rm ^ ^^^^ CVJ DQ J»e£3C: v ,;:%.£■ ^-^^ ^-^^Q^y Digitized by the Internet Archive in 2007 with funding from IVIicrosoft Corporation http://www.archive.org/details/experiencedangleOOvenarich THE EXPERIENCED ANGLER. COL. ROBERT VENABLES. The Experienced Angler, a little book, written by Colonel Robert Venables, is now before me. The perusal of it calls to memory the days of youth, the guileless scenes of earlier life, spent with innocent companions, in " Delightful walks by pleasant rivers, in sweet pastures, and among odoriferous flowers." Tlie concluding observation in this little book applies to all readers: "Make not a daily practice, which is nothing else but a profession, of any recreation ; lest your immoderate love and delight therein bring a cross with it, and blast all your content and pleasure in the same.'' I mention this entertaining work, becanse Izaak Walton, has prefixed to it, not a preface, but an Epistle to the Author, who was personally unknown to him. Having accidentally seen the discourse in manuscript, he held himself obliged, in point of gratitude, for the great advantage he had received thereby, to tender his particular acknowledgement. The testimony of so expert an Angler could not fail of recommending it . Dr. Zouch, Prebendary of Durham. EMBELLISHED WITH NUMEROUS ENGRAVINGS OF FISH. T. GOSDEN, MDCCCXXVII. V44 % TO HIS INGENIOUS FRIEND THE AUTHOR, ON HIS ANGLING IMPROyED. Honoured Sir, Though I never, to my knowledge, had the happiness to see your face, yet accidentally coming to a vieta of this discourse before it went to the press; I held myself obliged in point of gratitude for the great advantage I received thereby, to tender you my particular acknowledg- ment, especially having been for thirty years past, not only a lover but a practiser of that innocent recreation, wherein by your judicious precepts I find myself fitted for a higher form; which compression I take the boldness to use, because I have read and practised by many books of this kind, formerly made public; from which, although I received much advantage in the practice, yet, without prejudice to their worthy Authors, I could never find in them that height of judgment and Reason, which you have manifested in this, as I may call it, epitome of An- gling ; since my reading whereof I cannot look upon some notes of my own gathering , but methinks I do puerilia tractare. But lest I should be thought to go about to magnify my own judgment, in giving yours so small a portion of its due, I humbly take leave with no more am- bition than to kiss your hand, and to be accounted Your Humble and Thankful Servant, ISAAC WALTON. ivi846418 MEMOIR OF COL. ROBERT VENABLES. Of the author. Colonel Robert Venables, but little is known, and that little not very satisfactory. Among the Manuscripts in the Harleian Collection, are several Pedigrees of the Families of Venables : particularly in that marked M393, f. 39,' where the great ancestor of Venables is stated to have been Gabriel Venables, who came over with William the Conqueror, and aftenvards received the Earldom of Kinderton, in Cheshire, from Hugh Lupus. Another Manuscript, No. 2059, recites a deed from one of the family, residing at Northwich, as early as anno 1260. But reverting more immediately to the subject of this notice, the Harleian Manuscript * 1993, f. 52.' contains a paper, partly in the hand writing of Colonel Venables, which furnishes a detailed account of the time he served in the Parliament Army in Cheshire, and of the pay due to him from 1643 to 1646. From this authority it appears, that in 1644 he was made Governor of Chester; and from other sources we leara, that in 1645, he was Governor of Tarvin. In 1649, he was Commander in Chief of the Forces in Ulster, in Ireland, and had the towns of Lisnegarvy, Antrim, and b U MEMOIR OF COLONEL Belfast delivered to him. His actions in the sister kingdom, are recited in an excessively rare book, en- titled 'A History, or Briefe Chronicle of the Chief Matters of the Irish Warres,' printed at London, in 1650, 4to. From this period no trace of him is discoverable, and it is probable that he was unemployed, until Crom- well, at the instigation of Cardinal Mazarine, fitted out a fleet for the conquest of Hispaniola, in 1654, when Colonel Venables, and Admiral Penn, were invested vdth the command of that armament. It appears how- ever, to have been undertaken in an evil hour, and a contemporary manuscript in the Editor's possession, and which has not been printed till now, furnishes the most valuable information respecting the disasters which they underwent. The manuscript is evidently ad- dressed to some one, and it commences : — Sir, The opinion I was of, in that discourse we had at , touching the Western Voyage of the English in 1654. I have been since abundantly confirmed in, by the perusal of some Papers and Memoirs of a Person of no mean character thi'oughout that action, whose employment gave him opportunity to know all, at least the most consider- able of its transactions, and I have reason to be- lieve, by the account I have had of him, he was sufficiently able to take his measures of them aright. The substance of what I gathered from his notes, and ROBERT VENABLES. from orders of the Councils of War, as well of the Commissioners, and from declarations of the Army, and letters from persons who held posts in that Army, all which I had the favour to inspect, I will here faith- fully present you with. For indeed I am very desirous to beget in you the same sentiments of that affair, which I have, I think, with good reason entertained. And the rather, because the course you design to steer will give you opportunity of converse with those per- sons, who are most inquisitive after, as most concerned to know, matters of this nature 5 and yet, perhaps, under greater mistakes in this particular, than any others. It was doubtless, none of the least ends which that fox, Oliver, had in that design; to rid himself of some persons whom he could neither securely employ, nor safely discard : which end seemed chiefly to influence the managery of the whole business, as you will per- ceive by the story. It was pretended at first it should be carried on with great secrecy; but the delay was so great, and thereby the notice of it so public, as alarmed the Spa- niards to provide for their reception. Venables moved to have had soldiers for this service drawn out of the Irish Army, which he had been well acquainted with; but it was peremptorily denied, and they were ap- pointed to be drawn out of the army in England, whose officers generally gave out of their several companies the rawest and worst armed they had. And these being hastily shipped off at Portsmouth, the chief of the land IT MEMOIR OF COLONEL officers, who were to go with them, were never suffered to rendezvous, or see together till they came to Barba- does, where they arrived January 29, 1 654-5. Here they found them to want 500 of the number promised, being but 2500 men in all, and not above half of those well armed. And though they had been assured they should find 1500 arms at Barbadoes, yet they could not there make up 200 arms ; and all the help they had was to make half-pikes, wherein, and in fixing those arms they had, they met with some difficulty, their smith's tools being on board their store ships, which were not yet come to them. For those ships took in their provisions at London, and they were promised should meet them at Portsmouth, and there they were told that they should reach them at Barbadoes ; which yet they did not, nor till at least six months after. So that much of the provision, which was defective at first taking in, was by that time grown very corrupt. While they staid at Barbadoes it was plainly dis- covered that not only the inhabitants there were against the general design, but that the seamen bandied against the land-men, and gave them not that assistance and furtherance which was in their power. Notwithstand- ing the land-soldiers great want of arms, Penn and the sea-officers would not be prevailed with to furnish them with any, nor so much as to lend them a pike or a lance; though he had above 1200 of the former to spare, and great numbers of the latter were put aboard on purpose for the army to kill cows with. At their leaving that place, the seamen had their full allow- ROBERT VENABLES. V ance of victuals and brandy on their fish-days ; when the land-men had for four days in the week, but half their proportions, the other three fish-days, only bread and water. In this condition they left Barbadoes, March the last, 1655. By the way they touched at St. Christo- pher's, whence they took aboard a regiment of soldiers, who had been raised in that island; among whom they were pleased to find two Englishmen, Cox and Bounty, who had then lately come from Hispaniola, where the former had lived twelve years, and served as a gunner in the castle of St. Domingo. Now when they were far out at sea, a dormant commission, not before discovered, was broken up, whereby two others, Winslow and Butler, were joined in commission, and equally empowered, with the two generals Venables and Penn; and nothing was to be done without their joint advice and orders: yea, when on shore, Venables, (though he had by his own com- mission a command of all the land-forces in chief,) yet he was by this commission restrained from acting any thing without the concurrence of the commissioners, or such one, or more, of them as was present with him. A great debate now arose between these Commissioners about dividing the lion's skin, before he was caught, which occasioned much heat among them, and gave great dissatisfaction to the soldiers. There was a clause in this joint commission, that all prizes and booties got by sea or land should be at the disposal of the commis- sioners, for the advance of the present service and de- VI MEMOIR OF COLONEL sijB^. This the greater part of the Commissioners judged was to be extended to all sorts of pillage. Ve- nables thought it was meet to interpret it only of ships and their lading, and large quantities of treasure and goods in towns and forts : and that to extend it to all booty, by whomsoever got, would be both impossible to put in execution, and hugely disgustful to the sol- dier to attempt. When he could not prevail to have his sense of this hard clause pass, he propounded a middle way: that none should conceal or retain any arms, money, plate, jewels, or goods, to his private use, on pain of forfeiting his share in the whole, &c. but that all should be brought in unto officers, chosen by mutual consent, and sworn to be faithful therein ; and then distribution to be made to each man accord- ing to his quality and desert. And agreeably thereto he framed both an order for the Commissioners to sign, and a declaration for the officers of the army to sub- scribe, testifying their submission to the order, and that they would endeavour that all under their re- spective commands should observe it; and further, that when their several pays should be discharged, they would acquiesce in the disposal of the surplus by the Commissioners, either in rewards to the deserving, or in necessaries for the public service, &c. This the Commissioners so far approved as to appoint it to be writ fair, and copies made, for each regiment one. llie officers and soldiers were also content, and satisfied therewith; but when it came to the point, only Vena- blee and Penn signed the order, and so the declaration ROBERT VENABtES. Vll fell too. Which surely was a ^eat oversight in the Commissioners who refused, for by this means they would have soothed and pleased the army with a fair flourish, but in reality had by common consent ob- tained the whole to be at their own disposal. Then the Commissioners propounding a fort- night's pay to the soldiery instead of the pillage of St. Domingo, the chief city of Hispaniola, Venables pre- vailed with them to be content with six weeks pay. But when that would not be yielded to by the Commis- sioners, he requested the officers and soldiers, without Btanding on any terms, to venture their lives with him, and trust to Providence for the issue and reward; which they agreed unto for that time, but withal many of them declared they would never strike stroke more, where there should be commissioners thus to controul the general and soldiers, but would forthwith return for England. By this time they drew near to Hispaniola; the land general and officers were for running the fleet into the harbour of St. Domingo, but they of the fleet op- posed it, Penn assured them there was a bomb which would hinder their advance; though Cox, being called in, said he believed there was none, yea, declared among the soldiers, that he conceived the harbour was incapa- ble of any thing of that kind. During the debate about this matter. Captain Crispin, who commanded a frigate, offered to venture the running in of his vessel into the harbour, and bore up so near as to fire on the castle of St. Domhigo, and discovered nothing of any Vm MEMOIR OP COLONEL bomb^ or other obstruction, as he after declared ; yet was he commanded off by Penn. Then they of the army resolved at a council of war, among other things, that one regiment staying to land to the east of the city, which fell by lot to Col. Butler ; the rest of the army should land some miles distant at the river Hine, the place where Drake landed, and force the fort which stood at the mouth of it : yet they of the fleet carried the army westward to Point Nizas, whence they had to march above thirty miles north to the city, through a strange, woody, and very hot country, where no water could be found, and many of them had but two days victuals delivered them from the fleet, none above three. The inean while Cox, who was designed to be guide to the land forces, had been sent by Penn a fishing, and was not returned, nor could be heard of at the landing; in the want of him, Venables desired to have had Bounty, or Femes, who also was acquainted with the Island, but Penn would not part with either of them. So soon as they were landed, the Commissioners appointed the publishing of an order against plundering, and that all pillage should be brought in unto a com- mon store ', but therein gave Venables liberty to pro- mise the soldiers, in case the city should be taken by storm, six weeks pay, or a moiety of the pillage, ex- cepting arms, ammunition, and such like : or in case it should be surrendered, three weeks pay, or a third of the pillage. This was signed by Penn/ Winslow, and Butler. The soldiers, who were before disgusted, were by ROBERT VENABLES. UL this exasperated into mutiny. A sea regiment, which came ashore, was the first that laid down arms ; and by their example all the rest. And much ado Venables had in any sort to pacify them ; at last they were per- suaded to march, though with much discontent : and in that unsatisfied, mutinying humour, they marched four days without any guide, tormented with heat, hunger and thirst, when they might have landed at the place best fitted for attack, fresh on the first day, Tlie mean while Col. Buller had, according to his order, essayed to land eastward of the city ; but find- ing no place for it, was afterwards appointed by the Commissioners to land at Hine river, but with express order not to stir thence till the army came up. Ac- cordmgly he landed on Monday, April 17, and with him Col. Houldip, and 500 of his regiment, having Cox in their company. At their approaching, the Spaniards abandoned the fort near the river mouth, leaving two great guns dismounted, and the walls, as much as their haste would allow, dismantled. This encouraged Bul- ler to pursue them towards the city; but in the narro\v passes of the woods, he missed his way, and came to some plantations vacant and waterless, purposing there to expect the army : yet next morning sent out a party to descry the fort St. Hieronimo, who exposed them- selves too much to view, and alarmed the Spaniards. Soon after Buller had marched from the fort where he landed, the army came to the other side of the river Hme, but could not pass it, wanting a guide to- shew them the ford, which induced them to march c X Ml^MOlR OP COLONEL five miles up the river, seeking one ; and at last, the day being spent, they were forced to quarter that night without either food or good fresh water. Next day, after three miles march more, a ford was found, and the river passed, and they had not gone far, when a farm with water chancing in their way, gave them great refreshment. Where making a halt, and consulting what was meet for them to do, they resolved to go to the fleet at the harbour for provision for their hungry men; to which an Irishman, then brought in by some stratagem, offered to guide them the shortest way. And though Venables was jealous of him, and would not have heeded him, yet Commissioner Butler would have him followed, and charged them by virtue of their instructions so to do; and follow him they did, till a fruitless march three or four miles the contrary way, proved hun a liar. At last, hearing BuUer's drums, they made towards him, and met with him near the strong fort, St. Hieronimo, a regular and well fortified pier, in the road to the city. Venables being at this time in the van, which he had^ldd all their long march, went himself with the guide, for the officers being all very weary, were willing to be excused; to search the woods before the army, and discovered the Spaniards in ambush, before they stirred ; who presently, thereupon advancing, the English forlorn immediately fired upon them too hastily and at too much distance, which gave the Spaniards advantage to fall in with them with their lances, before they could charge again, and so gave them some disorder, and killed some officers ; among ROBERT VENABLES. XI whom, to their ^eat loss. Captain Cox perished; but the English quickly recovering themselves, beat the enemy back, and pursued them within cannon shot of the city. These weary spent men, drawn on by their eager- ness to this skirmish, forgot that thirst, which, so soon as the pursuit was over, they fainted under; many, both men and horse, dying on the place for very thirst. Venables, being much endangered at this action in the route of the forlorn, was earnestly entreated and pressed by the officers not to hazard himself so again, but to march with the body. This over, they called a council of war, where, considering their want of match, which >va& spent to three or four inches, and of provision, which all had been without two days, and some longer, and had no other sustenance but what fruits the woods afforded; they once again resolved to return to their ships, which the Irishman's relation, and Commissioner Butler's pe- remptory charge had diverted them from, and caused them to lose many men and horses with thirst and hun- ger in marching back that way, which otherwise had been saved. Some four or five days were spent at the harbour in refreshing the tired, fainting soldiery, and taking new resolutions for a second march and charge. Wherein, they could not well be more speedy, for Penn and Win- slow, two of the Commissioners, keeping at sea with the fleet, (which rode some leagues off from the fort by Hine river,) and refusing to come ashore, Venables, though then ill with the flux, w^s forced to make many XU MEMOIR OF COLONEL dangerous passages to and from them in small Brigan- tines for their concurring counsel, which often differing, caused much delay, and gave the Spaniards time to ga- ther heart and strength for better defence. The com- mon soldiers this mean while, were but ill treated from the fleet. Those that by sickness or wounds in the last action, were disabled for further service, (they having no tents or carriages ashore to dispose of them in) were sent a ship board, and there they were kept forty-eight hours on the bare decks, without either meat, drink, or dress- ing; that worms bred in their wounds, which would soon be in that hot country, and some of them by that very usage perished, particularly one Captain Levering- ton, a brave man. The others ashore being furnished with the worst, and most mouldy of the biscuits; no beef, altogether uriwatered, and no brandy to cheer their spirits ; had their thirst greatly enraged, which that ri- ver, even where it was fresh, yet coming from copper, rather augmented than assuaged. And this usage and diet, together with the extraordinary rains that fell on their imsheltered bodies, cast them all into violent fluxes ; sorry encouragements and preparatives for a se- cond attempt, which yet was at last resolved on. Tuesday, April 25. They had with them one mortar-piece, and two drakes, in the drawing whereof, and carrying of mattocks, spades, and calabashes of fresh water, the strongest men were employed till all were reduced to almost a like weakness ; and the cruel sea-officers offered them no more brandy with them, than would be about a good spoonful to a man. One night ROBERT VENABLES. XUl they lodged in the woods ; the next day they advanced toward the fort of St. Hieronimo, which they resolved to attack, being in their way, about a mile from the town, and not fit to leave at their backs. April 26. Adjutant General Jackson had this day the command of the forlorn, consisting of four hundred men ; in the van whereof, he put Captain Butler, and himself brought up the rear. Also he marched without any wings on either hand to search the woods, and dis- cover ambushes, which was expressly contrary both to order, and their daily practice throughout their whole march from Point Nizas. With the forlorn thus ma- naged, and all ready to faint with thirst, having marched eight miles without water, in a narrow pass in the thick woods, where but six could well march abreast, they fell into an ambuscado of the Spaniards, who suffered the forlorn all to march within them, and then charged them both in van and flank. Captain Butler with the van undauntedly received the charge, and in order, fired again, and all Of them stood till he fell ; but the rear ran away without abiding a charge, Jackson himself being the first man that turned his back. Venables, his regi- ment, with Ferguson his Lieutenant Colonel in the head of them, being next, charged their pikes on Jackson and his flying men ; but they being too well resolved to be stopt, first routed that regiment, and then most of Heanes's regiment. These all came violently upon the sea regiment, which was led by Venables and Good- son, then Vice-Admiral, who with their swords forced the runaways into the woods, choosing rather to kill, than XIV MEMOIR OF COLONEL be routed by them. At the same time, which much ad- vantaged them, the rear part of Heanes's regiment hav- ing opened and drawn themselves on either side into the woods, counterflanked the Spaniards, and charged their ambuscadoes, which the Spaniards perceiving, and that the sea regiment advanced unrouted, retreated. The English then charged them afresh, pursued them, and beat them back beyond the fort, and so regained the bodies of the slain, and the place of fight, which ground Ihey kept the rest of that day, and the night following, though the guns from the fort all that time, as well as during the skirmish, played hotly upon them, and killed sometimes eight or nine at a shot. In this action, the valiant Heanes, major general, and Ferguson before mentioned, and such other officers of those regiments as knew not what it was to fly, fell by the swords and lances of the Spaniards ; and many common soldiers with them. The English now about the fort, Venables com- manded to assault it, and that to that enxi, they should play the mortar-piece against it, and had it drawn up for that purpose. But he himself being before brought very low with his flux, the toil of the day had so far spent him, that he could not stand or go but as supported by two ; and in that manner he moved from place to place, to encourage the men to stand, and to plant it. But the latter he could not prevail on, neither by com- mands, entreaties, or offers of rewards. At last, faint- ing among them, he was carried off, and Fortescue, who succeeded major general, in the stead of Heanes, took ROBERT VENABLES. Xf the command, who laboured much also to get the mor- tar-piece planted, but \^thout any effect. For the spirits of the English soldiers were so sunk, by their want of water and provisions, the excessive heat, and their great sickness occasioned thereby, that not any one upon any account could be got to plant it. Night drawing on, whilst the soldiers buried the dead, they called a council of war of all the colonels, and field officers, where it was agreed, no man dissenting, that the difficulties of thirst were not to be overcome, and that if they staid there, though they beat the enemy, they must perish for want of water. Whereupon, it was resolved to retreat next morn at sun rise, if the mortar-piece could not play before. The morning came, and no place found to plant the mortar-piece, nor men that would work, the guns from the fort beating them off from every place, they buried their shells, drew off their mortar-piece, drakes, spades, &c. and making a strong rear-guard, re- treated to their ships at the harbour. In this attempt against the fort, the common sol- diers shewed themselves so extremely heartless, that they only followed their officers to charge, and left them there to die, unless they were as nimble footed as them- selves. And of all others, the planters, whom they had raised in those parts, were the worst, being only forward to do mischief; men sq debauched as not to be kept under discipline, and so cowardly as not to be made to fight. Being come to the harbour, they betook themselves to the examination and punishment of the cowardice of XVI MEMOIR OP COLONEL some, and of divers miscarriages and disorders of others. Jackson was accused. 1 That contrary to express order, he had marched without any to search the woods. 2. That he took but. few pikes, and those he placed in the rear, as if he feared only his own party. 3. That he put others in the van, and himself brought up his rear. 4. That he was the first man that run, and when there was a stop, he opened his, way with both hands to get foremost. These being proved before a council of war, he was sentenced to be cashiered: his sword broken over his head : and he made a swabber to keep the hospital ship clean, which was executed accordingly. And well it might, for sure it was much gentler than he deserved.* • The Revolution in England, having necessarily raised great numbers of individuals to the rank of oflBcers, from the lowest sta- tions, a kind of equality reigned among the soldiery. The following instance of that equality is a curious fact, and displays equally the republican manners, and uncivilized spirit of that age. Adjutant-GeneralJackson, who had been the first to run during the engagement, was tried by acouit-martial, convicted of cowardice, cashiered with ignominy, and condemned to serve as a swabber on board the hospital-ship!! — General Venables, with a naivet^ common to the writers of that age, which, though seldom respectable, is always pleasing, makes the following observations on this sentence. After mentioning the terms of it, he adds, " And justly, — for the benefit of the sick and wounded, who owed their sufferings to his mis-behaviour. A sentence too gentle for so notorious an otfender, against whom some of the Colonels made a complaint (or whoring and drunkenness at Barbadoes ; but not being able to prove the fact, he escaped ; though considering his former course of life, the presumptions were strong, he and a woman lodging in one chamber, and not any other person with either , which was enough to induce a belief of his o^'ence , ROBERT VENABLES. XVll A Serjeant also, who in the skirmish threw down his arms, crying, "gentlemen, shift for yourselves, we are all lost ;*' and ran away, was hanged. Other offen- ces met with meet punishments. Now the business was, to consult what was next to be done. Commissioner Winslow came ashore to press for a third attempt, which the officers of the army would not be persuaded to undertake ; for they all, with one consent, declared they would not lead on their men, saying, they would never be got to march up to that place again; or if they did, they would not follow them to a charge, but they freely offered to regiment them- selves, and to live and die together. Whereupon, the Commissioners judging it needful to try to raise the soldiers by some success in a smaller exploit, resolved to attempt some other plantation, and at last Jamaica was pitched on to be the place. During this debate, the soldiers on land were in great want and streights; for though all their provision was spent, yet Pemi forbiade any supply to be sent them he, having two wives in England, and standing guilty of forgery; all which I desired Major-General Worsley in joining with me to ac- quaint his Highness (Crorriwell) with, that he might be taken oflF, and not sufifered to go with me, lest he should bring a curse on us, as I feared. But his Highness would not hear us. — After this, both per- jury and forgery were proved against him, in the case of a Colonel or General, at Barbadoes, ruined by him, by that means. Upon the complaint, and with the advice of the said General, I rebuked him privately ; which he took so distastely, that as it afterwards appeared, he studied and endeavoured nothing but mutiny; and found fit matter to work upon, as with an army that has neither pay nor pillage, arms nor ammunition, nor victuals, is not difficult: but this I came to un- derstand afterwards," — Venables' Narrative* d XVm MEMOIR OF COLONEL from the fleet, that their scarcity, yea, famine, grew so high, that they ate all the horses, asses, and dogs in the camp ; yea, some ate such poisonous food, that they fell dead instantaneously. But beyond all this, a motion was made, that setting sail for England, the soldiers, Vhom they of the fleet usually called dogs, should be left ashore to the mercy of the enemy ; which motion, Venables in behalf of the land-men, stiffly opposed, de- testing so great inhumanity. Yet the soldiers were so apprehensive of such a trick, that when they came to go aboard, their officers would not suffer the sea regiment, which was on shore, to be first shipped, lest they should be so left in the lurch. The fifth day after they set sail from Hispaniola, they came before Jamaica, where remembering the cowardice of the soldiers, which if not experienced, would scarce have been believed so great in Englishmen, they published an order against runaways, that the next man to any that offered to run, should kill him, or be tried for his own life. Which done, Penn and Venables placed themselves in the martin galley, and sailed up to the fort, and played upon it with their great guns, as it did upon them all the time tliat the soldiers were getting into the flat bottomed boats. Which so soon as they had done, a fresh gale of wind arose, which drove the boats directly upon the fort; this the Spaniards seeing, and a major, their best soldier, being disabled by a shot from the martin galley, they were so daunted that they took to their heels, and left the fort to the English. The army finding fresh water here, and fear- ROBERT VENABLES. XIX ing to advance further, lest (it being then three o'clock) they should in a strange country, and without guides, be inconveniently overtaken vv^ith night, in some place where they might be more exposed to the enemies as- saults, and beating up their quarters, they resolved to stay at that fort, and landing place that night, and rest- their weak and sick men. Next morning they marched early, and about noon, came to a Savanna near the chief town of the island, St. Jago, where two or three Spa- niards appeared at a distance, making some signals of civility. The like number of English was sent to them, upon which they rode away, but making a stand, one was sent to them to know what they desired ; they an- swered, * a treaty.* The English, replied, they would treat when they saw any impowered thereunto. After some time, a priest and a major were sent from the town. The English as an introduction to the treaty, first demanded to have one hmidred cows, with cassavia bread proportionably, sent them immediately; and so daily while the treaty lasted. Cows were sent in, but no bread 3 that being, as they said, scarce with them. Whereupon Commissioners were appointed on both sides to treat, and in conclusion, the Spaniards yielded to ren- der the island and all in it, and all ships in the havens unto the English ; the Spaniards and inhabitants having their lives granted them, and such as would, to be at li- berty by a certain day to depart the island, but to take nothing, save their wearing apparel, and their books,, and writings with them. X3t MEMOIR OF COLONEL Articles of agreement to this purpose being sign- ed on both sides, the Eno^Ush for their true performance, demanded and had the Governor of the island, and the Spanish Commissioners for hostages; and so they seemed to be in a fair way of settlement, with little ado. Yet after this, a colonel among the Spaniards, who had no good will to the governor, and was a man of inte- rest among the commonalty, persuaded them to drive all the cattle away to the mountains, and thereby starve out the English. Which being understood, one of the Spanish Commissioners, Don Acosta, a Portuguese, sent his priest, an understanding negro, to dissuade them from their purpose. But they being resolute, and in- stigated by the colonel, hanged the negro, which en^ raged Acosta, and to be revenged on them for the death of his priest, whom he loved, advised the English that the cattle must necessarily, in a while, come down into the plains to drink. And by his direction, the English recovered the cattle, and prevented their mischief. After this an order was published, that no private soldier should go out to shoot cows, which was done for two reasons ; first, because the soldiers straggling about and gomg single, were often knocked on the head ; and next, because they maimed and marred more than they killed; for it being a very woody country, unless a beast was shot dead, which was but seldom done, it escaped its pursuer, though it often died of its wounds 3 and many hundreds were found in the woods that had been so slain, and very many running about hurt and wounded. Thus great destruction was made of them, to no bodies advan- ROBERT VENABLES. XXI tage, that in the end, they must need have smarted for the want of those which had been thus lavishly spoiled and lost. Besides, the cattle which at their first com- ing, were seen by great numbers, and so tame, that they might have been easily managed and driven up, were so affrighted by the soldiers disorderly chasing and shout- ing after them, that they were now grown wild and un- tractable. And therefore, commanded parties with their officers were thenceforwards ordered out to fetch in cat- tle as there was need; and by that means they were sufficiently supplied, and no waste made. But bread they still much wanted, for their o^vn store ships not having yet reached them, they had no bread but what came from the fleet, whence it was very sparingly sent, and scarce any but what was bad and corrupt. I find it noted, that in seventeen days time, they had but three biscuits a man ; that they could seldom get any thing from the fleet, unless the Commissioner would sign re- mittances for greater proportions than were indeed de- livered; that of above a hundred tuns of brandy, which was put on board in England for this service, and above thirty tuns more taken in at Barbadoes, it could not be observed, that the landmen ever had ten tuns to their use, between the middle of April and the middle of July. So that the soldiers being put to feed wholly on fresh flesh and fruits, without either brandy, or any kind of bread ; and that after they had been long at a scanty diet, upon salt meats, it hugely increased sickness among them, insomuch, that after their coming to Ja- UXX MEMOIR OF COLONEL maica, they died by fifty, sixty, and sometimes a hun- dred in a week, of fevers and fluxes. Their streights and distresses being so great, put them on necessity of hastening to distribute the soldiers to plant for themselves, that they might have somewhat of their own to subsist on, without depending on the courtesy of others. And accordingly several of the re- giment were dispersed into several places ; but though such was their occasion, each for his particular private goods and necessaries, yet they could not without much difficulty, and many fruitless labours, obtain to have their trunks and stuff ashore to them ; and many never had them at all, but they were carried back with the fleet into England. Some discontents grew among the great ones. Venables telling Commissioner Butler of his drunken- ness, which he was often guilty of, and in that condition, had discovered too much to the Spaniards, and reprov- ing him for it, made him his enemy, and to practise against him, and thenceforwards he endeavoured to make factions, and raise disgusts in the army. Penn gave notice of his intentions, suddenly to set sail for England, and would not be dissuaded. Here the manuscript ends, but in continuation, Oldmixon* observes, that "they arrived in England in September, when they were both imprisoned for their scandalous conduct in this expedition, which would * British Empire in America, 1/40, 8vo. % ROBERT VENABLBS. XxiU have been an irreparable dishonour to the English Na- tion, had not the island of Jamaica, which chance more than council, bestowed upon them, made amends for the loss at Hispaniola." Their imprisonment would seem to have received general approbation, as in certain Passages of Every Dayes Intelligence, from Sept. 21 to 28, 1655, published by authority, it is said, "Gov. Penn and Gen. Venables, would be petitioning his Highnes, the Lord Protector for their enlargement out of the Tower again ; but it is a little too soon yet ; it were not amiss that they stayed till we hear again from the West Indies." His subsequent liberation, and the particulars of his life after this period, with the time of his decease, and his residence when he quitted the cares of this world, are alike unknown to the writer, and have baffled all attempts at discovery. M ^ w^ 1^ vi^ n^ 1^ 'P '•^ 'P 'P 'P 'P ^n f^ ip Q^ 1% 'P 'P ff\ ff* ff^ 'P 'P yp ^^ THE $ Experienced Angler : J IanglingI J IMPROVED. ti S BEING ^ ^ ^ generalDifcourfe of Angling; ^ J^ Imparting many of the apteft wayes J^ 4^ and choiceft Experiments for the ^ ^ taking of raoft forts of Fiih in ^ ^ Pond or River. 1^ LONDON: ^ ^ Printed for Richard 3Iarriot, and are to be sold ^ 4& at his Shop in St. Dunstans Church-yard, ^ ^ Fleet-streeU 1662. ^ PREFATORY ADDRESS THE READER, FROM THE EDITION OF MDCLXII. PREFATORY ADDRESS. Delight and Pleasure are so fast rivetted and firmly rooted in the heart of man, that I suppose there are none so morose or melancholy, that will not only pre- tend to, but plead for an interest in the same, most being so much enamoured therewith, that they judge that life but a living death, which is wholly deprived or abridged of all pleasure ; and many pursue the same with so much eagerness and importunity, as though they had been born for no other end, as that they not only consume their most precious time, but also totally ruin their estates thereby : for in this loose and licen- tious age, when profuse prodigality passes for the cha- racteristical mark of true generosity and frugality, I mean not niggardliness ; is branded with the ignomi- nious blot of baseness. I expect not that this under- valued subject, though it propound delight at an easy rate, will meet with any other entertainment than neglect, if not contempt, it being an art which few take pleasure in, nothing passing for noble or delight- ful which is not costly j as though men could not gra- tify their senses, but with the consumption of their fortunes. Hawking and Hunting have had their excellencies celebrated with large encomiums by divers pens, and although I intend not any undervaluing to those noble re- 11 PREFATORY ADDRESS. creations, so much famed in all ages and by all degrees, yet I must needs affirm, that they fall not within the compass of every ones ability to pursue, being as it were only entailed on great persons and vast estates ; for if meaner fortunes seek to enjoy them, Actceon^s fable often proves a true story, and these birds of prey not seldom quarry upon their masters : besides those re- creations are most subject to eholer and passion, by bow much those creatures exceed a liook or line in worth : and indeed in those exercises our pleasure de- pends much upon the will and humour of a sullen cur or kitey (as I have heard their own passions phrase them) \ which also require much attendance, care and skill to keep her serviceable to our ends. Further, these delights are often prejudicial to the husbandman in his com, grass and fences ; but in this pleasant and harmless Art of Angling a man hath none to quarrel with but himself, and we are usually so entirely our own friends, as not to retain an irreconcilable hatred against ourselves, but can in short time easily compose the enmity; and besides ourselves none are offended, none endamaged; and this recreation falleth within the capacity of the lowest fortune to compass, afford- ing also profit as well as pleasure, in following of which exercise a man may employ his thoughts in the noblest studies, almost as freely as in his closet. The minds of anglers being usually more calm and composed than many others, especially hunters and falconers, who too frequently lose their delight in their passion, and too often bring home more of melan- PREFATORY ADDRESS. Ut choly and discontent than satisfaction in their thoughts ; but the angler, when he hath the worst success, loseth but a hook or line, or perhaps, what he never possessed, a fish; and suppose he should take nothing, yet he en- joyeth a delightful walk by pleasant rivers in sweet pastures, amongst odoriferous flowers, which gratify his senses and delight his mind ; which contentments induce many, who affect not angling, to choose those places of pleasure for their Summer's recreation and health. But, peradventure, some may alledge that this art is mean, melancholy, and insipid; I suppose the old 9Xiswer, de gustibus non est disputandum , will hold as firmly in recreations as palates, many have supposed Angling void of delight, having never tried it, yet have afterwards experimented it so full of content, that they have quitted all other recreations, at least in its season, to pursue it ; and I do pursuade myself, that whoso- ever shall associate himself with some honest expert angler, who will freely and candidly communicate his skill unto him, will in short time be convinced, that j4rs non habet inimicum nisi ignorantem ; and the more any experiment its harmless delight, not subject to passion or expence, he will probably be induced to re- linquish those pleasures which being obnoxious to choler or contention so discompose the thoughts, that nothing during that unsettlement can relish or delight the mind; to pursue that recreation which composeth the soul to that calmness and serenity, which gives a man the ftdlest possession and fruition of himself and IV PREFATORY ADDRESS. all his enjoyments ; this clearness and equanimity of spirit being" a matter of so high a concern and value in the judgments of many profound Philosophers, as any one may see that will bestow the pains to read, de Tranquilitate Animi, and Petrarch de Uti'iusque Con- ditmiis Statu : Certainly he that lives Sibi et Deo, leads the most happy life; and if this art do not dispose and incline the mind of man to a quiet calm sedateness, I am confident it doth not, as many other delights ; <;ast blocks and rubs before him to make his way more difficult and less pleasant. The cheapness of the recrea- tion abates not its pleasure, but with rational persons heightens it ; and if it be delightful the charge of me- lancholy falls upon that score, and if example, which is the best proof, may sway any thing, I know no sort of men less subject to melancholy than anglers ; many have cast off other recreations and embraced it, but I never knew any angler wholly cast off, though occasions might interrupt, their affections to their beloved recrea- tion ; and if this art may prove a Noble brave rest to thy mind, it will be satisfaction to his, who is thy well- wishing Friend. ANGLING IMPROVED: PROFIT AND PLEASURE UNITED. CHAP. I. WHEN TO PROVIDE TOOLS, AND HOW TO MAKE THEM. OR the attaining of such ends which our desires propose to themselves, of necessity we must make use of such common mediums as have a natural tendency to the producing of such effects as are in our eye, and at which we aim ; and as in any work, if one prin- cipal material be wanting, the whole is at a stand, neither can the same be perfected : so in Angling, the end being recreation, which consisteth in drawing the fish to bite, that we may take them ; if you want tools, though you have baits, or baits, though you have tackle, yet you have no part of pleasure by either of these singly: nay, if you have both, yet want skill to use "Z ANGLING IMPROVED. them, all the rest is to little purpose. I shall there- fore first begin with your tools, and so proceed in order with the rest. 1. In Autumn, when the leaves are almost or altogether fallen, which is usually about the Winter solstice, the sap being then in the root ; which about the middle of January begins to ascend again, and then the time is past to provide yourself with stocks or tops : you need not be so exactly curious for your stocks as the tops, though I wish you to choose the neatest taper- grown you can for stocks, but let your tops be the most neat rush-grown shoots you can get, straight and smooth; and if for the ground rod, near or full two yards long, the reason for that length shall be given presently ; and if for the fly, of what length you please, because you must either choose them to fit the stock, or the stock to fit them in a most exact proportion 5 neither do they need to be so very much taper-grown as those for the ground, for if your rod be not most exactly proportionable, as well as slender, it will nei- ther cast well, strike readily, or ply and bend equally, which will very much endanger your line. When you have fitted yourself with tops and stocks, for all must be gathered in one season, if any of them be crooked, bind them all together, and they will keep one another straight ; or lay them on some even-boarded floor, with a weight on the crooked parts, or else bind them close to some straight stafi" or pole ; but before you do this you must bathe them all, save the very top, in a gentle fire. ANGLING IMPROVED. -3 For the ground angle, I prefer the cane or reed before all other, both for its length and lightness : and whereas some object against its colour and stiffness, I answer, both these inconveniences are easily remedied j the colour by covering it with thin leather or parch- ment, and those dyed into what colour you please; or you may colour the cane itself, as you see daily done by those that sell them in London, especially if you scrape ofF.the shining yellow outside, but that weakens the rod. The stiffness of the cane is helped by the length and strength of the top, which I would wish to be very much taper-grown, and of the full length I spoke of before, and so it will kill a very good fish without ever straining the cane, which will, as you may observe, yield and bend a little; neither would I advise any to use a reed that will not receive a top of the fore-men- tioned length. Such who most commend the hazel- rod, (which I also value and praise, but for different reasons), above the cane ; do it because, say they, the slender rod saveth theline;but my opinion is, that the equal bending of the rod chiefly, next to the skill of the Angler, saveth the line, and the slenderness I con- ceive principally serveth to make the fly-rod long and light, easy to be managed with one hand, and casteth the fly far, which are to me the considerations chiefly to be regarded in a fly-rod ; for if you observe the slen- der part of the rod, if strained, shoots forth in length as if it were part of the line, so that the whole stress or strength of the fish is borne or sustained by the thicker part of the rod, which is no stronger than the stronger 4 ANGLING IMPROVED. end of such a top as I did before direct for the ground- rod, and you may prove what I say to be true, if you han^ a weis^ht at the top of the fly-rod, which you shall see ply and bend, in the stiff and thick part, more or less as the weight is heavy or light. Having made this digression for the cane, I return to the making up of the top, of which at the upper or small end, I would have you to cut off about two feet, or three quarters of a yard at most ; and then piece neatly to the thick re- maining part, a small shoot of black thorn or crab tree, gathered in due season as before, fitted in a mpst exact proportion to the hazel, and then cut off a small part of the slender end of the black thorn or crab tree, and lengthen out the same with a small piece of whalebone, made round, smooth, and taper ; all which will make your rod to be very long, gentle, and not so apt to break or stand bent as the hazel, both which are great inconveniences, especially breaking, which will force you from your sport to mend your top. 2. To teach the way or manner how to make a line, were time lost, it being so easy and ordinary ; yet to make the line well, handsome, and to twist the hair even and neat, makes the line strong. For if one hair be long and another short, the short one receiveth no strength from the long one, and so breaketh, and then the other, as too weak, breaks also; therefore you must twist them slowly, and in the twisting, keep them from entangling together, which hinders their right plaiting or bedding. Further, I do not like the mixing of silk or thread with hair, but if you please, you may. ANGLING IMPROVED. I5 to make the line strong, raake it all of silk, or thread, or hair, as strong as you please, and the lowest part of the smallest lute or viol strings, which I have proved to be very strong, but will quickly rot in the water, you may however help that in having new and strong ones to change for those that decay -, but as to hair, the most usual matter whereof lines are made, I like sor- rel, white, and grey best ; sorrel in muddy and boggy rivers, and both the latter for clear waters. I never could find such virtue or worth in other colours, to give them so high praise as some do, yet if any other have worth in it, I must yield it to the pale or watery green, and if you fancy that, you may dye it thus. Take a pottle of allum water, and a large handful of mari- golds, boil them until a yellow scum arise, then take half a pound of green copperas, and as much verde- grease, beat them into a fine powder, then put those with the hair into the allum-water, set all to cool for twelve hours, then take out the hair and lay it to dry. Leave a bought, or bout, at both ends of the line, the one to put it to, and take it from your rod, the other to hang your lowest link upon, to which your hook is fastened, and so that you may change your hook as often as you please. 3. Let your hooks be long in the shank, and of a compass somewhat inclining to roundness, but the point must stand even and straight, and the bending must be in the shank ; for if the shank be straight, the point will hang outward, though when set on it may stand right, yet it will after the taking of a few fish. 6 ANGLING IMPROVED. cause the hair at the end of the shank to stand bent, and so, consequently cause the point of the hook to lie or han^ too much outward, whereas upon the same ground the bending shank will then cause the point of the hook to hang directly upwards. When you set on your hook, do it with strong but small silk, and lay your hair upon the inside of the hook, for if on the outside the silk will cut and fret it asunder; and to avoid the fretting of the hair by the hook on the inside, smooth all your hooks upon a whetstone, from the inside to the back of the hook, slope ways. 4. Get the best cork you can without flaws or Tioles, as quills and pens are not of sufficient strength in strong streams; bore the cork through with a small hot iron, then put into it a quill of a fit propor- tion, neither too large to split it, or so small as to slip out, but so as it may stick in very closely ; then pare your cork into the form of a pyramid, or small pear, and of what size you please, then on a smooth grind- stone, or mth pumice make it complete, for you cannot pare it so smooth as you may grind it: have corks of all sizes. 5. Get a musquet or carbine bullet, make a hole through it, and put in a strong twist, hang this on your hook to try the depth of river or pond. 6. Take so much parchment as will be about four inches broad, and five long, make the longer end round, then take so many pieces more as will make five or six partitions, sew them all together, leaving the side of the longest square open, to put your lines, spare links. ANGLING IMPROVED. / hooks ready fastened, and flies ready made, into the several partitions ; this will contain much, and will also lie flat and close in your pocket. 7. Have also a little whetstone about two inches lon^, and one quarter square; it's much better to shar- pen your hooks than a file, which either will not touch a well-tempered hook, or leave it rough but not sharp. 8. Have a piece of cane for the bob and palmer, with several boxes of divers sizes for your hooks, corks, silk, thread, lead, flies, &c. 9. Bags of linen and woollen, for all sorts of baits. 10. Have a small pole, made with a loop at the end, like that of your line, but much larger, to which must be fastened a small net, to land great fish, with- out which, should you want assistance, you will be in danger of losing. 1 1 . Your pannier cannot be too light ; I have seen some made of osiers, cleft into slender long splinters, and so wrought up, which is very neat, and exceeding light : you must ever carry with you store of hooks, lines, hair, silk, thread, lead, links, corks of all sizes, lest you should lose or break, as is usual, any of them, and be forced to leave your sport in quest of supplies. ANGLING IMPROVED. CHAP. II. DIVERS SORTS OF ANGLING; FIRST, OF THE FLY. As there are many kinds and sorts of fish, so there are also various and different v^ays to take them ; and, there- fore, before we proceed to speak how to take each kind, we must say something in general of the several ways of angling, as necessary to the better order of our work. Angling, therefore, may be distinguished either into fishing by day, or, which some commend, but the cold and dews caused me to dis-relish that which im- paired my health, by night ; and these again are of two sorts, either upon the superficies of the water, or more or less under the surface thereof : of this sort is angling with the ground-line, with lead, but no float, for the Trout, or with lead and float for all sorts of fish, or near the surface of the water for Chub, Roach, &c. or with a troll for the Pike, or a minnow for the Trout; of which more in due place. That way of angling upon or above the water, is with cankers, palmers, caterpillars, cad-bait, or any worm bred on herbs or trees, or with flies as well natural as artificiid ; of these last shall be our first discourse, as comprising much of the other last-named, and as being the most pleasant and delightful part of angling. But I must here beg leave to dissent from the opinion of such who assign a certain fly to each month, whereas I am certain, scarce any one sort of fly con- ANGLING IMPROVED. ' ^W tinues its colour and virtue one month; and generally all flies last a much shorter time, except the stone-fly, by some called the May-fly, which is ])red of the water cricket, creeps out of the river, and getting under the stones by the water side, turns to a fly, and lies under the stones ; the May-fly and the reddish fly with ashy grey wings. Besides the season of the year may much vary the time of their coming in; a forward Spring brings them in sooner, and a late Spring the later. Flies being creatures bred of putrefaction, take life as the heat furthers or disposes the seminal virtue by which they are generated into animation: and there- fore all I can say as to time is, that your own observa- tion must be your best instructor, when is the time that each fly comes in, and will be most acceptable to the fish, of which I shall speak more fully in the next section. Further also I have observed, that several rivers and soils produce several sorts of flies ; as the mossy boggy soils have one sort peculiar to them; the clay soil, gravely and mountainous country and rivers; and a mel- low light soil different from them all; yet some sorts are common to all these sorts of rivers and soils, but they are few, and differ somewhat in colour from those bred elsewhere in other soils. In general, all sorts of flies are very good in their season, for such fish as will rise at the fly, viz. Salmon, Trout, Umber, Grayling, Bleak, Chevin, Roach, Dace, &c. Though some of these fish do love some flies better than other, except the fish named, I know not any sort or kind that will ordinarily and freely rise at 10 ANGLING IMPROVED. the fly, though I know some who angle for Bream and Hke with artificial flies, but I judge the labour lost, and the knowledge a needless curiosity ; those fish being taken much easier, especially the Pike, by other ways. All the fore-mentioned sorts of fish will sometimes take the fly much better at the top of the water, and at another time much better a little under the superficies of the water; and in this your own observation must be your constant and daily instructor; for if they will not rise to the top, try them under, it being impossible, in my opinion, to give any certain rule in this particular : also the five sorts of fish first named will take the arti- ficial fly, so will not the other, except an oak-worm or cad-bait be put on the point of the hook, or some other worm suitable, as the fly must be, to the season. You may also observe, what my own experience taught me, that the fish never rise eagerly and freely at any sort of fly, until that kind come to the water's side ; for though I have often, at the first coming in of some flies, which I judged they liked best got several of them, yet I could never find that they did much, if at all value them, until those sorts of flies began to flock to the rivers sides, and were to be found on the trees and bushes there in great numbers ; for all sorts of flies, wherever bred, do, after a certain time, come to the banks of rivers, I suppose to moisten their bodies dried with the heat ; and from the bushes and herbs there, skip and play upon the water, were the fish lie in wait for them, and after a short time die, and are not to be found: though of some kinds there come a second sort ANGLING IMPROVED. I| afterwards, but much less, as the orange-fly ; and when they thus flock to the river, then is the best season to angle with that fly. And that thou may the better find what fly they covet most at that instant, do thus : When you come first to the river in the morning, with your rod beat upon the bushes or boughs which hang over the water, and by their falling upon the water you will see what sorts of flies are there in great- est numbers; if divers sorts, and equal in number, try them all, and you will quickly find which they most de- sire. Sometimes they change their fly; though not very usual, twice or thrice in one day ; but ordinarily they do not seek another sort of fly till they have for some days even glutted themselves with a former kind, which is commonly when those flies die and go out. Directly contrary to our London gallants, who must have the first of every thing, when hardly to be got, but scorn the same when kindly ripe, healthful, common, and cheap ; but the fish despise the first, and covet when plenty, and when that sort grow old and decay, and another cometh in plentifully, then they change ; as if nature taught them, that every thing is best in its own proper season, and not so desirable when not kindly ripe, or when through long continuance it begins to lose its native worth and goodness. I shall add a few cautions and directions in the use of the natural fly, and then proceed : 1. When you angle for Chevin, Roach, or Dace, with the fly, you must not move your fly swiftly; when you see the fish coming towards it, but rather after one 12 ANGLING IMPROVED. or two short and slow removes, suffer the iy to ^lide gently with the stream towards the fishj or if in a stand- ing or very slow water, draw the fly slowly, and not di- rectly upon him, but sloping and sidewise by him, which will make him more eager lest it escape him; for, should you move it nimbly and quick, they will not, Jjeing fish of slow motion, follow as the Trout will. 2. When Chub, Roach, or Dace shew themselves in a sun-shiny day upon the top of the water, they are most easily caught with baits proper for them -, and you may chuse from amongst them which you please to take. 3. They take an artificial fly with a cad-bait, or oak-worm, on the point of the hook; and the oak- worm, when they shew themselves is, better upon the water than under, or than the fly itself, and is more desired by them. CHAP, III. OF THE ARTIFICIAL FLY. Having given these few directions for the use of the natm-al fly of all sorts, and shewed the time and season of their coming, and how to find them, and cautioned you in the use of them, I shall proceed to treat of the artificial fly. But here I must premise, that it is much better to learn how to make a fly by sight, than by any written direction that can possibly be expressed, in re- gard the terms of art do in most parts of England differ, and also several sorts of flies are called by different ANGLINO IMPROVED. 18 names ; some call the fly bred of the water cricket or creeper a May-fly, and some a stone-fly ; some call the cad-bait fly a May, and some call a short fly, of a sad golden green colour, with short brown wings, a May-fly: and I see no reason but all flies bred in May, are pro- perly enough called May-flies. Therefore, except some one that hath skill, would paint them, I can neither well give their names nor describe them, mthout too much trouble and prolixity; nor, as lalledged, in regard of the variety of soils and rivers, describe the flies that are bred and frequent each: but the angler, as before directed, having found the fly which the fish at present affect, let him make one as like it as possibly he can, in colour, shape, proportion; and for his better imita- tion let him lay the natural fly before him. All this premised and considered, let him go on to make his fly, which according to my own practice I thus advise- First, I begin to set on my hook, placing the hair on the inside of its shank, with such coloured silk as I conceive most proper for the fly, beginning at the end of the hook, and when I come to that place which I con- ceive most proportionable for the wings, then I place such coloured feathers there, as I apprehend roost re- semble the wings of the fly, and set the points of the wings towards the head; or else I run the feathers, and those must be stripped from the quill or pen, with part of it still cleaving to the feathers, round the hook, and so make them fast, if I turn the feathers round the hook ; then I clip away those that are upon the back of the hook, that so, if it be possible, the point of the hook 14 ANGLING IMPROVED. piay be forced by the feathers left on the inside of the hook^ to swim upwards j and by this means I conceive the stream will carry your flies' wings in the posture of one flying ; whereas if you set the points of the wings backwards, towards the bending of the hook, the stream, if the feathers be gentle as they ought, will fold the points of the wings in the bending of the hook, as I have often found by experience. After having set on the wing, I go on so far as I judge fit, till I fasten all, and then begin to make the body, and the head last ; the body of the fly I make several ways ; if the fly be one entire colour, then I take a worsted thread, or moccoda end, or twist wool or fur into a kind of thread, or wax a small slender silk thread, and lay wool, fur, &c. upon it, and then twist, and the material will stick to it, and then go on to make my fly small or large, as I please. If the fly, as most are, be of several colours, and those running in circles round the fly, then I either take two of these threads, fastening them first towards the bend of the hook, and so run them round, and fasten all at the wings, and then make the head; or else I lay upon the hook, wool, fur of hare, dog, fox, bear, cow, or hog, which, close to their bodies, have a fine fur, and with a silk of the other colour bind the same wool or fur down, and then fasten all : or instead of the silk running thus round the fly, you may pluck the feather from one side of those long feathers which grow about a cock or ca- pon's neck or tail, by some called hackle ; then run the the same round your fly, from head to tail, making both ends fast 5 but you must be sure to suit the feather an- ANGLING IMPROVED. Ill swerable to the colour you are to imitate in the fly ; and this way you may counterfeit those rough insects, which some call wool-beds, because of their wool-like outside and rings of divers colours, though I take them to be palmer worms, which the fish much delight in. Let me add this only, that some flies have forked tails, and some have horns, both which you must imitate with a slender hair fastened to the head or tail of your fly, when you first set on your hook, and in all things, as length, co- lour, as like the natural fly as possibly you can : the head is made after all the rest of the body, of silk or hair, as being of a more shining glossy colour than the other materials, as usually the head of the fly is more bright than the body, and is usually of a different colour from the body. Sometimes I make the body of the fly with a peacock's feather, but that is only one sort of fly, whose colour nothing else that I could ever get would imitate, being the short, sad, golden, green fly I before mentioned, which I make thus : take one strain of a peacock's feather, or if that be not sufficient, then another, wrap it about the hook, till the body be ac- cording to your mind J if your fly be of divers colours, and those lying long ways from head to tail, then I take my dubbing, and lay them on the hook long ways, one colour by another, as they are mixed in the natural fly, from head to tail, then bind all on, and fasten them with silk of the most predominant colour; and this I conceive is a more artificial way than is practised by many ang- lers, who use to make such a fly, all of one colour, and bind it on with silk, so that it looks like a fly with round 16 ANGLING IMPROVED. circles, but in nothing at all resembling the fly it is in- tended for: the head, homs, tail, are made as before. That you may the better counterfeit all sorts of flies, get furs of all sorts and colours you can possibly pro- cure, as of bear's hair, foxes, cows, hogs, dogs, which close to their bodies have a fine soft hair or fur, moc- cado ends, crewels, and dyed wool of all colours, with feathers of cocks, capons, hens, teals, mallards, wid- geons, pheasants, partridges, the feather under the mal- lard, teal or widgeon's wings, and about their tails, about a cock or capon's neck and tail, of all colours ; and ge- nerally of all birds, the kite^ &c. that you may make yours exactly of the colour with the natural fly. And here I mW give some cautions and directions, as for the natural fly, and so pass on to baits for angling at the ground. 1 . When you angle with the artifical fly, you must either fish in a river not fully cleared from some rain lately fallen, that had discoloured it 5 or in a moorish river, discoloured by moss or bogs 5 or else in a dark cloudy day, when a gentle gale of wind moves the water ; but if the wind be high, yet so as you may guide your tools with advantage, they will rise in the plain deeps, and then and there you will commonly kill the best fish ; but if the wind be little or none at all, you must angle in the swift streams. 2. You must keep your artificial fly in continual motion, though-the day be dark, the water muddy, and the wind blow, or else the fish will discern and refuse it. 3. If you angle in a river that is mudded by rain. ANGLING IMPROVED. 17 or passing through mosses or bogs, you must use a larger bodied fly than ordinary, which argues, that in clear rivers the fly must be smaller; and this not being observed by some, hinders their sport, and they impute their want of success to their want of the right fly, when perhaps they have it, but made too large. 4. If the ^vater be clear and low, then use a small bodied fly with slender wings. 5. When the water begins to clear after rain, and IS of a brownish colour, then a red or orange fly. 6. If the day be clear, then a light coloured fly, with slender body and wings. 7. In dark weather, as well as dark waters, your fly must be dark. 8. If the water be of a whey colour, or whitish, then use a black or brown fly : yet these six last rules do not always hold, though usually they do, or else I had omitted them. 9. Observe principally the belly of the fly, for that colour the fish observe most, as being most in their eye. 10. When you angle with an artificial fly, your Ime may be twice the length of your rod, except the river be much encumbered with wood and trees. 11. For every sort of fly have three; one of a lighter colour, another sadder than the natural fly, and a third of the exact colour with the fly, to suit all waters and weathers, as before. 12. I never could find, by any experience of mine own, or other man's observation, that fish would freely c 18 ANGLING IMPROVED. and eagerly rise at the artificial fly, in any slow muddy rivers : by muddy rivers, I mean such rivers, the bottom or ground of which is slime or mud 3 for such as are mudded by rain, as I have already, and shall afterwards further, shew at sometimes and seasons I would choose to angle, yet in standing meers or sloughs, I have known them, in a good wind, to rise very well, but not so in slimy rivers, either the Weever, in Cheshire, or the Sow, in Staffordshire, and others in Warwickshire, &c. and the Black-water in Ulster 3 in the last, after many trials, though in its best streams, I could never find almost any sport, save at its influx in Lough Neagh; but there the working of the Lough makes it sandy ; and they will bite also near Tom Shane's Castle, Mountjoy, Antrim, &c. even to admiration j yet sometimes they will rise in that river a little, but not comparable to what they will do in every little Lough, in any small gale of wind. And though I have often reasoned in my own thoughts, to search out the ti*ue cause of this, yet I could never so full y satisfy my own judgment, so as to conclude any thing positively; yet have taken up these two en- suing particulars as most probable. 1. I conjectured the depth of the loughs might hinder the force of the sun beams from operating upon, or heating the mud in those rivers, which though deep, yet are not so deep as the loughs; I apprehend that to be the cause, as in great droughts fish bite but little in any river, but not at all in slimy rivers, in regard the mud is not cooled by the constant and swift motion of the river, as in gravelly or sandy rivers, where, in fit ANGLING IMPROVED. 19> seasons, they rise most freely, and bite most eagerly, save as before in droughts, notwithstanding at that sea- son some sport may be had, though not with the fly, whereas nothing at all will be done in muddy slow rivers. 2. My second supposition was, whether, accord- ing to that old received axiom, suo quaeque, similima coslo, the fish might not partake of the nature of the river, in which they are bred and live, as we see in men bom in fenny, boggy, low, moist grounds, and thick air, who ordinarily want that present quickness, vivacity, and activity of body and mind, which persons born in dry, hilly, sandy soils and clear air, are usually endued mthal. The fish participating of the nature of the muddy river, which is ever slow, for if they were swift, the stream would cleanse them from all mud, are not so quick, lively, and active, as those bred in swift, sandy, or stony rivers, and so coming to the fly with more de- liberation, discern the same to be counterfeit, and for- sake it ; whereas, on the contrary, in stony, sandy, swift rivers, being colder, the fish are more active, and so more hungry and eager, the stream and hand keeping the fly in continual motion, they snap the same up with- out any pause, lest so desirable a morsel escape them. / < You must have a very quick eye, a nimble rod and hand, and strike with the rising of the fish, or he instantly finds his mistake, and forces out the hook again : I could never, my eye-sight being weak, discern perfectly where my fly was, the wind and stream carry- ing it so to and again, that the line was never any cer- tain direction or guide to me -, but if I saw a fish rise, I 20 ANGLING IMPROVED. use to strike if I discerned it might be within the length of my line. .,. • Be sure in casting, that your fly fall first into the water, for if the line fall first, it scares or frightens the fish ; therefore draw it back, and cast it again, that the fly may fall first. /S, When you try how to fit your colour to the fly, wet your fur, hair, wool, or moccado, otherwise you will fail in your work j for though when they are dry, they exactly suit the colour of the fly, yet the water will alter most colours, and make them lighter or darker. The best way to angle with the cad-bait, is to fish with it on the top of the water, as you do with the fly ; it must stand upon the shank of the hook, in like man- ner with the artificial fly ; if it come into the bend of the hook, the fish will little or not at all value it, nor if you pull the blue gut out of it ; and to make it keep that place, you must, when you set on your hook, fasten a horse hair or two under the silk, with the ends standing a very little out from under the silk, and pointing to- wards the line ; this will keep it from sliding back into the bend; and thus used, it is a most excellent bait for a Trout. You may imitate the cad-bait, by making the body of chamois, the head of black silk. I might here notice several sorts of flies, with the colours that are used to make them ; but for the rea- sons before given, that their colours alter in several rivers and soils, and also because, though I name the colours, yet it is not easy to choose that colour by any description, except so largely performed as would be ANGLING IMPROVED. 2) over large, and swell this small piece beyond my intend- ed conciseness, which are easy and short, if rightly ob- served, are full enough, and sufficient for making and finding out all sorts of flies in all rivers. I shall only add, that the Salmon flies must be made with wings standing one behind the other, whether two or four; also he delights in the most gaudy and orient colours you can choose; the wings I mean chiefly, if not alto- gether, \vith long tails and wings. CHAP. IV. OF ANGLING AT THE GROUND. ]Vow we are come to the second part of angling, viz. under the water, which if it be with the ground-line for the Trout, then you must not use any float at all, only a plumb of lead, which I would wish might be a small bullet, the better to roll on the ground ; and it must also be lighter or heavier, as the stream runs swift or slow, and you must place it about nine inches or a foot from the hook ; the lead must run upon the ground, and you must keep your line as straight as possible, yet by no means so as to raise the lead from the ground; your top must be very gentle, that the fish may more easily, and to himself insensibly, run away with the bait, and not be scared with the stiffness of the rod ; and if you make your top of black- thorn and whale-bone, as I be- fore directed, it will conduce much to this purpose : neither must you strike so soon as you feel the fish bite. 22 ANGLING IMPROVED. but slack your line a little, that so he may more se- curely swallow the bait, and hook himself, which he will sometimes do, especially if he be a good one ; the least jerk, however, hooks him, and indeed you can scarce strike too easily. Your tackle must be very fine and slender, and so you will have more sport than if you had strong lines, which frighten the fish, but the slender line is easily broke; with a small jerk. Morning and even- ing are the best times for the ground-line for a Trout, in clear weather and water, but in cloudy weather, or muddy water, you may angle at ground all day. 2. You may also in the night angle for the Trout with two great garden worms, hanging as equally in length as you can place them on your hook ; cast them from you as you would cast the fly, and draw them to you again upon the top of the water, and not suffer them to sink; therefore you must use no lead this way of angling ; when you hear the fish rise, give some time for him to gorge your bait, as at the ground, then strike gently. If he will not take them at the top, add some lead, and try at the ground, as in the day time ; when you feel him bite, order yourself as in day angling at the ground. Usually the best Trouts bite in the night, and will rise in the still deeps, but not ordinarily in the stream. 3. You may angle also with a minnow for the Trout, which you must put on your hook thus : first, put your hook through the very point of his lower chap, and draw it quite through ; then put your hook in at his mouth, and bring the point to his tail, then draw ANGLING IMPROVED. 2$ your line straight, and it will bring him into a round compass, and close his mouth that no water get in, which you must avoid ; or you may stitch up his mouth ; or you may, when you have set on your hook, fasten some bristles under the silk, leaving the points about a straw's breadth and half, or almost half an inch stand- ing out towards the line, which will keep him from slipping back. You may also imitate the minnow as well as the fly, but it must be done by an artist with the needle. You must also have a swivel or turn, placed about a yard or more from your hook, observing you need no lead on your line, for you must continually draw your bait up the stream, near the top of the water. If you strike a large Trout, and it should break either your hook or line, or get off, then near to her hole, if you can discover it, or the place you struck her, fix a short stick in the water, and with your knife loose a small piece of the rind, so as you may lay your line in it, and yet the bark be close enough to keep your line in, that it slip not out, nor the stream carry it away : bait yoiu* hook with a garden or lob-worm, your hook and line being very strong, let the bait hang a foot from the stick, then fasten the other end of your line to some stick or bough in the bank, and within one hour, you may be sure of her, if all your tackle hold. The next way of angling is with a troll for the Pike, which is very delightful 3 you may buy your troll ready made, therefore I shall not trouble myself to de- scribe it, only let it have a winch to wind it up withall. 24 ANGLING IMPROVED. For this kind of fish, your tackle must be strong, your rod must not be very slender at the top, where you must place a small slender ring for your line to run through; let your line be silk, at least two yards next the hook, and the rest of strong shoe-maker's thread; your hook double, and strongly armed with wire, for above a foot; then with a probe or needle, you must draw the wire in at the fish's mouth and out at the tail, that so the hook may lie in the mouth of the fish, and both the points on either side; upon the shank of the hook fasten some lead very smooth, that it go into the fish's mouth, and sink her with the head downward, as though she had been play- ing on the top of the water, and were returning to the bottom ; your bait maybe small Roach, Dace, Gudgeon, Loach, or sometimes a Frog; your hook thus baited, you must tie the tail of the fish close and fast to the wire, or else with drawing to and again, the fish will rend off the hook, or, which I judge neater, with a needle and strong thread, stitch through the fish on either side the wire, and tie it very fast: all being thus fitted, cast your fish up and down in such places as you know Pike frequent, observing still, that he sink some depth before you pull him up again. When the Pike rises, if it be not sunk deep, you may see the water move, or at least you may feel him ; then slacken your line, and give him length enough to run away to his hold, whither he will go di- rectly, and there pouch it, ever beginning, as you may observe, with the head swallowing that first, thus let him lie, until you see the line move in the water, and then you may certainly conclude he hath pouched your ANGLING IMPROVED. 25 bait, and rangeth abroad for more ; then with your troll wind up your line, till you think you have it almost straight, then with a smart jerk hook him, and make your pleasure to your content. Some use no rod at all, but hold the line in links on their hand, using lead and float. Others use a very great hook, with the hook at the tail of the fish, and when the Pike rises,then they strike at the first pull. Others put a strong string or thread in at the mouth of the bait, and out at one of the gills ; then over the head, and in at the other gill, and so tie the bait to the hook, leaving a little length of the thread or string betwixt the fish and the hook, that so the Pike may turn the head of the bait, the better to swallow it, and then as before ; after some pause, strike. Some tie the bait-hook and line to a bladder or |;)undle of flags, or bull-rushes, fastening the line very gently in the cleft of a small stick, to hold the bait from sink- ing more than its allowed length, half a yard. The stick must be fastened to the bladder or flags, to which the line being tied, that it may easily unfold and run to its length, and so give the Pike liberty to run away with the bait, and by the bladder or flags, recover their line again. You must observe this way to turn ofi^your bait with the v^dnd or stream, that they may carry it away. Some use, for more sport, if the Pike be a great one, to tie the same to the foot of a goose, which the Pike, if large, will sometimes pull under the water. Before I proceed to give you each sort of bait for every kind of fish, give me leave to add a caution or two, for D 26 ANGLING IMPROVED. the ground-liiie aad fishing, as I did for the natural and artificial fly, and then we shall go on. There are two ways of fishing for Eels, proper and peculiar to that fish alone ; the first is termed by some, f^ ^sJ^^^ ^ angling for Eels, which is thus : take a short strong rod, *^ and exceeding strong line, with a little compassed, but strong hook, which you must bait with a large well- scoured red worm, then place the end of the hook very easily in a cleft of a stick, that it may very easily slip out; mth this stick and hook thus baited, search for holes under stones, timbers, roots, or about flood-gates; if there be a good Eel, give her time, and she will take it; but be sure she has gorged it, and then you may conclude, if your tackling hold, she is your own. The other way is called bobbing for Eels, which is thus : take the largest garden worms, scour them well, and with a needle run a very strong thread or silk through them from end to end ; take so many as that at last you may wrap them about a board, for your hand will be too narrow, a dozen times at least, then tie them fast with the other two ends of the thread or silk, that they may hang in so many long bouts or hanks ; then fasten all to a strong cord, and something more than a handful above the worms, fasten a plumb of lead, of about three quarters of a pound, making your cord sure to a long and strong pole; with these worms thus or- dered, you must fish in a muddy water, and you will feel the Eels tug strongly at them; when you think they have swallowed them as far as they can, gently ANGLING IMPROVED. 2? draw up your worms and Eels, and when you have them near the top of the water, hoist them amajn to land ; and thus you may take three or four at once, and good ones, if there be store. 1 . When you angle at ground, keep your line as straight as possible, suffering none of it to lie in the water, because it hinders the nimble jerk of the rod ; but if, as sometimes it will happen, that you cannot avoid but some little will lie in the water, yet keep it in the stream above your float, by no means below it. 2. When you angle at ground for small fish, put two hooks to your line, fastened together thus : lay the two hooks together, then draw the one shorter than the other by nine inches, this will cause the other end to over-reach as much, as the other is shorter at the hooks, then turn that end back, and with a water- knot, in which you must make both the links to fasten, tie them so as both links may hang close together, and not come out at both ends of the knot. Then upon that link which hangeth longest, fasten your lead near a foot above the hook; put upon your hooks twodiflferent baits, and so you may try, with more ease and less time, what bait the fish love best ; and also very often, as I have done, take two fish at once with one rod. You have also, by this experience, one bait for such as feed close upon the ground, as Gudgeon, Flounder, &c. and an- other for such as feed a lit tie higher, as Roach,Dace, &c. 3. Some use to lead their lines heavily, and to set their float about a foot or more from the end of the rod, with a little lead to buoy it up, and thus in violent swift 28 ANGLING IMPROVED. Streams, they avoid the offence of a float, and yet per- fectly discern the biting of the fish, and so order them- selves accordingly ; but this has its inconvenience, viz. the lying of the line m the water. 4. Give all fish time to gorge the bait, and be not over hasty, except you angle with such tender baits as ^vill not endure nibbling at, but must upon every touch be struck at, as sheep's-blood and flies, which are taken away at the first pull of the fish, and therefore enforce you, at the first touch, to try your fortune. Now we are to speak next of baits, more particu- larly proper for every fish, wherein I shall observe this method, first to name the fish, then the baits, accord- ing as my experience hath proved them grateful to the fish ; and to place them as near as I can in such order as they come in season, though many of them are in sea- son at one instant of time, and equally good. I would not be understood, as if when a new bait comes in, the old one were antiquated and useless ; for I know the worm lasts all the year, flies all the Summer, one sort of bob-worm all the Winter, the other under cow-dung, in June and July; but I intimate that some are found when others are not m rerum natura. ANGLING IMPROVED. 29 CHAP. V. OF ALL SORTS OF BAITS FOR EACH KIND OF FISH, AND HOW TO FIND AND KEEP THEM. The Salmon takes the artificial fly very well; but you must use a troll, as for the Pike, or he, being a strong fish, will hazard your line, except you give him length : his flies must be much larger than you use for other fish, the wings very long, two or four, behind one another, with very long tails ; his chiefest ground-bait a great garden or lob-worm. 2. The Trout takes all sorts of worms, especially brandlings ; all sorts of flies, the minnow, young frogs, marsh-worm, dock-worm, flag-worm, all sorts of cad- 30 ANGLING IMPROVED. bait, bob, palmers, caterpillars, gentles, wasps, hornets, dores, bees, grasshoppers, cankers, and bark-worm ; he is a ravenous, greedy fish, and loveth a large bait at ground, and you must fit him accordingly. .3. The Umber, or Grayling, is generally taken mth the same baits as the Trout ; he is an eager fish, biteth freely, and will rise often at the same fly, if you prick him not. The Barbel bites best at great red worms, well scoured in moss ; gentles, cheese, or paste, made of cheese with suet, maggots, and red worms j feed mucli for this fish. ANGLING IMPROVED. 31 4. Car1» and Tench love the largest red worms, the especially if they smell much of tar; to which end you may, some small time before you use them, take so many as you will use at that time, and put them by them- selves in a little tar, but let them not lie long lest it kill them ; paste also of all sorts, made with strong-scented oils, tar, bread, grain boiled soft, maggots, gentles, marsh-worm, flag-worm, especially; feed much and often for these fish. 32 ANGLING IMPROVED, The Pike takes all sorts of baits, save the Fly, Gudgeon, Roach, Dace, and young frogs in Summer. You may halter him thus : fasten a strong line with a snare at the end of it to a pole, which if you go circumspectly to work, he will permit you to put it over his head, and then you must by strength, hoist him to land. Eels take great red worms, beef, wasps, guts of fowls, and the minnow. Bait night-hooks for him with small Roach, the hook must lie in the mouth of the fish, as for the Pike; this way takes the greatest Eels. ANGLING IMPROVED. 38 GUDGEON ,^^ %^ ^ lte^=^ '^-^^^ |^jrf^'^=^ ^^ ^^ ^^^^-^^ ^^»^ ^^ 7. The Gudgeon, Ruff, and Bleak, take the smallest red worms, cad-bait, gentles, and wasps. The Bleak takes the natural or artificial fly, especially in the evening. 8. The Ruff taketh the same baits as the Pearch, save that you must have lesser worms, he being a smaller fish. 9. For Roach and Dace take small worms, cad-bait, flies, bobs, sheep's-blood, small white snails, all sorts of worms bred on herbs or trees, paste, wasps, and gnats. The Bleak is an eager fish, and takes the same baits as the Roach, only they must be less. You may angle for him with as many hooks on your line at once, as you can conveniently fasten on it. •*$4 ANGLING IMPROVED. 10. The Chevin or Chub, all sorts of earth- worms, bob, the minnow, flies of all sorts, cad-bait, all sorts of worms bred on herbs and trees, especially oak- worms, young frogs, wasps, bees, or grasshoppers, on the top of the water -, cheese, grain, beetles, a great brown fly that lives on the oak, black snails, their bellies slit that the white appear j he loves a large bait, as a wasp, colwort-worm, and then a wasp altogether. 1 1 . The Bream takes red worms, especially those that are got at the root of a great Dock, it lies wrapped up in a knot, or round clue 3 paste, flag-worms, wasps, green-flies, butter-flies, or a grasshopper, his legs being cut off. 12. Flounder, Shad, and Mullet, love red worms of all sorts, wasps, and gentles. As for the Minnow, Loach, Bull-head, or MILLED S THUMB *""tBa5:irt'^«^.^^^i^§j£^£^ ANOLINO IMPROVED. » being usually children's recreation, I once purposed to have omitted them wholly, but considering they often are baits for better fish, as Trout, Pike, Eel, &c. Nei- ther could this discourse be general, if they were omitted; and though I should wave mentioning them, yet I cannot forget them, who have so often vexed me with their unwelcome eagerness ; for the will have a part in the play, if you come where he is ; which is almost every where, you need not seek him : I find him much oftener than 1 desire, it is only in deep still places which he least frequents, and is not over curious in his baits ; any thing will serve that he can swallow, and he will strain hard for what he cannot gorge : but chiefly likes small red worms, cad-bait, worms bred on trees, and wasps. The Loach and Bull-head are much of the same diet ; but their principal bait is small red worms. Having spoken before of pastes, I shall now shew how you may make the same ; and though there be as many kinds as men have fancies, yet I esteem these best. 1 . Take the tenderest part of the leg of a young rabbit, virgin wax, and sheep's-suet ; beat them in a mortar till they be perfectly incorporated, then with a 36 ANGLING IMPROVED. little clarified honey, temper them before the fire into a paste. 2. SheepVkidney suet, as much cheese, fine flower or manchet, make it into a paste ; soften it with clari- fied honey. 3. Sheep's blood, cheese, fine manchet, clarified honey ; make all into a paste. 4. Sheep's blood, saffron, and fine manchet; make all into a paste. You may add to any paste, coculus-indiae, assa- foetida, oil of polipody of the oak, of li<^num vitae, of ivy, or the gum of ivy dissolved : I judge there is virtue in these oils, and gum especially, which I would add to all pastes I make, as also a little flax to keep the paste, that it wash not off the hook. CHAP. VI. TO KEEP YOUR BAITS. 1 . Paste will keep very long, if you put virgin wax and clarified honey into it, and stick well on the hook, if you beat cotton wool, or flax into it, when you make your paste. 2. Put your worms into very good long moss, whether white, red, or green, matters not -, wash it well, and cleanse it from all earth and filth, wring it very dry, then put your worms into an earthen pot, cover it close that they crawl not out ; set it in a cool place in Summer, and in Winter in a warm place, that the frost ANGLING IMPROVED. 3? kill thetti not; every third day in Summer change your moss, and once in the week in Winter ; the longer you keep them before you use them the better : clean scouring your worms makes them clear, red, tough, and to live long on the hook, and to keep colour, and therefore more desireable to the fish : a little Bol Amo- niac put to them, will much further your desire, and scour them in a short time : or you may put them all night in water, and they will scour themselves, which will weaken them ; but a few hours in good moss will recover them. Lest your worms die, you may feed them with crumbs of bread and milk, or fine flour and milk, or the yolk of an egg, and sweet cream coagu- lated over the fire, given to them a little and often ; sometimes also put to them earth cast out of a grave, the newer the grave the better ; I mean the shorter time the party hath been buried, you will find the fish will exceedingly covet them after this earth, and here you may gather what gum that is, which J. D. in his Secrets of Angling y calls * Gum of Life.' 3. You must keep all other sorts of worms with the leaves of those trees and herbs on which they are bred, renewing the leaves often in a day, and put in fresh for the old ones : the boxes you keep them in must have a few small holes to let in air. 4. Keep gentles or maggots with dead flesh, beast's livers, or suet ; cleanse or scour them in meal, or bran, which is better ; you may breed them by prick- ing a bejist's liver full of holes, hang it in the sun in Summer time; set an old course barrel, or small firkin. 38 ANGLING IMPROVED. with clay and bran in it, into which they will drop, and cleanse themselves in it. 5. Cad-bait cannot endure the wind and cold, therefore keep them in a thick woollen bag", with some gravel amongst them : wet them once a day, at least, if in the house, but often in the hot weather : when you carry them forth, fill the bag full of water, then hold the mouth close, that they drop not out, and so let the water run from them; I have thus kept them three weeks, or you may put them into an earthem pot full of water, with some gravel at the bottom, and take them forth into your bag as you use them. 6. The spawn of some fish is a good bait, to be used at such time as that fish is spawning : some days before they spawn they will bite eagerly ; if you take one that is full-bellied, take out the spawn, boil it so hard as to stick on your hook, and so use it ; or not boil it at all, the spawn of Salmon is the best of all sorts of spawn. 7. I have observed, that Chevin, Roach, and bite much better at the oak-worm, or any worm bred on herbs and trees, especially if you angle with the ANGLINO IMPROVED. ^ same, when they shew themselves at the top of the water, as with the natural fly, than if you use it under : for I have observed, that when a gale of wind shakes the trees, the worms fall into the water, and presently rise and float on the top, where I have seen the fish rise at them, as at flies, which taught me this experience ; and indeed they sink not, till tost and beaten by the stream, and so die and lose their colour ; the fish then, as you may see by your own on your hook, do not much esteem them. 8. There are two, some say three, sorts of cad- bait ; the one bred under stones, that lie hollow in shal- low rivers, or small brooks, in a very fine gravelly case or husk, these are yellow when ripe : the other in old pits, ponds, or slow running rivers, or ditches, in cases or husks of straw, sticks, or rushes, these are green when ripe ; both are excellent for Trout, used as before directed, and for most sorts of small fish. The green sort, which is bred in pits, ponds, or ditches, may be found in March, before the other yellow ones comes in ; the other yellow ones come in season with May, or the end of April, and go out in July: a second sort, but smaller, come in again in August. 9. Yellow bobs are also of two sorts, the one bred in mellow light soils, and gathered after the plough, when the land is first broken up from grazing, and are in season in the Winter till March; the other sort is bred under cow-dung, hath a red head ; and these are in season in the Summer only : scour them in bran, or dry moss, or meal. 40 ANGLING IMPROVED. 10. Bark- worms are found under the bark of an oak, ash, alder, and birch, especially if they lie a year or more after they have fallen, you may find a great white worm, with a brown head, something* resembling a dore bee, or humble-bee, this is in season all the year, especi- ally from September until June, or mid-May; the Um- ber covets this bait above any, save fly, and cad-bait ; you may also find this worm in the body of a rotten al- der, if you break it mth an axe or beetle ; but be careful only to shake the tree in pieces with beating, and crush not the worm : you may also find him under the bark of the stump of a tree, if decayed. 11. Dry your wasps, dores, or bees, upon a tile- stone, or in an oven cooled after baking, lest they burn ; and to avoid that, you must lay them on a thin board or chip, and cover them with another so supported, as not to crush them, or else clap two cakes together: this way they will keep long, and stick on your hook well. If you boil them hard, they grow black in a few days. 12. Dry your sheep's blood in the air, upon a dry board, till it become a pretty hard lump ; then cut it into small pieces for your use. 13. When you use grain, boil it soft, and get off the outward rind, which is the bran ; and then if you will, you may fry the same in honey and milk, or some strong scented oils, as polypody, spike, ivy, turpentine ; for Nature, which maketh nothing in vain, hath given the fish nostrils, and that they can smell, is undeniable j and I am persuaded, more guided by the sense of smelling, than sight, for sometimes they will come to the float, if ANGLING IMPROVED. 41 any wax Be upon it, smell at it and ^o away. We see also that strong scents draw them together; as, put grains, worms, or snails, in a bottle of hay tied pretty close, and you will, if you pluck it out suddenly, sometimes draw up Eels in it. But I never yet made trial of any of these oils ; for when I had the oils, I wanted time to try them ; or when I had time, I wanted the oils : but I re- commend them to others for trial, and do purpose, God willing, to prove the virtue myself, especially that ointment so highly commended by J. D. in his Secrets of Angling* * In the edition of 1613, duod. the receipt here referred to occurs at the end of the volume : Would'st thou catch fish ? • Then here's thy wish ; Take this receipt To anoint thy bait. Thou that desirest to fish with line and hook, ■"■' Be it in poole, in river, or in brook, , To blisse thy bait, and make the fish to bite, Loe here's a means if thou canst hit it right ; Take gum of life, fine beat and laid to soak In oyle, well drawn from that which kills the oak; Fish where thou wilt, thou shalt have sport thy fill, " When twenty fail, thou shalt be sure to kill. Probattim. It's perfect and good If well understood Else not to be told For silver or gold. Lauson, who * augmented with many approved experiments,' the second edition of the Secrets of Anglings 1652, duod. observes, *This excellent receipt divers Anglers can tell you where you may buy them.' On the subject of 'gum of life,' he continues, *I have heard much of an oyntment that will presently cause any fish to bite; but I could never attain the knowledge thereof, the nearest in mine opinion, except this Probatum, is the oyle of an ospray, which is called Aquila Marina, the Sea-Eagle. P 42 ANGLING IMPROVED. 14. When you see ant-flies in greatest plenty, go to the ant-hills where they breed, take a great handful of the earth, with as much of the roots of the grass growing on those hills 5 put all into a large glass bottle, then gather a pottle full of the blackest, ant-flies un- bruised, put them into the bottle, or into a firkin, if you would keep them long, first washed with honey, or water and honey; Roach and Dace will bite at these flies under water near the ground. 15. When you gather bobs after the plough, put them into a firkin, with sufficient of the soil they were bred in, to preserve them ; stop the vessel quite close, or all will spoil ; set it where neither wind nor frost may ofiend them, and they will keep all Winter for your use. 16. At the latter end of September, take some dead carrion that hath some maggots bred in it, which are beginning to creep; bury all deep in the ground, that the frost kill them not, and they will serve in March or April following, to use. 17. To find the flag-worm, do thus : go to an old pond, or pit, where there are store of flags, or, as some call them, sedges, pull some up by the roots, then shake She is of body neare the bignesse of a goose ; one of her feele is web'd to swim withall, the other hath talons to catch fish. It seems the fisli come up to her, for she cannot dive. Some likelihood there is also in a paste made of Coculus Indie, Assa-Fcetida, Honey and Wheat-flour; but I never tried them, therefore I cannot prescribe.' *That which kills the oak,' is expressly said to signify *the Ivy,' edit. 1652. In a third, and hitherto unrecorded edition of the Secrets of Angling, it is said, 'This excellent receipt you may buy ready and truely made, at the signe of the Flying Horse, an Apothecaries in Carter- Lane,* Editor, ANGLING IMPROVED. 43 those roots in the water, till all the mud and dirt be washed away from them, then amongst the small strings or fibres that grow to the roots, you will find little husks or cases of a reddish, or yellowish, and some of other colours ; open these carefully with a pin, and you will find in them a little small worm, white as a gentle, but longer and thinner; this is an excellent bait for the Tench, the Bream, and especially the Carp : if you pull the flags asunder, and cut open the round stalk, you will also find a worm like the former in the husks; but tougher, and in that respect better. CHAP. VII. OF SEVERAL HADNTS OB RESORTS OF FISH, AND IN WHAT RIVERS OR PLACES OF THEM THEY ARE MOST USUALLY FOUND. This part of our discourse being a discovery of the several places or rivers each kind of fish do most haunt or covet, and in which they are ordinarily found. The several sorts of rivers, streams, soils, and waters they most frequent, is a matter, in this under- valued art, of no small importance ; for if you come with baits for the Trout, or Umber, and angle for them in slow muddy rivers or places, you will have little, if any sport at all : and to seek for Carp or Tench in stony swift rivers, is e(iually preposterous ; and though I know that sometimes you may meet with fish in such rivers and places, as they do not usually frequent, for no ge- 44 ANGLING IMPROVED. ueral rule but admits of particular exceptions, yet the? exact knowledge of what rivers or soils, or what part of the river, for some rivers have swift gravely streams, and also slow, deep, muddy places j such or such sorts of fish do most frequent, will exceedingly adapt you, to know what rivers, or what part of them are most fit for your baits, or what baits suit best with each river, and the fish in the same. 1. The Salmon loves large swift rivers, where there is considerable ebbing and flowing, and there that fish is found in the greatest numbers ; nevertheless, I have known them to be found in lesser rivers, high up in the country, yet chiefly in the latter end of the year, when they come thither to spawn, he chooses the most swift and violent streams, or rather cataracts, and in England the clearest gravely rivers usually with rocks or weeds -, but in Ireland, I do not know any river, I mean high in the country, that hath such plenty of them as the black water, by Charlemont, and the broad water, by Shane's Castle, both which have their heads in great bogs, and are of a dark muddy colour, and very few comparatively in the upper ban, though clearer and swifter than they. 2. The Trout is found in small purling brooks, or rivers that are very swift, and run upon stones or gravel ; he feeds whilst strong in the swiftest streams, behind a stone, a log, or some small bank, which, shooting into the river, the streams beareth upon -, and there he lieth watching for what comes down the stream, and suddenly catches it up. His hold is usually in the ANGLING IMPROVED. 4i deep, under a hollow place of the bank, or a stone which lying hollow, he loves exceedingly; and sometimes, but not so usually, he is found amongst weeds. 3. The Pearch prefers a gentle stream, of a rea- sonable depth, seldom shallow, close by a hollow bank ; and though these three sorts of fish covet clear and swift rivers, green weeds, and stony gravel; yet they are sometimes found, but not in such plenty and good- ness, in slow muddy rivers. 4. Carp, Tench, and Eel, seek mud and a still water; Eels under roots or stones, a Carp chooseth the deepest and most still place of pond or river, so does the Tench, and also green weeds, which he likes exceed- ingly ; the greatest Eels love as before; but the smaller ones are found in all sorts of rivers and soils. 5. Pike, Bream, and Chub, choose sand or clay : the Bream, a gentle stream, and the broadest part of the river; the Pike, still pools full of fry, and shelters him- self, the better to surprise his prey unawares, amongst bull-rushes, water-docks, or imder-bushes ; the Chub loves the same ground, but is more rarely found without some tree to shade and cover him, in large rivers and streams. 6. Barbel, Roach.Dace, and Ruff, seek gravel and sand more than the Bream, and the deepest parts of the river, where shady trees are more grateful to them, than to the Chub or Chevin. 7. The Umber seeks marl, clay, clear waters, swift streams, far from the Sea, for I never saw any taken near it ; and the greatest plenty of them that I 46 ANOLINO IMPROVED. know of, are found in the mountainous parts of Derby- shire, Staffordshire, as Dovetrent, Derwent, &c. 8. Gudgeon desires sandy, gravely, gentle streams, and smaller rivers ; but I have known them taken in great abundance in Trent, in Derbyshire, where it is very large ; but conceive them to be in greater plenty nearer the head of that river, about or above Heywood : I can say the same of other rivers, and therefore con- ceive they love smaller rivers rather than the large, or the small brooks, for I never found them in so great plenty in brooks, as small rivers ; he bites best in the Spring, till he spawns, and little after till wasp time. 9. Shad, Thwait, Peel, Mullett, Suant, and Flounder, love chiefly to be in or near the saltish water, which ebb and flow; I have known the Flounder taken in good plenty, in fresh rivers ; they covet sand and gravel, deep gentle streams near the bank, or at the end of a stream in a deep still place : though these rules may, and do hold good in the general, yet I have found them admit of particular exceptions, but every man's habitation engaged him to one, or usually at most, to two rivers, his own experience will quickly inform him of the nature of the same, and the fish in them. I would persuade all that love angling, and desire to be complete Anglers, to spend some time in all sorts of waters, ponds, rivers, swift and slow, stony, gravely, muddy and slimy; and to observe all the differences in the nature of the fish, the waters and baits, and by this means he will be able to take fish where ever he angles ; otherwise, through want of experience, he will be like ANGLING IMPROVED. 41' the man that could read in no book but his own: besides, a man, his occasions or desires drawing him from home, must only stand as an idle spectator, whilst others kill fish, but he none ; and so lose the repute of a complete Angler, how excellent soever he be at his own known river. Furthermore, you must understand, that as some fish covet one soil more than another, so they diflfer in their choice of places, in every season; some keep all Summer long near the top, some never leave the bottom; for the former sort you may angle with a quill or small float near the top, with a fly, or any sort of worm bred on herbs or trees, or with a fly at the top : the latter sort you will, all Summer long, find at the tails of wiers, mills, flood-gates, arches of bridges, or the more shal- low parts of the river, in a strong, swift or gentle stream, except Carp, and Tench, and Eel; in Winter all retreat into deep still places ; where it ebbs and flows, they will sometimes bite best, but in the ebb most usually; sometimes when it flows, but rarely at full water, near the arches of Bridges, wiers, or flood-gates. CHAP. VIII. WHAT TIMES ARE UNSEASONABLE TO ANGLE IN. There being a time for all things, in which with ease and facility the same may be accomplished, and most difficult, if not impossible, at another : the skill and knowledge how to choose the best season to angle, and 48 ANGLING IMPROVED. how to avoid the contrary, come next to be handled; which I shall do first negatively, viz. what times are un- fit to angle; and then affirmatively, which are the best seasons. 1 . When the earth is parched with a great drought, so that the rivers run with a much less current than is usual, it is to no purpose to angle; and indeed the heat of the day in Summer, except cooled by winds, and shallowed with clouds, though there be no drought, you will find very little sport, especially in muddy, or very shallow and clear rivers. 2. In cold, frosty, snowy weather, I know the fish must eat in all seasons, and that a man may kill fish when he must first break the ice ; yet I conceive the sport is not then worth pursuing, the extreme cold taking away the delight, besides the endangering health, if not life, by those colds, which at least cause rhumes and coughs : wherefore I leave Winter and night ang- ling, to such strong healthful bodies, whose extraordi- nary delight in angling, or those whose necessity en- forceth them to seek profit by their recreation, in such imseasonable times. 3. When there happens any small frost, all that day after the fish will not rise freely and kindly, ex- cept in the evening, and that the same prove very plea- sant. 4. If the wind be very high, so that you cannot gmde your tools to advantage. 5. When shepherds or countrymen wash their sheep, though while they are washing, I mean the first ANGLING IMPROVED. fl9 time only, the fish will bite exceedingly well; I suppose the filth that falls from the sheep draws them, as like baiting a place together, and then they so glut them- selves, that till the whole washing time be over, and they have digested their fulness ; they will not take any ar- tificial baits. 6. Sharp, bitter, nipping winds, which most usually blow out of the North or East especially, blast your recreation ; but this is rather the season than the wind, though I also judge those winds have a secret malign quality to hinder the recreation. 7- After any sort of fish have spawned, they will not bite any thing to purpose, until they have recovered their strength and former appetite. ntn 8. When any clouds arise, that will certainly bring a shower or storm, though in the midst of Sum- mer, they will not bite : I have observed, that though the fish bite most eagerly, and to your heart's content; yet upon the first appearing of any clouds, that will certainly bring rain, though my own judgment could not then apprehend, or in the least conjecture, that a storm was arising, they have immediately left off biting; and that has been all given me to understand that a shower was coming, and that it was prudent to seek shelter against the same. 50 AN6LINO IMPROVED. CHAP. IX. THE BEST TIMES AND SEASONS TO ANGLE. We now come to the affirmative part, which is the best season to angle, that as before, we discovered when it would be lost labour to seek recreation ; so now you may learn to improve opportunity, when it offers itself to best advantage. 1. Calm, clear, or which is better, cool cloudy weather in Summer, the wind blowing gently, so as you may guide your tools with ease; in the hottest months, the cooler the better. 2. When the floods have carried away all the filth that the rain had washed from the higher grounds into the river, and that the river keeps his usual bounds, and appears of a whey colour. 3. When a sudden violent shower hath a little mudded and raised the river, then if you go forth in, or immediately after such a shower, and angle in the stream at the ground, with a red worm chiefly ; if there be store of fish in the river, you will have sport to your own desire. 4. A little before any fish spawn, your own ob- servation will inform you of the time, by the fulness of their bellies, they come into the gravely, sandy fords, to rub and loosen their bellies, and then they bite very freely. ANGLING IMPROVED. 51 6. When rivers after rain do rise, yet so as that they keep within their banks, in swift rivers the violence of the stream forces the fish to seek shelter and quiet ease J in the little and milder currents of small brooks, where they fall into larger rivers, and behind the ends of bridges that are longer than the breadth of the river, making a low vacancy, where the bridge defends a small spot of ground from the violence of the stream, or in any low place near the river^s side, where the fish may lie at rest, and secure from the disturbance of the rapid stream -, in such a place, not being very deep, and at such a time, you will find sport : as regards myself, I have ever found it equal to the best season. 6. For Carp and Tench early in the morning, from sun rising, until eight of the clock, and from four after noon, till night ; and from sun set, till far in the night in the hot months. 7. In March, in the beginning of April, and at the latter end of September, and all Winter, fish bite best in the warmth of the day, when no winds are stirring, and the air quite clear. In Summer months, morning and evening are best, or cool cloudy weather: if you can find shelter, no matter how high the wind be. 8. Fish rise best at the fly, after a shower that has not mudded the water, yet has beaten the gnats and flies into the rivers ; you may in such a shower observe them rise much, if you will endure the rain ; also the best months for the fly, are March, April, May, and part of June ; in the cooler months, in the warmest time of the day^ or in warm weather, about nine in the morning, 52 ANGLING IMPROVED. three in the afternoon, if any gentle gale blow ; some- times in a warm evening, when the gnats play much. 9. Also after the river is cleared from a flood, they rise exceedmg well ; I conceive that being glutted with ground-baits, they now covet the fly, having wanted it a tune. 10. A Trout bites best in a muddy rising water, in dark, cloudy, windy weather, early in the morning, from half an hour after eight, till ten ; and in the afternoon, from three, till after four, and sometimes in the even- ing ; but about nine in the morning, and about three in the afternoon, are his chief and most constant hours of biting at ground or fly, as the water suits either; March, April, May, and part of June, are his chief months, though he bites well in July, August and Sep- tember. After a shower in the evening, he rises well at gnats. 11. Salmon, at three in the afternoon, chiefly in May, June, July, and August, with a clear water and some wind. He bites best when the wind is blowing against the stream, and near the sea. 12. Carp and Tench, morning and evening, very early and late, June, July and August, or indeed in the night. 13. AChevin,from sun rising or earlier, at snails especially ; for in the heat of the day he cares not for them, in June and July till about eight, again at three in the afternoon at ground, or fly; and his chief fly which he most delights in, is a great moth, with a very great head, not unlike to an owl, with whitish wings. ANGLING IMPROVED. JSSi and yellowish body, you may find them flying abroad in Summer evenings in gardens, when some wind is stir- ring, in large rivers chiefly, streams or shade. He will take a small lamprey, or seven-eyes, an eel-brood, either of them about a straw's bigness. 14. Pike bites best at three in the afternoon, in a clear water, accompanied by a gentle gale, in July, August, September, and October. 15. Bream, from about sun rising, till eight, in a muddy water, a good gale of wind; and in ponds, the higher the better, and where the waves are highest, and nearer the middle of the pond, the better ; from the end of May, June, July especially, and August. 16. Roach and Dace all day long; best at the top, at fly, or oak-worm principally, and at all other worms bred on herbs or trees, palmers, caterpillars, &c. in plain rivers or ponds, under water-dock leaves, or under shady trees. 1 7. Gudgeon from April, and till he have spawned in May, and a little after that, till wasp time, and then to the end of the year, all day long. 18. Flounder all day in April, May, June, and Julv. 54 ANGLING IMPROVED. CHAP. X. GENERAL OBSERVATIONS. 1 . Let the Angler's apparel be sad dark colours, as sad grey's, tawny, purple, hair, or musk colour. 2. Use shoe-maker's wax to your silk or thread, with which you make or mend either rod or fly; it holds firmer, and sticks better than any other. 3. Into such places as you use to angle at, once a week at least, cast in all sorts of corn boiled soft, grains washed in blood, blood dried and cut into pieces, snails, worms chopped small, pieces of fowl, or beast's guts, beast's livers ; for Carp and Tench you cannot feed too often, or too much ; this course draweth the fish to the place you desire. And to keep them together, cast about twenty grains of ground malt at a time, now and then as you angle ; and indeed all sorts of baits are good to cast in, especially whilst you are angling with that bait, principally cad-bait, gentles, and wasps, and you will find they will snap up yours more eagerly, and with less suspicion; but by no means, when you angle in a stream cast them in at your hook, but something above where you angle, lest the stream carry them beyond your hook, and so instead of drawing them to you, you draw them from you. ANGLING IMPROVED. 55 4. Destroy all beasts or birds that devour the fish or their spa\vn,* as the • THE OTTER'S ORATION. Why stand we beasts abasht, or spare to speake 1 Why make wee not a vertue of our need? We know by proofe, in wit wee are to weake, And weaker much, because all Adams seed, (Which beare away the waight of wit indeed) Do dayly seeke our names for to distaine, With slanderous blotte, for which we Beasts be slaine. First of my selfe, before the rest to treate. Most men cry out, that fishe I do deuoure. Yea some will say, that Lambes (with mee) be meate; I graunt to both, and he that hath the powre. To feede on fish that sweeter were than sowre. And hath yong flesh to banquet at his fill. Were fonde to fraunche on garbage, graynes or swill. But master Man, which findeth all this fault. And streynes deuise for many a daynty dishe. Which suflFreth not that hunger him assault, But feedes his fill on euery flesh and fishe. Which must haue all, as much as witte can wish, Us seely Beasts, deuouring Beasts do call, And he himsefe, most bloody beaste of all. Well yet me thinks, I heare him preach this Text, How all that is, was made for vse of man: So was it sure, but therewith followes next. This heauy place, expound it who so can : The very scourge and plague of God his Ban, 56 ANGLING IMPROVED. &c. and endeavour, whether in authority or not, to see all statutes put in execution, against such as use unlaw- Will light on such as queyntly can deuise. To eat more ineate, then may thir mouthes snffise. Now master Man stand forth and here declare. Who euer yet could see an Otter eate, More meate at once, then serued for his share? Who sees vs beasts sitte bybbing in our seate With sundry wynes, and sundry kindes of meate? Which breede disease, yfostred in such feastes, If men do so, be they not worse than beasts? The beastly man, must sitte al day and quaffe, The Beaste indeede, doth drincke but twise a day, The beastly man, must stuffe his monstrous masse With secrete cause of surfeiting alway ; Where beasts be glad to feede when they get prey. And neuer eate more than may do them good. Where men be sicke, and surfet thorough foode. Who sees a Beast, for sauery Sawces long? Who sets a beast, or chicke or Capon cramnie? Wiio sees a beast, once luld on sleepe with song? Who sees a beast make venson of a Ramme? ^ Who sees a Beast destroy bothe whelpe and damme? Who sees a Beast vse beastly Gluttonie ? Which man doth vse, for great Ciuilytie. I know not I, if dyuing be my fault. Me thinks most men, can diue as well as I : Some men can diue in Seller and in vault. In Parlor, Hall, Kitchen and in Buttery To smell the Roste, whereof the fume doth flee : And as for games, men diue in every streame, All frawdes be fishe, their stomacks neuer squeame. So to conclude, when men their faults can mend, And shnnne the shame, where with they beasts do blot, When men their time and treasure not mispend. But follow grace, which is with paines ygot. When men can vice rebuke, and vse it not: Then shall they shine, like men of worthy fame. And else, they be but Beasts well worthy blame. Noble Art of Venerie, 1611. ito. pp. 201-203. ANOLINO IMPROVED. 57 ful nets, or means to take fish; especially bar-netting and night-hooking. 5. Get your rods and tops without knots, they are dangerous for breaking. 6. Keep your rod dry, lest it rot, and not near the fire, lest it grow brittle. 7. In drought, wet your rod a little before you begin to angle. 8. Lob-worms, dew-worms, and great garden worms, all one. 9. When you angle at ground, or with the natu- ral fly, your line must not exceed the length of your rod. For the Trout at ground, it must be shorter, and in some cases, not half the length as in small brooks or woody rivers, either at ground, or with the natural fly. 10. When you have hooked a good fish, have an especial care to keep your rod bent, lest he run to the line, and break your hook, or his hold. 11. Such tops or stocks as you get, must not be used till fully seasoned, which will not be in one year and a quarter, but I like them better if kept till they be two years old. 12. The first fish you take, cut up his belly, and you may then see his stomach ; it is known by its large- ness and place, lying from the gills to the small guts ; take it out very tenderly, if you bruise it, your labour and design are lost -, and with a sharp knife cut it open without bruising, and then you may find his food in it, and thereby discover what bait the fish at that instant 58 ANGLING IMPROVED. takes best, either flies or ground-baits, and so suit them accordingly. 13. Fish are frightened with any the least sight or motion, therefore by all means keep out of sight, either by sheltering yourself behind some bush or tree, or by standing so far off the river's side, that you can see nothing but your fly or float; to effect this, a long rod at ground, and a long line with the artificial fly, may be of use to you. And here I meet with two different opinions and practises, some will always cast their fly and bait up the water, and so they say nothing occurs to the fish's sight but the line; others fish down the river, and so suppose, the rod and line being long, the quantity of water takes away, or at least lessens the fish's sight ; but others aflfirm, that rod and line, and perhaps yourself, are seen also. In this difference of opinions I shall only say, in small brooks you may angle upwards, or else in great rivers you must wade, as I have known some, who thereby got the sciatica, and I would not wish you to purchase pleasure at so dear a rate ; besides, casting up the river you cannot keep your line out of the water, which has been noted for a fault before ; and they that use this way confess, that if in casting your fly, the line fall into the water before it, the fly were better uncast, because it frightens the fish ; then certainly it must do it this way, whether the fly fall first or not, the line must first come to the fish, or fall on him, which undoubtedly will frighten him: my opinion is, therefore, that you angle down the river, for ANGLING IMPROVED. 69 the other way you traverse twice so much, and beat not so much ground as downwards. 14. Keep the sun, and moon, it night, before you, if your eyes will endure, which I much question, at least be sure to have those planets on your side, for if they be on your back, your rod will with its shadow of- fend much, and the fish see further and clearer, when they look towards those lights, than the contrary; as you may experiment thus in a dark night, if a man come betwixt you and any light, you see him clearly, but not at all if the light come betwixt you and him. 15. When you angle for the Trout, you need not make above three or four trials in one place, either with fly or ground-bait, for he will then either take it, or make an offer, or not stir at all, and so you lose time to stay there any longer. Pkarch bites exceedingly well at all sorts of ©arth-worms, especially lob-worms, brandlings, bobs, oak-worms, gentles, cad-bait, wasps, dores, minnows, colwort-worm,and often at almost any bait, save the fly. He bites well all day long in seasonable weather, but chiefly from eight in the morning till after ten, and from a little before three in the afternoon till almost five. 60 ANGLING IMPROVED. 16. A Chevin loves to have several flies, and of divers sorts, on the hook at once, and several baits also at once on the hook, as a wasp and col wort-worm, or an old wasp, and young dore, or humble, when his wings and legs are grown forth, or a fly and cad-worm, or oak- worm. 1 7. Take for a Trout, two lob-worms well scour- ed, cut them into two equal halves, put them on .your hook ; this is an excellent bait. In a muddy water, a Trout will not take a cad- bait, you must therefore only use it in clear water. If you desire to angle in a very swift stream, and have your bait rest in one place, and yet not over bur- then your line with lead ; take a small pistol bullet, make a hole through it, wider at each side than the middle, yet so open in every place, as that the line may easily pass through it without any stop ; place a very small piece of lead on your Ime, that may keep this bullet from falling nearer the hook than that piece of lead, and if your float be made large enough to bear above water, against the force of the stream, the fish will, when they bite, run away with the bait as securely. ANGLING IMPROVED. 61 as if there were no more weight upon your line, than the little piece of lead, because the hole in the bullet gives passage to the line, as if it were not there. 18. When cattle in Summer come into the fords, their dung draws the fish to the lower end of the ford ; at such time angle for a Chevin, with baits fit for him, and you will have sport. 19. Before you set your hook to your line, arm the line by turning the silk five or six times about the link, and so with the same silk set on your hook ; this preserves your lines, that your hook cut it not asunder, and also that it will not, when using the cast fly, snap oflf so easily, which it is very subject to do. 20. In very wet seasons Trouts leave the rivers and larger brooks, and retreat into such little brooks as scarce run at all in dry Summers. 21. To all sorts of pastes, add flax, cotton, or wool, to keep the paste from falling off your hook. 22. Deny not part of what your endeavours shall purchase unto any sick or indigent persons, but willing- ly distribute a part of your purchase to those who may desire a share. 23. Make not a profession of any recreation, lest your immoderate love towards it, should bring a cross wish on the same. J. Joboson, Printer, Brouk Street, Holborn. Londoa. ^ ^^€i '9' 'J* II I f^' ■^\i SOkli.