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bright sunny day, except there be a strong breeze; and then it may succeed when a rod would fail: but a warm, mild, cloudy day, with a slight breeze from the south-west, is most favourable. The north and east wind are altogether adverse to success.
Most of the rivers in Perthshire afford excellent sport to those who are fond of first-rate trout and salmon fishing with the rod; and perhaps there is no amusement more attractive, exciting, and fascinating to the genuine sportsman than the latter; at least, if we may be allowed to judge from the numerous admissions made in its favour by those who have luxuriated in all the pleasurable and recreative excitements which wood, hill, field, plain, and mountain afford, either with the gun or in the chase. To throw your fly over a good pool of water softly agitated by a western breeze, and undulated by a progressive bubbling current, slightly tinged by a recent shower, the former co-operating with the latter to produce precisely that ripple which you require, with the prepossession that there are heavy salmon, causes as much pleasure and interest to the fisherman, as he cautiously approaches to make his first cast with his fly, as the drawing of a first-rate cover with a pack of foxhounds to the foxhunter, with the certainty of a find. And when a good fish is hooked, the excitement is perhaps not less than that produced on the finding of your fox; neither is it less durable, although more continuous, if I may be allowed to use the expression, as you have no checks with your salmon; your skill, vigilance, assiduity, and anxiety being of necessity unremittingly on the stretch until you safely land your fish, because, like the fox, the salmon may elude and disappoint all your efforts in the expected moment of victory; both accidents happen sometimes, greatly to the annoyance of both the fisherman and foxhunter. The accomplishment of each victory frequently requires about the same time. Fortyfive minutes to an hour over a good country at the best pace is considered a first-rate run, when you run into and kill your fox in good style; and a heavy salmon will sometimes require the continuous exertions of the most expert and skilful fisherman for the same amount of time before he can safely land him. A fish of nine or ten pounds may be killed in a quarter of an hour, and you may sometimes run into your fox in the same time, and the shine be considerably taken out of the best of horses, as the agitated state of their tails often testifies; these short and decisive runs being generally most severe.
It is vexatious to lose either your fox or salmon just as you are expecting to kill either the one or the other: but both will sometimes escape; the salmon, just when you are about to land him and he appears quite exhausted, will make one convulsive leap out of the water, and as he falls you have the mortification of finding your line slack, and perceive your fish moving off. In the same manner with your fox, after a burst of threequarters of an hour, your hounds will throw up in an instant, on the high road or at the entrance to a village, baffling all the efforts of the most skilful huntsman to get upon his line again or discover the place of his refuge. Sometimes a flock of sheep may be the innocent cause of his escape; sometimes a drain or hollow tree may conceal him. This is not often the case; but it does occasionally occur, sly reynard having been seen by some countrymen emerging from his hiding place and making good his retreat after the field had taken their departure. In such an emergency, if the day be not too far advanced and a likely cover be within reach, a fresh fox may be drawn for and found, and a good run had, terminating auspiciously, thus obliterating the former disappointment. And in like manner the fisherman may try a fresh pool, and hook and kill a fine salmon, and after this one several others; so that he has more sport, as far-as it goes, than the foxhunter, and a remedy for any disappointment more readily at hand. Still I do not think the fisherman gets over the loss of a good fish so easily as the foxhunter reconciles himself to the loss of his fox; as the latter has had what he principally desired, in having had a first-rate run; and if reynard has escaped, he enjoys the anticipation of killing him on the next occasion, after having had another good day's sport with him. • But even in this he may be deceived, as I have known one particular fox defeat a first-rate pack during the whole of one season, unless he was killed quite at the end of it on a foggy day, when he was found in his usual cover, and the hounds left the whole field in the lurch, the pace having been so great that no horse could live with them, and the fog prevented their direction being pursued. As the fox was never found subsequently, it was presumed that he was killed on that occasion.
It may be asked how a particular fox could be identified. In this instance it was easily done, as this fellow had lost the greater part of his brush. Those who are passionately fond of foxhunting, and have never enjoyed the sport of salmon fishing, will, in all probability, consider it absurd to institute any comparison between the two sports. I recommend them to suspend their judgment for a few years, and then try what appears the less exciting and more tranquil amusement, and I do not think they will withhold from salmon fishing its claim and pretension to that fascination with which it is credited by its numerous admirers. Perhaps at that delightful period of the existence of a man of fortune so felicitously described by Dr. Johnson, 'when youth rushes forth to take possession of the world,' and everything is or appears to be 'couleur de rose,' then, perhaps, foxhunting will most decidedly bear the palm ; but when the fever of this first excitement be over, and the best countries have been ridden across, upon the best of horses, first-rate sport enjoyed, and perhaps a dislocation occurred, and a bone or two broken, and some dozen years elapsed, then salmon fishing, if it can be enjoyed on a first-rate river, with all necessary appliances and requirements, will come in for its due meed of praise and just appreciation.
I will not pretend to give any instructions as to .the best mode of throwing a fly, hooking and killing a salmon, as I am of opinion that these accomplishments must be derived from practical experience, and cannot be imparted verbally.
Every man, before he attempts salmon fishing, ought to try his hand at trout fishing; and when he has learned the best method of killing large trout, he may then test his skill and experience with salmon. There is, of course, considerable skill in throwing your fly well and judiciously; but if you have first-rate tackle, this art is easily acquired; the great trial comes when you have hooked a good fish; then a good hand and