Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
Little Rivers Henry van Dyke

IX. Trout-Fishing in the Traun

Page 1 of 8

Table Of Contents: Little Rivers

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

More by this Author

"Those who wish to forget painful thoughts do well to absent themselves for a time from the ties and objects that recall them; but we can be said only to fulfil our destiny in the place that gave us birth. I should on this account like well enough to spend the whole of my life in travelling abroad if I could anywhere borrow another life to spend afterwards at home."--WILLIAM HAZLITT: On Going a Journey.

The peculiarity of trout-fishing in the Traun is that one catches principally grayling. But in this it resembles some other pursuits which are not without their charm for minds open to the pleasures of the unexpected--for example, reading George Borrow's The Bible in Spain with a view to theological information, or going to the opening night at the Academy of Design with the intention of looking at pictures.

Moreover, there are really trout in the Traun, rari nantes in gurgite; and in some places more than in others; and all of high spirit, though few of great size. Thus the angler has his favourite problem: Given an unknown stream and two kinds of fish, the one better than the other; to find the better kind, and determine the hour at which they will rise. This is sport.

Tired of reading? Add this page to your Bookmarks or Favorites and finish it later.

As for the little river itself, it has so many beauties that one does not think of asking whether it has any faults. Constant fulness, and crystal clearness, and refreshing coolness of living water, pale green like the jewel that is called aqua marina, flowing over beds of clean sand and bars of polished gravel, and dropping in momentary foam from rocky ledges, between banks that are shaded by groves of fir and ash and poplar, or through dense thickets of alder and willow, or across meadows of smooth verdure sloping up to quaint old-world villages--all these are features of the ideal little river.

I have spoken of these personal qualities first, because a truly moral writer ought to make more of character than of position. A good river in a bad country would be more worthy of affection than a bad river in a good country. But the Traun has also the advantages of an excellent worldly position. For it rises all over the Salzkammergut, the summer hunting-ground of the Austrian Emperor, and flows through that most picturesque corner of his domain from end to end. Under the desolate cliffs of the Todtengebirge on the east, and below the shining ice-fields of the Dachstein on the south, and from the green alps around St. Wolfgang on the west, the translucent waters are gathered in little tarns, and shot through roaring brooks, and spread into lakes of wondrous beauty, and poured through growing streams, until at last they are all united just below the summer villa of his Kaiserly and Kingly Majesty, Francis Joseph, and flow away northward, through the rest of his game-preserve, into the Traunsee. It is an imperial playground, and such as I would consent to hunt the chamois in, if an inscrutable Providence had made me a kingly kaiser, or even a plain king or an unvarnished kaiser. But, failing this, I was perfectly content to spend a few idle days in fishing for trout and catching grayling, at such times and places as the law of the Austrian Empire allowed.

Page 1 of 8 Previous Chapter   Next Page
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
Little Rivers
Henry van Dyke

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004