The Teesdale Angler Part 3

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[6] This fly kills well when the water is low and fine.

_July._–1. Orange Fly–dubbed with brown fur of a badger, warped with red silk, wings from dark grey feather of mallard, with a head made of red silk. 2. The Wasp Fly–dubbed with brown bear or cow’s hair, ribbed with yellow silk, and the wings of the inside of starling’s wing. 3.

The Black Palmer–dubbed with black copper coloured peac.o.c.k’s harl, and a black c.o.c.k’s hackle over that, wings, blackbird. 4. The July Dun–dubbed with the down of a watermouse, mixed with bluish seal’s fur, or with the fur of a mole, mixed with a little marten’s fur, warped with ash coloured silk, wood-pigeon’s wing feather for wings.–A good killer.

_August._–The Late Ant Fly–dubbed with the blackish brown hair of a cow, warp some red silk in for the tag of the tail, the wings from a woodc.o.c.k. 2. The Fern Fly–dubbed with the fur from a hare’s neck, which is of a fern colour, wings dark grey feather of mallard. 3. The White Palmer–dubbed with white peac.o.c.k’s harl, and a black hackle over it. 4. The Pale Blue–dubbed with very light blue fur, mixed with a little yellow marten’s fur, and a blue hackle over the whole, the wings from a blue pigeon.–A very killing fly. 5. The Harry Longlegs–dubbed with darkish brown hair, and a brown hackle over it, head rather large.

_September._–The Peac.o.c.k Harl–dubbed with ruddy peac.o.c.k’s harl, warped with green silk, and a red c.o.c.k’s hackle over that. 2. The Camel Brown–dubbed with old brownish hair, with red silk, wings dark grey feather from mallard. 3. The Late Badger–dubbed with black fur of a badger or spaniel, mixed with the soft yellow down of a sandy coloured pig, wings dark mallard. 4. The September Dun–dubbed with the down of a mouse, warped with ash coloured silk, wings feather of a starling.

_October._–Same as March.

As I never fished for Trout in November, I attempt no list of Flies for that month. From Michaelmas to the middle of February, all anglers should refrain from killing Trout.

_Moths Brown and White for Evening Fishing._–The Brown–from the feathers of a brown Owl, dubbed with light mohair, dark grey c.o.c.k’s hackle for legs, and red head. White Moth–strands from an Ostrich, wings from a white Pigeon, a white hackle for legs, and a black head.–Hooks No. 2 or 3. Good killers at dusk on a Summer’s evening.

LIST OF HACKLE FLIES FROM FEBRUARY TO NOVEMBER.

_February._–Small black flies, made from Starling’s breast or Black bird, with black or purple silk–hook No. 1. Inside and out of Woodc.o.c.k’s wing and yellow silk. Plover’s breast or Dottrel’s wing feather and yellow silk–hooks No. 1 or 2; red c.o.c.k’s hackle and yellow silk.

_March._–Inside of Woodc.o.c.k’s wing and yellow silk, No. 2 hook. Dark Woodc.o.c.k, and dark orange silk, No. 2 hook. Dottrel and yellow silk, No. 2 hook. Dark Snipe and crimson silk, No. 2 hook. Dark Snipe and purple silk, No. 1 hook.

_April._–Woodc.o.c.k’s as for March. Inside of Woodc.o.c.k’s wing and yellow silk, No. 2 hook. Freckled Snipe and yellow silk. No. 2 hook. Dark Snipe and crimson silk, No. 2 hook. Dottrel and yellow silk,–inside of Snipe’s wing, and pale yellow silk,–hooks No. 2.

_May._–All the above April flies are taken, also, Partridge’s breast and yellow or crimson silk, very light Dottrel’s or plover’s breast and fawn coloured silk, Blackbird and purple silk, Blackbird and dark crimson silk, sea Swallow and primrose silk, inside of Woodc.o.c.k’s wing and crimson silk–hooks, 1 or 2 according to water.[7]

[7] When there is much water some of the Spring and Autumn Hackle flies may be dressed on No. 3 Hooks.

_June._–Most of the above, to which add Dottrel and orange silk, Plover and light orange silk, dark Snipe and orange silk, Freckled Snipe and orange silk, freckled Snipe and crimson silk. Hooks No. 1 or two according to size of water. Dottrel’s breast and yellow silk,–Hooks No. 1.

_July._–Many of the above, with Sandpiper and yellow or purple silk, Plover’s breast and crimson silk Wren’s tail and orange silk, Dottrel and bright scarlet silk; Plover’s back feather with gold twist and orange silk, Landrail and bright red silk, dark Snipe and sky coloured blue silk.–Hooks No. 1 or 2 at discretion. If the water is very clear, use hooks as small as possible.

_August._–Some of the July flies for the first fortnight, with dark Snipe and green, Snipe’s breast and purple silk, Dottrel and black silk, Landrail and red silk, dark Snipe or Starling’s breast and red silk, Grouse hackle and bright scarlet silk.–Hooks 1 and 2 according to water.

_September._–Some of the August Flies, with Landrail and yellow silk, pale blue from sea Swallow and primrose silk, pale blue from ditto and crimson silk,–Hooks 1 and 2.

_October._–Inside of Snipe’s wing feather and yellow silk, Woodpigeon’s feather and pale yellow silk, dark outside feather of Snipe’s wing and crimson or orange silk, outside feather of Dottrel’s wing and yellow silk–hooks No. 1 or 2.

_November._–Same Flies as February.

The Blue, Black and Dun Gnats are at times on the water from May to August, and when the fish are taking them they generally refuse the larger flies.

The Blue Gnat may be made thus: A blue feather from a t.i.tmouse’s tail for wings, body from pale blue floss silk, on a cypher hook, which means the smallest hook made; or the wings may be had from Heron’s plumes, with same or primrose silk.

Black Gnat–Starling’s breast and black silk, cypher hook; or black Ostrich strand and inside wing feather of Starling for wings.

Dun Gnat–from inside wing feather of a Landrail and fawn coloured silk–cypher hook.

Observe, that you may put more feather on your hackle flies in the Spring than in the Summer; when the water is low and clear, a very small quant.i.ty of hackle is sufficient, and it should by no means descend much, if any, below the bend of the hook.

In low waters, except when the blue, dun and brown drakes are on, the hackle flies will generally be found to kill better than the winged flies.

REMARKS ON THE MARCH BROWN OR DUN DRAKE.

The March Brown is well known to all anglers as a fly to which they are chiefly indebted for the greatest portion of their sport in the Spring, commencing as its name indicates in March, and continuing the whole of April and into May. They appear on the water each succeeding day about eleven in the forenoon, and retire about half-past two p.m. Few rivers or brooks produce March Browns that are exactly alike;–I mean with regard to the same shade of colour, even in the same river there are frequently darker and lighter flies. For the lighter one I recommend the hen pheasant’s or brown owl’s wing feather, dubbed with hare’s ear and yellow silk; for the dark, the tail feather of a partridge, a brown red hackle underneath the wings, and dark orange silk, or a woodc.o.c.k’s feather for wings, and a dark red hackle with dark orange silk,–kills exceedingly well. When the water is low and fine, I consider your chance of killing fish far greater with two, than three of the large spring flies. If you put the brown, and blue dun on your stretcher, three quarters of a yard apart, you will find your cast will be much lighter with the two than three; this plan also holds good in reference to hackle flies, provided that you know what the fish are taking.

SELECT LIST OF VERY KILLING FLIES, BOTH PALMERS AND HACKLES.

If these flies do not answer, it is very rare that you will succeed with any other. They are suitable for all the rivers and brooks of Yorkshire, Durham, Westmoreland and c.u.mberland; about thirty years experience has convinced me of their entire excellence, and probably the ingenuity of man cannot devise any to supersede them.

Palmers for March, April, and first week in May,–The March Brown or Dun Drake,–The Blue Dun,–Early Bright Brown.

_May._–The Dun Cut,–The Cow Dung Fly, and also the March Brown and Blue Dun are on the waters in late seasons to the middle of the month.

_June._–Little Black Gnat,–The Brown Palmer,–Little Red Spinner–and Alder Fly.

_July._–The Wasp Fly,–Black Palmer,–July Dun.

_August._–The Late Ant Fly,–The Pale Blue.

_September._–The September Dun,–The Camel Brown and Willow Fly.

_October._–Blue Dun, Pale Blue, and Dun Drake.

NOTE.–If there are no Flies on the water when you begin to angle, try a Palmer till you find what Flies the fish are taking. One Palmer and two small hackle Flies on your stretcher give a tolerable good chance.

LIST OF HACKLES AND SILKS TO SUIT.

(GOOD KILLERS.)

_For March and April._–Dark Snipe and crimson silk,–Dark Snipe and Purple silk.–Hooks No. 1 and 2.–Outside feather of Woodc.o.c.k’s wing and dark orange silk.–Inside feather of Woodc.o.c.k’s wing and yellow silk.–Dottrel’s back or neck feather and yellow silk.–Hooks No. 2 or 3.

_May._–Inside and outside feathers of Woodc.o.c.k’s wing, with orange and yellow silk,–Starling or Blackbird’s breast and black silk,–Freckled Snipe and yellow silk,–Dark Snipe and crimson silk.–Hooks No. 1 and 2.

_June._–Blackbird and orange silk,–Plover and orange silk.–Dottrel’s breast and yellow silk,–Freckled Snipe and crimson silk,–Partridge’s breast and crimson or yellow silk,–Dark Snipe and yellow silk,–Freckled Snipe and orange silk,–Sandpiper and purple or yellow silk.–Hooks No. 1 or 2.

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