The Bleak is a small, fat, pleasant fish, called by some the Fresh-water Sprat, and by others the River Swallow, on account of its continual motion. It will rise, like the Dace, at a common house-fly upon the surface of the water, or it will take a gentle, or white paste, about a foot and a half under water. The smallest hooks are the most pro per for them, and a paternoster line, that is, a single-hair line, with six or seven hooks, each three or four inches above the other, baited with gentles, or cadis, well scoured. The paste recommended for Bream, forms a good bait for the Bleak. It frequents deep rivers, sandy bottoms, in eddies, and at the sterns of ships.
The Bleak may be caught with a very fine artificial fly, of a sad brown colour, and very small, and the hook of a proportionate size. In angling for Bleak in the Thames, the bait must be laid in deeper than in other rivers; and it is to be observed, that generally in rivers the Bleak continues sound and healthful during the whole of the summer. There is not any better sport than whipping for Bleaks in a boat or on a bank in swift waters on a summer's evening, with a hazle top about five or six inches long, and a line twice the length of the rod. The Bleak is an excellent fish to initiate a young angler in fly-fishing It forms a capital bait for Pike.