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No. 3. hook, for the dropper. Much sport may be had during the showers which are proverbial during April, and also during showers at any other part of the season. The same may be said of light snow storms, which often fall in the early part of spring. Fish, however, never rise well during long-continued rain, nor in a heavy fog, nor in storms of thunder and lightning. They form, in their habits, a barometer for observant anglers as unerring as the mercurial tube. Before much rain, for example, they will not take the fly well, though the river seem alive with their leaping. They will hop over your flies and frisk at them with their tails, as it were, in the most tantalising way imaginable. Now and then you may feel a tug-you strike—there is a moment's flounder — and the fish is off. This is called “rising short,” and a very unprofitable rising it is.

We now come to the Summer quarter, which includes May, June, July, and August, — a period which, though too bright and warm for much day fishing, affords some very pleasant pastime when, after the long day of “sultry hours,” the cool and welcome

** Shades of eve come slowly down, And woods are wrapped in deeper brown." N

Should it, however, be a wet season — cloudy and showery weather prevailing — you will be likely to get good sport in the day time, capturing probably large, and certainly well-conditioned fish. Fine tackle is indispensable, and our tables will furnish an ample variety of flies. The iron blue and yellow dun may be still continued in clear water; and when the wind is very high, or the water stained, they may be changed for the alder fly and the red ant, dressed on No. 3. hooks. We allude, more particularly, to rivers unfrequented by the May fly, for on May fly rivers, June is the angler's best and busiest month. On them the principal flies used at that time, and sometimes for a week previously, are the May fly and the grey drake, dressed on No. 6. hooks, and varied occasionally with the red palmer, the alder fly, the ants, and some other kinds. The Welchman's button is also a favourite with some anglers in windy weather. It should be dressed thickly and compactly on a hook No. 3., or even 4. if the water be discoloured as well as ruffled. The May fly is generally used for the stretcher, and the grey drake for the dropper, particularly in the evening. If the river be very weedy a dropper had certainly better be dispensed with, as recommended in a previous chapter, and either the May fly or grey drake, as may be thought best, used for the stretcher. Should the fish, however, be glutted with their large ephemeral prey, we recommend the use of a full-dressed red or blue palmer for the stretcher, with a blue dun or a partridge hackle (hook, No. 4.) for the dropper. Dapping with the natural May fly is a destructive method of angling, and where that insect is not bred, any large fly, or a grasshopper, may be substituted for it. Dapping, however, can only be practised in woody rivers, and it is not, after all, so artistical nor so purely sportsmanlike a method as fishing with the artificial fly. Evening fishing often affords delightful sport; you frequently get hold of some lusty fish, and even if you are not so successful, the delightfulness of a walk on the green turf, after the heat and fatigue of a long summer's day, to

44 where streamlets fall

With mingled bubblings and a gentle rush,”

presents, in itself, no trifling recommendation. It is next to useless, unless in a cloudy evening, to commence fishing till within half an hour before sunset; and you may continue as long as

you find it likely to be of service. In the height

of summer the fish will rise all night (if the portion of the day during which the sun is absent may, at that bright and joyous season, be so denominated), but you will not, perhaps, be often inclined to tempt them till anything like a late hour. Ten o'clock will doubtless frequently find you by the river, throwing across that which, in the clear moonlight, more resembles molten silver than “the liquid element.” Before sunset we recommend any small flies, – such, for instance, as the yellow dun, the iron blue, or the golden spinner on No. 1. or 2. hooks. After sunset, as the darkness increases, rather larger flies should be used, and we know of none better than the red palmer, the partridge hackle, and a fancy fly of our own, which we have named, out of respect for our patriarch, the Walton, dressed on No. 4. or 5. hooks. At a still later period of the evening, when you must depend more upon feeling than seeing a rise, those flies should be again changed for lighter and larger ones (on hooks No. 5. or 6.), and they may be selected from the coachman, the blue palmer, the white moth, and the white spinner, on a large scale and thickly ribbed with silver twist, or, in short, any combination of bright and conspicuous materials which the fancy of the angler may suggest. The firstnamed fly is in great repute in Hampshire and many other districts. It appears to us misnamed, in one sense, having often proved it to be quite the reverse of a driver. We will only add of evening fishing, that it is not advisable to fish over a great deal of ground. When the fish are found to be in rising humour, we recommend the angler to get possession of a good deep stickle, with a still range above or below it, and to charitably advise any brother piscator who may be disposed to spend his time in roving about from stickle to stickle, to cease his wanderings and to station himself, as soon as possible, in a similar situation. When trout are not to be had in summer evenings, a capital secondary sport may be found in Dace Fishing, which indeed forms an excellent school in which to get initiated into the mysteries of trouting. Small dark colour flies should be used,—a little black gnat with a gold tag is as good as anything. This fly is made simply with a turn or two of flat gold wire at the bottom, for the tag, the rest of the body of black ostrich herl, and a wing from a wing feather of the starling. Hook, No. 1. or 0. Use two of these, on a fine collar, and, on a quiet evening at Sun

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