This might take a while, but sometimes we have to justify the reasons we fish, and I have found the ultimate answer to any critics of our beloved, and so called 'bloodsport'. Hope you can stick it out to the end. Much has been said by various humane persons about the cruelty of fishing; But setting aside that, according to a Dr Gillespie, fisher, author of fishing books, and also by the by; a professor of humanity, considers that fish seldom feel any pain from the hook. Let's see how my case stands. I take a little wool and some feathers; tying it in a particular manner upon a hook, making an imitation of a fly; then I throw it across the river, and let it sweep around the stream in a lively motion. This I have an undoubted right to do, for the river belongs to me or my friend; but mark what follows. Up starts a monster fish with his murderous jaws, and makes a dash at my little Andromeda. Thus, he is the aggressor, not I; his intention is evidently to commit murder. He is caught in the act of putting that intention into execution. Having wantonly intruded himself on my hook, which I contend he had no right to do, he darts about in various directions, evidently surprised to find that the fly, which he hoped to make an easy conquest of, is much stronger than himself. I naturally try to regain my fly, which is unjustly withheld from me. The fish gets tired and weak in his lawless endeavours to deprive me of it. I take advantage of this weakness, and drag him, somewhat loth, to the shore, where one rap at the back of his head ends him in an instant. If he is a trout I find his stomach distended with flies. That beautiful one called the Mayfly who is by nature almost ephemeral, who rises up from the bottom of the shallows, spreads its gossamer wings, and flits in the sunshine in its enjoyment of its new existence, no sooner descends to the water surface to deposit its eggs, than the unfeeling trout at one fell, numbers him permanently with the dead. You see then, what a wretch a fish is; no ogre is more bloodthirsty, for he will devour his nephews and nieces, and even his own children, when he can catch them; and I take some credit for having shown him up. Talk of a wolf, indeed, a lion or tiger! Why these are all mild mannered and saintly in comparison to a fish. When did one hear of Messrs Wolf, Lion, and Co, eating up their grandchildren? What a bitter fright must the small fish fry live in? They crowd to the shallows, hide amongst the weeds, and dare not say the river is their own. I help relieve them of their oppressors and apprehensions, and thus become popular with the smaller shoals. When we see a fish quivering upon dry land, he looks so helpless without arms or legs, and most demure in expression, adding hypocrisy to his other sins, that we naturally pity him, then kill and eat him with a favourite sauce perhaps. So there it is: If you ever wanted justification for catching fish you may quote this article verbatim. It was written by William Scrope (pronounced as if having two 'o's' therein) in a copy called Days and Nights Of Salmon Fishing in the Tweed (1843). So they had somewhat a sense of humour then too.