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Unformatted text preview: rn, and all is fish that comes to his fly. Fingerlings he keeps, and does not return to the water "as pitying their youth." Let us not grudge him his sport as long as he fishes fair, and he is always good company. But he, with all the other countless fishermen, make fish so rare and so wary that, except after a flood in Meggat or the Douglas burn, trout are scarce to be taken by
44 ANGLING SKETCHES ordinary skill. As for Thae reiving cheils Frae Galashiels, who use nets, and salmon roe, and poisons, and dynamite, they are miscreants indeed; they spoil the sport, not of the rich, but of their own class, and of every man who would be quiet, and go angling in the sacred streams of Christopher North and the Shepherd. The mills, with their dyes and dirt, are also responsible for the dearth of trout. Untainted yet thy stream, fair Teviot, runs, Leyden sang; but now the stream is very much tainted indeed below Hawick, like Tweed in too many places. Thus, for a dozen reasons, trout are nigh as rare as red deer. Clearburn alone remains full of unsophisticated fishes, and I have the less hesitation in revealing this, because I do not expect the wanderer who may read this page to be at all more successful than myself. No doubt they are sometimes to be had, by the basketful, but not often, nor by him who thinks twice before risking his life by smothering in a peaty bottom. To reach Clearburn Loch, if you start from the Teviot, you must pass through much of Scott's country and most of Leyden's. I am credibly informed that persons of culture have forgotten John Leyden. He was a linguist and a poet, and the friend of Walter Scott, and knew The mind whose fearless frankness naught could move, The friendship, like an elder brother's love. We remember what distant and what deadly shore has Leyden's cold remains, and people who do not know may not care to be reminded. Leaving Teviot, with Leyden for a guide, you walk, or drive, Where Bortha hoarse, that loads the meads with sand, Rolls her...
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