Japanese Trout Awaken The Magic!

Bet you haven’t caught one of these guys lately! Exotic trout certainly turn heads.

Are you a bass fisherman, a crappie angler…a musky hunter?

It’s all fine to pin your identity on the species you pursue. Most of us do it. But don’t forget that our waters hold other species with their own charm and mystery!

One of my fondest moments of my early angling career was when my brother and I eased our boat into an eddy on the Mississippi River near LaCrosse, Wisconsin, and proceeded to catch 16 species of fish in two hours.

Several were species we had only seen in the “Know Your Fish” book our dad had bought us. Most were modest specimens, but we were fascinated by Ol’ Man River’s bounty and Nature’s imagination! That was magic and mystery, and it was an important part of our angling education.

Last week, Munenori Kajiwara, who often has unveiled fascinating tackle developments from Japan as owner of Japan Import Tackle, opened a discussion about Tenkara fly fishing and several of Japan’s native trout species.

He showed me a photo of the rainbow-like Yamame trout followed by a shot of the orange dotted Amago. Gorgeous fish both!

A picture of Japan’s Iwana trout sparked speculation about what its closest North American relatives might be—bull trout, lake trout, brookie?

Each brought back memories—a hybrid rainbow/golden trout I caught in the High Sierras, a brook trout in stunning spawning colors that I caught during a light snowfall while fishing tiny Snowfall Lake in Ontario, even a strange forage species long ago taken on a back country hike.

Better yet, they reminded me of the beautiful, bountiful, almost endless world of fish and fishing and the countless species I have yet to meet!

I am amazed at the growth curves of serious young anglers these days. I have talked with many and fished with some. Often they possess knowledge of lures, tackle and techniques that makes you wonder how these young men—and women—have managed to reap so much fishing knowledge from their few and tender years!

But I also hope they have had the chance to stumble on new species and study them, stare at them in pure wonderment, and simply enjoy the magic!

Here are a few of the species:




Here are a couple of cool videos:

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