This section is from the book "Fishing: When, Where, And How To Fish Without Live Bait", by William Tweedie. Also available from Amazon: Fishing: When, Where And How To Fish Without Live Bait.
The salmon holds the first place among our river fish. His beauty is unsurpassed. The salmon spawn in the months of September and October, when they may be seen passing up the river in large numbers - some say often at the rate of twenty miles an hour - to find shallow places to lay their eggs in. As they go up they will spring over " falls of water" seven and ten feet high!
June, July, and August is the best time to take salmon, when they are in fine condition, having come up from the sea, where they fatten fast in the salt water. The rivers in Ireland and Scotland are the best places for salmon, where they are taken in abundance. We have known Irish salmon sent over in long boxes, packed in ice, to Bristol, sold at 4d. and 6d. a pound. The best salmon we have tasted is the Severn. The fishermen catch them in nets on the Wye, which runs into the Severn.
The proper way for the angler to catch salmon is with an artificial fly, that is, a fly made of feathers, wool, leather, silk, etc, to look like a real fly; but you little folk can hardly expect to catch these large fish, although a gentleman tells us he once saw a shepherd boy in Peebleshire kill a prime salmon, of twelve pounds weight, with a common hazel rod and an extraordinary hair-line, without a reel or winch of any kind upon it, and with a fly exactly like a large humble bee. He hooked the fish in the deep part of the long stream, and had the sagacity and promptitude of action to throw his rod immediately into the water after the rushing and powerful fish. The force of the current took it down to the calmer end of the stream, where the stripling caught hold of it again and instantly succeeded in running the salmon into the next stream, and so on, till he had artfully exhausted his capture, and forced him into a shallow part of the water. Here he got him stranded with great adroitness, and eventually conquered him in capital style.