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rivers, too, there are a great number of samlets, or pinks, and although a very small fish, they shew good sport, and make a glorious fry when caught and nicely cooked. The finest amusement is lake-fishing for trout, and river fishing for salmon; and we shall now proceed to describe the flies which we have found most fatal in Wales.
It is universally agreed among anglers, that the trout is the most knowing of all river fish. This being the case, then, it behoves the angler to be exceedingly choice and careful of his tackle-luck being entirely out of the question in this case. If, therefore, his tackle be fine, his flies well made and well selected, and his throw elegant, he will stand a much better chance of success than one who does not pay proper attention to these requisites. The catalogue of flies necessary to ensnare the trout is not very extensive. At the commencement of the season (that is, early in April) the best flies are, for the end one, a dun cock with a yellow body; for the first dropper, a palmer with a light yellow body; and for the third (for in the lakes we always fishwith three), a dark fly, coloured with the dye of the bark of a walnut tree. These we have found to be very killing, particularly in damp, hazy weather. In May and June, when the weather be comes sultry, change your light palmer for the red-hackle (called in Wales the cock-a-boudy). This may remain on your line till the end of September, by which time your sport at the lakes will be pretty well at an end. In warm weather, when the breeze is strong, we have often changed our first fly, (that is, the dun cock,) for a partridge, or brindle cock-made of a partridge feather, with legs of any hackle
that may suit the wings, the body being made of the fur from the ear of a hare. We have had excellent sport with this when the water has been rough, and have landed some very large fish. It is a common fancy in Wales that the fish in the lakes are very fond of gaudy flies. Our experience has not borne out this supposition; for we have always found, that the nearer our flies approached to nature, and the more closely they resembled those which we caught flitting about the water, the more likely were they to obtain sport for us. One fly, which may, perhaps, be considered gaudy, we have found very successful in the hot weather in July. Its wings are made of the red feather of a landrail, with an orange body and red legs. We never saw it in any fly-busker's books, but it could easily be made to order; and the tourist in Wales should always have half a dozen of them in his book.-At the edge of night, when the sun has set, change your end fly for the coachman's fly, which is nothing more nor less than a white moth with a brown body, dubbed with yellow. These are all the flies that are necessary for sport in the Welsh lakes: and, with these, a competent share of skill, and a heart well up to the sport, your pastime will be pleasant enough. Do not, however, suppose, that, because you may possess all these necessary qualifications, sport must follow. "Patience and perseverance" are the angler's motto: and we have often been tantalized for hours by plenty of rises, but no takings. The capricious fish have jumped about in all directions but the right, leaving us disappointed, expectant, and (shall we confess it?) pettish.
There is this advantage in the
Welsh lakes-that, if you are tired of lake-fishing, you can easily repair to one of the rivers which run out of the lake; and there, although your prey may not be so large, the quantity will make up for the quality.
Before we leave Tal-y-llyn, we should mention that the good taste of the natives of Dolgelley and its vicinity (many of whom are very excellent anglers) has induced them to establish a fishing-club, the anniversary of which is celebrated in May; and if report speaks truly for, although members of the club, we have never yet attended its annual celebration-this anniversary is by no means deficient in sport and joviality. On one occasion a wager was made between two of the members, both expert and enthusiastic anglers, the result of which, while it will serve to shew the sporting capabilities of the pool, will also tend to display the skill of the individuals in question. The opponents were-Mr. Philip Hughes of Shrewsbury, an acknowledged adept; and Serjeant Williams, of Dolgelley, a man whose whole life may be said to have been spent in fly-fishing, and whose unwearied perseverance is certainly very properly rewarded by very ample success. The wager, which in itself was trifling, was to be decided by the majority in number of fish landed in a given time in one day-we believe six hours. Mr. Hughes was the victor, he having secured twelve brace, while Serjeant Williams landed only ten and a half. This contest excited a good deal of interest, as it was, in fact, a trial of skill between England and Wales, although the parties were both members of the same club.
The best lakes in Wales for trout
are those of Tal-y-llyn and Bala in Merionethshire, and the Snowdonian Lakes in Caernarvonshire. In the neighbourhood of Dolgelley there are two pools, in which there are some very fine perch-Llyn Gwernan, on the road to Cader Idris; and Llyn Cynwch, near Nannau, the seat of Sir Robert Vaughan, the Member for the county. There are several other lakes among the mountains; but a stranger would seek in vain to discover them; and would most probably, in attempting to do so, sink up to his chin in some sly bog, of which there are great abundance on the hills.
We now come to salmon-fishing -a hardy and noble amusement, and requiring a combination of strength, skill, caution, and precision, requisite in no other department of angling. Salmon are readily found in all those rivers which communicate with the sea; and it is wonderful to what a great distance they will make their way up these rivers, leaping over banks and rocks, scouring over shallows, and, apparently, unobstructed in their progress by any obstacle. The best time in Wales for salmonfishing is from September to about April; and they are caught with the rod of a very fair size, from ten to eighteen pounds. To obtain sport, the day must be somewhat rough and stormy, and there must be a flood in the river; the water should be a good deal discoloured with light foam dancing down the current. The tackle necessary for salmon-fishing ought to be strong and heavy. The fly-rod should be at least eighteen feet long, not quite so pliant as a common flyrod, but well made, and without the smallest blemish, especially towards the tip. The wire loop at
the end ought to be very thick, so as to stand the struggle of one of the strongest and nimblest of fish. The reel should be of the full size, capable of holding a sound line, not less than forty yards long. The hook should be on double gut; and every thing, in short, should be so arranged as to stand the tug of a large and powerful adversary.
The flies necessary for salmonfishing need not be numerous. In countries where this fish abounds, the stock of flies used by the best fishers is simple enough. They content themselves with a heron's hackle, or the red feather from the wing of a turkey cock, for the wings; while a little fine wool of a light yellow colour constitutes the body. This is quite tempting enough for the salmon, which, if it be inclined to take a fly at all, will take one of this description.
Salmon are fond of basking in deep holes, under banks, or rocks, or trunks of trees; and an experienced angler, who is accustomed to any particular river, will be sure to discover the best holes for sport. When the salmon has taken your fly (and he will speedily let you know that he has done so), always keep a tight line, although you may let him take it as far as he likes the first rush. Having run his length, let him lie a bit, and, above all things, avoid irritaing him. Let him keep low down, if the bottom is clear; but if it be foul, you must keep the fish well in hand, without urging him much to ascend, which he will do if you are not cautious; and no sooner does he catch a glimpse of your murderous person, than he will leap and lash in a very furious
manner, and most probably break you all to pieces. No; always use a salmon with calmness, gentleness, and "as though you loved him ;" and in this way you will soon subdue him, especially if you can contrive to lead him gradually into still water, where you can manage him much better than when he is flouncing and darting about among the rapids. In some instances he will, after bis run, lie like a log at the bottom of the river, and all your coaxing, and wheedling, and urging, will not get him to stir a peg. In this case, if you are alone, you must throw some stones at him; and, if you have a companion, it must be his place to make the gentleman move. My brother, some years ago, was fishing for trout very late in the season, when a salmon took his fly, and went away down the river with it in very gallant style. He was fishing with a single gut, and without a landing net; and although he knew, by the course which the fish took, that it was not a first-rate salmon, yet he saw enough of his tail to know that he was far too large for his tackle. With the presence of mind so useful to the angler, he determined to be patient and cautious, and to take time; so, after playing some time with his prey, he found that he had fixed himself in the bed of the river, and that he would not move. He at last got him to run again, by throwing stones at him; and, after two hours' manoeuvring, he landed a fine fellow of more than twelve pounds. If the angler has patience he may generally manage a salmon. With a good rod, stout tackle, and an advantageous si
As a general rule, this may be observed with regard to the larger kind of fish. They run up the river, the smaller ones down. This applies both to salmon and pike.
tuation, the angler need not be afraid of the largest salmon; but he must be patient, cool, and have all his energies awake to the sport. In Wales, from the plentiful communication of rivers with the sea, there is much scope for the exercise of the salmon-fisher's skill, The rivers, too, are flooded by a very small quantity of rain; as the brooks which run into them from the mountains swell very rapidly, and soon discolour the water. But
few persons, excepting the natives, or those who are accustomed to the sport, will venture to brave the wind and the rain-to say nothing of a contest with the fish itself. Those who do venture, and who love the pastime, are gratified with sport, as full of excitement, toil, and pleasure, as that of foxhunting, and requiring, in our humble estimation, infinitely more skill, dexterity, and precision.
HERE'S THE KING, THE PRESERVER OF FOXES,
Suggested by the pleasing intelligence to all Fox-hunters, of His Majesty having ordered that Foxes should no longer be destroyed on the Royal
Tune-" The King! God bless him!"
Huzza, boys! the Royal command has been given,
The foes of our sport to despair will be driven,
On the road to the covert, and when by its side,
Through the chase, when a word can be chang'd as they ride,
All, all will be full of this glorious news,
They will prate not of horses and doxies,
But the theme will be this that each veteran will choose,
Our good King, the preserver of foxes!
At night, when the polish'd mahogany groans
When the glasses go round with their musical tones,
Let's contrive that each chaunt, whether sung from the chair,
Shall for once have this burden, whatever the air,
A Good King, a good Chase, AND GOOD FOXES!!!
J. M. LACEY.
MEMORANDA CANTABRIGIENSIA.-No. III.
Rage for Hunting-Sir George Leeds's Hounds-Lichfield's, and Old Barnes-The
THE passion for hunting, as may readily be supposed, is so high at Cambridge, that no weather, distance, or other inconvenience, is allowed to put a stop to its indulgence. I was going through Cambridge the year before last, on my road to a favorite scene of amusement to me, the Newmarket Coursing Meeting, when, during my lounge through Jordan's stables, which I could not resist, a bit of pink rode into the yard upon a hack pretty well gruelled—
"Bloody with spurring, fiery hot with speed."
He appeared like a workman, and I asked John (who looked rather blue at the horse's flanks) who he was, and where he had been hunting? "Oh Lord, Sir," says John, "he an't none of those as cares for distance: why, Sir, that's Mr. L-, and he went to meet Lord Fitzwilliam to-day, five miles t'other side Peterborough!"-N. B. some five-and-thirty miles or so!
I used to envy Oxford men in nothing but in their proximity to hounds. It is seedy work, bundling out of bed in the dark on a raw morning in December for a thirty-mile canter to Thrapstone Bridge, Stanwick Pastures, or Raunds, with my Lord Fitzwilliam; or for Wadesmill, with the Puckeridge; or for Olney, with the Oakley and still more seedy is the sensation of the return, with
Morning Chapel and Euclid awaiting your expergiscence" the next morning. The only hounds. within moderate distance were those of Sir George Leeds. When Sir George gave them up, they were continued and kept by some respectable farmers, and subscribed to by several of the neighbouring gentry: but the spirit had sadly evaporated; and after seeing one or two bad days' sport, I did not hunt again with them. Mr. Joseph Leeds, Sir George's son, was, without exception, the most elegant horseman I ever saw in a field; particularly quiet in his comet-like track over a country; eyes and ears always on the qui vive; and (as NIMROD says of Mr. Loraine Smith) "neatness itself from his hat to his spur." He had such a grey horse! but he valued him at a hat full of money, or I (and several more) would not have sighed for him in vain. Mr. Earle was also a leading man with these hounds; and the top of his cap (in which he always rode) might be taken as a pretty safe land-mark by any one who could not himself quite see the tail hounds. Your readers will say, "Well, but what were the hounds like? what was their blood?" &c. &c. &c. Gentle reader, I will tell thee the truth:-Seven years ago, I did not meet hounds for the sake of improvement in "the
A friend of mine says, "There are three descriptions of men who go out hunting: the first see the hounds; the second see those who see the hounds; and the third see nothing at all."C'est vrai !