Robert Barnwell Roosevelt.

Superior fishing; or, The striped bass, trout, and black bass of the northern states. Embracing full directions for dressing artificial flies with the feathers of American birds; an account of a sporting visit to Lake Superior, etc., etc., etc online

. (page 1 of 18)
Online LibraryRobert Barnwell RooseveltSuperior fishing; or, The striped bass, trout, and black bass of the northern states. Embracing full directions for dressing artificial flies with the feathers of American birds; an account of a sporting visit to Lake Superior, etc., etc., etc → online text (page 1 of 18)
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Celebrated Sporting Works




The Game Fish of the North.


Superior Fishing,


The Game Birds of the North.

*^* All published uniform ivitU tJiis volume,

hoMdsomely hound in doth, price $2.00.

Sent free by mail on receipt

of price, $2.00,


Carleton, Publislier,
New Yorli.



®f tlie Nartl)crn States.









Carleton, Publisher, 413 Broadway.




Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1S65, by


In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United Slates for the
Southern District of New York.


Caxton Building, Centre St., K Y.


Achigon, 71.
Agates, 108.
Agawa, 91.

ascent of, 104.
canoes for, 99.
Indians at, 92.
mouth of, 59.
American Anglers' Book, 269.
Anthony, John, 151.
Apostle Islands, 122.
Artificial baits, 272.

flies. See Fliea.
bait-fishing, 246.
fly-fishing, 246.
minnow, 273.

Bacon, fried, 295.
Bass. See Striped Bass.
Batchawang Bay, 65.
falls, 82.
fishing, 79, 82.
river, 77, 110.
Bayfield, 122.
Beans, 296.
Beaver, teeth of, 115.
Bergall, 160.
Birch canoe, 126.
Black bass, 10.

where found, 11.

in Lake Superior, 71, 75.
Blue fish, 160, 274.
Brule river, 122.
Buzz, 212.

Cakes, griddle, 299.
Camlet, 200.
Casting fly, 263.

contest, 266.

distance, 265.

rules of New York Club, 271.

for striped bass, 189, 140, 142.

Casting menhaden, 189, 144, 145, 147.
line, 261.

shrimp for striped bass, 143.
Catch, 204.
Chippewa, 78.

house, 36.
Chowder, clam, 289.
Scott's, 300.
Webster's, 298.
Clium, 153.
Clams, baked, 289.

broiled or fried, 290.
chowder. 289.
stewed, 290.
Cleveland, 23.
Close time of fish, 187.
Cock a doosh, 48.
Cookery for sportsmen, 279.
in the woods, 285.
materials for, 286.
Copper mines, 109.
Corn starch, 114.
bread, 299.
Cot, 155.
Cypress, J., Jr., 18.

Deacons' quarrel, 171.

Dead riv^er, 122.

Detour, 83.

Detroit, 28.

Dining by Americans, 29.

Duck, roast, 296.

Dyes, 240.

yellow, 240.

orange, 240.

scarlet, 240.

crimson, 241.

brown, 241.

blue, 241.

purple, 242.

violet, 242.



Dyes, claret, 242,
black, 242.
lavender, 243.
blue dun, 243.
green, 243.
gray drake, 243.
gut, 244, 245.

Effgs, fried, poached, or scrambled,

Esox ho7'eus, 11.

Feathers, preserving, 213.

for fly-making, 201.
Fish, protection of, 1S3.

close time, 187

baked, 293.

boiled, 291.

broiled, 292.

chowder, 289.

fried, 292.

potted, 29T.

stewed, 293.

diminution of, 1S4, 185.

importance as food 184.

spawning season, 187, 189.
Fisheries, value, 190.
Fishing grounds, 15, 16.
Flies of Lake Superior, natural, 117.
salmon, 202.

salmon from Scrope, 215.
trout, 210, 211.
Flies, 215.

alder fly, 231.

August dun, 235.

black gnat, 228.

black palmer, 233.

blue bottle, 237.

blue dun, 220.

brown palmer, 238.

cinnamon dun, 236.
fly, 236.

cow dung, 222.

dark mackerel, 232.

downhead fly, 228.
. fern fly, 230.

grannom or green tail, 225.

gold-eyed gauze Aving,'233.

gravel bed or spider, 225.

great red spinner, 223.

great dai'k drone, 2-1.

green drake, 231.

hazel fly, 232.

iron blue dun, 226.

Jenny spinner, 227.

Kinmont Willie, 215.

Lady of Mertoun, 215.

little dark spinner, 229.
yellow May dun, 228.

March brcwn, 223.

Flics, meg with the muckle mouth,
meg in her braws, 216.
Michael Scott, 216.
oak fly, 228.
orange fly, 235.
peacock fly, 222.
projecting bodies, 217.
red ant, 234.
red palmer, 237.
red spinner, 220.
Ronald's flies, 219.
sailor and soldier, 230.
sand fly, 224.
silver horns, 234.
stone fly, 224.
toppy, 215.
turkey brown, 229.
water cricket, 221.
wren tail, 233.
yellow dun, 226.
sally, 230.
Floss silk, 199.
Fly-book, 262.

casting. See Casting Fly.
making, 196.

bodies, 199.

buzz flies, 212.

catch. 204.

double hackles, 210.

gut loop, 202.

hackles, 200, 209.

hooks, selection, 197.

Hyde's directions, 218.

materials, 198, 199, 200, 201.

materials preserving, 213,

midge flies, 213.

palmers, 213.

projecting bodies, 217.

salmon, 202.

stop, 204.

tag, 203.

tip, 203.

trout, 210, 211,

tying silk, 1SI9, 212.

wax, 214, 198, 199, 213.

wings, 201, 205, 209.
mixed, 20S.

Garden river, 121.
General remarks, 9.
Goulais bay, 61.
Grand island, 122.
Gravv, 296.

Gros Cap, 53, 55, 61, 116.
Griddle cakes, 299.
Guides, Alexis Biron, 40.

Joseph Le Sayre, 40.
Gut, 198.
loop, 202.


Harmony river, 6T, 112. ,

falls, 68.

upper falls, 75,
Herring lake, 47.
Hooks, selection of, 197.
Hudson's Bay Company, 60.

Ice drift, 55.

Isle QjiiyX Arabes, 65.

Judith Point. See Point Judith,

Kinnikinick, 58.

Lahrax Lineatus, 138.
Lake Huron, 32.
George, 83.
trout, 186, 275.

spawning season, 137.
Lake Superior, Chap. I., 22.
IL, 38.
III., 60.
IV., 77.
v., 102.
flies for, artificial, 40, 128.
flies of, natural, 117.
north shore, 122.
resume, 120.
return from, 118.
route to, 121.
tackle for, 128.
trout of, 124.
map, 130.
L^anse aux Crepes, 88.
Leader, 261.
Lines, how prepared, 139.

for striped bass, 147.
Lines, 260.

Liver, how cooked, 299.
Lobsters, 293.

Mackinaw salmon. See Namaycush.
Maine, 14.
Mamainse, 88, 110.
Maple Island, 65.
Marquette, 121.

Meats, baked, boiled, broiled, and
stewed, 295,
tough. 297.
Menhaden bait, how prepared, 153.
Midge flies, 218.
Milk, 286.
Mines, 117.
Mohair, 199.
Mount Kineo, 101.

Namaegoose, 122.
Namaycush, 62.

baits, 134.

cbaractei-istics, 135.

Namaycush, color, 132.

localities, 134.
seasons, 133. ^
spawning, 135.

Nepecgon, 124, 91.

Oysters, broiled, fried, or roasted

scolloped, 289.
stewed,, 287.
Omelet, 291.

Palmers, 213.
Pancake Bay, 88.
Partridges, 111.
Pedro Don, 22.
baggage, 83.

conversation in Chippewa, 94.
disquisition on liquors, 24.
canoeing, 102.
china, 84.
Chippewa house, 86.
refusal to get up, 112.
sugar, 80.
table cloths, 86.
Pickerel of Lake Superior, 77.
Pictured rocks, 122.
Pike perch, 10.

where found, 10.
cut, 76.
Poaching, 192.

punishment for, 193.
Point Judith, 150.

blue-fish at, 160.
porgee at, 160.
snipe at, 159.
sti-iped bass at, 151.
Pointe aux Fins, 53.

Chenes, 53.
Mines, 109.
Potatoes, 294.
Port Huron, 29.
Pork, fried, 295.
Protection of fish, 183.
Potomac, 189, 245.
Punch, arrack, 302.

champagne, 802.
Frank Forester's, 303.
fish house, 801.
nondescript, 302.
pine-apple, 301.
Porto-Kico, 302.
regal, 302.

Reels, 255.

for bass, 140.

welding, 257.
Reel-bands, 255.
Rice, 296.
Rock-fish, 138.



Roast birds, 296.
Rods, 246.

for salmon, 246.

for trout, 249.

rings for, 255.
Rod ferrules, 253.

how separated, 254.

Salmo amefhystus. See Namay-
con finis, 136.
sincov^et, 138.
Salmon, boiled, 29T.

fishing with trout rod, 251.
flies from Scrope, 215.
fly-making, 202.
kippered, 298.
trout. See Namaycush, 136.
Sault Ste. Marie, -'4.

fishing at, 42.
little rapids, 50.
rapids, 42.
trout pond at, 45.
Silk for tying flies, 199, 212.
Siskawitz, 63, 138.
Slick, 153.
Smoked beef, 291.
Snapping mackerel, 274.
Soups, 295.
South Bay, 161.
Spinning tackle, 275.
Sportsmanship, 19, 20.
Squid, 274.
Stateroom, 24.
Ste. Marie river, 83.
Stop, 204.
Striking trout, 265.
Striped bass, 138, 274.
baits, 149.
casting menhaden, 139,

144, 147.
eel skin, 153.

Striped bass, fishing adventure, 157.
' fly-fishing, 139, 140, 142.

hooks for, 154.

implements for catch-
ing, 146, 155.

localities, 148.

seasons, 151, 152.

tackle for, 142.
Superior fishing, 21.
Superior, Lake. See Lake Superior.

Tag, 203.
Thumb-stall, 155,
Tinsel, 199.
Tip, 203.
Trout, 13.

cooked on first principles, 298.

Lake Superior, 14.

Maine, 14.

preserving, 90.

Lake. See Lake Trout,

flies, 210.
Truite du Lac. See Namaycush.
Tying silk, 199, 212.
Trolling spoons, 275.
Buels, 276.

Vails, 149. "
Vegetables, 297.
Veil, 21.
Venison stew, 303.

Wax, 198, 199,213.

soft, 214.
Wajack, 97.

Webster's chowder, 298.
White-fish, 12.

how captured, 46.
Point, 121.
Wings, 201, 205, 209.

mixed, 208.
Worsted, 199.



Although the shores of our northern coasts, both
along the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, abound in
numberless varieties of the finny tribe, and myriads
of striped bass, cod, mackerel, tautog, herring, shad
and blue-fish in the Northern States, and salmon,
sea-trout, and capelin in the British Provinces, visit
us in their season ; the inland States, with the reserva-
tion of certain restricted localities, produce few
varieties, and with a single exception, inferior kinds
offish. Throughout that vast region west of Penn-
sylvania, bordering on the great lakes, and stretch-
ing westward to the Kocky Mountains and north-
ward to the Canadian boundary, as well as the cen-
tre of British America not communicating imme-
diately with the sea or the immense bays of the
Arctic Territory, there can be found but one, or at
the most two kinds of fish that are worthy of the
attention of the epicure or the sportsman. It is true
that savage pickerel, immense mascallonge, and gi-
gantic cat-fish he in wait amid long weeds, and em-


bedded in deep mud, a terror to their smaller
brethren and a prize to the unrefined fisherman who
looks to the profit to be derived from their heavy
carcases ; and that other coarse and ill-shapen crea-
tm-es are taken in the net ; but the only fishes that
the true angler can regard as objects of sj^ort are
the pike-2:)erch, and the black bass.

The pike-perch, which is variously termed the
pickerel, pike of the lakes, glass-eye, big-eyed pike,
and pickering, is taken in immense numbers in Lakes
Erie and Huron, was formerly numerous in the
Ohio, and inhabits to a greater or less degree the
ponds or sluggish waters of that section. It is a
savage fish, biting voraciously^t bait or trolling-
tackle, and where better fish are scarce, is regarded
as a piscatory delicacy ; but its play is weak and
dull, and as it is taken with strong tackle, its capture
requires neither the skill nor experience that lend
the princi]3al charm to angling ; and by comparison
with sea-fish, its flavor is coarse.

Captured mainly with the all-devouring net, it is
salted and packed for winter use as our cod or
mackerel are preserved, and constitutes at Sandusky
and some other places an important object of com-

The black bass, a fish that, from its abundance in
their country, Americans may claim as peculiarly
their own ; a fish that is inferior only to the salmon
and trout, if even to the latter ; that requires the
best of tackle and skill in its inveiglement, and exhi-
bits courage and game qualities of the highest order—


fairly swarms in tlie iij^per central portion of North

In all the lakes, large and small, that dimple the
rugged surface of Canada ; in the sheets of pure
water embosomed in the gentle swells of the west-
ern prairies ; in those inland seas that are enveloped
by our extensive territory ; and in the numerous
rivers of the west — the black bass is found by his
ardent admirers.

From the confines of Labrador, throughout the
Canadas, in British America, the Western States,
and far beyond the Mississippi, there is scarcely a
stretch of water, whether it be the rapids of the St.
Lawrence, the sluggish bays of Lakes Ontario and
Erie, the cold depths of Huron and Superior, or the
lakelets of the interior, that does not abound with
this splendid fish.

Li dull weedy bays he becomes lazy, ugly, and
ill-flavored ; but in cold or rapid water, or upon
stony bottom, he acquires a vigor of body and ex-
cellence of flavor that place him in the first rank of
piscatorial prizes.

Although not abundant, if even indigenous in the
Middle States, he has been extensively introduced ;
aud finding many of the clear, transj)arent, rocky,
eastern ponds admirably adapted to his health and
propagation, he is populating waters that have here-
tofore produced little besides perch and sun-fish.
By a fortunate provision of nature, most ponds that
are not suited to trout are favorable to black
bass ; and being a hardy fish, able to endure long


journeys, he is readily transported from place to
place. The time will soon come when the worthless
yellow perch will be supplanted by his noble con-

He has been imported even into that semi-detached
point of New England, Cape Cod, and thrives won-
derfully in Lake Mahopac, adding much to the at-
tractions of that favorite watering-place of fashion-
jaded New Yorkers, and is being generally distri-
buted among his eastern friends. If not exposed to
a hot sun, he may be carried a long distance out of
water, and will often revive when apparently the
last spark of vitality is extinct. But his natural home
is north and west of the Middle and Eastern States ;
there his name is legion, his fame deservedly great,
and he may be almost said to be the one game fish.

It is true that among epicures the famous white
fish of Lakes Huron and Superior, which is also
found in a more flabby condition in Erie and Onta-
rio, ranks before either the black bass or the pike-
perch ; but as he is deceived by neither decoy nor
bait, he is not worthy of the fisherman's regard.
To be tasted in perfection, the white fish must be
eaten fresh from the rapids of Lake Suj^erior, where,
lying in the eddy below some immovable rock, he is
taken by the sharp-eyed Indian in the long-handled
net from out the foaming water, brought immedi-
ately to land, cooked and placed steammg hot upon
the table before he has lost the delicious freshness
of his native element.

The black bass, however, is in the west what the


trout is in our eastern brooks — the principal source
of the angler's enjoyment.

The rivers that empty into Hudson's Bay are
ascended by the migratory salmon, but from their
peculiar character do not furnish fly-fishing except
for trout. The latter are found in Lake Superior
and the streams that empty into it, in the tribu-
taries of the Upper Mississippi, and in the brooks of
the Alleghany and Rocky Moimtains ; but are not
generally distributed through the weedy streams of
the Western States.

The flat expanse of Ohio is not favorable to the
existence of that lover of the noisy brook and tum-
bling torrent ; and streams flowing through marl
deposits are supposed not to furnish proper food ; so
that the beauty that we in our eastern homes entice
from every stream or brooklet from Maine to Penn-
sylvania, is found rarely, if at all, in Illinois, Indiana,
Ohio, western Kentucky, and southern Wisconsin ;
but in the cool depths of Lake Superior and its
amber-hued tributaries he absolutely swarms.

In the Upper Mississippi there are black bass and
mascallonge; in the brooks that, rising amid the
hills of that region, swell its current, there are trout ;
in neighboring lakes black bass and perch abound ;
among the Rocky Mountains are found several spe-
cies of trout ; and in the waters of Oregon and Cali-
fornia salmon are plentiful.

Although the largest trout in the United States
are taken in Maine, in the Umbagog region, the
greatest number and the most vigorous are found in


Lake Superior, where fish of two pounds weight
can be captured to the heart's content. The fish of
Maine are of rich and strong color, while those of
Lake Superior have the bright sides and delicate
tints of the sea-trout. All brook trout, however —
the genuine salmo fontinalis — have the peculiar
bright vermilion specks that distinguish them from
kindred species, and these are distinctly visible upon
the silver sides of the fish of Lake Superior.

The innumerable rivers of the State of Maine are
interwoven together in such a manner that the fish-
erman, urging his silent canoe with dripping paddle
or stout pole, gliding beneath the arching boughs
that shade in gloom the narrow stream, or pushing
boldly into the open lakes, can pass from one region
of waters to another, and, making short portages,
explore in a continuous trip rivers that run north,
east, and west. To the true sportsman, armed with
pliant rod and feathered hook for the seduction of
the merry trout, and trusty rifle loaded with heavy
ball for the destruction of the lordly moose, nothing
surpasses the intense enjoyment of wandering amid
the forest wilds from river to river, threading the
uninhabited groves, or following the unknown and
unnamed stream, and leaving to whim or chance, or
the influence of luck, to determine his final destina-
tion. Alone with his single guide he is content;
accompanied by a friend, still better pleased ; in a
party of associates perfectly happy ; blessed by the
society of ladies — real ladies and true wood nymphs
—he is in Elysium.


Or, he may coast the shores of our western
lakes, where the bright sun sparkles on the rippUng
surface, and only seek the shade upon the land to
avoid its heat ; there he may kill the black bass, the
mascallonge, and in Lake Superior the trout ; flee-
ing from the approaching storm to some sheltered
nook, he partakes the inland ocean's varying
moods, passing the days upon its surface and the
nights^aniid the neighboring forests; stopping oc-
casionally to use the light shot-gun and kill a few
woodcock or partridges, and now and then slaying a
duck upon the route.

In the wide world there is no other country so
propitious to the fisherman as the northern part of
North America ; it furnishes every variety of sport,
from the delicate refined fishing of the transparent
ponds and over-fished trout-jDreserves of Long Island,
to the coarser and easier sport of killing with large
flies and heavy rods the countless hosts of Maine,
the Labrador coast, or Lake Superior; from the
casting the menhaden bait into the boisterous ocean
for striped bass, to the trolling amid the Thousand
Isles of the St. Lawrence for the ugly and powerful
mascallonge ; from the capture of the noble salmon
to that of the spirited black bass. In fact, there is
so much and so good fishing everywhere, that it is dif-
ficult to give a j)reference or lay out any specific
directions. Yo-u may go by railroad to Cape Vin-
cent, and thence by steamboat to Clayton or Alexan-
dria bay, and fish the St. Lawrence; or take the
ocean steamer from Boston to Eastport, and thence


to Calais, and explore the St. Croix River for land-
locked salmon ; or continue on to St. John, and by rail-
road and stage or steamer to the Nipisiquit, and kill
the true sahnon — salmo solar — ^king of fish ; or you
may take the railroad from Boston to Bethel and
cross by stage into the Umbagog region of Maine,
and visit its innumerable lakes with unpronouncea-
ble names, or may embark on the steamboat at
Cleveland, and wake up, after two days' tranquil
voyage, at the Sault Ste. Marie, the outlet of Lake
Superior ; or you may stop anywhere on any of
these routes, even out in the ocean, on the way to
New Brunswick, if you please, Avhere there are pol-
lock or haddock, and have good fishing. There is
excellent fishing close to New York city, and better
still the farther you recede from it.

It is true the fisherman will not find those refined
comforts that the more cultivated and densely peo-
pled districts of Europe afford ; but he will receive
a hearty welcome and wholesome entertainment at
the country tavern or the farmer's house. If, how-
ever, he have youth and tolerable hardihood, he
should look for no such reception ; but, carrying his
canvas-home, enjoy the luxury of unrestrained inde-
pendence, kill and cook his own dinner, and sleep in
the ^ure air of the wilderness. He will have to sur-
render a few necessaries that habit has made so, but
he will be repaid a thousandfold by increased hap-
piness and improved health ; he will not have ser-
vants to wait on him, nor desserts or wines to pamper
him; but he will have his guide to instruct, and


abundant food to support him. He will acquire an
insight into the mystery of woodcraft, and learn a
few of its wonders and delights ; he will come to
rely upon his own stout muscles and sharp eyes,
and return to the city a renovated being. Or, if
he have sufficient enthusiasm and high courage, he
may cast aside all trammels, and taking his rifle or
rod, salt pork, and hard bread, strike off into the
trackless forest with no covering to shield him from
the rain or sun, no floating thing of beauty to bear
him in its bosom over the water, no store of pro-
visions to fall back upon if fish do not rise and the
bullet flies astray ; but bearing bravely up against
heat and weariness, sleeping, amid the rain and
storm, wrapped in the heavy coat, catching or kill-
ing game sufficient for daily food, or going hungry
till better luck shall interpose. This, indeed, is
manhood ; and our country, with its vast solitudes,
its unbroken forests, its network of water-courses,
its endless chains of lakes, its vast mountains and
limitless prairies, offers inducements for such a life
that no other land possesses.

As pretty full instructions have been given in the
Game Fish of North America to aid the learner in
commencing his experiences of camp life, the reader
who desires such information is referred to that work ;
but whether he shall go into the solitary wilderness,
away from man and human habitation, or can only
tear himself from busmess for a few hours for a fly-
ing visit to some quiet preserve near the bustling
city, he should never forget that he is a sportsman,


and owes the duties of moderation, humanity, par
tience, and kindness under all circumstances ; that
he cannot slaughter or poach ; and that, from his pro-
fession, he should ever be a gentleman. He should
never forget the words of that most amiable of our
fraternity — the splendid shot, the skilful an^-ler, the
genial companion, and the graceful writer, now long
since gathered to his final resting-place — who was
known to the public under the name of J. Cypress,
Jr. :

" 'No genuine piscator ever tabernacled at Fire-
place or Stump-pond Avho could not exhibit proofs
of great natural delicacy and strength of apprehen-
sion — I mean of things in general, including fish.
But the vis vivida anvmi, the os magna sonans^ the
mamis mentis, the divine rapture of the seduction
of a trout, how few have known the apotheosis !
The creative power of genius can make a feather-
fly live, and move, and have being ; and a wisely
stricken fish gi^es up ,the ghost in transports. That
puts me in mind of a story of Ned Locus. ISTed
swears that he once threw a fly so far and delicately
and suspendedly, that just as it was dropping upon
the water, after lying a moment in the scarcely
moving air as though it knew no law of gravity,
it actually took life and wings, and would have
flown away but that an old four-pounder, seeing it
start, sprang and jumped at it full a foot out of his
element, and changed the course of the insect's tra-
vel from the upper air to the bottom of his throat.
That is one of Ned's, and I do not guarantee it, but


such a thing might be. Insects are called mto
being in a variety of mysterious ways, as all the
world knows ; for instance, the animalcula that
appear in the neighborhood of departed horses ;
and, as Ned says, if death can create life, what is
the reason a smart man can't ? Good fishermen are
generally great lawyers ; ecce signa^ Patrick Henry
and Daniel Webster. I have known this rule, how-
ever, to have exceptions. But the true sportsman
is always at least a man of genius and an honest
man. I have either read or heard some one say,
and I am sure it is the fact, that there never was an
instance of a sincere lover of a dog, gun, and rod
being sent to bridewell or penitentiary .... If I
were governor and knew a case, I would exert the

1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Online LibraryRobert Barnwell RooseveltSuperior fishing; or, The striped bass, trout, and black bass of the northern states. Embracing full directions for dressing artificial flies with the feathers of American birds; an account of a sporting visit to Lake Superior, etc., etc., etc → online text (page 1 of 18)