Tales Of Fishes (1928)

Tales Of Fishes (1928) by Zane Grey

Book: Tales Of Fishes (1928) by Zane Grey Read Free Book Online
Authors: Zane Grey
some experience. To quote Mr. Bates, "The principle is that the angler should subdue the fish by his skill with rod and line, and put his strength into the battle to end it, and not employ a worrying process to a frightened fish that does not know what it is fighting."
    This is the most favourable period for travelling in Russia. They fly quickly over the snow in their sledges; the motion is pleasant, and, in my opinion, far more agreeable than that of an English stagecoach. The cold is not excessive, if you are wrapped in furs--a dress which I have already adopted, for there is a great difference between walking the deck and remaining seated motionless for hours, when no exercise prevents the blood from actually freezing in your veins. I have no ambition to lose my life on the post-road between St. Petersburgh and Archangel. I shall depart for the latter town in a fortnight or three weeks; and my intention is to hire a ship there, which can easily be done by paying the insurance for the owner, and to engage as many sailors as I think necessary among those who are accustomed to the whale-fishing. I do not intend to sail until the month of June; and when shall I return? Ah, dear sister, how can I answer this question?
    If I succeed, many, many months, perhaps years, will pass before you and I may meet. If I fail, you will see me again soon, or never.
    Farewell, my dear, excellent Margaret. Heaven shower down blessings on you, and save me, that I may again and again testify my gratitude for all your love and kindness.
    Some years have passed since I advocated light tackle fishing at Long Key. In the early days of this famous resort most fishermen used hand lines or very heavy outfits. The difficulties of introducing a sportsman-like ideal have been manifold. A good rule of angling philosophy is not to interfere with any fisherman's peculiar ways of being happy, unless you want to be hated. It is not easy to influence a majority of men in the interests of conservation. Half of them do not know the conditions and are only out for a few days' or weeks' fun; the rest do not care. But the facts are that all food fish and game fish must be conserved. The waste has been enormous. If fishermen will only study the use of light tackle they will soon appreciate a finer sport, more fun and gratification, and a saving of fish.
    Such expert and fine anglers as Crowninshield, Heilner, Cassiard, Lester, Conill, and others are all enthusiastic about light tackle and they preach the gospel of conservation.
    But the boatmen of Long Key, with the exception of Jordon, are all against light tackle. I must say that James Jordon is to be congratulated and recommended. The trouble at Long Key is that new boatmen are hired each season, and, as they do not own their boats, all their interest centers in as big a catch as possible for each angler they take out, in the hope and expectation, of course, of a generous tip. Heavy tackle means a big catch and light tackle the reverse. And so tons of good food and game fish are brought in only to be thrown to the sharks. I mention this here to give it a wide publicity. It is criminal in these days and ought to be stopped.
    The season of 1918 was a disappointment in regard to any great enthusiasm over the use of light tackle. We have tried to introduce principles of the Tuna Club of Avalon. President Coxe of the Pacific organization is doing much to revive the earlier ideals of Doctor Holder, founder of the famous club. This year at Long Key a number of prizes were offered by individual members. The contention was that the light tackle specified was too light. This is absolutely a mistake. I have proved that the regulation Tuna Club nine-thread line and six-ounce tip are strong enough, if great care and skill be employed, to take the tricky, hard-jawed, wild-leaping sailfish.
    And for bonefish, that rare fighter known to so few anglers, the three-six tackle--a three-ounce tip and six-thread

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