John J. Brown.

The American angler's guide, or Complete fisher's manual, for the United ... online

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To wear this to disdain
Who a true brother was of the angle.

Next pouch must not fail,

StufTd as full aa a mail.
With wax, crewels, silks, hairs, furs, and feathera.

To make several flies.

For the several skies,
That shall kill in despite of all weathers.

And, though

With a net


Down and u

To di8coura«



And all natu



As Ihry nil d

The boxes and books

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On stream now, or still,
A large pannier we'll fill,

Trout and Grayling to rise are so willing;
I dare venture to say,
*Twill be a bloody day.

And we all shall be weary of killing.

Away, then, away.

We lobc sport by delay;

But first leave our sorrow behind ue:
If Miss Fortune should come,
We are all gone from home,

And a-fishing she never can find us.

The Angler is free •
From the cares that degree

Finds itself with, so often, tormented ;
And although we should slay
Each a hundred a-day,

»Ti8 a slaughter needs ne'er be repented.

are and diot«


) in quiet

e wit,

ion :


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We care not who says,

And intends it dispraise,
That an angrier to a fool is next neig^hbor :

Let him prate— what care we 1

We're as honest as he ;
And so let him take that for his labor.

We covet no wealth,
But the blessing of health.

And that greater good conscience within as
Such devotion we brin«^
To our God and our KiiiJT,

That from either no offers can win us.

While we sit and fish.
We pray as we wish
For long life to our King, James the Second :

Honest amrlnrfi thnn mnv.
Or they
With the best of

Having commencec
through all the articlei
complete Angler, it wi
make some observation

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For Angling may be said to be like the Mathematics, that it can
never be fully learned ; at least not so fully but that there will be still
more experimenting left for the trial of other men." Walton.

Angling generally, in this country, is not necessarily so sci-
entific as in many parts of Europe. Our streams being larger,
more numerous, and less fished, except in a few instances

kle in some cases may be
n angling for trout in the
3 quantities are found, the
ckle, will often succeed in
time. But as railroads in-
easy to the difierent fishing
ire shy, greater skill be ro-
table, to complete success,
piece of bread for perch, or
been used, natural or arti-
to the finest possible kind
Therefore the true Angler
acquainted with the most
the best materials for his

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The Artificial Fly, so much used in England, finds but
little favor iu this country, not because it is not as good a bait,
but because more skill is required in using it ; consequently
many of our Anglers only fish in the spring months, when the
water is thick and turbid, and the worm can be used, while
the more experienced sportsman from foreign parts,* will
astonish the native by his dexterity in throwing the fly and kill-
ing an almost incredible number of fish, where the unbeliever
regarded the fly as a useless article of tackle. There are
some that attain to greater proficiency in fly-fishing than
others, as is the case with almost any kind of sport. But the
skill necessary to success in this branch of our subject, is not
so great as the novice imagines : certainly it is the more gen-
teel, as well as the most pleasant mode, as those who have
successfully tried it can testify. It is therefore to be hoped
it will be more generally adopted by

All who seek the lake or brook,

With rod and line, and float and hook.

Great improvements have been made within a few years
in the manufacture ot artificial baits. Every varie^ of fish
and insect has been most successfully imitated, defying almost
the scrutiny of the Angler, and certainly the object of his
sport. These improvements every brother of the angle
should adopt, and thereby remove the objections of the few
who oppose the art on Bacon and 1

As the enjoyment of angling m
man a keen observer, he should p
the winds, those

* Parties are often made up iu Engli
and the United States.

f Byron and Bacon both objected to ai
si^ which then existed of using various li'

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" Unseen currenK of the air,

88 Bryant has it. Walton says: " You are to take notice, that
of the inrinds, the south wind is said to be the best. One ob-
serves, that

* When the wind is in the south,

It blows the bait in the fish's mouth.*

Next to that, the west wind is believed to be the best ; and

having told you that the east wind is the worst I need not

tell which wind is the worst in the third degree : and yet (as

Solomon observes) * that he that considers the wind shall

never sow,* so he that busies his head too much about them,

if the weather be not made extreme cold by an east wind,

shall be a little superstitious ; for as it is observed by some

that there is no good horse of a bad color, so I have observed

that if it be a cloudy day, and not extreme cold, let the wind

nd do its worst, I heed it not, and

I would willingly fish standing on

to take notice that the fish lies or

ad in deeper water than in sum-

»ttom in a cold day, and then gets


s : " For fly-fishing,

I bright a beam,
icorching sun.

' back to the sun, as your shadow
1 the fish are frightened at your
portant instructions to the Angler,
rhence they come should be con-
t would be well to notice here,
tins or severe storms, the Angler
he expect sport, and that it is use-

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less to angle after along drought in summer, or in the autumn
or spring, when the high east, or cold north winds blow.

In fresh water angling the best time is early in the mom>
ing, or at the close of the day. The proper time for salt
water angling depends upon the tide. The best time is at
the last of the ebb or the first of the flood, whether at morn-
ing, at mid-day, or at night.

In all kinds of angling it is necessary to be very cautious,
but particularly in taking the wily trout. Many novices in
the art wander up and down streams, and wade creeks, with
little or no success, from the want of this — a proper requisite
of every good angler. The more skilful, also, sometimes fail
from the same fault.

A story is told, which serves well to show the necessity
of caution. An Angler, who had risen with the sim, and
fished till near noon-day without success, 'was outdone by a
knowing one, who, with proper precaution, passed his rod
and Hue between the legs of the Angler (which like his line
were pretty well stretched) into a hole underneath the bank.
He soon had a bite, and succeeded in taking a two pound
trout, almost before the astonished tyro was aware of his

Some are of opinion that trout, ar ' * " " '
the tread on the ground. It is c
at the least noise, when nothing can
" Angler's Guide," says: " Keep as
you can, and go quietly and slily to
many enemies that they are suspici
see, feel, or hear ; even the shaking

* Smith, in his " History of the Fishes
die acoustic appat^tus is boxed up in the so
found propagated throug-h the water, gives
to the whole body, and which, agitating th

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der which they frequently lie) will alarm them, and spoil the
Angler's sport, &c. ; and also, when two or three anglers are
fishing near each other ; therefore avoid agitating the water
by trampling on the bank unnecessarily ; drop your baited
hook in the water gently, and you will kill more fish than
three Anglers who act differently."

Blaine also says: ** Avoid every thing thai may attract the
attention of the Jish : stand so far from the water's edge as
you can, and never let your shadow fell on the water. If
possible, take the advantage of a bush, tree, &c., completely
to conceal the person. When an Angler fishes near home,
an artificial screen of rushes, twigs, &c., may be employed
for that purpose. In dropping or dipping with the natural
fly, the greatest caution is necessary to keep completely out
of view of the fish ; not only the shadow of the person, but
that of the rod also, should be kept from falling on the water."
The dress of the Angler is of great importance in trout
angling. If it be true, as before stated, that this timid inha*
bitant of the brook is disturbed by the least motion, certainly
the best means should be taken to render any motion imper-
r.ftntihlft- Thftri* arft twn rnlora of dress for angling, desirable
K>rt be in the summer, and lie
' the trees, bushes, and mead-
)dly be green throughout. On
ased to enjoy yourself in au-
the scene, and draped herself
• uniform is a drab from top to
) angles on Long-Island, and
rtsmen who visit that delight-
ling as still as a ghost, his rod
y apparent motion, equipped
'ab coat, and drab hat; and
that he will take a mess of
rards distant would hartlly be

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aware that he moved a muscle. How different from many
who profess to understand the art, and who go whipping and
splashing the water for miles around.

As health is of great importance, the lover of this sport
should adopt the physician's prescription, and ** keep the
head cool and the feet warm." To this end he should pro>
vide himself with a pair of water-proof boots, to be ready
should he wish to wade the stream, or cross a marsh. He
should also pay strict attention to all laws regarding angling,
and all rules laid down for bridge, boat, or brook fishing, and
on no account transgress the laws of the different States with
respect to spawning time, and the size of the fish to be taken.

It is much to be regretted, that there are many who call
themselves anglers, who set all laws at defiance, by taking
many kinds of fish out of seascm; such conduct is unworthy a

sportsman, and shou^-' * — '*^^ — u.-u^r 1 —

of the angling comn

Finally, let the <

and when he has nc
even hours, in this
prepared with every

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This uoble iish was known to the world as early as the days
of the Romans. Pliny speaks of them as being in the rivers
of Aquitaine. They are found at the present day in the
waters of France, England, Ireland and Scotland, and on this
continent as far north as Greenland. They are found in the
greatest abundance in Ireland and Scotland. In some of the

rents are paid for these
at certain seasons, they
a day. and on some occa-
ive been fed to the swine,
plenty, that the farmer's
5m but twice a week for

Wishes of Massachusetts,'*
larles Kendall, a respect-
Boston, assured us, that
erica, within a few years,
) leaping down the crags
htful fishes were urging
jvds, with hardly water
le stood with an axe and
jed between his feet. He
he Ions branches of trees

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•hat vraved over the falls, and pick out the eyes of severai at
a time, before they flew back to their resting-places."

The Salmon formerly frequented the Hudson*' and Con-
necticut, but the steamboat navigation on these beautiful
rivers, have interfered with their passage, and by increasing
interruption, they have been driven farther north, and like the
aboriginal inhabitants of our land, seem destined to find a
resting-place far beyond the home of their fathers. The
Kennebec, the St Lawrence, the waters of California and
Oregon, and many of our western lakes, now furnish large
quantities, equal in beauty and flavor to those of any part
of the world. They leap up the falls of many of these
rivers with astonishing and almost incredible velocity, sur-
mounting obstacles of great magnitude by the extraordinary
muscular power of their tail. Michael Drayton, an English
writer, speaks of their summei'sault, or leap, in the followujg
lines :

" As when the salmon seeks a fresher Etream to find,

(Which hither from the sea comes yearly by his kind,)

As he towards season grows : and stems the watery tract

Where Tivy, falling down, makes a high cataract.

Forced by the rising rocks that there her course oppose,

As though within her bounds they meant her to enclose ;

Here, when the laboring fish does a

And finds that by his strength he d<

His tail takes in his mouth, and bei

That's to full compass drawn, aloft

Then springing at his height, as do

That bended end to end, and starte

Far off itself doth cast; so does the

And if at first lie fail, bis second su

He instantly essays, and from his u

Still yerking, never leaves until hii

Above the opposing stream.*'

* ▲ number were taken in netts, i
month of June, 1844.

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Like the trout, they are very timid; and if, at the time of
their advent, they are suddenly frightened by any noise, or
splashing of the water, will tuni and swim in a contrary direc-
tion at a surprising rate of velocity. It has been ascertained
by calculation, that they can move at the rate of 30 miles an
hour. They run up the rivers from the sea, to deposit their
spawn, from April to July, and are at this time in fine condi-
tion for the table ; after which they return again to the sea.
They are much troubled with what fishermen cedl the salmon-
louse, and are known in some instances to return to the fresh
water in the months of September and October, to rid them-
selves of these annoying insects. Smith says : " The young
are about two inches in length when they visit the sea for the
first time. After the parent fish have passed up the rivers,
the spring following, the young ones follow at a respectable
distance, having grown about six inches. At the end of two
years, they weigh five, six, and seven pounds; at the end of
heir ordinary dimensions."
the " North Country Angler,"
1 becomes salmon fry in March
find their way to the sea, where
lity ; as on their return to their
f of the same year, they weigh
e usually called grilse until they
after which they are called

late experiments on salmon in
iCelso Mail," a Scotch paper,
; of former writers on the rapid
es of fish. " In the month of
IS, a game-keeper at Bowliill,
ttrick, and marked from six to
' going down to the sea, by in-
;h the tail of each, and twisting

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it at both ends. In the last week of July last, (1844,) a grilse
of from five to six pounds weight, was caught at the shore-
side fishery near Berwick, by James M 'Queen, fisherman,
and in the tail was a piece of wire twisted at both ends, as
described. M 'Queen did not preserve the wire, but is satis-
fied in his own mind that it was brass, and of the description
inserted m the fry by Mr. Keras. There can therefore
scarcely be a doubt that it was one of the fry mai'ked by the
latter, and proves to a demonstration, that the fry occupy a
much longer period in arriving at a state of maturity than has
been generally supposed."

This extraordinary fish grows to a very large size. Hof-
land says, the largest ever heard of in England was sold in the
London market, and weighed 83 pounds. He also tells a story
of a Scotch Highlander, who, whilst fishing in the river Awe,
struck a salmon, which he played with great skill and patience
until night came, when the fish sulked at the bottom. The
persevering fisher, not to be subdued, took the line in his
mouth and lay dowr ^"- ° °"~^— «tU«« a- .../z.^^ ««#:i ♦k«.^
o'clock in the morui
and the fish, after
weighed 73 pounds,
salmon ever taken i]
measured upwards o
body, and weighed
some in this country
oovered waters and
8 to be thrown. Th
weighed about forty

The common leu
a half feet, except w
mentioned, when th<
They are of a beaut
the belly and blue oi
irregular dark and <

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ally of a larger and more slender shape than the female, with
a slight difference in the shape and color of the spots. The
npper jaw is larger than the lower, and in the males the under
jaw is curved upward. Considered as a whole, he may be
called the most extraordinary and most beautiful fish in the
world ; and whether we admire him as leaping the cataract,
fresh floored from his native element on the green carpet of
the meadow, or in smoking anticipation as a viand on
the table, he well deserves the appellation of king of the
watery course, or, as Willis in his quaint way would proba-
bly call him, the prince oifish'dom.

The sport in taking him is of the most exciting kind, re-
quiring the utmost skill of the truly scientific Angler. Sir
Walter Scott says : '' Salmon fishing is to all other kinds of
angling, as buck shooting to shooting of any meaner descrip-
tion. The salmon is in this psirticular the king of fish. It
requires a dexterous hand and an accurate eye to raise and

BtfiIrA \\\Tn • onA -valtan tViia ia or>liio\rQ(]^ tho SpOrt is OUly bO-

)ss in case of an unusually
commenced and ended,
ever was hooked, shows
fresh run-salmon. There
tween coursing the hare
re and suspense ai*e of
>ss and strength required
attained, not only more
lazards of failure are also
bet of the salmon leads
which must be met and '
>art of the angler "
ers or large lakes, with
) the sea, and are usually,
jhest and boldest parts,
the morning or late in

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the afternoon, when there is a light breeze on the water.
When not on feed they retreat to deep water, and also under
banks, bashes, &c. The best time for angling for them is
from May until August. In July and August they will often
take the fly freely ; for the months of May and June, worms,
shrimp, or small fish, will be found the best baits.

Bait-Jishing for Salmon is generally practised with a rod
of from sixteen to eighteen feet in length, with a hollow butt
and spare tops, either for worm or minnow fishing. Some
sportsmen prefer a lighter top for worm Ashing than for spin-
ning the minnow ; the hollow butt allows him to use his
taste, and also the advantage of extra tops against breakage.
There are two ways of rigging the rod for the line — the old-
fashioned plan of rings, whipped on with thread, is preferred
by some, and the patent guide, a solid stationary ring, (a new
invention) by others,
plying reel, capable o
feet of line ; to insure
sized reel, with six hun
line adapted to the reel
hair, or grass. The tw
but the latter is now ]
strength, durability, an
be a swivel sinker, and i
of from three to six fee
water. For middle fis]
red cedar. The prope
of the Kirby or Limeric
gut. A very few Angl
show it makes in the w
elude the idea of much
the object of your sport
with imperceptibility.

For Fly-Fishing fo

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firom sixteen to twenty feet long, with a gradual taper, and
uniform from the end of the first or butt joint to the end of
the top, which latter should be of the most elastic substance,
and brought almost to a point : in fact the proper form of a
fly rod, is a perfectly whip taper. The rings should be of the
lightest kind, and wound on with thread or silk, and the
whole apparatus as light as the necessary strength will allow.
In some instances they are provided with a spike or spear,
which screws into the butt, and which is found very useful
to the Angler on many occasions, for sticking the rod in an
upright position, for the purpose of altering or arranging
the line or otiier tackle. The same arrangement of tackle
is required for the fly rod as for the bait rod, with the
exception of substituting a swivel, instead of a swivel

Worm fishing for Salmon. For worm bait, use a Salmon
Limerick hook, from No. to 4, as the size of the game may
indicate. Attach the worms according to the method de-
em gently in the current ;
T yards ; then draw them
; keeping up a continual
od, if you are cautious, and
: fishy as Wedton would say
are of good luck. In bright
o. 3, 4, or 5, will be large
', if the stream be clear, on
rge worm.

remonitory symptoms are a
idden jerk. In either case
lonition generally promises
jrstood, will give the most
ime for gorging, you should
^th precision, and not too

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violent) you will rarely £ul to hook your fish. On the con-
trary, the sadden jerk is seldom more or 'ess than a nibble;
you should therefore give a moderate pull, which will rather
excite your game, and induce him to call again for worms!
The folloi^ring practical information, taken from " Fisher'g
Angler's Souvenir,'* will give the reader some idea of the
manner of taking a large fish, after he is hooked ; for as it is
one thing to catch a fish and another to cook it, so it is one
thing to hook a fish and another thing to take him after you
get him on. " Judging from his pull, you estimate his weight
at 30 pounds, the largest and strongest, you verily believe,
you ever have hooked. With that headlong plunge, as if he
meant to bury his head in the gravelly bottom, he has hooked
himself. Your hook, which will hold 30 pounds dead weight,
is buried in his jaws to the bend, and now that he feels the
barb, he shoots up the stream with the swiftness of an arrow,
and fifty yards of your Une are run off before you dare ven-
ture to check him. Now his speed is somewhat diminished,
hold on a little, and as the river side is clear of trees, follow
up after him, for it is bad policy to let out line to an unman-
ageable length, when you can follow your fish. There are
some awkward rocks towards the head of the pool, which
may cut your line ; turn him, therefore, as soon as you can.
Now is the time to show your tact, in putting your tackle to
test, without having it snapped by a sudden spring. Hold
gently— ease oft' a little — now ho)'^ nomin — hn-ar ViAAiitifullv
the rod bends, true from top to bi
He has a mouth, though bitted fc
his nose is down the water! Le
grows restive, and is about again.
up the stream, he seems inclined
from bank to bank, like a Berwic
Reach in a gale of wind. Watch
shoot suddenly ahead, and carry all

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rocks— give him the butt and tarn him again. He comes

rotmd — ^he cannot bear that steady poll — ^what excellent

tackle ! lead him downwards — he follows reluctantly, but he

is beginning to (kg. Keep winding up your line as you lead

him along. He is inclined to take a rest at the bottom, but

as you hope to land him, do not grant him a moment. Throw

in a large stone at him, but have both your eyes open — one

on your rod, and the other on the place where the fish lies —

lest he make a rush when you are stooping for a stone, and

break loose. Great, at this moment, is the advantage of the

angler who has a * cast ' in his eye ! That stone has startled

the fish — ^no rest for salmo— and now he darts to the sur&ce.

* Up wi taily ! * what a leap ! it is well you humored him by

dipping the top of your rod, or he would have gone free.

Again and again ! these are the last efforts of despair, and

they have exhausted him. He is seized with stupor, like a

stout firentleman who has suddenly exerted himself after

list received a swinging blow on

rards the shore, he can scarcely

is in his gills, and now you have

9tched on the pebbles, with his

sun, you think that you never

your life, though you perceive

D your estimate of his weight —

mt that he does not weigh more

Dtly half-past seven when you

look at your watch after landing

nts a quarter to nine, so that he

ctly an hour and a quarter.''

wn Fishing, The flies used in
9n, do not differ materially from
nd, or Scotland. In the fly sear
description are generally used.

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The moft approved are made of tlie choice feathers of the
peacock, pheasaqt, parrot, partridge woodcock, ostrich, ma-
caw, turkey, guinea-hen, &c., with bright colored bodies, and
gold twist. They can be procured ready made, and of all
ficscriptions, at the general tackle stores. The following list,
nsed in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, and to some extent in
the United States, may be found useful to the Angler.

No. 1. Body of the fly half dark blue and half orange
mohair, ribbed with silver twist and red tip ? legs of black

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Online LibraryJohn J. BrownThe American angler's guide, or Complete fisher's manual, for the United ... → online text (page 4 of 21)