One should never make a hopeless or careless cast bad

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Unformatted text preview: , for there were now no more flies, except a small "cobbery," a sea-trout fly from the Sound of Mull. It was time for us to go, with a heavy heart and a basket empty, except for two or three miserable trout. The loss of those two salmon, whether big or little fish, was not the whole misfortune. All the chances of the day were gone, and seldom have salmon risen so freely. I had not been casting long enough to smoke half a cigarette, when I hooked each of those fish. They rose at flies which were the exact opposites of each other in size, character, and colour. They were ready to rise at anything but the sniggler. And I had nothing to offer them, absolutely nothing bigger than a small red-spinner from the Test. On that day a fisher, not far off, hooked nine salmon and landed four of them, in one pool, I never had such a chance before; the heavy flood and high wind had made the salmon as "silly" as perch. One might have caught half a dozen of the great sturdy fellows, who make all trout, even sea- trout, seem despicable minnows. Next day I fished again in the same water, with a friend. I rose a fish, but did not hook it, and he landed a small one, five minutes after we started, and we only had one other rise all the rest of the day. Probably it was not dark and windy enough, but who can explain the caprices of salmon? The only certain thing is, that carelessness always brings misfortune; that if your tackle is 64 ANGLING SKETCHES weak fish will hook themselves on days, and in parts of the water, where you expected nothing, and then will go away with your fly and your casting-lines. Fortune never forgives. He who is lazy, and takes no trouble because he expects no fish, will always be meeting heart-breaking adventures. One should never make a hopeless or careless cast; bad luck lies in wait for that kind of performance. These are the experiences that embitter a man, as they embittered Dean Swift, who, old and ill, neglected and in Irish exile, still felt the pang of losing a great trout when he was a b...
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