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An Angler's Season

Nature volume 81, pages 3738 (08 July 1909) | Download Citation



A BOOK from Mr. Hodgson is always worthy of the angler's attention, and “An Angler's Season” is no exception to the rule. Dealing as he does solely with salmon and trout, and almost entirely with Scotch waters, the author's season begins in January and ends in October, and to each month a chapter is allotted; throughout there is much good reading, a deal of sage advice, and some controversy. Early in February Mr. Hodgson is already at issue with the dry-fly fisherman, and his attack on the “Hampshire method” waxes furious, but he says nothing of those who fish with the dry fly in Aberdeenshire waters and find the method successful. Fault is also found with some anglers for their “habitual indifference to the weight of a basket” and their love of nature; surely an angler is no worse for also being a naturalist, or at least taking an interest in the natural history of fishes. A study of what naturalists have written would have shown the danger of Mr. Hodgson's theory that taking large fish only, and restoring all of smaller size to the water, would have the effect of increasing the average weight of the stock of fish in three years' time, and would, we think, have prevented the red flesh of some trout being attributed to richer feeding rather than to a differently constituted menu. We think, too, that the theory set forth to account for the absence of a run of salmon in some rivers of the east of Scotland in May, June, and July is somewhat strange, and cannot be maintained in the light of our present knowledge of the salmon's life-history.

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