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5. TO DYE FEATHERS DARK RED AND PURPLE. Hackles of various colours, boiled (without alum) in an infusion of logwood and Brazil wood dust until they are as red as they can be made by this means, may be changed to a deeper red by putting them into a mixture of muriatic acid and tin, and to a purple by a warm solution of potash. As the muriatic acid is not to be saturated with tin, the solution must be much diluted. If it burns your tongue much, it will burn the feathers a little.
6. TO DYE RED HACKLES A CLARET COLOUR. Boil a tea spoonful of Brazil wood in half a pint of water, and simmer some lightish furniss hackles in this for a quarter of an hour. Then take them out and immerse them in muriate of tin, with the addition of a little muriatic acid. Wash and dry.
7. TO DYE FEATHERS VARIOUS SHADES OF RED, AMBER,
AND BROWN. First boil them in the alum mordant (see No. 1); secondly, boil them in an infusion of fustick strong enough to bring them to a bright yellow (about a table-spoonful to a pint of water), then boil them in a dye of mather, peach wood or Brazil wood. To set the colour, put a few drops of “dyer's spirit” (i.e nitrate of tin combined
with a small quantity of common salt), which may be had from a silk dyer, into the last-mentioned dye.
8. TO STAIN SILK GUT THE COLOUR OF RET, WEEDS, ETC.
Make an infusion of onion coatings (see No. 3), put the gut into it when quite cold, and let it remain until the hue becomes as dark as may be required.
Gut may be stained in an infusion of green tea, a useful colour for some waters.
A dye of logwood will turn it to a pale blue; especially with the addition of a little copperas.
Although anglers mostly prefer the natural feather to the dyed one ; yet, as the exact tints cannot be always obtained, artificial means must be frequently resorted to. Even prejudice too must admit that dyed feathers take the water more readily than others. The difficulty of wetting some feathers, especially of sea-fowl and pigeons, is a great objection to their use.
MANNER OF FISHING FOR TROUT AND GRAYLING.
“ With rod and line I sued the sport
Which that sweet season gave.”
WHEN the rod is put together, the rings upon it should fall into a line with each other. The reel containing the line is sometimes attached to a belt round the body, but generally to the rod at the distance of ten to fourteen inches from the end of the butt, (i.e.) that place where it produces a small and pleasant degree of counterbalance to the upper end of the rod. The fine end of the line with a loop receives the foot line with a draw-knot, and to the fine end of the foot line is attached a fly or palmer, which is called the Stretcher. Other flies, which are made fast to the foot line, are called Droppers, two of which are generally sufficient. The first dropper is placed at about one yard and a quarter distant from the stretcher, the second about a yard from the first, each upon a piece of gut about four inches long. And the knots used
Some of the best rod makers now place it quite at the end, and my practice seems to prove that this is the best position for it. .
for this purpose are so contrived, that they can be detached and resumed at pleasure.
Throwing. In order to acquire the art of throwing a fly, it may be advisable to practise, previously to visiting the stream, in a space free from trees, where a piece of paper may represent the spot required to be thrown to. Taking the wind in his back, the tyro, with a short line, at first may attempt to cast within an inch or two of the paper, and afterwards, by degrees, lengthen his line, as his improvement proceeds; he may then try to throw in such a direction that the wind may in some measure oppose the line and rod; and, lastly, he may practise throwing against the wind. In this way any person may become an adept in throwing a fly, much sooner than by trusting solely to the experience which he may get when at the water-side ; for his attention being then wholly engrossed by the hope of a rise, &c., a bad habit may be very easily engendered, which will not be as easily got rid of.
He should endeavour to impart to the end of the line a uniform sweep or curve round his head ; for if it returns too quickly or sharply from behind him, a crack will be heard and the fly whipped off. There is some little difficulty
in acquiring this manipulation. The larger the fly the more resistance it meets with in the air ; this resistance causes it to make a better curve, and the danger of smacking it off is lessened. A Palmer, made as shown in plate 19, is not easily lost in this manner.
An attempt to describe all the precautions and manipulations requisite for throwing a fly successfully and gracefully would be as hopeless a task as that of trying to teach dancing by words. It must be abundantly evident that the fly should drop as lightly as possible on the water, and that an awkward unmannerly splash must inevitably mar the illusion.
Weather and Water. The best days to select for fly-fishing are the warm and cloudy, with a gentle breeze from South or West causing a ripple upon the water ; by which the fish is not only prevented from seeing the fisherman so plainly as in smooth water, but is also deprived of so good an opportunity of detecting the fly-maker's artifice.
The water after a flood sometimes remains for several days too turbid for fly-fishing. When it is very low in its bed and clear, the circumstances are also unpropitious, and success is obtained with difficulty. When the water is unusually high, though it be not discoloured, the