During this course you will probably have had strikes in different situations, and with the way to handle it this chapter has nothing to do. The new position you should take is to stand in the middle of the brook and let the bait float round the whirlpool to G, then reel back. Drop your bait in the bubbles, let it float past F to A, and guide it along nearly to the rock and back. Cast again to first fish at head of rapid deeps, and so work it to A and to G and return. The next position to take is just above sand-bar I at C, where you cast across to the rock, running along the bubbles on both sides one after the other, and reel back. A short cast in the ripples at B and return, then a long cast to the bubbles at opposite side, running down to the rock E and return. A fresh cast to E from a new standpoint on the sand-bar 7, where you work round the rocks, then let it run down the bubbles to F and below - then back - making a fresh cast to the head of the rapids below sand-bar, you float along to the end and back. This short descriptive plan of what part to fish and what to avoid, is very typical of most parts of a running stream. Being particular that bubbles be your guide, you cannot go wrong on a stream with its many varied trout haunts. Don't be deceived by what looks like a nice smooth, deep pool. Trout are in their favorite aerated water at each side of such a place, while the pool itself is usually the abode of suckers and chub. Remember you are fishing with floating baits that obediently follow where you lead them. You are not trying to show how beautifully you can cock a dry-fly on smooth water; you are doggedly, yet intelligently, stalking trout under most adverse conditions. Have no fear the lure will do its part to float, and to follow where you lead it.
We shall now go over exactly the same ground with bottom lure, weighted with lead, and fish with a different rig - a shorter line, and greater difficulties to contend with. Again please consult Chapter XII as to the proper way to use the rig and method for bottom fishing. Assuming we have two baits on, tied, one twelve inches above the round sinker at the end, which is a trout-hellgrammite, the other a little one-and-half-inch terror minnow, with these you cast to the various places previously mentioned. If the water is swift enough to carry the lead gradually forward, make a series of "pumps," i. e., lift the rod high up and drop the lead farther forward. While the surface method practically does its own work by aid of the water flow, the bottom method requires you to move oftener from place to place in order to put your baits in the right positions, especially so near by a rock, or curves in the bubbles. In fact, bottom fishing by this method is a sort of bait-casting and fly-casting combined.
The prime object of this chapter is not how to fish but where to fish, and to attain the best results, you should have previously studied those chapters describing the right tackle and the right method, with pictures explaining fully what is necessary to be known.
Many fishermen have the mistaken idea that trout lie at or near the surface. Trout most invariably lie at, or near the bottom, darting to the surface for food and returning immediately. But that is no reason why the greatest care should not be taken to avoid being observed by the fish. Trout run up from their haunts at the bottom in an almost perpendicular line, never running far forward or backward to the domains of other fish. They are always poised with nose facing the water flow. By reason of its great shyness it is extremely difficult to obtain accurate knowledge of its habits by ocular demonstration. I have seen trout in a stationary position, in which it maintains itself in the most rapid streams. Even the tail, which is known to be the principal means of propulsion, can scarcely be observed to move, and the fins, which are used to balance it, seem quite useless, excepting when it sees a minnow; then it will dart with the greatest velocity through the opposing current at its prey, and quickly return. The station which it occupies in this manner is invariably well chosen. Should a favorite haunt where food is concentrated by the current be rather crowded by its fellows, it will prefer contending or fighting with them for a share of it, to residing long in an unfruitful situation. A large trout will chiefly frequent one place during all the season, in fact, for several seasons, if not molested or caught. When caught, after a few hours the situation is taken by another, usually a much smaller fish. You are sure to capture the largest fish where food is most abundant. It is indeed fortunate that the majority of big trout forage about from place to place after nightfall to prey upon minnows, otherwise the artful "native" angler would soon capture them after dark, on minnows or big worms in their favorite haunts he knows so well.