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themselves snoring. The grass husband was fortunately rewas long and nothing could be turning, so we were able to seen, silence was everywhere, give chase at once. We saw and my pony continued to nothing further till we had graze quietly. I began to gone about a quarter of a mile, think I had been dreaming, when, on the other side of a and was just going to settle small dry river-bed, we caught down again when, distinct and sight of eight lions : it was unmistakable, came another only a glimpse, and they algrunt.
All the men were on most immediately disappeared the alert this time, and no one into a patch of thick reeds on claimed the noise : still the edge of a swamp. How could see nothing, and we long they had been taking knew lions were close. At this stock of us it is impossible to juncture I had a brilliant in- say; and why, as they evidently spiration : I caught my pony meant business (lions cannot be and jumped on to his back, aocused of suffering from vulgar from which elevation it was curiosity, and this is the only possible to see right over the other solution to be given of grass. There, sure enough, not their behaviour), they did not ten yards away, was a large take one of the men, the pony, lion, sitting up like a cat and or myself, is to this day an watching us. As we saw one unsolved mystery.
Incidents another he dropped : lions will of this description are of such drop like this in the grass and common occurrence in Africa remain quite hidden, in a man- that daily occupations suffer ner that enables them to move more through excess of incident off without being visible. My than from monotony of routine.
BY A PHILISTINE.
That kindly man, G. S. the angler's dress, and first of Maryatt, the dry-fly fisher of all with his waders. Among the last century as he may my angling acquaintance I be styled, stuck to his theory number one who swears by a through thick and through thin, pattern of rubber boot with and he would be a bold man à sole of felt. It is a really who denied that the old angler excellent design for the southern was justified in his practice. chalk stream which we generYet I used to think that in his ally frequent, and others with anxiety to make his experience myself have been grateful to the experience of all, and to him for it. But when we go press the fruits of it upon his to fish, say, the rocky Derbyfellows, he was too unmindful shire Derwent and the Cumberthat a dry-fly fisher like George land Eden, behold him in the Maryatt comes but once in a rubber boots and felt soles, ungeneration. Such experts, such willing to hear a word against rare bigots, alas! few. their suitability for these waters, Most of us are only the spaniels though truly one might as well of the angling world, and it is elect to play ping-pong in one's
, as the apes and echoes of other golfing boots. I am persuaded fishers that we discover our that his is not an unusual osse bigotry. From that foolish among anglers. Most salmonzeal no social condition remains and trout-fishers, you will find, unspotted. It snaps its fingers pin their faith to one pattern at expense.
Matter not the of wader, and use it on all fish, be it trout or salmon, rivers, at all seasons, amid all barbel or pike or roach, each conditions. Possibly, like my contributes votaries to the ovine friend's, it is a pattern of crowd. There are bigots of the their own devising, excellently Lea style and of the Nottingham adapted for the water they style in roach-fishing, even as usually fish,-& valuable rethere are the hackle-fly bigots sult of specialisation, in short. of Yorkshire and they of the Bigots all of them, neverthewinged - fly of Derbyshire and less, in their failure to appreciate the south ; ground-bait bigots that circumstances alter cases ! no fewer than down- and across- So with the angler of the one and up-stream fly bigots,-an and only coat. It is rather sad infinite variety, some of whom to find a gentleman possessed of it may amuse the reader to an elegant well-out garment, so contemplate.
suitable for his south-country The charge being one of waters, appear in it on the Tees, bigotry from sole to crown, say, where the river is deepthe evidence may begin with flowing, and immediately submerges the lower pockets. It rods were built, and the rivalry may be thought that he errs which the old manufacturers through ignorance of the char- have met with in the firms who acter of the Tees; but no: have made built-cane a specialfor in view of its deeps he ity. Add to these the specialisahas adopted special wading- tion in manufacture which has trousers, and actually has de- run parallel with the faddism vised a button upon which to of anglers themselves, and you turn back the lowest pockets! have my reasons for despairing The absurdest bigot I can re- of getting my ideal rod permember was one from the North fectly built in any one workwho appeared on the Darenth shop. In practice, therefore, I with high trousers and a short should advise the young flytight jacket, and would have fisher to have a rod throughout persuaded us that no other rig of cane, as being the material was equal to that, for had not probably in which one can with his experience at home taught most certainty get a rod wholly him so !
built in any action, and thereCome now to the angler's fore the material which is most tackle, and first of all to that likely to realise one's ideals. important part of it, his rod. I say "probably," because of If the question were asked, all bigots he is the most foolish What are the constituents of who dogmatises about the build a good fly-rod ? the unanimous of another man's rod. answer I suppose
would be, Among those who strongly Action, balance, and power. advocate the older make of rod It might be thought that these are fishermen so expert that it in perfect accord could easily seems unnecessary to listen to be found; yet I would under- other advice than theirs. But, take to fill a number of ‘Maga' then, anglers equally notable as with the diverse theories as to ardently declare for the builthow to build the perfect fly- cane. It comes to a choice of rod. My own is that, if choice experts, therefore, for those be allowed from all materials of (and they are the majority of which fly-rods have ever been anglers) who are ready to built, the best combination listen to any teaching save would be a blue-mahoe butt, a that of their own experience. built-cane centre, and a green- Thus there arises that great heart top. That would be my body of second - hand bigots ideal rod; but I have little hope who, without the justification of getting such a rod built for of the specialists by whose me, at any rate by one maker. advocacy of particular patterns The famous greenheart rods and methods the fly-fisher's art of noted Soottish and English is brought step by step to permakers still hold their own, fection, weary us with their but amongst the reasons for the cries about rods which are only modern vogue of built-cane are parrot cries. An eminent fisher, the scarcity of the material of a let us say, is happy in having a good quality in which the older fine old greenheart, and is never weary of singing its praises : in arm,—that is all. The angler, his distinguished use of green- therefore, ought to be fitted heart he unconsciously becomes with his rod as carefully as the bell-wether of a flock of ever shooter is with his gun. “greenheartites” (pardon the The experience of his Prophet word) Or perhaps another is really no proper guide for the well-known angler has written bigot at second hand; who, a book in which he records his consequently, in preaching a high opinion of built-cane; and borrowed gospel very frequently immediately “built-cane” is in is perpetuating error.
One the mouths of a following who individual and personal prefcall him Master, greatly to his erence I have observed in discomfort. What would they disputatious argument upon say did they know that, while Short rods v. Long rods : outhe advocates built-cane (be- side of the experts, little men cause it is the most practical swear by long rods, and long material for most anglers' men by short. Otherwise, most necessities), he himself uses a fly-fishers seem to set their greenheart of which he is the minds on a particular make of lucky possessor? Such happens rod, for reasons altogether outoften. But the second-hand side of their own experience, bigots know nothing of that, and they are not happy till and continue their tale of the they get it. Or, rather, until incomparable merits of built- they think they get it; for get cane,
it they never do. They give The foolishness of all this their order to the maker in becomes clear when we reflect accordance with some special that howsoever great an design; but, though they may authority the apostle of a not know it, it is not the rod particular build of rod may be, they ordered that is sent home in that matter he can only be to them. For the action of any an authority for himself. In rod cannot be precisely copied. the case of waders or of a coat I have no doubt that every or basket or reel, nine times out great rod - manufacturer will of ten the choice is merely a bear me out in this. And so question of water-conditions. to the other futilities of the Given a pattern serviceable on rod-bigot has to be added this: a particular river for one angler, he doesn't even get that which on that particular river it is he says and believes he has got. pretty certain to be serviceable Specialisation in the making for all. It is otherwise with a and fitting of rods, marvellous rod, for here there enters into as is the perfection to which it the problem a new equation, has been brought, and the the physique and build and modern built-cane rod in eleven temper-in short, the entire in- sections is certainly a marvel, dividuality-of the angler him- has encouraged a great deal of self. A rod is of a piece with foolishness in the ruck of flythe angler, or it ought to be: fishers. Material and fittings it is the extension of his fore- are made too much of. Blind
fold an angler, the expertest, shy of plaited wire than genput a rod into his hand, and (for- erally they do of suchlike bidding him to apply the test innovations. No; the
cause of feel to the shape, hexagonal in which the line bigots are or round) ask him to judge of found actively taking sides is the rod by the casting power of that of Taper-line v. Level-line, it, and nine times out of ten he and a complicate cause it is. will be wrong in his guess as to The level-line explains itself. the material used in its build. The taper-line, I may say for The clever angler, if he is driven the benefit of any reader, not into a corner, can do wonders a fisher, who has honoured us with an indifferent rod; and, with his company so far, may on the other hand, the finest be either a line with a single product of the manufacturer's taper or a line with a double skill avails little in the hands taper. There are thus three of a duffer. It is beyond great communions of line human ingenuity to make a bigots; but since taper, rod that will make an angler. where used, varies in grade · The rod is the test of the with every style of sport and angler, and equally the angler may vary in position in any is the test of the rod. What is one style, there are as many best for one is not necessarily bodies of dissent from the taper best for another. Hear then communions as there are sixthis counsel, O novice! If you teenths of an inch of line about would be fitted with a rod, which to disagree. The arguplace yourself in a good manu- ment for the single taper is that facturer's hands, put his advice the line ought to be a true exto the test for yourself at the tension of the rod, and theoretiriver - side, judge sagaciously cally it is unanswerable. On between your own experience the other hand, the double taper and the opinion of any expert gives increased power in casting. who offers one, and turn a deaf For long casting, especially on ear to all second-hand bigots. heavy, sluggish streams, where Finally, having made an excel- you have to get well over the lent choice beware of becoming fish, the double taper is often a bigot of that choice in turn, invaluable. I have found it so, A counsel of perfection, no but I have found also that with doubt; for which of us is free the double taper there is a from original sin ?
double drag on the cast and Pass now to the angler's a pull which prevent the correct line. Here, wonderful to say, extension and fall which the there is unanimity as to level line gives. Perfection of material. Now that excellent close plaiting of the silk line lines of pure silk can be bought has supplied in great measure at a low price, the only reason the weight and power found in for preferring the old silk-and- the taper, without causing that hair has been removed ; while imperfection in alighting to for some inexplicable reason which I refer. I am a levelthe faddists have fought more liner, therefore, but none of