TROUT. This is one of our most sporting and delicious fish, this depends on the nature of the water from which it is taken, as in small mountain streams they begin to show their bright colours earlier than they do in heavier waters. When the crimson spots are vivid, the belly pure white blended into the yellow sides, which are graduated towards the back with a pearly lilac hue that merges into brown, such appearance decides the fish to be in season. Trout differ in colour when cooked : some are white as a roach; but the best flavoured are of a fine salmon tint. Both white and red are taken out of the same stream; though we have heard of some brooks wherein the trout are entirely white, and others whose fish are all red. Trout vary in size: those of the Thames and other large rivers have frequently been taken from seven to ten or twelve pounds weight. These may be considered very large fish, though trout of larger size have been taken. Trout of four or five pounds are superior in flavour to the larger: they are very short lived. The time of shedding their spawn generally is about October and November, before which they often force a passage against the stream, through wears and flood-gates: and how they overcome some of these obstacles has been the subject of much conjecture.
There are many varieties of the trout tribe, as the Fordige trout, from the name of the town near which it is usually caught; it is accounted a rare fish, and many of them are nearly as large as a salmon; there are also the Amerly trout, the bull trout of Northumberland, and several others; and if we are to believe what has been written on the subject, there are trout taken in the lake of Geneva three cubits long. The female trout is most esteemed, having a smaller head and a deeper body than the male. The red and yellow trout are the best; and when trout, as well as fish in general, are in season, it may be known by their long back and small head.
In certain lakes of Galway, in Ireland, there is another variety, called the gillaroo trout, whose stomachs are so excessively thick and muscular as to bear some resemblance to the gizzard of a fowl; and these stomachs are sometimes served up to table under the appellation of gillaroo. In the common trout the stomach is remarkably strong, for though these fish feed principally on small fish and aquatic insects, they will also devour the shell-fish of the fresh waters, and even take into their stomachs gravel or small stones, for the purpose, in all probability, of assisting in the comminution of the testaceous parts of their food.
The Sea Trout migrates like the salmon up several of our rivers, spawns, and returns to the sea. The shape is more thick than the common trout; the irides silver; the head thick, smooth, and dusky, with a gloss of blue and green ; the back of the same colour, which grows fainter towards the side line. The back is plain, but the sides, as far as the lateral line, are marked with large distinct irregular-shaped spots of black; the lateral line straight; the sides beneath the line and the belly are white; tail broad and even at the end. The flesh when boiled is of a pale red, but well-flavoured.
Trout are generally found in eddies, where they remain concealed behind a stone, or a log, or a bank that projects into the stream. In the latter part of the summer they are frequently caught in a milltail, and sometimes under the hollow of a bank, and under the roots of a tree. In angling for trout, observe,
1. That the day be a little windy and the sky partially overcast; the south wind is the most desirable.
2. The angler should stand at a proper distance from the stream, and fish it downwards, the line never touching the water lest it should disturb the fish.
3. Clear streams are the most desirable, and a small fly with slender wings is the most appropriate.
4. The line should be about twice the length of the rod, except where trees, or other intervening objects, preclude the possibility of a successful throw at any distance.
5. The fly should suit the season. After a shower, when the water is of a brown appearance, the orange-fly is best; in a clear day the light-coloured fly; and in a gloomy day, in overshadowed streams, a dark fly.
In angling with the fly it is important to strike on the first rise of the fish. The trout may be caught at the top, the middle, or the "bottom of the stream. In angling for him at the top with a natural fly, use the green drake-fly and stone-fly, at least during the months of May and June. This mode of angling is called dipping or daping. If there be no wind, use a line half the length of the rod; but if there be a wind increase the length of the line. Let the line fly with the wind up or down the stream, and when you see a fish rise, guide the fly over him. In case of striking a fish, as you have no length of line with which to weary him, the capture must be effected by force. At midwater, angling for the trout is performed by means of small minnow, caddis, grub, or worm. If a minnow be used, the moderately sized and whitest are the best, and should be placed upon a large hook, that it may be able to turn itself about when drawn against the stream. The hook may be inserted in the mouth and drawn out at the gills tail neatly tied together, that the evolutions of the bait may be more naturally performed. The slack of the line should then be pulled back, that the body may be nearly straight ou the hook. If he do not turn nimbly enough, let the tail be turned to the right or left, which, by enlarging the orifice made in the body of the minnow, will greatly facilitate its movements. In angling with a worm or caddis, the finest tackle must be employed and a cork float. The lob-worm is the best in muddy water, and in clear streams the brandling. The first is used for large trout, the second for smaller ones.
There are two methods of angling at the bottom, with the float or with the hand. The latter is effected by means of a ground bait and long line, having one hair next the hook, and a little higher one small shot for a plumb. The brandling should be well secured and always in motion, drawn toward the person who is fishing. Only one worm is to be fastened on the hook at a time. To angle at the bottom with a float use the caddis, two or three of which may be put upon the hook at a time. It is often joined to the worm, and sometimes to an artificial fly. Fine tackle must be employed; and this mode of angling will afford diversion and success at all seasons of the year. In fishing with the caddis at the top of the water, the insect may be imitated by forming the head of black silk, and the body of yellow chamois leather; but the trout will seldom rise at the caddis when the stream is at all muddy. These observations are drawn from the most usual habits of successful fishermen, and are made with a view to practical convenience.
The father of anglers tell us, that " In the night the best trouts come out of their holes ; and the manner of taking them is on the top of the water with a great lob or garden worm, or rather two, which you are to fish with in a place where the waters run somewhat quietly, for in a stream the bait will not be so well discerned. In a quiet or dead place near to some swift, there draw your bait over the top of the water to and fro, and if there be a good trout in the hole, he will take it, especially if the night be dark: for then he is bold, and lies near the top of the water, watching the motion of any frog or water-rat or mouse, that swims betwixt him and the sky; these he hunts after, if he sees the water but wrinkle, or move in one of these dead holes, where these great old trouts usually lie, near to their holds; for you are to note, that the great old trout is both subtle and fearful, and lies close all day, and does not usually stir out of his hold, but lies in it as close in the day, as the timorous hare does in her form: for the chief feeding of either is seldom in the day, but usually in the night, and then the great trout feeds very boldly.
" You must fish for them with a strong line, and not a little hook, and let him have time to gorge your hook, for he does not usually forsake it, as he oft will do in the dayfishing: and if the night be not dark, then fish so with an artificial fly of a light colour, and at the snap; nay, he will sometimes rise at a dead mouse, or a piece of cloth, or any thing that seems to swim across the water, or to be in motion: this is a choice way, but I have not oft used it, because it is void of the pleasures that such days as these, that we two now enjoy, afford an angler."
In fishing a river with which the angler has no previous acquaintance, the most approved practice is to try the eddies which are frequent at the corners of streams, and where the circular movement of the current throws out a frequent sustenance for the finny race. There the larger trout often lie ; and it must consist with the experience of every angler, that an excellent capture is sometimes made repeatedly from some small spot behind or beside of a particular stone, where from day to day some well-sized fish seems to succeed another in the favourite feeding ground. In this knowledge of peculiar localities consists the chief advantage of a previous acquaintance with the water. The smaller fish are found in most abundance in the widely spread and shallow streams, as well as in the extended parts of pools no great depth. As a general rule, the angler may be advised to fish with the wind on his back and the sun in front, which not only gives him a greater command of his line, but prevents himself or his shadow from being so distipctly perceived. A strict adherence, however, to this plan is by no means advisable, as the angler's position in relation to sun and wind must frequently vary with the natural course of the river, the obstruction of overhanging wood, and the greater or less command of pool and stream presented by the varying form of the adjoining shore
Harewood, Harry. A Dictionary of Sports. London: T. Tegg and son, 1835.
|Are you aware that Google is offering +1 to Everyone? Share your +1 with Every One of Your Friends by looking for the +1 on websites everywhere!" |
If you liked this site, click
Order Online 24 Hours a Day, 7 Days a Week, 365 Days a Year