a fish-frog: by flesh frogs, I mean, frogs that breed and live on the land; and of these there be several sorts and colours, some being peckled, some greenish, some blackish, or brown: the green Frog, which is a smal one, is by Topsell taken to be venemous; and so is the Padock, or Frog-Padock, which usually keeps or breeds on the land, and is very large and bony, and big, especially the She frog of that kind; yet these wil sometime come into the water, but it is not often; and the land frogs are some of them observed by him, to breed by laying eggs, and others to breed of the slime and dust of the earth, and that in winter they turn to slime again, and that the next Summer that very slime returns to be a living creature; this is the opinion of Pliny: and [in his 16th Book De subtil. ex.] Cardanus undertakes to give reason for the raining of Frogs; but if it were in my power, it should rain none but water Frogs, for those I think are not venemous, especially the right water Frog, which about February or March breeds in ditches by slime and blackish eggs in that slime, about which time of breeding the He and She frog are observed to use divers simber salts, and to croke and make a noise, which the land frog, or Padock frog never does. Now of these water Frogs, you are to chuse the yellowest that you can get, for that the Pike ever likes best. And thus use your Frog, that he may continue long alive:

Put your hook into his mouth, which you may easily do from about the middle of April till August, and then the Frogs mouth grows up and he continues so for at least six months without eating, but is sustained, none, but he whose name is Wonderful, knows how. I say, put your hook, I mean the arming wire, through his mouth and out at his gills, and then with a fine needle and Silk sow the upper part of his leg with only one stitch to the armed wire of your hook, or tie the frogs leg above the upper joint to the armed wire, and in so doing use him as though you loved him, that is, harme him as little as you may possibly, that he may live the longer.

And now, having given you this direction for the baiting your ledger hook with a live fish or frog, my next must be to tell you, how your hook thus baited must or may be used; and it is thus: Having fastned your hook to a line, which if it be not fourteen yards long, should not be less then twelve; you are to fasten that line to any bow neer to a hole where a Pike is, or is likely to lye, or to have a haunt, and then wind your line on any forked stick, all your line, except a half yard of it, or rather more, and split that forked stick with such a nick or notch at one end of it, as may keep the line from any more of it ravelling from about the stick, then so much of it as you intended; and chuse your forked stick to be of that bigness as may keep the fish or frog from pulling the forked stick under the water till the Pike bites, and then the Pike having pulled the line forth of the clift or nick in which it was gently fastened, will have line enough to go to his hold and powch the bait: and if you would have this ledger bait to keep at a fixt place, undisturbed by wind or other accidents which may drive it to the shoare side (for you are to note that it is likeliest to catch a Pike in the midst of the water) then hang a small Plummet of lead, a stone, or piece of tyle, or a turfe in a string, and cast it into the water, with the forked stick to hang upon the ground, to be as an Anchor to keep the forked stick from moving out of your intended place till the Pike come. This I take to be a very good way, to use so many ledger baits as you intend to make tryal of.

Or if you bait your hooks thus, with live fish or Frogs, and in a windy day fasten them thus to a bow or bundle of straw, and by the help of that wind can get them to move cross a Pond or Mere, you are like to stand still on the shoar and see sport, if there be any store of Pikes; or these live baits may make sport, being tied about the body or wings of a Goose or Duck, and she chased over a Pond: and the like may be done with turning three or four live baits thus fastened to bladders, or boughs, or bottles of hay, or flags, to swim down a River, whilst you walk quietly on the shore along with them, and are still in expectation of sport. The rest must be taught you by practice, for time will not alow me to say more of this kind of fishing with live baits.

And for your dead bait for a Pike, for that you may be taught by one dayes going a fishing with me or any other body that fishes for him, for the baiting your hook with a dead Gudgion or a Roch, and moving it up and down the water, is too easie a thing to take up any time to direct you to do it; and yet, because I cut you short in that, I will commute for it, by telling you that that was told me for a secret: it is this:

Dissolve Gum of Ivie in Oyle of Spike, and therewith annoint your dead bait for a Pike, and then cast it into a likely place, and when it has layen a short time at the bottom, draw it towards the top of the water, and so up the stream, and it is more then likely that you have a Pike follow you with more then common eagerness.

This has not been tryed by me, but told me by a friend of note, that pretended to do me a courtesie: but if this direction to catch a Pike thus do you no good, I am certaine this direction how to roste him when he is caught, is choicely good, for I have tryed it, and it is somewhat the better for not being common; but with my direction you must take this Caution, that your Pike must not be a smal one.

_First open your_ Pike _at the gills, and if need be, cut also a little slit towards his belly; out of these, take his guts, and keep his liver, which you are to shred very small with_ Time, Sweet Margerom, _and a little_ Winter-Savoury; _to these put some pickled_ Oysters, _and some_ Anchovis, _both these last whole (for the_ Anchovis _will melt, and the_ Oysters _should not) to these you must add also a pound of sweet_ Butter, _which you are to mix with the herbs that are shred, and let them all be well salted (if the_ Pike _be more then a yard long, then you may put into these herbs more then a pound, or if he be less, then less_ Butter _will suffice:) these being thus mixt, with a blade or two of Mace, must be put into the_ Pikes _belly, and then his belly sowed up; then you are to thrust the spit through his mouth out at his tail; and then with four, or five, or six split sticks or very thin laths, and a convenient quantitie of tape or filiting, these laths are to be tyed roundabout the_ Pikes _body, from his head to his tail, and the tape tied somewhat thick to prevent his breaking or falling off from the spit; let him be rosted very leisurely, and often basted with Claret wine, and Anchovis, and butter mixt together, and also with what moisture falls from him into the pan: when you have rosted him sufficiently, you are to hold under him (when you unwind or cut the tape that ties him) such a dish as you purpose to eat him out of, and let him fall into it with the sawce that is rosted in his belly; and by this means the_ Pike _will be kept unbroken and complete; then to the sawce, which was within him, and also in the pan, you are to add a fit quantity of the best butter, and to squeeze the juice of three or four Oranges: lastly, you may either put into the_ Pike _with the_ Oysters, _two cloves of Garlick, and take it whole out when the_ Pike _is cut off the spit, or to give the sawce a hogoe, let the dish (into which you let the_ Pike _fall) be rubed with it; the using or not using of this Garlick is left to your discretion. This dish of meat is too good for any but Anglers or honest men; and, I trust, you wil prove both, and therefore I have trusted you with this Secret. And now I shall proceed to give you some Observations concerning the _Carp_.



CHAP. VIII.

Pisc. The Carp is a stately, a good, and a subtle fish, a fish that hath not (as it is said) been long in England, but said to be by one Mr. Mascall (a Gentleman then living at Plumsted in Sussex) brought into this Nation: and for the better confirmation of this, you are to remember I told you that Gesner sayes, there is not a Pike in Spain, and that except the Eele, which lives longest out of the water, there is none that will endure more hardness, or live longer then a Carp will out of it, and so the report of his being brought out of a forrain Nation into this, is the more probable.

Carps and Loches are observed to breed several months in one year, which most other fish do not, and it is the rather believed, because you shall scarce or never take a Male Carp without a Melt, or a Female without a Roe or Spawn; and for the most part very much, and especially all the Summer season; and it is observed, that they breed more naturally in Ponds then in running waters, and that those that live in Rivers are taken by men of the best palates to be much the better meat.

And it is observed, that in some Ponds Carps will not breed, especially in cold Ponds; but where they will breed, they breed innumerably, if there be no Pikes nor Pearch to devour their Spawn, when it is cast upon grass, or flags, or weeds, where it lies ten or twelve dayes before it be enlivened.

The Carp, if he have water room and good feed, will grow to a very great bigness and length: I have heard, to above a yard long; though I never saw one above thirty three inches, which was a very great and goodly fish.

Now as the increase of Carps is wonderful for their number; so there is not a reason found out, I think, by any, why the should breed in some Ponds, and not in others of the same nature, for soil and all other circumstances; and as their breeding, so are their decayes also very mysterious; I have both read it, and been told by a Gentleman of tryed honestie, that he has knowne sixtie or more large Carps put into several Ponds neer to a house, where by reason of the stakes in the Ponds, and the Owners constant being neer to them, it was impossible they should be stole away from him, and that when he has after three or four years emptied the Pond, and expected an increase from them by breeding young ones (for that they might do so, he had, as the rule is, put in three Melters for one Spawner) he has, I say, after three or four years found neither a young nor old Carp remaining: And the like I have known of one that has almost watched his Pond, and at a like distance of time at the fishing of a Pond, found of seventy or eighty large Carps, not above five or six: and that he had forborn longer to fish the said Pond, but that he saw in a hot day in Summer, a large Carp swim neer to the top of the water with a Frog upon his head, and that he upon that occasion caused his Pond to be let dry: and I say, of seventie or eighty Carps, only found five or six in the said Pond, and those very sick and lean, and with every one a Frog sticking so fast on the head of the said Carps, that the Frog would not bee got off without extreme force or killing, and the Gentleman that did affirm this to me he saw it, and did declare his belief to be (and I also believe the same) that he thought the other Carps that were so strangely lost, were so killed by Frogs, and then devoured.

But I am faln into this discourse by accident, of which I might say more, but it has proved longer then I intended, and possibly may not to you be considerable; I shall therefore give you three or four more short observations of the Carp, and then fall upon some directions how you shall fish for him.

The age of Carps is by S. Francis Bacon (in his History of Life and Death) observed to be but ten years; yet others think they live longer: but most conclude, that (contrary to the Pike or Luce) all Carps are the better for age and bigness; the tongues of Carps are noted to be choice and costly meat, especially to them that buy them; but Gesner sayes, Carps have no tongues like other fish, but a piece of flesh-like-fish in their mouth like to a tongue, and may be so called, but it is certain it is choicely good, and that the Carp is to be reckoned amongst those leather mouthed fish, which I told you have their teeth in their throat, and for that reason he is very seldome lost by breaking his hold, if your hook bee once stuck into his chaps.

I told you, that Sir Francis Bacon thinks that the Carp lives but ten years; but Janus Dubravius (a Germane as I think) has writ a book in Latine of Fish and Fish Ponds, in which he sayes, that Carps begin to Spawn at the age of three yeers, and continue to do so till thirty; he sayes also, that in the time of their breeding, which is in Summer when the Sun hath warmed both the earth and water, and so apted them also for generation, that then three or four Male Carps will follow a Female, and that then she putting on a seeming coyness, they force her through weeds and flags, where she lets fall her eggs or Spawn, which sticks fast to the weeds, and then they let fall their Melt upon it, and so it becomes in a short time to be a living fish; and, as I told you, it is thought the Carp does this several months in the yeer, and most believe that most fish breed after this manner, except the Eele: and it is thought that all Carps are not bred by generation, but that some breed otherwayes, as some Pikes do.

* * * * *

Much more might be said out of him, and out of Aristotle, which Dubravius often quotes in his Discourse, but it might rather perplex then satisfie you, and therefore I shall rather chuse to direct you how to catch, then spend more time discoursing either of the nature or the breeding of this Carp, or of any more circumstances concerning him, but yet I shall remember you of what I told you before, that he is a very subtle fish and hard to be caught.



And my first directon is, that if you will fish for a Carp, you must put on a very large measure of patience, especially to fish for a River Carp: I have knowne a very good Fisher angle diligently four or six hours in a day, for three or four dayes together for a River Carp, and not have a bite: and you are to note, that in some Ponds it is as hard to catch a Carp as in a River; that is to say, where they have store of feed, & the water is of a clayish colour; but you are to remember, that I have told you there is no rule without an exception, and therefore being possest with that hope and patience which I wish to all Fishers, especially to the Carp-Angler, I shall tell you with what bait to fish for him; but that must be either early or late, and let me tell you, that in hot weather (for he will seldome bite in cold) you cannot bee too early or too late at it.

The Carp bites either at wormes or at Paste; and of worms I think the blewish Marsh or Meadow worm is best; but possibly another worm not too big may do as well, and so may a Gentle: and as for Pastes, there are almost as many sorts as there are Medicines for the Toothach, but doubtless sweet Pastes are best; I mean, Pastes mixt with honey, or with Sugar; which, that you may the better beguile this crafty fish, should be thrown into the Pond or place in which you fish for him some hours before you undertake your tryal of skil by the Angle-Rod: and doubtless, if it be thrown into the water a day or two before, at several times, and in smal pellets, you are the likelier when you fish for the Carp, to obtain your desired sport: or in a large Pond, to draw them to any certain place, that they may the better and with more hope be fished for: you are to throw into it, in some certaine place, either grains, or bloud mixt with Cow-dung, or with bran; or any Garbage, as Chickens guts or the like, and then some of your smal sweet pellets, with which you purpose to angle; these smal pellets, being few of them thrown in as you are Angling.

And your Paste must bee thus made: Take the flesh of a Rabet or Cat cut smal, and Bean-flower, or (if not easily got then) other flowre, and then mix these together, and put to them either Sugar, or Honey, which I think better, and then beat these together in a Mortar; or sometimes work them in your hands, (your hands being very clean) and then make it into a ball, or two, or three, as you like best for your use: but you must work or pound it so long in the Mortar, as to make it so tough as to hang upon your hook without washing from it, yet not too hard; or that you may the better keep it on your hook, you may kneade with your Paste a little (and not much) white or yellowish wool.

And if you would have this Paste keep all the year for any other fish, then mix with it Virgins-wax and clarified honey, and work them together with your hands before the fire; then make these into balls, and it will keep all the yeer.

And if you fish for a Carp with Gentles, then put upon your hook a small piece of Scarlet about this bigness {breadth of two letters}, it being soked in, or anointed with Oyl of Peter, called by some, Oyl of the Rock; and if your Gentles be put two or three dayes before into a box or horn anointed with Honey, and so put upon your hook, as to preserve them to be living, you are as like to kill this craftie fish this way as any other; but still as you are fishing, chaw a little white or brown bread in your mouth, and cast it into the Pond about the place where your flote swims. Other baits there be, but these with diligence, and patient watchfulness, will do it as well as any as I have ever practised, or heard of: and yet I shall tell you, that the crumbs of white bread and honey made into a Paste, is a good bait for a Carp, and you know it is more easily made. And having said thus much of the Carp, my next discourse shal be of the Bream, which shall not prove so tedious, and therefore I desire the continuance of your attention.



CHAP. IX.

Pisc. The Bream being at a full growth, is a large and stately fish, he will breed both in Rivers and Ponds, but loves best to live in Ponds, where, if he likes the aire, he will grow not only to be very large, but as fat as a Hog: he is by Gesner taken to be more pleasant or sweet then wholesome; this fish is long in growing, but breeds exceedingly in a water that pleases him, yea, in many Ponds so fast, as to over store them, and starve the other fish.

The Baits good for to catch the Bream are many; as namely, young Wasps, and a Paste made of brown bread and honey, or Gentels, or especially a worm, a worm that is not much unlike a Magot, which you will find at the roots of Docks, or of Flags, or of Rushes that grow in the water, or watry places, and a Grashopper having his legs nip'd off, or a flye that is in June and July to be found amongst the green Reed, growing by the water side, those are said to bee excellent baits. I doubt not but there be many others that both the Bream and the Carp also would bite at; but these time and experience will teach you how to find out: And so having according to my promise given you these short Observations concerning the Bream, I shall also give you some Observations concerning the Tench, and those also very briefly.

The Tench is observed to love to live in Ponds; but if he be in a River, then in the still places of the River, he is observed to be a Physician to other fishes, and is so called by many that have been searchers into the nature of fish; and it is said, that a Pike will neither devour nor hurt him, because the Pike being sick or hurt by any accident, is cured by touching the Tench, and the Tench does the like to other fishes, either by touching them, or by being in their company.

Randelitius sayes in his discourse of fishes (quoted by Gesner) that at his being at Rome, he saw certaine Jewes apply Tenches to the feet of a sick man for a cure; and it is observed, that many of those people have many Secrets unknown to Christians, secrets which have never been written, but have been successsively since the dayes of Solomon (who knew the nature of all things from the Shrub to the Cedar) delivered by tradition from the father to the son, and so from generation to generation without writing, or (unless it were casually) without the least communicating them to any other Nation or Tribe (for to do so, they account a profanation): yet this fish, that does by a natural inbred Balsome, not only cure himselfe if he be wounded, but others also, loves not to live in clear streams paved with gravel, but in standing waters, where mud and the worst of weeds abound, and therefore it is, I think, that this Tench is by so many accounted better for Medicines then for meat: but for the first, I am able to say little; and for the later, can say positively, that he eats pleasantly; and will therefore give you a few, and but a few directions how to catch him.



He will bite at a Paste made of brown bread and honey, or at a Marsh-worm, or a Lob-worm; he will bite also at a smaller worm, with his head nip'd off, and a Cod-worm put on the hook before the worm; and I doubt not but that he will also in the three hot months (for in the nine colder he stirs not much) bite at a Flag-worm, or at a green Gentle, but can positively say no more of the Tench, he being a fish that I have not often Angled for; but I wish my honest Scholer may, and be ever fortunate when hee fishes.

Viat. I thank you good Master: but I pray Sir, since you see it still rains May butter, give me some observations and directions concerning the Pearch, for they say he is both a very good and a bold biting fish, and I would faine learne to fish for him.

Pisc. You say true, Scholer, the Pearch is a very good, and a very bold biting fish, he is one of the fishes of prey, that, like the Pike and Trout, carries his teeth in his mouth, not in his throat, and dare venture to kill and devour another fish; this fish, and the Pike are (sayes Gesner) the best of fresh water fish; he Spawns but once a year, and is by Physicians held very nutritive; yet by many to be hard of digestion: They abound more in the River Poe, and in England, (sayes Randelitius) then other parts, and have in their brain a stone, which is in forrain parts sold by Apothecaries, being there noted to be very medicinable against the stone in the reins: These be a part of the commendations which some Philosophycal brain have bestowed upon the fresh-water Pearch, yet they commend the Sea Pearch, which is known by having but one fin on his back, (of which they say, we English see but a few) to be a much better fish.

The Pearch grows slowly, yet will grow, as I have been credibly informed, to be almost two foot long; for my Informer told me, such a one was not long since taken by Sir Abraham Williams, a Gentleman of worth, and a lover of Angling, that yet lives, and I wish he may: this was a deep bodied fish; and doubtless durst have devoured a Pike of half his own length; for I have told you, he is a bold fish, such a one, as but for extreme hunger, the Pike will not devour; for to affright the Pike, the Pearch will set up his fins, much like as a Turkie-Cock wil sometimes set up his tail.

But, my Scholer, the Pearch is not only valiant to defend himself, but he is (as you said) a bold biting fish, yet he will not bite at all seasons of the yeer; he is very abstemious in Winter; and hath been observed by some, not usually to bite till the Mulberry tree buds, that is to say, till extreme Frosts be past for that Spring; for when the Mulberry tree blossomes, many Gardners observe their forward fruit to be past the danger of Frosts, and some have made the like observation of the Pearches biting.



But bite the Pearch will, and that very boldly, and as one has wittily observed, if there be twentie or fortie in a hole, they may be at one standing all catch'd one after another; they being, as he saies, like the wicked of the world, not afraid, though their fellowes and companions perish in their sight. And the baits for this bold fish are not many; I mean, he will bite as well at some, or at any of these three, as at any or all others whatsoever; a Worm, a Minnow, or a little Frog (of which you may find many in hay time) and of worms, the Dunghill worm, called a brandling, I take to be best, being well scowred in Moss or Fennel; and if you fish for a Pearch with a Minnow, then it is best to be alive, you sticking your hook through his back fin, and letting him swim up and down about mid-water, or a little lower, and you still keeping him to about that depth, by a Cork, which ought not to be a very light one: and the like way you are to fish for the Pearch with a small Frog, your hook being fastened through the skin of his leg, towards the upper part of it: And lastly, I will give you but this advise, that you give the Pearch time enough when he bites, for there was scarse ever any Angler that has given him too much. And now I think best to rest my selfe, for I have almost spent my spirits with talking so long.

Viat. Nay, good Master, one fish more, for you see it rains still, and you know our Angles are like money put to usury; they may thrive though we sit still and do nothing, but talk & enjoy one another. Come, come the other fish, good Master.

Pisc. But Scholer, have you nothing to mix with this Discourse, which now grows both tedious and tiresome? Shall I have nothing from you that seems to have both a good memorie, and a cheerful Spirit?

Viat. Yes, Master, I will speak you a Coppie of Verses that were made by Doctor Donne, and made to shew the world that hee could make soft and smooth Verses, when he thought them fit and worth his labour; and I love them the better, because they allude to Rivers, and fish, and fishing. They bee these:

_Come live with me, and be my love, And we will some new pleasures prove, Of golden sands, and Christal brooks, With silken lines and silver hooks.

There will the River wispering run, Warm'd by thy eyes more then the Sun; And there th'inamel'd fish wil stay, Begging themselves they may betray.

When thou wilt swim in that live bath, Each fish, which every channel hath Most amorously to thee will swim, Gladder to catch thee, then thou him.

If thou, to be so seen, beest loath By Sun or Moon, thou darknest both; And, if mine eyes have leave to see, I need not their light, having thee.

Let others freeze with Angling Reeds, And cut their legs with shels & weeds, Or treacherously poor fish beset, With strangling snares, or windowy net.

Let coarse bold hands, from slimy nest, The bedded fish in banks outwrest, Let curious Traitors sleave silk flies, To 'witch poor wandring fishes eyes.

For thee, thou needst no such deceit, For thou thy self art thine own bait; Tha fish that is not catch'd thereby, Is wiser far, alas, then I_.

Pisc. Well remembred, honest Scholer, I thank you for these choice Verses, which I have heard formerly, but had quite forgot, till they were recovered by your happie memorie. Well, being I have now rested my self a little, I will make you some requital, by telling you some observations of the Eele, for it rains still, and (as you say) our Angles are as money put to use, that thrive when we play.



CHAP. X.

It is agreed by most men, that the Eele is both a good and a most daintie fish; but most men differ about his breeding; some say, they breed by generation as other fish do; and others, that they breed (as some worms do) out of the putrifaction of the earth, and divers other waies; those that denie them to breed by generation, as other fish do, ask, if any man ever saw an Eel to have Spawn or Melt? And they are answered, That they may be as certain of their breeding, as if they had seen Spawn; for they say, that they are certain that Eeles have all parts fit for generation, like other fish, but so smal as not to be easily discerned, by reason of their fatness; but that discerned they may be; and that the Hee and the She Eele may be distinguished by their fins.

And others say, that Eeles growing old, breed other Eeles out of the corruption of their own age, which Sir Francis Bacon sayes, exceeds not ten years. And others say, that Eeles are bred of a particular dew falling in the Months of May or June on the banks of some particular Ponds or Rivers (apted by nature for that end) which in a few dayes is by the Suns heat turned into Eeles. I have seen in the beginning of July, in a River not far from Canterbury, some parts of it covered over with young Eeles about the thickness of a straw; and these Eeles did lye on the top of that water, as thick as motes are said to be in the Sun; and I have heard the like of other Rivers, as namely, in Severn, and in a pond or Mere in Stafford-shire, where about a set time in Summer, such small Eeles abound so much, that many of the poorer sort of people, that inhabit near to it, take such Eeles out of this Mere, with sieves or sheets, and make a kind of Eele-cake of them, and eat it like as bread. And Gesner quotes venerable Bede to say, that in England there is an Iland called Ely, by reason of the innumerable number of Eeles that breed in it. But that Eeles may be bred as some worms and some kind of Bees and Wasps are, either of dew, or out of the corruption of the earth, seems to be made probable by the Barnacles and young Goslings bred by the Suns heat and the rotten planks of an old Ship, and hatched of trees, both which are related for truths by Dubartas, and our learned Cambden, and laborious Gerrard in his Herball.

It is said by Randelitius, that those Eeles that are bred in Rivers, that relate to, or be neer to the Sea, never return to the fresh waters (as the Salmon does alwaies desire to do) when they have once tasted the salt water; and I do the more easily believe this, because I am certain that powdered Bief is a most excellent bait to catch an Eele: and S'r. Francis Bacon will allow the Eeles life to be but ten years; yet he in his History of Life and Death, mentions a Lamprey, belonging to the Roman Emperor, to be made tame, and so kept for almost three score yeers; and that such useful and pleasant observations were made of this Lamprey, that Crassus the Oratour (who kept her) lamented her death.

It is granted by all, or most men, that Eeles, for about six months (that is to say, the six cold months of the yeer) stir not up and down, neither in the Rivers nor the Pools in which they are, but get into the soft earth or mud, and there many of them together bed themselves, and live without feeding upon any thing (as I have told you some Swallows have been observed to do in hollow trees for those six cold months); and this the Eele and Swallow do, as not being able to endure winter weather; for Gesner quotes Albertus to say, that in the yeer 1125 (that years winter being more cold then usual) Eeles did by natures instinct get out of the water into a stack of hay in a Meadow upon dry ground, and there bedded themselves, but yet at last died there. I shall say no more of the Eele, but that, as it is observed, he is impatient of cold, so it has been observed, that in warm weather an Eele has been known to live five days out of the water. And lastly, let me tell you, that some curious searchers into the natures of fish, observe that there be several sorts or kinds of Eeles, as the Silver-Eele, and green or greenish Eel (with which the River of Thames abounds, and are called Gregs); and a blackish Eele, whose head is more flat and bigger then ordinary Eeles; and also an Eele whose fins are redish, and but seldome taken in this Nation (and yet taken sometimes): These several kinds of Eeles, are (say some) diversly bred; as namely, out of the corruption of the earth, and by dew, and other wayes (as I have said to you:) and yet it is affirmed by some, that for a certain, the Silver-Eele breeds by generation, but not by Spawning as other fish do, but that her Brood come alive from her no bigger nor longer then a pin, and I have had too many testimonies of this to doubt the truth of it.

And this Eele of which I have said so much to you, may be caught with divers kinds of baits; as namely, with powdered Bief, with a Lob or Garden-worm, with a Minnow, or gut of a Hen, Chicken, or with almost any thing, for he is a greedy fish: but the Eele seldome stirs in the day, but then hides himselfe, and therefore he is usually caught by night, with one of these baits of which I have spoken, and then caught by laying hooks, which you are to fasten to the bank, or twigs of a tree; or by throwing a string cross the stream, with many hooks at it, and baited with the foresaid baits, and a clod or plummet, or stone, thrown into the River with this line, that so you may in the morning find it neer to some fixt place, and then take it up with a drag-hook or otherwise: but these things are indeed too common to be spoken of; and an hours fishing with any Angler will teach you better, both for these, and many other common things in the practical part of Angling, then a weeks discourse. I shall therefore conclude this direction for taking the Eele, by telling you, that in a warm day in Summer, I have taken many a good Eele by snigling, and have been much pleased with that sport.

And because you that are but a young Angler, know not what snigling is, I wil now teach it to you: you remember I told you that Eeles do not usually stir in the day time, for then they hide themselvs under some covert, or under boards, or planks about Floud-gates, or Weirs, or Mils, or in holes in the River banks; and you observing your time in a warm day, when the water is lowest, may take a hook tied to a strong line, or to a string about a yard long, and then into one of these holes, or between any boards about a Mill, or under any great stone or plank, or any place where you think an Eele may hide or shelter her selfe, there with the help of a short stick put in your bait, but leisurely, and as far as you may conveniently; and it is scarce to be doubted, but that if there be an Eel within the sight of it, the Eele will bite instantly, and as certainly gorge it; and you need not doubt to have him, if you pull him not out of the hole too quickly, but pull him out by degrees, for he lying folded double in his hole, will, with the help of his taile, break all, unless you give him time to be wearied with pulling, and so get him out by degrees; not pulling too hard. And thus much for this present time concerning the Eele: I wil next tel you a little of the Barbell, and hope with a little discourse of him, to have an end of this showr, and fal to fishing, for the weather clears up a little.



CHAP. XI.

Pisc. The Barbell, is so called (sayes Gesner) from or by reason of his beard, or wattles at his mouth, his mouth being under his nose or chaps, and he is one of the leather mouthed fish that has his teeth in his throat, he loves to live in very swift streams, and where it is gravelly, and in the gravel will root or dig with his nose like a Hog, and there nest himself, taking so fast hold of any weeds or moss that grows on stones, or on piles about Weirs, or Floud-gates, or Bridges, that the water is not able, be it never so swift, to force him from the place which he seems to contend for: this is his constant custome in Summer, when both he, and most living creatures joy and sport themselves in the Sun; but at the approach of Winter, then he forsakes the swift streams and shallow waters, and by degrees retires to those parts of the River that are quiet and deeper; in which places, (and I think about that time) he Spawns; and as I have formerly told you, with the help of the Melter, hides his Spawn or eggs in holes, which they both dig in the gravel, and then they mutually labour to cover it with the same sand to prevent it from being devoured by other fish.

There be such store of this fish in the River Danubie, that Randelitius sayes, they may in some places of it, and in some months of the yeer, be taken by those that dwel neer to the River, with their hands, eight or ten load at a time; he sayes, they begin to be good in May, and that they cease to be so in August; but it is found to be otherwise in this Nation: but thus far we agree with him, that the Spawne of a Barbell is, if be not poison, as he sayes, yet that it is dangerous meat, and especially in the month of May; and Gesner declares, it had an ill effect upon him, to the indangering of his life.



This fish is of a fine cast and handsome shape, and may be rather said not to be ill, then to bee good meat; the Chub and he have (I think) both lost a part of their credit by ill Cookery, they being reputed the worst or coarsest of fresh water fish: but the Barbell affords an Angler choice sport, being a lustie and a cunning fish; so lustie and cunning as to endanger the breaking of the Anglers line, by running his head forcibly towards any covert or hole, or bank, and then striking at the line, to break it off with his tail (as is observed by Plutark, in his book De industria animalium) and also so cunning to nibble and suck off your worme close to the hook, and yet avoid the letting the hook come into his mouth.

The Barbell is also curious for his baits, that is to say, that they be clean and sweet; that is to say, to have your worms well scowred, and not kept in sowre or mustie moss; for at a well scowred Lob-worm, he will bite as boldly as at any bait, especially, if the night or two before you fish for him, you shall bait the places where you intend to fish for him with big worms cut into pieces; and Gentles (not being too much scowred, but green) are a choice bait for him, and so is cheese, which is not to be too hard, but kept a day or two in a wet linnen cloth to make it tough; with this you may also bait the water a day or two before you fish for the Barbel, and be much the likelier to catch store; and if the cheese were laid in clarified honey a short time before (as namely, an hour or two) you were still the likelier to catch fish; some have directed to cut the cheese into thin pieces, and toste it, and then tye it on the hook with fine Silk: and some advise to fish for the Barbell with Sheeps tallow and soft cheese beaten or work'd into a Paste, and that it is choicely good in August; and I believe it: but doubtless the Lob-worm well scoured, and the Gentle not too much scowred, and cheese ordered as I have directed, are baits enough, and I think will serve in any Month; though I shall commend any Angler that tryes conclusions, and is industrious to improve the Art. And now, my honest Scholer, the long showre, and my tedious discourse are both ended together; and I shall give you but this Observation, That when you fish for a Barbell, your Rod and Line be both long, and of good strength, for you will find him a heavy and a doged fish to be dealt withal, yet he seldom or never breaks his hold if he be once strucken.

And now lets go and see what interest the Trouts will pay us for letting our Angle-rods lye so long and so quietly in the water. Come, Scholer; which will you take up?

Viat. Which you think fit, Master.

Pisc. Why, you shall take up that; for I am certain by viewing the Line, it has a fish at it. Look you, Scholer, well done. Come now, take up the other too; well, now you may tell my brother Peter at night, that you have caught a lease of Trouts this day. And now lets move toward our lodging, and drink a draught of Red-Cows milk, as we go, and give pretty Maudlin and her mother a brace of Trouts for their supper.

Viat. Master, I like your motion very well, and I think it is now about milking time, and yonder they be at it.

Pisc. God speed you good woman, I thank you both for our Songs last night; I and my companion had such fortune a fishing this day, that we resolve to give you and Maudlin a brace of Trouts for supper, and we will now taste a draught of your Red Cows milk.

Milkw. Marry, and that you shal with all my heart, and I will be still your debtor: when you come next this way, if you will but speak the word, I will make you a good Sillabub and then you may sit down in a Hay-cock and eat it, and Maudlin shal sit by and sing you the good old Song of the Hunting in Chevy Chase, or some other good Ballad, for she hath good store of them: Maudlin hath a notable memory.

Viat. We thank you, and intend once in a Month to call upon you again, and give you a little warning, and so good night; good night Maudlin. And now, good Master, lets lose no time, but tell me somewhat more of fishing; and if you please, first something of fishing for a Gudgion.

Pisc. I will, honest Scholer. The Gudgion is an excellent fish to eat, and good also to enter a young Angler; he is easie to bee taken with a smal red worm at the ground and is one of those leather mouthed fish that has his teeth in his throat and will hardly be lost off from the hook if he be once strucken: they be usually scattered up and down every River in the shallows, in the heat of Summer; but in Autome, when the weeds begin to grow sowre or rot, and the weather colder, then they gather together, and get into the deeper parts of the water, and are to be fish'd for there, with your hook alwaies touching the ground, if you fish for him with a flote or with a cork; but many will fish for the Gudgion by hand, with a running line upon the ground without a cork as a Trout is fished for, and it is an excellent way.

There is also another fish called a Pope, and by some a Russe, a fish that is not known to be in some Rivers; it is much like the Pearch for his shape, but will not grow to be bigger then a Gudgion; he is an excellent fish, no fish that swims is of a pleasanter taste; and he is also excellent to enter a young Angler, for he is a greedy biter, and they will usually lye abundance of them, together in one reserved place where the water is deep, and runs quietly, and an easie Angler, if he has found where they lye, may catch fortie or fiftie, or sometimes twice so many at a standing.

There is also a Bleak, a fish that is ever in motion, and therefore called by some the River Swallow; for just as you shall observe the Swallow to be most evenings in Summer ever in motion, making short and quick turns when he flies to catch flies in the aire, by which he lives, so does the Bleak at the top of the water; and this fish is best caught with a fine smal Artificial Fly, which is to be of a brown colour, and very smal, and the hook answerable: There is no better sport then whipping for Bleaks in a boat in a Summers evening, with a hazle top about five or six foot long, and a line twice the length of the Rod. I have heard Sir Henry Wotton say, that there be many that in Italy will catch Swallows so, or especially Martins (the Bird-Angler standing on the top of a Steeple to do it, and with a line twice so long, as I have spoke of) and let me tell you, Scholer, that both Martins and Blekes be most excellent meat.

I might now tell you how to catch Roch and Dace, and some other fish of little note, that I have not yet spoke of; but you see we are almost at our lodging, and indeed if we were not, I would omit to give you any directions concerning them, or how to fish for them, not but that they be both good fish (being in season) and especially to some palates, and they also make the Angler good sport (and you know the Hunter sayes, there is more sport in hunting the Hare, then in eating of her) but I will forbear to give you any direction concerning them, because you may go a few dayes and take the pleasure of the fresh aire, and bear any common Angler company that fishes for them, and by that means learn more then any direction I can give you in words, can make you capable of; and I will therefore end my discourse, for yonder comes our brother Peter and honest Coridon, but I will promise you that as you and I fish, and walk to morrow towards London, if I have now forgotten any thing that I can then remember, I will not keep it from you.

Well met, Gentlemen, this is luckie that we meet so just together at this very door. Come Hostis, where are you? is Supper ready? come, first give us drink, and be as quick as you can, for I believe wee are all very hungry. Wel, brother Peter and Coridon to you both; come drink, and tell me what luck of fish: we two have caught but ten Trouts, of which my Scholer caught three; look here's eight, and a brace we gave away: we have had a most pleasant day for fishing, and talking, and now returned home both weary and hungry, and now meat and rest will be pleasant.

Pet. And Coridon and I have not had an unpleasant day, and yet I have caught but five Trouts; for indeed we went to a good honest Alehouse, and there we plaid at shovel-board half the day; all the time that it rained we were there, and as merry as they that fish'd, and I am glad we are now with a dry house over our heads, for heark how it rains and blows. Come Hostis, give us more Ale, and our Supper with what haste you may, and when we have sup'd, lets have your Song, Piscator, and the Ketch that your Scholer promised us, or else Coridon wil be doged.

Pisc. Nay, I will not be worse then my word, you shall not want my Song, and I hope I shall be perfect in it.

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