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“ There's mair forbye him, tak' my word for't," quoth Rob; “ I'll engage ye shall hook a bonnier fish afore nicht, sae dinna bé doonhearted aboot it.”

Thus encouraged, I commenced, with the assistance of the worthy fisherman, to repair my broken tackle, and for this purpose produced a small tín box, containing flies and casting-lines. Having submitted the latter, which were formed of gut in triple plies, to the inspection of Kerss, he selected the strongest of the set, remarking, as he did so, that it was “a hantle ower silly for the job,” and recommending instead one of twice its thickness, taken from his own repository of tackle, and which he might defy Leviathan itself, under the control of Mr. Waterton, to break away from. This however, for the present I declined, promising to make use of it after I had fished the Elshie stream and Laird's cast, which were comparatively free from sharp and dangerous rocks, and over whose surface the boat could be more readily managed to suit the capricious vagaries of a large salmon, such as I still hoped to take in tow.

Being once more equipped, I was rowed quickly up by old Rob to the lowermost of the two salmon-casts above-mentioned, namely, the Elshie streain. Here, on the third or fourth throw, I was fortunate enough to get hold of a new-run grilse, which, after a struggle of some minutes, was safely, with the assistance of Rob and his gaffhook, brought to land; nor was it long before I hooked and captured another of similar dimensions, each of them weighing upwards of six pounds. But it would be tedious to go over the full particulars of my sport on the day in question; suffice it to say, that on reaching the Orchard head, which we did previous to three o'clock, I had taken no fewer than seven fish, one of them a salmon of about twelve pounds, and the others, with the exception of the small one first captured, all fair-sized grilses. Here, however, we mutually thought it proper to suspend our operations until the afternoon had further advanced, meditating, as we did so, a second trial of the Red Stane and lower casts before sunset.

In the meantime, having quitted the boat, we repaired to a small pleasure seat on the north bank of the river facing the Dark Shore, where, having refreshed ourselves with a sandwich or two produced from my pannier, and the remaining contents of my spirit-flask, we discussed together various matters relative to angling, also to the breeding, growth, and food of fish. On some of these subjects Rob's opinion completely coincided with my own. We agreed as to the correctness of what is improperly styled Mr. Shaw's theory; that gentleman having the merit, not of founding a mere belief as to the parr being the young of the salmon, but of proving them by a series of interesting experiments actually to be so. I may remark, that among many able anglers and most of the fishermen on Tweedside, this fish is still maintained, with strange and angry obstinacy, to be a variety of the common river-trout: and it argues a great deal for the good sense and intelligence of old Robert Kerss, that long before Mr. Shaw's investigations set the matter finally at rest, he, along with a very few others, adopted the correct, though not commonly received notions, respecting it.

I intend not at present to ohtrude any crude ideas of my own, when I make the passing remark, that notwithstanding the recent light thrown by Shaw on the natural history of the salmon, there is a great deal in that history which, although open to experiment, is still strange and unaccountable; nor bas Mr. Yarrell himself, in his well-known work, done much, besides giving us a string of barren opinions, to clear up the mysteries which surround the marine existence, the growth, food, and instincts of this noble fish. A proper and well organized inquiry into these matters would, I have no doubt, be attended with the desirable success; nor would it prove otherwise than beneficial in promoting the interests of our salmon-proprietors and the community at large, seeing that it would lead ultimately to the suggestion and adoption of such measures as are best fitted to assist the growth, further the increase, and, it may be, improve the quality of the salmon in Scotland. To the utter want of knowledge that prevails upon such subjects, is owing the present imperfect system used under the sanction of parliamentary acts for the preservation of these fish; a system as ridiculous as it is monstrously oppressive, embodying within its compass the most determined selfishness and opinionative ignorance. As I intend more fully to explain myself upon this matter in a future paper, and to hold up to you the absurdity as well as tyrannical nature of the enactments alluded to, the strong tendency they have withal to encroach upon and absorb the privileges of the trout-fisher-privileges that at this very moment stand in special hazard, and which, assailed from all quarters, must inevitably, unless some struggle be made in their behalf, soon cease to exist; it being my intention to bring this whole business before you early, I shall not at present press it upon your notice, but revert again to the history of my exploits on the Makerston water, under the guidance of old Rob.

Having allowed nearly three quarters of an hour to glide away in piscatorial discussion, we at length, in spite of our recent fatigue and the scenic attractions of the spot where we lingered, thought of bestirring ourselves, and once more putting our skill and good fortune to the test. Accordingly, quitting the Dark Shore, which, along with the rest of the upper water, is fished from a separate boat,

we proceeded along the north bank of the river to the foot of the Clippers, and there embarking in the skiff we had first occupied, were conveyed rapidly down to the Red Stane cast. It was now bordering upon four o'clock. The sky, from the horizon upwards, lay overcast with light fleecy clouds. A joyous wind came in straggling gushes across the water, vivifying and vocalising the trees above us. The landscape itself,' narrowed by the banks of the river, was of that sort which soothes and pleases without astonishing the beholder. There was scarcely one point in it more than another that served to rivet the eye; but still the whole combination produced feelings of gladness and tranquillity, more to be envied, perhaps, than those called forth by scenes of savage and ruthless grandeur.

The fly recommended to me by Rob, as we glided along the north side of the Shot pool, on our approach to the Red Stane, was dressed by the hands of Blacker upon a hook of Philips's-B.B. Its wings were formed of the silver-pheasant tail-feather; the body, in the upper part, was of dark mohair, shouldered with an orange-coloured hackle; below, it was composed of light-blue materials, tipped with a crest feather from the golden-pheasant, and lapped over throughout with silver twist.

“ It's no aft ye'll meet wi sic a gran pirl on the bit,” remarked my companion ; “sae tak my word for't, Mr. --, if he be in the water at all, he's sure to rise here."

Rob was correct. In less than a minute I had hold of a goodsized fish ; but it was by no means the monster I had expected-fel. low to the one which had broke me in the morning. Still, being a well-grown grilse, nearly seven pounds in weight, lie afforded me no contemptible sport, darling along the water with resolute speed, and indulging in several vigorous plunges and somersaults, which created some little alarm lest he should escape. I had, however, before commencing the afternoon's labour, taken the precaution to substitute for my own the casting-line previously offered me by the fisherman, so that, be the danger wliat it might of the hook becoming disengaged from his mouth, there was none whatever of the tackle itself giving way. After several violent but ineffectual struggles, the fish at length quietly submitted to his fate, and having led him into a small creek or lauding-place at the margin of the river, he was dexterously gaffed and despatched by my companion.

The next places fished by me were the Side Straik and Doors, in the latter of which I started and pricked a dun sea-trout of no great size. Despairing of any further success, and indeed, to tell truthi, sufficiently satisfied with my day's sport, I was about to intimate my intention of retiring from the river, when old Rob recommended me strongly to give one more throw at the Nether-heads-the lowermost salmon-cast belonging to the Trows range, which is wont to be fished. I have already described it to lie on the north side of the Tweed, at the foot of the Doors stream, and forming the break, or, as the cast corresponding to it is more significantly termed, the Ower Fa, to a piece of rough, perilous water, which, after foaming, eddying, and thundering along to the extent of some hundred paces, becomes disgorged at the Killmouth pool, not far from the Makerston boundary. Complying with the wishes of the worthy fisherman, who had edged forward his boat until within fly-throw of the spot in question, I hove out my line with as much nicety as its texture allowed. Scarcely, however, had the hock, driven round by the current, reached the hing and centre of the cast, where, in a break like the Nethern-heads, it is the custom of all anglers to keep it, if possible, suspended for a short space, when I felt its progress suddenly arrested. Supposing that the fly had come in contact with some stone or sunken rock, I instantly expressed my fears to old Rob, who as quickly replied, in a voice which indicated strong satisfaction“Na, na, there's nae rock there—its a' deep water. Tak tent,

-, ye’ve haud o' a braw fish—be canny wi't-there, hé starts."

And start he did-a braw, brave salmon-over ledge and foam-bar, through surge and whirlpool. A moment it was to me of intense and breathless excitement. Fathom after fathom the line darted from the reel, until the whole had become exhausted. On such an

noo, Mr.

emergency, to have lowered the rod would in all probability have proved fatal. Pressing forward its butt, I endeavoured instead to check the progress of the fish, by suddenly throwing upon it as much weight as I could with safety afford. The effort was a successful one, but it required to be followed up by instant and more active measures. Leaping from the boat, which all along lay close to the margin, I hurried forwards, as fast as its ragged and slippery nature would permit, along the rocky edge of the river, recovering line as I proceeded until nearly opposite the spot where the fish lay resting himself

. This was a gully, or fissure, of very considerable depth, crowded at the bottom with masses of sharp stone, such as endangered, by Rob's description of them, the strongest tackle. Here, the salmon continued for nearly three minutes, pressing leisurely forwards, with his snout to the current, and essaying vigorously the mettle of my rod; which, had it not been fabricated of the best materials, would infallibly have given way before him. As it was, it bent nearly double in my hands, nor could I steady or control it without considerable effort; the strength of the fish being resolved at times into short thrusts and probings channelward, now yielding a little, not from tiredness, but sheer caprice, and occasionally exercising itself in steady, immovable resistance, such as more than once excited an apprehension that my tackle had run foul of some rock or other obstacle.

At length, however, he suddenly made another push for freedom, bolder, if possible, than the former one, but, seeing that I was more in readiness for it, less calculated to alarm me. This terminated, he lay ensconced in a piece of white, angry water, several paccs above a small fishing-cairn, projecting from the opposite side of the river. Here, after some time, he was distinctly felt by me making head against the current, as if in preparation for a new start. I had, at this moment, the greater part of my line unwound; and had the fish pushed up in the direction of Willie's Ower Fa’, what was left would scarcely have proved sufficient for the emergency. Fortunately, however, he once more reverted to the side of the water on which we stood, affording me, as he did so, an opportunity of re-winding my reel, and thus holding myself provided against any subsequent run or sally. Re-ascending the Nethern-heads, close by the spot from which he had commenced his start, the salmon ere long struck into the centre of the Doors pool.

Urged by Rob, I now once more stepped into the skiff, or angling-boat, and was rowed cautiously forward in pursuit of the fish. Although evidently fatigued, he still retained sufficient strength to require the continuance, on my part, of extreme vigilance ; nor was it until he had completed his own exhaustion, by a rapid succession of plunges, and a desperate but vain attempt to ascend the Side Straik, that I felt at all confident of having mastered him. Subsequent to this, his resistance became a mere name, displayed only in brief and convulsive motions, which every moment grew weaker and weaker. The intervals betwixt these I employed, nor did the task require much effort, in leading him shorewards.

And now, behold this regal fish, two stone in weight, under the control almost of a single hair, on his approach to the fatal marge! See, gleaming before you, the silver corslet of this “monarch of the tide!" Alternately, for many a year, he hath breasted the stormy deep and the murmuring river. His palace-home lies among the recesses of ocean—a spangled cavern, bannered with the seaweed, and ringing with music--the music of the conch : but his birth-home is at our feet, among melodious pebbles, under the shadow of melodious trees; and here, too, so it is appointed, is his home of destiny. Say not, “Spare him.” We had the heart to do so when he was weak and tiny, an infant fingerling; but now, now that he hath braved the ocean's self with all its tempests, now that he hath faced the torrentflood and mocked the whirlpool, why pause, why strike not? His measure of darings is complete, his time is come.

Turn now to old Rob Kerss, the fisherman. Behold him, at the close of the catastrophe! We have left the boat, and occupy together a small ledge of rock, at the side of the angling.cast. The fish is almost within oar's length of the spot. Crouching forwards, with eye intently fixed below him, the old man slowly extends his gaffhook ; twice he does so, and as often, without striking, draws it back; but now once more he stretches out the fatal weapon, and darting it suddenly forward, buries its bended point deep under the flank of the exhausted salmon. To do this, and dragging forth the quivering victim, lay it on the rock beside me, is but the act of a moment. Three ungentle head-taps conclude the work of butchery. Our tri. umph is complete.

Thus ended my day's sport on the Makerston water. Nine fish in all, and no contemptible number it was; although double this has frequently been taken in a single day by one rodsman, out of the lower parts of Tweed. Selecting, by Rob's desire, the primest grilse of the lot, and having bidden adieu to the worthy fisherman, I now trudged homewards by the north side of the river, passing along its richly wooded bank into the Floors park, and emerging thence by the eastern or principal entrance-gate.

SPORTING REMINISCENCES IN ENGLAND AND FRANCE.

BY A FRENCH NOBLEMAN.

(Continued.) After a rather dusty journey, we reached the course, and took up a position on the brow of the hill. Mounting our hacks, which were in attendance, we galloped off to the betting ring, where the scene baffles all description. Amidst such a Babel-like confusion of tongues, it is quite a miracle how any one can make up his book. We then proceeded to the starting-post, where, as Dibdin sings, “ All on the downs the fleet were met.The knowing ones now take a look at their favourites, and, shutting up their books, resign themselves to their fate. The word is given, and away start the horses upon which so many thousands depend ;

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