His Nomadic Life-Does he Feed in Fresh Water ?-Opinions of Mr. Huxley and other Scientific Naturalists - A Humorous Analogy-The Old-fashioned Understanding -Foible of the Intellectuals-An Instructive Rise- Salmon give Sport just after Running-What that Implies-Slack Time in Summer-Simple-minded Anglers- Flaws in the Scientific Teaching-Hunger and Emotional Impulse Alternately?- -" Shannon's "-Balance of Probabilities.
The salmon leads a double life. He is at home both in fresh water and in salt. It has not been ascertained to which of these he was originally native. His nomadic habits are a source of perplexity to any one who would discourse scientifically on the art of catching him. His ways and instincts are unlike those of all fish other than the sea-trout. For examples, the mullet lives in the ocean, and the trout in water that is fresh. That is something to go upon when one wishes to catch mullet or trout. In such a case the lure must, presumably, be an appeal to appetite, and the salinity of the water, or its freshness, determining the dietary, restricts the range of choice.
Dwelling alternately in fresh water and in salt, the salmon is subtler game. At once he is more attractive and much less easy to attract.
Compare him with the brown trout, which, being a close relation, he might naturally be expected to resemble in ways of life. The trout is not flighty. He is well content with the place in which he was born. Either he stays in his native stream, or, at the most adventurous, should the stream flow out of or into a lake, migrates thither. He does not seek regions unknown to his ancestors. He is home-staying. He does not wilfully travel beyond the waters that are fresh. Sometimes, it is true, he drops down into the estuary, where the water is brackish, and inconstant in the direction of its flow; but does he bear himself differently then ? He does not. He is not a changed trout. His coat may have acquired a lighter brilliance; but still the blood is true, the heart is Highland. He has not ceased to know us or to be affable. He does not reject our flies if they are offered tactfully. His appetite is sound, and his bearing rational.