The River Allan
This is a good stream for trout fishing; it enters the Forth below
Stirling, just above the town of Aloa. It has an extraordinary winding
course, flowing through a picturesque country, and famed in poetic lore
as "Allan's winding stream."
"On the banks of Allan water,
When the sweet spring time did fall,
Lived the miller's lovely daughter,
rest of them all.
For his bride a soldier sought her,
And a winning tongue had he;
On the banks of Allan's water,
There was none so gay as she."
Sea-trout and grilse run up the Allan in spring and autumn, which afford
good sport. The small trout flies in my list suit this river capitally.
A few miles above Stirling there is good fishing up to Loch Katrine,
commencing below the town of Dumblane, on the Scottish Central Line, and
fish up to "Callander," on the east of Ben Lomond. Dumblane is famed as
the birth place of "Charming Jessie," in Burns' poetic muse--
"The sun had gan' doun
O'er the lofty Ben Lomond,
And left the red clouds
To preside o'er the scene,
When lanely I stray'd in
The calm summer gla'ming,
To muse on sweet Jessie,
The flower of Dumblane."
There is another stream that runs down from "Aberfildy" to Stirling, in
which there is excellent trout fishing. It has a winding course, falling
over rocks, rushing through gorges, down precipices in its way, where it
forms deep holes for itself, which in the summer are the haunts of large
and fine trout.
The flies to suit it are, small dark hare's ears, small black hackles,
red and black ants, browns, small duns, and hare's ear and yellow, the
blue blow, the brown midge, and in the spring, the March brown, and
stone fly, for large fish.
There is a very nice stream running out of "Loch Lomond" into the river
Clyde, at the town of Dumbarton, in which there are sea-trout in the
spring and autumn. They take very small dun flies, silver greys and
black midges, the dark hare's ear, and red hackle.
The picturesque Loch Lomond affords good trout fishing along its
gravelly shores, and near the islands. There are two flies that kill
well in it, which are as follows: Black body and hackle, tip of silver,
wings of the short bronze feathers of the back of the peacock. No. 6
hook, or fff. The other one is, red body, red hackle, and a wing like
the first, both tailed with two fibres of the feather of the wings. I
received these two flies from a gentleman, one time when I was at
Glasgow, who confirmed them as "out-and-outers."
There are fish called Pullen, very numerous in Loch Lomond, the shape
and size of herrings, which are also numerous in Loch Neagh, in the
north of Ireland. They sell in Belfast as "fresh water herrings."
When a young man, I denominated Belfast my favorite home, among my dear
friends of the rod and gun. Newry, in the County of Down, was the home
of my ancestors. My first crying was behind "Cronebaun" hills, in the
County of Wicklow, near the "Ovoca," famed for "sweetness" and poetic
muse of Erin's humble bard, Tom Moore.
Looking over the Wicklow sands, where many a poor fisherman foundered,
in the village[G] of "Red Cross," was the first sight my "mama" got of
me; like a cloistered nun, I was covered in a veil, which, they say,
would always keep me from the "briny depths." Many "crosses" have I had
since January 14th, 1814, the "hard winter" which corresponds with that
of last year. Mature years of experience make wise men. Forty and one
summers having rolled over my head, the dishevelled ringlets of which
are now sprinkled with "honorable grey"--bashful man, hide your
blushes--my ruddy tint flies when I tell you, my dear anglers, that my
sincere desire is to love every good man, as God has taught me. There
is no one I despise, disposed at all times to revere superiors,
condescend to those who perchance may be my inferiors, continent to kind
friends, and forgiving to enemies, if any. Unless we profit by charity,
all other profit seems void.