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Unformatted text preview: ever to get a rise from the provoking creatures. The dry fly is difficult to use on a loch, as there is no stream to move it, and however gently you draw it it makes a "wake"--a trail behind it. Wet or dry, or "twixt wet and dry," like the convivial person in the song, we could none of us raise them. I did catch a small but beautifully proportioned and pink- fleshed trout with the alder, but everything else, silver sedge and all, everything from midge to May-fly, in the late twilight, was offered to them in vain. In windy or cloudy weather it was just as useless; indeed, I never saw them rise, except in a warm summer stillness, at and after sunset. Probably they would have taken a small red worm, pitched into the ripple of a rise; but we did not try that. After a few evenings, they seemed to give up rising altogether. I don't feel certain that they had not been netted: yet no trout seemed to be on sale in the village. Their presence in the water may perhaps be accounted for thus: they may have come into the loch from the river, by way of the tiny feeder; but the river-trout are both scarce and small. A new farmer had given up letting the water off, and probably there must have been very rich feeding, water-shrimps or snails, which might partly account for the refusal to rise at the artificial fly. Or they may have been ottered by the villagers, though that would rather have made them rise short than not rise at all. There is another loch on an extremely remote hillside, eight miles from the smallest town, in a pastoral country. There are trout enough in
33 ANGLING SKETCHES the loch, and of excellent size and flavour, but you scarcely ever get them. They rise freely, but they ALWAYS rise short. It is, I think, the most provoking loch I ever fished. You raise them; they come up freely, showing broad sides of a ruddy gold, like the handsomest Test trout, but they almost invariably miss the hook. You do not land one out of twenty. The reason is, apparently, that people from the nearest town use the otter in the summer evenings, whe...
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