This incident, even to the minute details, lives in the memory, and so does many another affair of the same kind. The vivid permanence of the impressions is rather puzzling. At the time of fishing the eyesight seems exclusively engaged upon where the flies are, and one does not pay much heed to the scenery; but, somehow, the scenery is included in the picture. What a spectacle a full-flowing river is! There it goes, now roaring through a mountain pass; then becoming quiet as it finds a plain; here and there resting in a broad black pool. Wherever the salmon is at home the scenery of our land is big. The very aspects of the weather, mists, clouds, storms of rain or of snow, wind, and even stillness, have a large thoroughness and perfection of their own. Fair are the streams of pastoral England; but theirs is a tame beauty when compared with that of a salmon river. Meadows the most richly decked with flowers are not so stimulating as the mountains. A great river is as it were a thing apart from the ordinary phenomena of the earth. Always in motion, it seems to throb with vitality; though constantly changing, it is not less persistent than the hills; in some ways it strikes the imagination as having a majesty, or enclosing mysteries, greater than the majesty and the mysteries of the sea. I know of no sight more quickening to the pulse than a salmon leaping on the rapid flood. Usually it springs into the air from out of the deepest and wildest rush. The fish seems to revel in the strength of the river, and in its own greater strength, which no torrent can subdue. The river, and the salmon showing, are life, life, life at the highest pitch ! They send a thrill through body and brain. Memory of them haunts one far away in the busy town, and whets expectation of a holiday; but salmon fishing is not, as some things are, a joy greater in retrospect or in prospect than in reality. It does not pall. If you live within reach of it, time does not hang heavy on your hands. The call of the river is incessant and irresistible. The water was hardly high enough yesterday, and there has been no rain in the night ? What matter ? Salmon are kittle cattle. You can never be really sure about them. They may be on the move today. To-day, therefore, sees you by the river. Urgent work has to be done? Yes; but what a good morning is this! The weather is quite unusually auspicious. That idea about work must have come from the nerves. Why hurry ? There's time for duty and a little sport as well. The work will be all the better for a few hours1 freshening of the mind in the open air. That day also is spent upon the water. So the days, the weeks, even the months, wear on. Had one good luck yesterday, or last week ? That gives hope for better. Has one had no luck for a time? There could not be a clearer reason for expecting a little now. In the neighbourhood of a salmon river prudential considerations, the very best of work-a-day resolves, vanish as summer mists at sunrise. When the season is over the landscape is not quite what it was. It will not be so witching again until the spring. This, when you reflect, is singular. One cannot think of any other pursuit, either in business or in pleasure, that holds the mind so keenly and so constantly. This is the more striking inasmuch as other sports have adventitious attractions that are absent from salmon fishing. The joys of other sports are largely social. A man does not often go shooting by himself: nearly always he is one of a party. Who for more than once in a way would go alone to hunt the fox ? Sports and pastimes of the ordinary kind are of an illusory nature. Much of the pleasure attending them arises from something other than themselves. It comes of the social instinct. Pan certainly is at work in the hunting-field; but when we are there it is in large measure social emotions that Pan is stimulating. Out with the rod by a riverside or on a lake one has no illusion. There is no sophisticating mixture of sensations. One is a solitary. Nevertheless, there is as much of the eager joy of life as could be found in the most exuberant throng. It is in fishing that one is most delightfully possessed by that mysterious force, the spirit of the chase.