Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Voices from the Past: Edwin Booth, Angler (1906)

The following snippet on Edwin Booth, famed actor and brother of presidential assassin John Wilkes Booth, was a noted piscator, and the following anecdote reflects his fishing nature well. It was originally printed in Forest & Stream and reprinted in The Palestine Daily Herald for November 23, 1906.

Booth and the Fish Line

Of Edwin Booth, Mr Whitney relates the following anecdote:

"In fishing he would exhibit the impetuosity of a Petruchio, and this cost me several rods, which broke to smithereens over small trout. He got in one day from a neighboring town a new, fairly good bamboo fly rod, which I assisted him in setting up, arranging the reel and line and pliable soaked leader, and left him afterward noosing on a Scarlet Ibis. The rod was lying on the dining room table. I was no sooner out of the rooms on the porch when I heard a tremendous rumpus in the dining room and, entering, found Booth flying about the room like a madman. He had left his fly hanging over the table, which the half grown family cat present, seeing, struck at with its paw, which the sharp hook caught in, and the frightened cat bolted under the table with rapid speed, breaking the rod tip and dragging the rod after, while Booth, crying 'Scat, cat!' had no effect on the now crazed feline, which he was following after in great excitement at high pressure with adjectives of singular note. The sequel of this was the escape of the cat with the gaudy fly well hooked on its foot, and a well mashed up rod. I was too much convulsed, with the others drawn in by the commotion, to render any aid, and Booth soon joined in with our laughter, confessing that his fishing experience was a failure and that he would have any more of it."

-- Dr. Todd

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