FF Japan


Tropical member
I Got a chance to fish Japan last week. Being a big fan of mountain creek fishing, I had this dream for a while (too long to believe it finally came true). I had been very excited about gathering all the light tackles needed for creeks and attending small flies swap as well... : )
Although I am not really focus fishing on this trip, the Springtime fishing experience in the mountains turns out superb!

I was landed on the Nagoya airport, new airport on the central Japan (about 2 hours away from Tokyo), from the airport, railroad system is the best in transportation, the networks bring you everywhere, even direct heading to the mountain villages that have beautiful trout (Amago and Iwana) thriving in the gem clean water. Everything is good, don't need to mentioned the salmon sushi, my personal favorite! They goes very well with the fresh light beer.
Friends pick me up from the airport. This week was the Golden Week in Japan, it like the spring break in the US, except Golden Week is the national-wide vacation. Literally everybody is on vacation in this week! Lot's of people are travelling but the rail system work pretty well. I would recommand the rail system for fishing trip... The left-side drive system (English system) have proved Scary, especially in the mountain winding road : P, well, I got a good driver though.

Global warming happened in Japan too. Cheery flower bloomed earlier this year, only few left in May, but the new grown leaves are Gorgeous! I love them... the warmer wateralso means earlier snow melt, better gem clear water and more prolific hatch. I saw lot's of small bugs... no wonder TIMCO (a japanese FF company) sell #32.

I headed to the local fishing shop for my fishing license, $8 a day, not too bad. I Also checked out the hot flies and more information about the fishing and fishing regulation. Don't ask me about the flies in this PRO shop... they are poorly tied compare the swaps in the WFF, I guess people here are more carzy about the good dressing : P ......

Fishing is a pretty big business in Japan, although they have the most fabulous mountain creeks that I ever seen, they are not really concentrated on the fly fishing... lot's gear fishing, bait fishing, traditional cane pole fishing, traditional Ayo fishing... I did find a good amount of FF stuff in the pro shop. A Axisco 6'9 fiberglass rod almost stole my heart. The renaissance of the figerglass is the gem of the small creek! (they are so light and soft...this 10 piece rod just blow out of my mind...) I told myself... "maybe next time..."

I was fishing in the Nagano area, close to Suwa lake, suwa city. They call the upper mountain section ALPS Japan, very fine creeks just everywhere and the villages merge with these gem clean creeks well, like a dream land. The fish is not big, average 8 inches, but they all beauties. The red spots on the amago make them looks like live jewel... The species I was targeting are Amago and Iwana. Amago belong to the same genus of our rainbow trout. They keep their parr marks all life long, they mainly distributed in the Southern Japan. Iwana is a char, they belong to the same genus with our artic char and brookies... they are habitated in the northern mountain areas. The fishing is tougher than I thought... Well... "mountain creek fishing" are targeting the beautiful scenery Mainly and the gem clear bubbling water suppose to have more forgiving trout... WRONG!
After few casts in a good runs, I realized I have to concentrate and work on it... I started with the hopper dropper setting and later switch to the deep water high sticking...
It's my privilege to fish here. The people here are tremendous friendly and the mountain scenery are just as worthy to come as fishing...

John Hicks

Owner and operator of Sea Run Pursuits
Great report. I can't wait to get back to Japan myself. My family is from there and I really want to hit up some of the local water.


Active Member
Aren't those ceramic trout actually chopstick rests? Pretty cool! Nice color scheme. And that rod of yours looks to be the perfect weight for that trout in your hand. What size/wt? It almost looks like a 6ft 2wt. Thanks for the report and pics.


Tropical member
Thanks for the comments. John, good to know that you fish Japan ... got to show us some pictures. The rod I used in Japan was 2wt 6'6". For 8-12 inch trout...


the Menehune stole my beer
Cool report..........I like the feast spread photo, makes me hungry! I fished some pretty mountain streams when I lived in Japan in the 80s...........caught iwana, yamame and ayu and some other stuff, did some ocean fishing too. I miss Japan.

Did you have some wakamezake after a good meal and a soak in a hot spring? :cool: