« ForrigeFortsæt »
amongst the booksellers in St. Paul's Churchyard, or to Mr. John Stubs, near to the Swan in Golden Lane; they be both honest men, and will fit an angler with what tackling he lacks.
VEN. Then, good master, let it be at for he is nearest to my dwelling, and I pray let's meet there the ninth of May next, about two of the clock, and I'll want nothing that a fisher should be furnished with.
Pisc. Well, and I'll not fail you, God willing, at the time and place appointed.
VEN. I thank you, good master, and I will not fail you : and, good master, tell me what baits more you remember, for it will not now be long ere we shall be at Tottenham-high-cross, and when we come thither, I will make you some requital of your pains, by repeating as choice a copy of verses as any we have heard since we met together; and that is a proud word, for we have heard very good ones.
Pisc. Well, scholar, and I shall be then right glad to hear them; and I will, as we walk, tell you what
l soever comes in my mind, that I think may be worth your hearing. You may make another choice bait thus : take a handful or two of the best and biggest wheat you can get, boil it in a little milk, like as frumity is boiled; boil it so till it be soft, and then fry it very leisurely with honey, and a little beaten saffron dissolved in milk, and you will find this a choice bait, and good I think for any fish, especially for Roach, Dace, Chub, or Grayling : I know not but that it may be as good for a river Carp, and especially if the ground be a little baited with it.
And you may also note, that the spawn of most fish
is a very tempting bait, being a little hardened on a warm tile, and cut into fit pieces. Nay, mulberries, and those black berries which grow upon briars, be good baits for Chubs or Carps; with these many have been taken in ponds, and in some rivers where such trees have grown near the water, and the fruits customarily dropped into it; and there be a hundred other baits more than can be well named, which, by constant baiting the water, will become a tempting bait for any fish in it.
You are also to know, that there be divers kinds of cadis, or case-worms, that are to be found in this nation, in several distinct counties, and in several little brooks that relate to bigger rivers; as namely, one cadis called a piper, whose husk or case is a piece of reed about an inch long, or longer, and as big about as the compass of a two-pence; these worms being kept three or four days in a woollen bag, with sand at the bottom of it, and the bag wet once a day, will in three or four days turn to be yellow; and these be a choice bait for the Chub or Chavender, or indeed for any great fish, for it is a large bait.
There is also a lesser cadis-worm, called a cock. spur, being in fashion like the spur of a cock, sharp at one end, and the case or house in which this dwells is made of small husks, and gravel, and slime, most curiously made of these, even so as to be wondered at, but not to be made by man, no more than a kingfisher's nest can, which is made of little fishes' bones, and have such a geometrical interweaving and connection, as the like is not to be done by the art of man : this kind of cadis is a choice bait for any float-fish, it is much less than the piper-cadis, and to be so ordered; and these may be so preserved ten, fifteen, or twenty days, or it may be longer.
There is also another cadis, called by some a strawworm, and by some a ruff-coat, whose house or case is made of little pieces of bents, and rushes, and straws, and water-weeds, and I know not what, which are so knit together with condensed slime, that they stick about her husk or case, not unlike the bristles of a hedgehog ; these three cadises are commonly taken in the beginning of summer, and are good indeed to take any kind of fish with float or otherwise. I might tell you of many more, which as these do early, so those have their time also of turning to be flies later in summer ; but I might lose myself, and tire you by such a discourse; I shall therefore but remember you, that to know these, and their several kinds, and to what flies every particular cadis turns, and then how to use them, first as they be cadis, and after as they be flies, is an art, and an art that every one that professes to be an angler has not leisure to search after, and if he had, is not capable of learning.
I will tell you, scholar, several countries have several kinds of cadises, that indeed differ as much as dogs do: that is to say, as much as a very cur and a greyhound do. These be usually bred in the very little rills or ditches that run into bigger rivers, and I think a more proper bait for those very rivers than any other. I know not how or of what this cadis receives life, or what coloured fly it turns to; but doubtless, they are the death of many Trouts, and this is one killing way.
Take one, or more if need be, of these large yellow cadis, pull off his head, and with it pull out his black gut; put the body, as little bruised as is possible, on a very little hook, armed on with a red hair, which will show like the cadis-head, and a very little thin lead, so put upon the shank of the hook that it may sink presently; throw this bait thus ordered, which will look very yellow, into any great still hole where a Trout is, and he will presently venture his life for it, it is not to be doubted, if you be not espied; and that the bait first touch the water before the line ; and this will do best in the deepest stillest water.
Next let me tell you, I have been much pleased to walk quietly by a brook with a little stick in my hand, with which I might easily take these, and consider the curiosity of their composure ; and if you shall ever like to do so, then note, that your stick must be a little hazel, or willow, cleft, or have a nick at one end of it; by which means, you may with ease take many of them in that nick out of the water, before you have any occasion to use them. These, my honest scholar, are some observations told to you as they now come suddenly into my memory, of which you may make some use: but for the practical part, it is that that makes an angler: it is diligence, and observation, and practice, and an ambition to be the best in the art, that must do it. I will tell you, scholar, I once heard one ay, I envy not him that eats better meat than I do, nor him that is richer, or that wears better clothes than I do; I envy nobody but him, and him only, that catches more fish than I do.' And such a man is like to prove an angler, and this noble emulation I wish to you and all young anglers.
Of the MINNOW, or PENK, of the LOACH, and of
the BULL-HEAD, or MILLER'S-THUMB.
HERE be also three or four other
little fish that I had almost forgot,
that are all without scales, and T
may for excellency of meat be compared to any fish of greatest value and largest size. They be usually
full of eggs or spawn all the months of summer; for they breed often, as it is observed mice, and many of the smaller four-footed creatures of the earth do; and as those, so these, come quickly to their full growth and perfection. And it is needful that they breed both often and numerously, for they be, besides other accidents of ruin, both a prey and baits for other fish. And first, I shall tell you of the Minnow or Penk.
The Minnow hath, when he is in perfect season, and not sick, which is only presently after spawning, a kind of dappled or waved colour, like to a panther, on his sides, inclining to a greenish and sky-colour, his belly being milk white, and his back almost black