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CONTEMPLATIVE MAN'S RECREATION
BEING A DISCOURSE OF RIVERS FISH-PONDS
FISH AND FISHING WRITTEN BY
INSTRUCTIONS HOW TO ANGLE FOR A TROUT OR
GRAYLING IN A CLEAR STREAM BY
WITH ORIGINAL MEMOIRS AND NOTES BY
SIR HARRIS NICOLAS
NATTALI AND BOND
Piscator. Good morrow, good hostess, I see my brother Peter is still in bed. Come, give my scholar and me a morning-drink, and a bit of meat to breakfast: and be sure to get a dish of meat or two against supper, for we shall come home as hungry as hawks. Come, scholar, let's be going.
VENATOR. Well now, good master, as we walk towards the river, give me direction, according to your promise, how I shall fish for a Trout.
Piscator. My honest scholar, I will take this very convenient opportunity to do it.
The Trout is usually caught with a worm, or a minnow, which some call a penk, or with a fly, viz. either a natural or an artificial fly: concerning which three, I will give you some observations and directions.
VARIATION.] a and me a cup of ale, and be sure you get us a good dish of meat, &c.— 1st Edit.
Viator. Good master, as we walk towards the water, will you be pleased to make the way seem shorter by telling me first the nature of the Trout, and then how to catch him.
And, first, for worms.
Of these there be very many sorts : some breed only in the earth, as the earth-worm; others of, or amongst plants, as the dug-worm; and others breed either out of excrements, or in the bodies of living creatures, as in the horns of sheep or deer; or some of dead flesh, as the maggot or gentle, and others.
Now these be most of them particularly good for particular fishes. But for the Trout, the dew-worm, which some also call the lob-worm, and the brandling, are the chief; and especially the first for a great Trout, and the latter for a less. There be also of lob-worms, some called squirrel-tails, a worm that has a red head, a streak down the back, and a broad tail, which are noted to be the best, because they are the toughest and most lively, and live longest in the water; for you are to know that a dead worm is but a dead bait, and like to catch nothing, compared to a lively, quick, stirring worm. And for a brandling, he is usually found in an old dunghill, or some very rotten place near to it, but most usually in cow-dung, or hog’s-dung, rather than horse-dung, which is somewhat too hot and dry for that worm.
But the best of them are to be found in the bark of the tanners, which they cast up in heaps after they have used it about their leather.
There are also divers other kinds of worms, which, for colour and shape, alter even as the ground out of which they are got; as the marsh-worm, the tag-tail, the flagworm, the dock-worm, the oak-worm, the gilt-tail, the twachel or lob-worm, which of all others is the most ex
Nore.] 1 To avoid confusion, it may be necessary to remark, that the same kind of worm is, in different places, known by different names: thus the marsh and the meadow-worm are the same: the lob-worm or twachel is called the dew-worm, and the garden-worm; and the dockworm is, in some places, called the flag-worm. The tag-tail is found in March and April, in marled lands or meadows, after a shower of rain ; or in a morning, when the weather is calm, and not cold. To find oak-worms, beat on an oak-tree that grows over a high-way or bare place; and they will fall. To find the dock or flag-worm, go to an old pond or pit, and pull up some of the flags; shake the roots, and