Chats on Angling (Illustrated)

Chats on Angling (Illustrated)

by H. V. Hart-Davis
     
 

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TO those who love angling, with all its associations and surroundings, no apology may be needed for inflicting on them in book form certain short articles which have mainly appeared in the columns of the Field. They are "Chats" rather than didactic deliverances, and are offered in the belief that much will be forgiven to a brother angler, since all that pertains to… See more details below

Overview

TO those who love angling, with all its associations and surroundings, no apology may be needed for inflicting on them in book form certain short articles which have mainly appeared in the columns of the Field. They are "Chats" rather than didactic deliverances, and are offered in the belief that much will be forgiven to a brother angler, since all that pertains to the beloved pastime has some interest, and the experiences of the poorest writer that ever recorded his views and fancies may haply strike some responsive note.
But to the outside world, to those who care nought for all we hold so dear, to those who would rank all fishermen as fools, and would classify them as Dr. Johnson was said to have done—to such these notes cannot appeal; they will regard them, not unnaturally perhaps, as yet one more addition, of a desultory kind, to an already overladen subject.

No form of sport has so enduring a charm to its votaries as angling. Its praises have been sung for centuries, from Dame Julia Berners to the present day. Once an angler, always an angler; years roll by only to increase the fervour of our devotion. It is a quiet, simple, unassuming kind of madness, without any of the excitement or the glamour of the race meeting or of the hunting field, and the love and the madness are incomprehensible and inexplicable to those who neither share them nor know them.

The quiet stroll by the stream or river bank, the constant communing with nature, the watching of bird and insect life, appeal with irresistible force and power to the angler. As the short winter days draw out, and[2] spring begins to assert her revivifying powers, the longing, intense as ever, comes over us, and we yearn for the river side. And the lessons that we learn from our love for it are not without value; patience and self-control come naturally to those who have the real angling instinct.

How widely spread this natural instinct is we may gather from observing the long lines of fishermen, each with his few feet of bank pegged out, engaged in some competition, and watching with intense interest for long hours the quiet float in front of him. Give him but a better chance of following up his instinct, and doubtless he would take with increased zeal to those higher branches of the sport that appeal more directly to most of us—the keenness is there, the opportunity alone is wanting.

Seeing that fishing and its charms have been so amply extolled and set forth by such able and various pens, from Father Walton, the merchant, prince of all writers on this subject, down to later days in continuous line, through such names as Kingsley (man of letters), or Sir Edward Grey (man of affairs)—writers whose works will live, and who can inspire in us the enthusiasm of sympathetic feeling—why, it may be asked, is it that we are not content, and that so many of us cannot refrain from publishing our impressions? There can be no answer to this query except it be as in my own case, the confession of a desire to record some of the experiences, gained through many years, in the hope that some crumb of information may be gleaned therefrom, and that the pleasure taken in recording them may find a responsive echo in some breast.

I would wish at once to disarm possible criticism by candidly admitting that this little work has no literary, or indeed any other pretensions. It is merely what it purports to be—a series of articles strung together, with the object that I have already described.

I would desire also to thank the proprietors of the Field for their permission to reprint such articles as have already appeared in that paper. My thanks are also due to my old friend Mr. W. Senior and to Mr. Sheringham for having been kind enough to glance through my MSS. and give me the benefit of their most valued criticism.

Wardley Hall, August, 1905.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940149076291
Publisher:
Lost Leaf Publications
Publication date:
10/03/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
1 MB

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