Hawthorn Fly Fishing & Angling Collection

Stray casts Brayshaw, Thomas, 1886-1967 1907

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  t
THE LIBRARY
111
mMM
]
1
rHE UNIVERSITY OF
BRITISH COLUMBIA
Harry Hawthorn Foundation
for the
Inculcation & Propagation
of the Principles & Ethics
of Fly-Fishing
cw)       THE
Palaer Record
AN  OCCASIONAL JOURNAL
CONDUCTED  BY THE STAFF  OF
Palmers Shipbuilding & Iron Co,, Ltd,,
JARROW-ON-TYNE.
VOLU/AE  IV.
NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE :
ANDREW  REID  &  COMPANY,   LIMITED,   PRINTING  COURT  BUILDINGS.
1907.  1907.]
191
A Whit Monday Catch.
Stray Casts.
By T. BRAYSHAW.
Like many other people who are desirous beforehand of explaining their failures, I must open with an explanation, if the editor
will be so generous as to allow me. I add the proviso, because the
explanation to a certain extent involves the editor himself, and,
I was almost going to say, raises a doubt as to his perspicacity.
Well, to begin with, it was he, who, attracted by some photographs
from my collection, which I showed him in a moment of enthusiasm, promptly let down his landing net and hauled me up to
contribute what he termed a short article on the subject of angling. I protested, being a modest man, but, being an angler himself, he persevered, said pleasantly that it was only a few stray
casts, so to speak, that he wanted, and thus lured on I consented to
inflict myself on the readers of The Palmer Record. Let me say,
too, that the photographs are not of my choosing but his—all I
had to do, he said airily, was to weave an article round them. It
sounded so easy that I found myself committed to the thing before
I had time to reflect upon its seriousness.
Well, if I were a stranger and had no regard for my character,
I might relate a sufficient number of tall stories to qualify myself 192
THE  PALMER  RECORD.
[Dec,
as a fisherman for all time, but being known to the editor, who,
as I have said, is also a brother of the angle, and understands these
little weaknesses, I must stick to the truth. I might tell of that
big fish which broke away just as the prize seemed won and proceed—in the eyes of a sceptical generation—to add to my crime
by saying that it was far larger than any other fish I have landed
A Brace of Trout worth having.
or ever expect to land. But I won't, because I would not be
believed and I don't like to have my word doubted. But strict
truth compels me to say that I have travelled many miles in search
of my favourite sport and have fished many rivers from the Ugie
in Aberdeenshire to the sluggish streams of Leicestershire, not to
speak of our own bonny Coquet, and grand and glorious memories
cling round them all.    Is it not comforting to recall, even yet, the 1907.]
STRAY  CASTS.
193
delicious sensation of being up to the waist in water at 92 in the
shade while your friends stood panting on the bank; and, by way
of contrast, is there not in the angler's mind a thrill of joy as his
memory goes back to the swiftly flowing Dee bringing down its ice
at Christmas time, even though he knew his merry companions
were seated round the cheery fireside?
If this were an article proper I should commence it in the
sentimental style which generally takes this form: —
Sciwii.rfAi&i ■'JaKftjrtjyi -S^^^E* %% W ^mJ *.«
**• -  ^                If     ^Bteat^^K^
Vol. IV.
Delightful at 92 in the Shade!
Pleasant thoughts be sure are mine,
Hopes as pleasant, too,
When the river's silvery line
Opens to my view.
Oh ! how little dream the crowd,
'Midst the city's tumult loud,
How much pure and real hliss
May be found in scenes like this.
13 194
THE  PALMER  RECORD.
[Dec,
Notwithstanding sentiment, however, this is quite true, for it
is indeed delightful to get away far from the madding crowd of the
busy, noisy town into some secluded spot where the beauty of the surrounding scenery adds so much to the charm of angling. There
is an item, which, by the way, is often overlooked by those poetry
writers—a mere detail I grant, but still worth mentioning—which
is that there should be sport, for, after all, to catch fish is an
angler's object. There is, however, a world of difference in the
methods of accomplishing this, and it is just here that we have to
Taking a Salmon on a Trout Rod.
draw the line between the mere fish catcher and the angler. Some
writers appear to think that the fish are quite a secondary matter,
but I for one—I state it boldly—much prefer to have a full creel
to an empty one. Such a catch as, for example (the editor insists
on my putting this bit in, so blame him), it was my fortune to take
on Whit Monday last on some private water on the Wansbeck.
Still, the fish should be given a fair sporting chance and be angled
for in a sportsmanlike manner, otherwise one might just as well net
or even buy them from the nearest fishmonger, the latter proceeding being perhaps what Dr. Johnson would have suggested as the
best way of filling the creel.   Whatever else we do, however, we 1907.]
STRAY  CASTS.
195
must not emulate the methods of fishing practised by that gentleman of the pit, who, while fishing the Coquet, had dexterously
managed to bring his hooks into contact with a salmon's caudal fin.
As the fish was being landed, a lady passing remarked how funny
it was that it should be hooked by its tail, whereupon the miner
replied: "Ay, ma'am, salmon is queor things, ye niwor knaw at
which end they'll tyek."
Speaking of  salmon,  let me say that I  must  confess to  a
decided partiality for that king of fishes, though, when I am busy
Playing a Coquet Salmon.
among the trout, I think there is no sport equal to trout fishing.
After due reflection on the two in one's calmer moments, one has
to own to a weakness for fish of size. I know nothing grander
than a good struggle with a large salmon in some roaring
peat-stained flood, when the angler has to rely on his own resources
to get the prize. (The editor insists that, to substantiate my
claim that I have really done this—I having told him that it was
my fortune to take a twelve-pounder at the close of the season—I
should produce visual proof, and, appropriately enough, I give it
in the tailpiece at the end of this article.) Like many anglers, one
can look back upon red-letter days, yes, and black ones too, when 196
THE   PALMER  RECORD.
[Dec,
twenty-pounders have been stretched on the grassy banks or gone
merrily swimming off with one's best tackle. " A fellow feeling
makes us wondrous kind," and one's sympathy goes out to those
angling brethren who have had the latter experience. There is, of
course, no reason why it should be so, except that just at the
moment when the tackle ought to hold it fails to do so. It is a
bitter moment; life seems scarcely worth living, for all thoughts
of past successes vanish and it takes a long time to be able to look
philosophically on the loss. Hope, however, springs eternal in
the angler's breast and there comes a day when you manage to land
a salmon on a trout rod and tackle. That event lives in the
memory for years, as does also the day when the trout have risen
freely from dawn to dusk and the creel has weighed heavily at its
close.
One cast more—a sort of reflection this! I find the editor has
taken liberties with my notes. Still, I am glad he has allowed
some things to remain—particularly those parts of the letterpress
that throw all the blame for this production upon his head.      University of British Columbia Library
DUE DATE
3cP 1 n "fQTc
SEP 9   1976 HOT
FORM  310 WOODWARD
LIBRARY
O 

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