Monday, June 12, 2017

Fishing Miseries - an 1833 advice book for fishermen

Cartoons and descriptions of the hazards of fishing.

"Wading half an inch deeper than the tops of your boots, and finding afterwards that you must carry about with you four or five quarts [of water] in each, or must sit down on the wet grass whilst your attendant pulls them off, in order that you may empty them, and try to pull them on again."

After trying in vain to reach a trout which is rising on the opposite side of the river— at last walking on; and before you have gone 100 yards, looking back, and seeing a more skilful friend catch him at the first throw.—Weight 3 lbs. 2 oz.

Arriving just before sun-set at a shallow, where the fish are rising beautifully, and finding that they are all about to be immediately driven away by five-and-twenty cows, which are preparing to walk very leisurely across the river in open files.

Also, when you are using two flies, you may sometimes catch a fish with one of them, and a weed growing in the river with the other. When such a liaison is once formed, you will find it difficult, with all your attractions, to overcome the strong attachment of the fish to your worthless rival the weed.

When you see a large fish rising so greedily in the middle of a sharp stream, that you feel almost sure of his instantly taking your May-fly, I would advise you to make an accurate survey of all obstructions in the immediate neighbourhood of your feet—of any ditch which may be close behind you—or of any narrow plank, amidst high rushes, which you may shortly have to walk over in a hurry. If you should hook the fish, a knowledge of these interesting localities will be very useful to you.

Penn, Richard.  Maxims and hints for an angler, and Miseries of fishing...London: 1833

©2017 Patricia Bixler Reber
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