As my friend Bruno rightly pointed out, given this website's name, it was seriously lacking in trout pictures! Until the fly-fishing season starts! In the meantime, I was sent a nice local brownie pic. As a bonus I was given a picture of some local French snow-clearing action back home. It is not Tateyama yet, but it is not too shabby.
A late outing, got there at lunch time. I was intending to go to the Flick fishing field but it was closed, so I headed to Tanzawa Homu to buy my license. I fished the Taraigoyasawa and the Fujikumagawa where they intersect. I used a simple black dry fly with wings. A lot of insects flying around already, most of them, black rock spiders tiny black flies and house flies. The catch of the day was 5 small (25cm ish) Iwanas, all in the Taraigoyasawa which I all released back into the river. The upper section of the river is nice: narrow, shallow and technical before it merges with the Fujikumagawa and becomes the Nunogawa, wide and deep and less interesting. For those wondering if they have the fisherman?fs eye, I have included pictures of some of the Iwanas I caught from various distances.
Can you spot them?
Managed to sqeeze another quick trip to tanzawa before the start of the rainy season. This time I went to Flick to get my license. I was by myself and did not see another person along the river the whole day. I only fished the upper section of the FujiKumaGawa this time around. I missed some iwanas and one brown trout but caught some rainbow trouts. The quality of the rainbows was not very good. They all bore the hallmarks of having been raised and fed in a concrete basin : The fins on one side were all gnawed from rubbing against the cement walls. As usual they were all released unharmed. The temperature for the day was nice and cool around 16 degrees with the clouds covering the summits in late afternoon. Another nice relaxing day out away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
The rainy season has abated a little, so I took this opportunity to explore the FujiKumaGawa further. This time around I focused on the lower section and found that the hits I got were almost all within 50-10 meters downhill from dams. Most of the fish caught were rainbow trouts with the exception of a vividly colored Iwana. I also saw a small frog lazying around in its pond.
Once again in the FujiKumaGawa, this time focusing on the very upper section just below the Bosco camping ground. I started the day by seeing a snake next to a small shallow pool full of tadpoles. I could not take a useful picture (it is actually in the first picture, you cannot see its head, very hard to spot and very small) in the end as it slithered away. It had a brownish body and a very distinctive bright yellow patch on its head. It most likely feeds on the tadpoles and was most likely a juvenile. Based on the searches I have done, it was either a Chinese Keeled ratsnake (Chugoku-Syuda) or a Yonagi keeled ratsnake (Yonaguni-Syuda). With regards to fishing, as usual I had some nice catches close to dams were the pools are deeper. All of the catches of the day were rainbow trouts. I miss the days when you could catch brown and brook trouts in this river as well. At the end of the day I caught a large 40cm+ trout. I intended to release it into the river but it had gulped the fly so deep that it had hooked itself through the gills and was bleeding hopelessly! It is quite rare when fishing with dry flies but it happens. Too bad it had to be with such a beautiful specimen. So in the end I had to kill it to end its misery and it ended on the dinner plate a couple of hours later. First kill of the season, hopefully it will be the last one, unless I have some friends or family at home who enjoy eating fresh river fish.
It was a day of discovery. I had randomly selected a river very nearby our apartment to try out fishing in the public domain for the first time in this area. After getting my fishing license at the local convenience store I drove to a local valley which has a pristine little gem of a river running through it. I drove on the dirt-road as far as I could before Jun drove back and I continued hiking as far up the valley as I could. The plan was to discover the river by fishing it going down valley. I was suspecting that the river was devoid of fish in its upper section with a slight chance of catching some tiny iwana or yamame further downstream. I waded for about a couple hours fishing downstream before catching a very small Iwana. It was encouraging as it proved that even the upper section had some fish. I then caught nothing for about a couple hours before hitting the jackpot. A 45cm long Iwana rose on my dry fly. The first time it inspected it before turning away, the second time it rose it took it with a massive hit. It took me a couple of minutes before being able to bring it to the net. It was a very beautiful streamlined fish, fairly thin for its size. I had never caught such a big Iwana in Japan before and was not expecting to catch such a specimen especially in the public domain which tends to be massively over-fished. Further downstream I caught a couple more Iwanas before heading back home. The lower section has a lot of low-lying tree branches and is very hard to fly-fish. At least it was a good opportunity to practice slingshot casts. It was good to catch-up with George and Izumi-san who were mountain biking in the area and came to visit. I was happy to be able to show them a couple of things about fly-fishing and spend some time chatting with them in the sun. The area has so many mountain streams, I am going to have fun exploring this summer. Too bad I forgot my camera on that day and had to use my el-cheapo handphone to take some pictures.