Friday, December 28, 2007

The Grayling

Recently a good friend of mine shared some photos he took of some nice grayling. The grayling is a memeber of the salmon family and is not concidered a true trout. However, it is a beautiful fish with a high fan-like dorsal fin, from which it gets it's nickname "the lady of the stream". Grayling will take a fly, making it a good sport fish.

Please enjoy his photos.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Brevard, North Carolina (USA)

Recently some friends of mine from America went fly fishing in the North Mills River near the city of Brevard, North Carolina. Brevard is located about 1 hour North of Greenville, South Carolina in the Pisgah National Forest.

The North Mills River is a delayed harvest river for late season fishing. It was featured on Click on the link below for more information.
My friends (and co-workers) Dave and Tim were kind enough to send me a few pictures of their trip. Here is Tim with a nice Brown trout. It was caught using a 5 weight, 8'-6" rod with a #22 red zebra nymph.
Here is a close-up of a beautiful Rainbow. This rainbow is quite different looking than the ones I am used to seeing in Japan.
Tim has agreed to send some more photographs from their trip and I will add them to this page later. These guys are both skilled anglers and I am looking forward to fishing with them when I move back to the US.

Anyone else who would like to share their fly fishing pictures are welcome to email them to me. Also, please let me know if it is ok to post them on my blog or not.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


This past weekend I went to the Shishidome fishing area near Mt. Fuji with several friends from my fly fishing class. We had perfect weather and good fishing conditions.
The first day (Saturday) we walked to the upper part of the river and fished with dry flies. I did not have any luck with the dry flies in my box, so I tried a soft hackle fly. I caught a 28 cm Iwana trout on the first cast. Unfortunately he jumped out of my hands before Mr. Sakai-san could take a picture.
The Shishidome is a stocked stream with many large hatchery raised rainbow trout which are not a native species of Japan. Many of my friends and family have commented about the small size of the fish shown on my blog. Even my own mother said "we catch much bigger fish when we go fishing". Ha! The native wild trout are typically smaller and much more difficult to catch than the stocked fish. This is precisely the reason I prefer fishing for the wild trout. However, I must say it was a lot of fun catching the large rainbows at Shishidome.
Saturday evening just before dark I saw a group of large rainbows feeding just in front of a small waterfall. I managed to take several good sized fish from this area, including a 40 cm rainbow (my largest trout to date). So I hope this satisfies those of you (mom) who wanted to see larger fish on this blog. ;-)

Ms. Onoue-san is a first year fly fisher also. She landed many good sized trout. Her skill as an angler has increased dramatically over the past year. Here is a picture of Onoue-san doing battle with a large rainbow.
Mr. Sakai-san landing a nice rainbow.
Dr. Kawano-sensei giving some pointers to Ms. Onoue-san.

I made several new friends on this trip and I am looking forward to seeing them again soon. Our next Lifestyle Design College fly fishing trip is in two weeks. We will be going to a fishing park to catch trout to fry at the year end party/festival the following week.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Mr. Sakai-san and I went to Ohtagawa river for fly fishing. Our target was the amago trout. The area we fished was above a closed road, so there is very little fishing pressure here. It was a clear cool fall day and it had just rained the night before. There was a strong breeze blowing upstream. I kept having trouble getting my line tangled because of the breeze. But it was not too bad. We saw many amago as soon as we got to the river's edge. Sakai-san (right) caught the first fish, a gorgeous 18cm amago. Note the dark paw marks and bright red spots (below).

Soon after, I caught a small amago, my only one for the day (below). I missed about five fish in total. Amago are very quick and the hook must be set fast. I am still leaving too much slack in the line.

Sakai-san had a great day, with a total of 5 fish! He is a very good fisherman. I learned a lot just watching him (below).

Sunday, October 7, 2007


Just one week after the Nikengoya trip I had the opportunity to go to another beautiful fishing area North of Mount Fuji. I went with Kawano-sensei, Tanaka-san and my wife Susanne. It was a cool overcast weekend with off and on rain showers. We stayed at the Seisen_Ryo hotel and had a private 2 bedroom cottage. The price was very reasonable which included breakfast and dinner in a 4 star restuarant.
We arrived Sunday evening and visited a famous fly-fishing hangout called Mossback. It is a small diner with lots of atmosphere. The owner, a friend of Dr. Kawano, is a local with a lot of knowledge of this area's streams. We had coffee and looked at books of nature photographs taken by the owner. After coffee, the owner brought out some topo maps and showed us the best places to go.
That afternoon, we checked into the hotel and donned our fishing gear. The first stream was close to town. We spreadout with about 100 meters between us. I was in the middle close to a bridge. I walked slightly down stream near a small falls and started fishing back up stream. I was using a newly tied pattern (Olive CDC caddis on a #14 extra fine hook). It is a very high floating fly that likes to "skitter" on the surface film. Iwana seem to be attracted to this natural movement.
I saw a very likely spot and I slowly fished my way to it. It was a group of large rocks against the far shore. They formed a series of small falls with shallow pools between them. I fished the lowest pool first with no results. My fly was starting to sink, so I redressed it with some powder floatant. I knew the next pool was probably my best chance. The fly landed softly just above the eddy and floated for about 3 seconds before I had a strike. It was a nice Iwana (about 21 cm). I held it up for Dr. Kawano to see and took some pictures.
Soon after this, Tanaka-san saw five fly fisherman walk downstream and leave. Evidently this area had been recently fished. I was very lucky to have caught a fish here.
The next morning we hiked down a gorge to a very popular stream. When we arrived Dr. Kawano and I sat down to rest. Tanaka-san immediately started fishing. We watched as Tanaka-san made beautiful casts to a large pool right in front of us. An Iwana attacked his fly and he set the hook perfectly. It was very enjoyable to see him catch his first trout of this trip. He has been fishing for 10 years and is a very skilled angler.
We then split up and spreadout along the stream. Dr. Kawano caught two Iwana and Tanaka-san caught a total of three Iwana. I was happy that everyone was catching fish. We came back together and had a bento lunch. Next we went to one of the streams suggested by the Mossback owner. I caught a very dark colored Iwana-char here. Dr. Kawano said he believed this was probably a native "wild" trout. It gets a little confusing sometimes. But many of the streams in Japan contain stocked trout that are raised in hatcheries. They are still Iwana trout which is a native species. The co-ops that release the fish may only stock the stream once every three years to offset high pressure fishing areas. These "farm raised" Iwana interbreed with the natural "wild" Iwana and it leads to changes in there appearance. Most noticeably, they appear lighter in color. However, many of the small streams are cut-off from the large streams by dams and large waterfalls that keep these areas "wild".
By the way, Susanne also enjoyed herself soaking in the onsen, shopping and making new friends. Such is the life of a fishing widow.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Nikengoya, Oi-gawa

On September 16 the fly fishing class went to the Oi-gawa head waters area for our first overnight fishing trip. We stayed at the Nikengoya lodge located in a remote area of the Japanese Alps.
The first day I fished with Dr. Kawano, an English speaking instructor and veteran fly fisherman. Dr. Kawano caught a nice 27cm Iwana. I had never caught a wild Japanese trout and I was hoping this would be the day. After about an hour of fishing I switched to a CDC Caddis and immediately had a splash rise but was late setting the hook. Encouraged, I continued using the CDC. Dr. Kawano spotted a fish but could not get it to rise to his fly. He said, "David, why don't you see if he will take your fly?" I slowly approached the eddy being careful to stay concealed behind a large boulder. My first cast landed in the middle of the eddy. I could see the Iwana looking at the fly, rising slowly at first. Then, a lightening quick strike. "Fish On!" I had my first wild Japanese trout.He was only 19cm long but I was elated. I was glad Dr. Kawano could be my witness. We took pictures and released him back into the Oi-gawa.

The second day, we walked upstream for about 45 minutes to the less fished area of the river.I managed to catch another Iwana (20cm).
The trip was awesome and I could not think of a better setting for "my first trout".