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Unformatted text preview: ows and with pike, but these inmates are too dangerous to be introduced. The introduction, too, of Loch Leven trout is often disappointing. Sometimes they escape down the burn into the river in floods; sometimes, perhaps for lack of proper food and sufficient, they dwindle terribly in size, and become no better than "brownies." In St. Mary's Loch, in Selkirkshire, some Canadian trout were introduced. Little or nothing has been seen of them, unless some small creatures of a quarter of a pound, extraordinarily silvery, and more often in the air than in the water when hooked, are these children of the remote West. If they grew up, and retained their beauty and sprightliness, they would be excellent substitutes for sea-trout. Almost all experiments in stocking lochs have their perils, except the simple experiment of putting trout where there were no trout before. This can do no harm, and they may increase in weight, let us hope not in wisdom, like the curiously heavy and shy fish mentioned in the beginning of this paper. 38 ANGLING SKETCHES LOCH LEVEN
I had a friend once, an angler, who in winter was fond of another sport. He liked to cast his louis into the green baize pond at Monte Carlo, and, on the whole, he was generally "broken." He seldom landed the golden fish of the old man's dream in Theocritus. When the croupier had gaffed all his money he would repent and say, "Now, that would have kept me at Loch Leven for a fortnight." One used to wonder whether a fortnight of Loch Leven was worth an afternoon of the pleasure of losing at Monte Carlo. The loch has a name for being cockneyfied, beset by whole fleets of competitive anglers from various angling clubs in Scotland. That men should competitively angle shows, indeed, a great want of true angling sentiment. To fish in a crowd is odious, to work hard for prizes of flasks and creels and fly-books is to mistake the true meaning of the pastime. However, in this crowded age men are so constituted that they like to turn a contemplative exercise into a kind of Bank Holiday. There is no use in arguing with such persons; the w...
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