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Fishes And Fishing

Every Scout ought to be able to fish in order to get food for himself. A tenderfoot who starved on the bank of a river full of fish would look very silly, yet it might happen to one who had never learned to catch fish.

Fishing brings out a lot of the points in Scouting, especially if you fish with a fly. To be successful you must know about the habits and ways of the fish, what kind of haunt he frequents, in what kind of weather he feeds and at what time of day, which kind of food he likes best, how far off he can see you, and so on. Without knowing these, you can fish away until you are blue in the face and never catch one.

A fish generally has his own particular haunt in the stream, and when once you discover a fish at home you can go and creep near and watch what he does.

Then you have to be able to tie very special knots with delicate gut, which is a bit of a puzzler to any boy whose fingers are all thumbs.

I will only give you a few here, but there are many others. These are drawn half tied, just before pulling tight.

Here is the overhand loop:

To join a line to a loop, do it this way:

Much the same kind of knot is used to tie a hook to a line:

To join two lengths of line together, even when of different thickness, follow this method:

And you have to have infinite patience. Your line gets caught up in bushes and reeds, or in your clothes-or when it can't find any other body it ties up in a knot round itself. Well, it's no use getting angry with it. There are only two things to do-the first is to grin, and the second is to set to work very leisurely to undo it. Then you will have loads of disappointments in losing fish through the line breaking, or other mishaps. But remember they happen to everybody who begins fishing, and are the troubles that in the end make it so very enjoyable when you get them.

When you catch your fish do as I do-only keep those you specially want for food or as specimens, put back the others the moment you have landed them. The prick of the hook in their leathery mouth does not hurt them for long, and they swim off quite happily to enjoy life in their water again.

If you use a dry fly, that is, keeping your fly sitting on top of the water instead of sunk under the surface, you have really to stalk your fish, just as you would deer or any other game, for a trout is very sharp-eyed and shy.

You can also catch fish by netting, or as Scouts often have to do, by spearing them with a very sharp three-pronged spear. I have done it many a time, but it requires practice.

Author

Lord Baden-Powell of Gilwell (Chief Scout, London, UK)

Date of Creation

1908

Learn A Continuation:

to the next page: Reptiles

Back in The Past:

to the previous page: Birds


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