The Tarn the Lake, Thoughts on Life in the Italian Renaissance (Classic Reprint)
Which signifies, as Brother John would interpret it, that the trout is no single, common, identical, definite, determined and measurable fish, but rather ten thousand tantalizing, distinct and different devils.
To those who angle not, the angler is a miracle of misapplied patience: a watcher of floats, a wielder of feathers, who wastes time and money and temper incalculable in hunting, usually without success, what the local fishmonger can always supply for a shilling or two. The angler's mind is bent on no such material problems. He is asking himself, 'What are the fish doing to-day?' To him that under-water world is no vulgar provision tank - which could after all be unloaded far more effectually by a net or a dynamite cartridge than by the rods of a hundred experts - but the abode of a community of intelligent, if edible, beings. After a time he knows that sound logic underlies their apparent caprice, and that the trout of different rivers are as various in their diet, their habits, their character and their appearance as are the races of mankind.
The angler visiting a new water is like a restaurant proprietor landing in a new country. Until he has made himself fairly well acquainted with the manners and customs of the place, he will find but few clients. He must consider the available food-supply from natural sources, and utilize it as his craft allows.
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