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This is Brok. The information that I have on period fishing, mostly
is taken from The Art of Fishing with an Angle, by Julianne Burners (Dame).
This is a wonderful booklet of information that was attached to the Book of
St Albans in 1492. What the Dame has done is produced a how to make your
own fishing kit guide that is just as applicable now as it was then. Now
here is the kicker...some how in my copious research in all of my hours
trudging through different libraries, I came upon the illustrations that
origiannly came with the text (Most modern reprintings of this text have
no, or incomplete, illustrations). This really helps! For instance, there
is an illustration of a machine you can make to braid your own horsehair
line. Other information I have gathered gives me period reference to the
use to green silk line. Not as common as as horsehair, but used nonetheless
and let me tell you, braiding horse hair is no fun.!
OK, it shows you how to make hooks, floats, weights, rods, line,
when where and how to find and catch specific fish, (English) . This is a
book that works. Other information I have picked up on medieval carp
fishing in Germany and a type of catfish, the Wels. This is a catfish that
can obtain a length of over 6 ft, native to the Danube. The possibilities
are rather exciting...think about a mideval catfish fry..a period thing,
strickly documentable! Or how 'bout this...Smoked Carp! (with luck to be
served at Stierbachs fall event). And of course, most everyone is familier
with the staple of the early midevil period onward...salt herring, also
smoked (served at a Stierbach feast last year!). This last ties into the
much more common method of fishing amoungst the peasantry...net fishing.
(Dame Jullianne makes an interesting note at the end of her monogram as to
why she has included her work in the Book of St Albans...to
paraphrase,",...it has been included in this book to keep it out of the
hands of the common people, so that they won't spend their time being lazy,
fishing... This is a Gentlemans sport" or something like that).
I'll be happy to attempt to field specific questions, or just talk
to me at University!