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large body of water, in each case, being driven through a small passage. Another effect of this relative disposition of circumstances, is the tides rising to a very great height.
Having given this slight sketch of the scene of piscatorial operations, I will endeavour to explain the manner in which they are successfully carried into effect. The mode of proceeding is not dissimilar from that adopted near the coast for taking small seith, leith, and herring. The principle is precisely the same; but as the fish at a distance from the shore are much larger and more powerful, stronger tackle is required; the rods and lines must be stouter, the hooks larger and stronger, and the white feather, of which the fly is formed, must be longer. The fish taken in the vicinity of this island average from one to three pounds. Sometimes fish as large as four or five pounds are caught; and when larger ones take the flies, the tackle is broken; but at this season of the year the young fish of the previous year are chiefly those which congregate together in these localities, and are taken.
When the autumn arrives, these fish become heavy and powerful, and a different style of fishing is adopted, and different tackle brought into requisition to secure them. They are then known as steinloch; but I have explained, in a former chapter, the method of taking these. Those from one to three pounds give capital sport, being remarkably strong for their size, and vigorous in their resistance. Three persons in each boat will suffice, one to manage the rods, and one at each oar. Six rods may be used effectively. They ought to be from 12 to 15 feet in length, three-fourths alder, and one-fourth, i. e. the top, of hazel, which must be firmly spliced on. By this combination you have a light, manageable rod, with strength and flexibility where they are each required. The line must be of the same length as the rod; on no account longer, as your continuous sport depends much upon your expeditiously lifting your fish into the boat with the strength of the rod and line with the first impulse, without the fish being allowed to strike the side of the boat; which would be the case with too long a line, involving a loss of one-third of the fish hooked, and interfering with your prompt attention to your other lines, on each of which there may be fish, as it is no uncommon occurrence to have a fish on each line at the same moment. Dispatch, therefore, is essential to success, and he is the most skilful and efficient fisherman who can bring his fish most readily into the boat, unhook them, and replace his rod and line, and accomplish this without interfering with the other rods and lines lying closely in juxtaposition: and as the fish follow the boat, .attracted by the flies, the more quickly you can get your lines into the water again, after having secured your fish, the less liable will you be to lose the shoal which is following you, as, strange to state, the hooked fish which are plunging about in the water do not in the slightest degree alarm those which are following your flies.
Your line must be made of strong horsehair; the more joints and fastenings in it the better, as these, in meeting the current, make seams and marks in the water, which attract the attention of the fish to your flies. At the end of your line one piece of gut, to which your fly will be attached, will suffice; and this must be of the best quality, as it must be recollected that this is intended to bear a fish of three pounds weight/ there being no'time for the use of gaffs or landing-nets. The hook must be the size of a salmonhook; but a white tin one, black hooks not answering so well. The fly is formed of one feather, of about three inches in length, fastened firmly on the upper side of the shank of the hook; not all along it, but only at the extreme end, so that almost the entire length of the feather is at liberty, keeping parallel with the hook as the boat advances through the water. The feather must be a perfectly white one, taken either from under the wing of a large white sea-gull, or from out of one of the tail feathers; if from under the Q
wing, three inches of the fine end of the feather; if from a large tail-feather, it will be a part selected from the side, of the same length. This feather is supposed to imitate a small young fish. The person who manages the rods will sit on a plank across the bows of the boat, as near the stern as he conveniently can, with the ends of the rods inserted into a small faggot tightly fastened underneath the plank on' which he is sitting, so that he will have all the rods within his immediate control; the gentle and regular progress of the boat keeping the lines at full stretch, so that the fish on taking the flies hook themselves. When the fish take very freely, two persons will do more execution with the rods than one.
The amateurs of this exciting sport in fine weather generally assemble on the island an hour before sunset, draw their boats up on the rock, prepare their flies, chat, and smoke their pipes till the wished-for moment arrives, when there is a simultaneous movement towards the boats, and in a few minutes they are all afloat. This moment, most exciting to those who are fond of the sport, must be witnessed and participated in to be appreciated. At the time of the sun's disappearance below the top of one of Jura's mountains to the west, the smooth and glassy intervals between the currents present an unbroken, speckless, mirror-like surface, when,, after an interval of about ten minutes, the golden track of the sun's descent being no longer visible, in an instant, as if by magic, a thousand bubbles and small circles are perceptible, indicating the arrival of a host of fish at the surface; and to these spots all the boats speed their way, rowing backwards and forwards through them at a gentle pace: and if the fish be in good humour for taking the fly, which is generally the case if the evening, or rather night, be fine, each person who has the management of the rods will have continuous occupation, excitement, and sport till half-past ten, eleven, or even sometimes as late as twelve o'clock; following the fish from one favourite spot to another, as every now and then they disappear from one place and exhibit themselves in another; so that the rowers have as much excitement in the pursuit as the man at the rods in the taking of the fish. At eleven or twelve, when the first act is over, the boats retire to the island, and await the morning's fishing; which is as good as the evening's,, only not so durable, as it commences at two and finishes about four; t. e., half an hour before sunrise. When the fish takes freely, I do not know any kind of fishing more exciting than this nocturnal rod-fishing; as it will constantly happen that you will have a fish on each rod at the same time,,