Dapping with grasshoppers

IMG_3636Said Piscator to Viator (in The Compleat Angler by Izaak Walton) –

look you here, Sir, do you see? (but you must stand very close) there lye upon the top of the water twenty Chubs: I’ll catch only one, and that shall be the biggest of them all: and that I will do so, I’ll hold you twenty to one.

A pretty bold statement, even for the Godfather of angling, but exactly how did Piscator intend to achieve his promise? Why, with a dapped grasshopper of course.

Walton advised that having collected a couple of grasshoppers during the walk to the river, one be placed on the hook and the rod lowered so that the bait is a foot or so above the surface. The chub will likely shy away from the shadow of the rod, but leave it be and they will return, whereupon you lower the bait a few inches in front of the nose of the biggest in the shoal. The chub will ‘infallibly’ take the bait.   

Fishpool has not tried the technique for his or herself, but is an admirer of anyone who makes the most of a natural bait source and would never doubt the word of Walton.

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