The Salmon Fry


These beautiful little fish, the production of the spawn of the salmon,

make their appearance in March and April, and if a flood happens to rise

or swell the rivers about the end of the latter month, they are taken

down in great numbers, till at last they enter the brackish water, where

they grow in a short time as large as white trout. The salt water adds

much to their growth. In the following spring and summer they run up the
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rivers in great quantities if they are allowed, and return to the sea

again before winter. On their second return up the rivers they will be

grown very large, and are then called "Grilse," or "Peals," &c.



There is a SALMON TROUT of the same species, which is rounder in

proportion to the Salmon, of a reddish hue when in season; it has small

fine scales, beautifully intermixed with rich red and black spots on

both sides of the lateral lines, from head to tail, and its handsome

head is spotted over, as also the covers of the gills; the tail is

shorter, and not so much forked as the salmon, and the fins are very

strong. The flesh is most delicious, and some prefer it to salmon. They

may be seen in the Fishmongers' shops from May till the end of August.



Another species is the Sewen of Wales, the White Trout of Ireland and

England, and the Whiting of Scotland; they are very bright in colour,

and run about the size of Mackerel; they haunt the roughest, strong

streams, and gravelly bottoms. When they are hooked on the fly they will

spring repeatedly out of the water, and afford pleasant sport for the

angler. They take small gaudy flies like the Salmon Trout, and when the

water is low, dun flies, black hackle flies with silver ribs, and grouse

hackles of a light brown colour and yellow bodies. The hooks about Nos.

6 and 8.



Another species is the Bull-Trout, which has a short thick head, and a

brownish body, covered with spots of a brown colour, and are found in

all rivers having communication with the sea, and their tributaries, if

there are no obstructions to prevent their running up. They are found

running up the rivers in June and July, and in these months and August,

are in good season. They are rather a dry fish.



The PAR or LAST-SPRING are most plentiful in salmon rivers from May till

the end of August, and are very much like the salmon fry, only for the

dark bars across them, and towards the end of the season they are

variously marked. There is no little fish so plump and lively when taken

with the fly, except the Salmon Fry. As the Sea-Trout are known to grow

to the weight of sixteen and twenty pounds in large rivers, such as the

Tweed, the Shannon, and the Bann, the Par may be the fry of these fish,

which run up the rivers in the spring and summer. These Sea-Trout differ

much in shape and colour to the real Salmon, and are what are termed

Salmon in the London markets.--This I heard from a fisherman at the

mouth of the Tweed, who pointed out a large creel full to me, just taken

in the nets, and amongst the whole there was but one Salmon. The

Sea-Trout may be known by being paler, and covered with more spots, and

by being longer and thinner in the body; the head is also much longer.



There is a rich golden hue over the Salmon when you get a side look of

it; the body is plump and boar-backed, the head is very small, and

there are few spots, except above the lateral lines.



I have seen the Par so numerous in the River Dovey, in Wales, that a man

(a guide), took my salmon rod, and a cast of four small flies, the sun

shining, and in two hours he killed nine pounds weight of these fish,

about a finger in length or less. It perfectly surprised me; but it

seems that this was but a small quantity in comparison to what the

fishers were in the habit of taking out in a day. It appeared so, as the

inn-keeper's wife potted them in large jars. These rivers abound with

Sewen, Sea-Trout, and White Trout; the first-named fish is the White

Trout of Wales, which corresponds with the Irish fish of that name, and

called in Wales, Sewen. The Par may be the fry of these fish, which are

of the Salmon species, and ought to be protected by law.



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