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Unformatted text preview: ng. There have been anglers who, when the salmon was once on, handed him over to the gillie to play and land. One would like to act as gillie to those lordly amateurs. My own fish rushed down stream, where the big tree stands. I had no hope of landing him if he took that course, because one could neither pass the rod under the boughs, nor wade out beyond them. But he soon came back, while one took in line, and discussed his probable size with the trout-fisher opposite. His size, indeed! Nobody knows what it was, for when he had come up to the point whence he had started, he began a
62 ANGLING SKETCHES policy of violent short tugs--not "jiggering," as it is called, but plunging with all his weight on the line. I had clean forgotten the slimness of the tackle, and, as he was clearly well hooked, held him perhaps too hard. Only a very raw beginner likes to take hours over landing a fish. Perhaps I held him too tight: at all events, after a furious plunge, back came the line; the casting line had snapped at the top link. There was no more to be said or done, except to hunt for another fly in the trout fly-book. Here there was no such thing, but a local spectator offered me a huge fly, more like a gaff, and equipped with a large iron eye for attaching the gut to. Withal I suspect this weapon was meant, not for fair fishing, but for "sniggling." Now "sniggling" is a form of coldblooded poaching. In the open water, on the Ettrick, you may see half a dozen snigglers busy. They all wear high wading trousers; they are all armed with stiff salmon-rods and huge flies. They push the line and the top joints of the rod deep into the water, drag it along, and then bring the hook out with a jerk. Often it sticks in the side of a salmon, and in this most unfair and unsportsmanlike way the free sport of honest people is ruined, and fish are diminished in number. Now, the big fly MAY have been an honest character, but he was sadly like a rake-hook in disguise. He did not look as if an fish could fancy him. I, therefore,...
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