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CHAP. VIII. THE EYE, THE TYNE, THE ESKs, 181-91
The Eye, Grant's House, Reston, Ayton, 181-2...The
servation of the river, 184...The valley of the Tyne...
CONCLUSION, . . . . . . . . . . .
The Anatomist of Melancholy on Fishing, 192...The
to HE keen Angler who has nothing to do but to pursue his sport, will probably, during the trouting season, erect his tabernacle by some river-side, where the murmuring stream will at night “invite him to rest,” and in the morning to recreation, and where he will be in a position to take advantage of those fleeting moods favourable to the exercise of his art which air and water sometimes assume. As, however, there is a large number of keen anglers who cannot make it convenient thus to ruralize—whose ways of life are amidst the stir of cities, and who can snatch only in the intervals of business an occasional day or two for their amusement—the next thing to be desired is the enjoyment of such facilities for conveyance to the water as shall neutralize, as far as possible, the drawbacks to which the distance of their A
residence subjects them. Perhaps no city in the island is so excellently situated in this respect, or so fully provided with these facilities, as EDINBURGH. Indeed, considering the number and the variety of streams which are every morning at the command of the inhabitant of “the grey Metropolis of the North,” it is doubtful if he is not as well stationed in Edinburgh as he could be if he were to choose for himself a dwellingplace on the very margin even of his favourite stream. In a period varying from one to three hours, the Edinburgh man of business can be whirled to the banks of the Clyde, the Forth, the Teith, or the Tay; another hour or so will place him on Loch-Lomond in time to have a cast and be back to his abode at night; he may even start from Waverley Bridge in the morning, and by the afternoon have his line wet in Highland Dee. And, more valuable and convenient than all these together, he can breakfast quietly at seven o'clock, and by nine or ten be busy at his sport in almost any of those delightful streams which make the south-eastern counties of Scotland his land of hope and promise. Never surely can Railways and Rivers run more lovingly together than the North BRITISH and its Branches, and the Tweed and its branches. From the moment you surmount the acclivity in which the GALA rises, until you arrive at one of the various termini— Selkirk, or Hawick, or Jedburgh, or Berwick—you scarcely lose sight of some stream or other, famous in Border song, and high in angling repute. There you go down the vale of Gala, with that river of “braw, braw lads” twisting and twining round the iron road, making many a pleasant and coquettish bend, but never going out of sight, and growing every mile under your eyes, until it is lost in the mazes of Galashiels mill-leads. You leave it only as it accomplishes a union with the Tweed (although not until intercourse with a manufacturing town has sullied its native purity—as intercourse with manufacturing towns is too apt to do with both water and humanity), and then you go careering past ancient towns, decayed abbeys, ruined castles, and battle-fields, through the classic land of Scotland, but ever, at intervals of three or four miles, with a stoppage at some station, “mighty convanient’’ for the bearer of rod and creel. The mere enumeration of the streams which are crossed by the North British Railway and its branches or continuations, is like calling the roll of the waters best loved by the angler. The Esk, the Tyne, and the Eye, on the Main line to Berwick; again the Esks, North and South, the Gala, the Tweed, the Teviot, and the Till, on the line to Kelso and by the Branch of the North Eastern Railway to Berwick; the Ettrick on the Selkirk branch; the Ale on the Hawick branch; the Jed on the Jedburgh branch; and the Whitadder on the Dunse branch; while stations on these lines give the angler command of the Yarrow, the Leader, the Kale, the Rule, the Eden, the Leet, the Bowmont, and the Blackadder, and of almost innumerable burns which ought not to be without places in an angling catalogue. It is the object of this little volume to point out the best stations for these different streams, to delineate the various characteristics of our border rivers, and to throw out a few hints on the modes of angling