This book has a twofold object. First: To multiply largely all species of game-fish for the people's use by a new method and a logical system of "feeding" that will more rapidly attain a better result in the conservation of American fresh-water game-fishes, and also encourage a greater abundance, a larger and quicker growth, and a superior food value. Second: To vastly improve present angling conditions by introducing a new and entirely superior style of fishing with artificial nature lures in place of the live bait that is now being employed in ever-increasing quantities. The amount of game-fish food used for this purpose from the waters of the Eastern seaboard has been so great in the past as to cause a decided shrinkage in the size and number of nearly all species of game-fish caught on rod and line. It is quite possible, as time goes on, if this unnecessary waste of fish food continues, anglers and others interested will find that their favorite recreation will become utterly worthless to pursue. I contend that the present breeding and planting of game-fishes, both for economic and sporting uses, would be much improved if more feeding and less breeding were done.
All Three Of Whom Wielded Their Rods Till Past Their Eighty-Fifth Milestone
It is my intention to make this a companion volume, or rather, supplementary to my work on Trout Stream Insects and thus to make more complete the much-needed information so necessary to the angler's higher enjoyment of the sport. It contains material which has not been given heretofore in angling books. The creatures pictured in colors were all painted from living specimens captured in various parts of the Temperate Zone, and the descriptions of their habits are from careful personal studies made during many years' intimate acquaintance with them in the waters in which they abide. If only a few of the suggestions made here on fish conservation bear fruit, I shall consider my labor well paid; but further than that, I hope to induce many thoughtful men to realize that angling as a fine art can be better enjoyed if the angler has some knowledge of animated nature connected with his sport.
When the pussy-willows bloom
If the wet or dry fly angler fails to lure trout, he does not stop to reason why, but promptly digs some worms. If that fails he comforts himself with the assurance of having done his very best. A careful reading of this volume will, I hope, convince him that there is a better way - a higher and much more pleasing and effective way to get his desires fulfilled.
For the information required concerning game-fishes and their food, I have had to rely entirely upon my own nature study, finding nothing of value on habits and habitats necessary to this work in either angling or scientific works. Scientists deem it more important to tell the number of scales on the gills, while angling authors write on tackle, and how to use it. Curiously enough, each generation repeats the other, from Cuvier the scientist and Walton the angler down the line to our times.
For the colored page of minnows I am much indebted to John W. Titcomb, N. Y. State fish cul-turist, in loaning me government color-plates from his private library from which to make copies. Also my thanks are due the Hon. Hugh McCor-mick Smith, Chief Commissioner of Fisheries, Washington, D. C, for his courtesy in giving me various government documents; Mr. Alexander Walker, of Butte, Montana, for valued information given me on the Montana rainbow-trout; and many others, among them those anglers who have written me of their pleasure and success in the use of my nature lures. All but three of these chapters have been printed in various sporting magazines during the last five years, but so much has been added and changed to include my latest studies as to make them entirely new. The periodicals in which these articles have appeared are the following: American Angler, Field and Stream, National Sportsman, Forest and Stream, Rod and Gun in Canada, Metropolitan, New York Herald, Outing, Outer's Recreation.