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may be thankful winter has come and brought with it so much keen enjoyment. Pike, too, are not so tender as to be influenced by the wind having a touch of the east in it. Nay, sometimes they run all the better when the wind is most piercingly cold. He is not a bad specimen of a muscular Christian who says, in his Ode to the North-East wind
" Jovial wind of winter,
Every one, however, has not the taste for such rough enjoyments, or perhaps has not the physical strength necessary for their perfect enjoyment. For him, then,
, there is the pleasure of taking a stroll in an idle hour by river or mere side. Every angler knows what it is to picture to himself how he would fish such a spot! what a likely hole this seems for a pike, and that a sure find for a shoal of perch! how that bend of the river could be cast over without getting entangled in the overhanging bushes ! what a capital place this would be to land the fish which are sure to lie under the shelter of that submerged tree! and so on. What numerous plans are formed for next year's excursions—most of them, alas ! in all probability, will not be carried out
and what crafty expedients will be tried to capture the big fish that have escaped us before. A winter after
passes pleasantly in such imaginings. One learns a great deal, too, in such rambles. The water is often very clear, and the frost has cut the weeds down so that one learns the topography of the river bed, and the exact locale of the “ homes ” of the fish.
There are days, however, when even this resource is not available ; but, as it is unlikely that any man is an angler and nothing else, then other occupations come in. In the evenings, or when he is inclined to read, there are no end of books upon his favourite sport with which he may console himself--moving adventures of innumerable sportsmen on flood and field, “mountain, meadow, and mere." If he has literary tastes, he may write upon his favourite sports, and so not only gain publicity and pelf, but, what is far more valuable, the acquaintance and friendship of kindred spirits, with whom otherwise he would not have foregathered.
However the angler's winter be spent, I hope that it is with my readers—with whom I thus endeavour to chat, as it were across the walnuts and the wine”. merry and a happy one.
A PALL of blue-black cloud that darkens all the wold,
Each leaf of yellow, red, or brown is turned to gold,