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many, that in fly-fishing for a Trout, the angler must observe his twelve several flies for the twelve months of the year; I say, he that follows that rule, shall be as sure to catch fish, and be as wise, as he that makes hay by the fair days in an almanack, and no surer;* for those very flies that use to appear about and on the water in one month of the year, may the following year come almost a month sooner or later, as the same year proves colder or hotter; and yet in the following Discourse, I have set down the twelve flies that are in reputation with many anglers, and they may serve to give him some observations concerning them. And he may note, that there are in Wales and other countries, peculiar flies, proper to the particular place or country; and doubtless, unless a man makes a fly to counterfeit that very fly in that place, he is like to lose his labour, or much of it: but for the generality, three or four flies, neat and rightly made, and not too big, serve for a Trout in most rivers all the summer: and for winter fly-fishing, it is as useful as an almanack out of date. And of these, because as no man is born an artist, so no man is born an angler, I thought fit to give thee this notice.
When I have told the Reader, that in this fifth impression there are many enlargements, gathered both by my own observation, and the communication with friends, I shall stay him no longer than to wish him a rainy evening to read this following Discourse; and that, if he be an honest angler, the East wind may never blow when he goes a-fishing.
*This remark preceded the annual prognostications of "Francis Moore, Physitian," by nearly half a century; and, applying to his antecessors in the art of foretelling events, at a time when the author of the History of the Order of the Garter, and so many other otherwise learned men were buried in the depths of the most profound superstition, is a very cheering illustration of the enlightened and truthful knowledge of the author of the Complete Angler.
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