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Renascence Editions

The Complete Angler

Izaak Walton and Charles Cotton

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Note on the e-text: this Renascence Editions text was transcribed, January 2003, by Risa Bear, University of Oregon. It is in the public domain. Source text is George Bell & Sons' edition of 1903. Content unique to this presentation is copyright © 2003 The University of Oregon. For nonprofit and educational uses only.

Frontispiece to Part I.

Compleat Angler
or the 
Contemplative man's 

Being a discourse of
F I S H  and  F I S H I N G,
Not unworthy the perusal of most Anglers.
Simon Peter said, I go a fishing: and they said, We
also wil go with thee. John 21.3.
London, Printed by T. Maxey for RICH. MARRIOT, in
S. Dunstans Church-yard, Fleetstreet, 1653.


Part I.


To the Reader of this Discourse. But Especially to the Honest Angler.

Commendatory Verses

Chapter I.

A conference betwixt an angler, a hunter, and a falconer; 
each commending his recreation.

Chapter II.

Observations of the Otter and the Chub.

Chapter III.

How to fish for, and to dress the Chavender, or Chub.

Chapter IV.

Observations of the nature and breeding of the Trout, 
and how to fish for him. 
And the Milkmaid's song.

Chapter V.

More directions how to fish for, and how to make for the Trout an artificial minnow and flies; 
with some merriment.

Chapter VI.

Observations of the Umber or Grayling, 
and directions how to fish for him.

Chapter VII.

Observations of the Salmon: 
With directions how to fish for him.

Chapter VIII.

Observations of the Luce or Pike, 
with directions how to fish for him.

Chapter IX.

Observations of the Carp, 
with directions how to fish for him.

Chapter X.

Observations of the Bream, 
and directions to catch him.

Chapter XI.

Observations of the Tench, 
and advice how to angle for him.

Chapter XII.

Observations of the Pearch, 
and directions how to fish for him.

Chapter XIII.

Observations of the Eel, and other fish that want scales, 
and [directions how] to fish for them.

Chapter XIV.

Observations of the Barbel, 
and directions how to fish for him.

Chapter XV.

Observations of the Gudgeon, the Ruffe, and the Bleak, 
and how to fish for them.

Chapter XVI.

Is of nothing; or that which is nothing worth.

Chapter XVII.

Of Roach and Dace 
and how to fish for them; 
and of Cadis.

Chapter XVIII.

Of the Minnow or Penk, of the Loach, 
and of the Bull-head, or Miller's-thumb.

Chapter XIX.

Of several rivers, and some observations of fish.

Chapter XX.

Of Fish-ponds, and how to oreder them.

Chapter XXI.

Directions for making of a line, 
and for the colouring of both rod and line.

Part II.

being instructions how to angle for a Trout and Grayling in a clear stream.

To my most worthy Father and Friend, Mr. Izaak Walton, the elder.

To my most honoured Friend, Charles Cotton, Esq.

The Retirement: Irregular verses addressed to Mr. Izaak Walton.

Chapter I.

Conference between a country Gentleman proficient in fly-fishing, 
and a Traveller who becomes his pupil.

Chapter II.

An account of the principal rivers in Derbyshire. 
Viator lodges at Piscator's house.

Chapter III.

Conference containing a description of Cotton's Fishing-house, 
with his apology for writing a supplement to Walton's book.

Chapter IV.

Of angling for Trout and Grayling, 
divided into three branches.

Chapter V.

Of Fly-fishing.

Chapter VI.

Fishing at the top continued---
Further directions for fly-making---
Time when the Grayling is in season---
Rock in Pikepool.

Chapter VII.

Fishing at the top---
Flies for the months of January, February, March, April, and part of May; 
including, under May, particular directions how to bait with the Green-drake.

Chapter VIII.

Fishing at the top, continued---
Flies for the end of May, and for the following months, till December; 
containing, under May, instructions when to dape with the Stone-fly.

Chapter IX.

Fly-fishing, in windy weather, best in the still-deeps.

Chapter X.

Directions how to dress a Trout and Grayling.

Chapter XI.

Of angling at the bottom for Trout or Grayling---
By hand, with a running line---
With a cork or float---
Various baits.

Chapter XII.

Of angling in the middle for Trout or Grayling.


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