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For trout fly-fishing the most useful size hooks are those numbered 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 Kendal, corresponding with 11, 10, 9, 8, and 7 Redditch. We never use smaller than No. 1 Kendal, from the idea that their little bend is insufficient to retain its hold in the mouth of a strong and struggling fish. As our preference for the Kendal hook is decided, it must be understood that in future, when speaking of the size of hooks, we shall employ the numbers by which the different sizes of that particular hook are designated. The different parts of a hook, to which we shall often have occasion to refer, are shown in the annexed figure:-a the point; b the barb; c the bend ; the space between d and f the shank; and e the shank-top. The diagram is not intended to represent a perfect hook.
So much for the principal articles required in fly-fishing. There remain a few other articles to com
Fig. 1. plete the list, but as they are not of great importance, and as an error in their selection can scarcely be committed, we shall despatch them in a few sentences — previously reminding those who may accuse us of descending to too much minutiæ, that perfection of parts makes
a perfect whole, and that the most nicely regulated affair in every other respect may be completely marred by a defect in one of its most insignificant members.
Proceed we, then, to The Fly Book, which should be of a rather large size (say six inches by four) and well furnished with pockets and loops for scissors, a knife, and so forth. It should number at least eight or ten leaves, made of double parchment, with pieces of cork at the corners to prevent them from pressing too closely together; and the tongues on which to coil the flies should be large and stiff. The price of such an article, in a black leather case, is about five shillings; in russia, which is more durable, it is of course higher.
The Landing Net is recommended only when the banks of the river are high and the fish large. An angler whose piscatory reputation is fully established, who has taken his degree of M.A.,*
* Master of Angling — "an honour to which no one is admitted before he has performed the qualifying act of hooking and landing, without assistance, a salmon not less than fourteen pounds weight; after which he ought, on producing his testimonium, to have the entré of every angling club throughout Great Britain and Ireland. Should there be no salmon-fishing in the waters where he exercises his skill, then a jack of the same weight, also taken without assistance, or a stone and a half of trout, half a
and whose judgment therefore will not be questioned, may venture on a landing net under any circumstances; but to the novice and the wouldbe it is a different matter. The cockneyism of the latter -- an animal begirt with a capacious basket, and furnished with a folio book of flies — will, by the addition of a landing net, be complete. Often will such a wight have the mortification to be sarcastically cautioned against killing the fish in the river," while the sad conviction will possess him that he will doubtless return with an infinitely greater weight of tackle than of trout. Nevertheless, a landing net is useful, and may often be carried with propriety. Its ring should be made of brass or copper, and not jointed, as some are, but in one entire piece; and its size should not be too confined. A bamboo handle is the lightest and best. It should be about three feet long, and furnished at the butt end with a spike and crook, which last is useful to disengage the line when entangled in bushes. Price from eight to ten shillings.
The taste of the purchaser — and about taste,
hundred-weight of barbel, or a peck of dace, roach, or perch, caught in a day's fair fishing, not in dock or pond, may be allowed as a qualification, speciali gratia, for the same degree.” — The Angler's Souvenir.
nil disputandum - will direct him in his selection of the “osier creel,” the value of which depends upon its size, the sort of materials with which it is made, – that is, whether of whole or split withies, and the style of its manufacture. The French excel in basket work, and the best and neatest creels sold in this country are made in France, or, at least, by French artists. A creel of the best kind, of middle size, ought not to cost more than six shillings.
Here we would advise and caution the inexperienced - and, whatever may be the imputed motive, on the honour of an angler we do so conscientiously,—against cheap tackle of all kinds. If you use it on the ground of economy, you will certainly find yourself deceived. It will prove, longo intervallo, exactly the reverse, for you will have occasion to be always buying, and will be constantly losing fish through its defects. If it cost little, it must be of inferior quality for good materials and good workmanship cannot be obtained for a trifle, and a few shillings extra bestowed on best articles cannot be extravagant when their advantages are taken into consideration,
“Next pouch must not fail,
Stuffed as full as a mail,
To make several flies,
For the several skies,
We now proceed to our instructions for the manufacture of artificial flies — laying it down at the outset, as a strict condition, that all who honour us by adopting these instructions and expect us to teach what they desire to know, shall follow them implicitly in every particular, and resort to no others unless ours shall have been found to fail; that one stage of the process shall be thoroughly mastered before proceeding to another; and that these stages be mastered progressively in the order in which we have arranged them. We ask this in justice to ourselves, and will undertake the task of preceptorship on such conditions only.
Before commencing the operative part of fly