The River Thames
After jumping over old "tower'd" Thames on our way to the south, we now
return to him to wind up this little chapter on rivers; there cannot be
a better river for the purposes of trolling, spinning, or bait fishing
in general, than the Thames, there is not a town on its banks from
Richmond to Oxford, that does not afford capital angling with the bait,
and in many places large trout may be caught with the fly in the
ing, these large trout are very delicious and grow fat on the
quantities of minnows and gudgeons which they prey upon, and of which
there are an inexhaustible supply. I have taken a few of them with
large size blood red flies, brown flies, and large palmers of the like
colours. The flies Nos. 4, 5, and 7, in the plates, are just the sort
made a size or two smaller; Hampton Court, Sunbury, Weybridge, and
Pentonhook, are likely places to rise a fish about seven in the evening,
and early in the morning from six to eight. A light general rod with
spare tops for fly fishing, about sixteen or seventeen feet long, with
reel, and line of sixty yards, would be about the sort I would
recommend, made of good hickory, or split cane; this sort of rod would
suit any purpose, either for trolling, spinning, or for barbel fishing
with the lob worm, &c.
Mr. Stoddart in his "Work on Angling" speaks very highly of worm and
bait fishing in general.
And "Mr. Salter's Book," is a very good authority for trolling and
spinning. The greater part of the fishermen and punt men on the Thames
are capital hands at using the trolling and spinning tackle, so that the
young angler who desires to become expert at this sort of fishing, can
easily gain instruction from these civil men; they are also good barbel
and trout fishers with the lob worm.
There are many good trout caught by spinning, and when bait fishing with
the lob worm for barbel in places where they would rise and take the fly
were they let alone, this is the cause of their being so scarce, as
trout from half-a-pound and upwards will take the worm.
The Thames produces many kinds of fish--trout, perch, barbel, pike,
roach, dace, carp, chub, gudgeons, minnows, eels, &c. As all these fish
take the bait in general, I will here give the proper sorts for each,
with the tackle to suit the purpose, and will show the angler which to
use to his best advantage in every river he fishes in.