The Art of Angling.
eader: I will complement, and put a case to you. I met with a man, and upon our Discourse he fell out with me: this man having a good weapon, having neither wit, stomack, nor skill; I say this man may come home by Totnam-high-Cross, and cause the Clerk to tole his knell: It is the very like case with the Gentleman Angler that goeth to the River for his pleasure: this Angler hath neither judgment, knowledge, nor experience; he may come home light laden at his pleasure.
A man that goeth to the River for his pleasure, must understand, when he cometh there, to set forth his Tackles. The first thing he must do, is to observe the Sun, the Wind, the Moon, the Starres, and the Wanes of the Air; to set forth his Tackles according to the times and seasons; to goe for his pleasure, and some profit.
As for example, the Sun proves cloudy; then must he set forth either his ground Bait or Tackles, and of the brightest of his Flies. If the Sun prove bright, then must he put on some of the darkest of his flies. Thus must you goe to work with your Flies, light for darkness, and dark for lightness, with the wind in the South, then that blows the Flie in the Trouts mouth. Though I set down the wind being in the South, if the weather be warm, I am indifferent where the wind standeth, either with ground Bait or Menow, so that I can cast my Bait into the River. The very same observations is for night, as for day: For if the Moon prove cleer, or if the Stars glitter in the skie, there is as ill Angling that night, as if it were at high noon in the midst of Summer, when the Sun shineth at the brightest, wherein there is no hopes of pleasure.
I will begin to Angle for the Trout, with the ground Baits with this quality.
The first thing you must gaine, must be a neat taper Rod, light before, with a tender hazell top, which is very gentle. If you desire to attain my way of Angling, (for I have Angled these forty years) with a single haire of five lengths, one tied to another for the bottom of my Line, and a Line of three haired links for the uppermost part; and so you may kill the greatest Trout that swims, with Sea-room.
He that Angles with a Line made of three haired links at the bottom, and more at the top, may kill Fish: but he that Angles with one hair shall kill five Trouts to the others one; for the Trout is very quick sighted; therefore the best way for night or day, is to keep out of the sight. You must Angle alwayes with the point of your Rod downe the stream; for a Fish hath not the quickness of sight so perfect up the stream, as opposite against him, observing seasonable times; as for example, we begin to Angle in March; If it prove cloudie, you may Angle with the ground Baits all day long: but if it prove bright and cleere, you must take the morning and evening, or else you are not like to do any good; so the times must be observed, and truely understood; for when an Angler commeth to the River for his pleasure that doth not understand to set forth his Tackles fit for the time, it is as good keep them in the bag, as set them forth....