Tokyo Fishing [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Tokyo Fishing

11-08-2008, 07:47 AM
This post is for those of you who, like me, travel to Tokyo on a fairly regular basis.

During my last trip I was forced to spend the weekend in Tokyo right in the middle of the Fall run here in New England. Before I embarked for Japan I did a simple Google search for something like "Tokyo bay fly fishing" and found an impressive guide service that offers fly fishing in Tokyo Bay. In an effort to raise my spirits over the course of my lonely weekend in Japan I booked the trip.

On the morning of the trip I rose with glee at about 5 AM. After a quick breakfast of seaweed wrapped rice and chicken at the local AM/PM I boarded the train. The guides for this service do not really speak English but they are very accommodating. I was given clear directions on how to meet the guide. After changing trains a few times I walked out of the final train station and found my friendly guide holding a sign with my name on it. We hopped in his car and arrived at the marina soon thereafter.

We jumped into his boat a few minutes later, fired it up, and we were off into Tokyo Bay. The boat was a nice center console rigged for fly fishing. It easily cruised through the industrial canals surrounding Tokyo and punched through the waves as we made our way out into the major shipping channels. As we cruised under the Rainbow Bridge I was very pleased to see 4-6 inch bait lazily jumping everywhere I looked. Game on.

These guides rent fly rods - which is very convenient. They also provide flies. Today the game was all topwater. I rigged a nylon tube based floating eel on my 8 weight and prepared to cast the white floating line. My guide gave me some pointers on how to fish - with all communication in broken English. What was clear is that we were going to fish along some prominent walls in the harbor. These walls stick up out of the water all over the place, are extremely long in some cases, and as far as I can tell the walls are breakwaters for when the typhoons hit Tokyo Bay. The fishing technique was somewhat hilarious and fun. I was instructed to cast 50 feet and always have the fly land within 6 inches of the wall. This was good fun and great casting practice even when the fish were not biting.

But the fish were biting...

Within 10 minutes of fishing I had caught my first Japanese sea bass. These bass are a little bit like snook or barramundi and they are good fighting fish. My first fish was one of the bigger fish of the day and after landing him I was immediately pleased that I had booked the trip!

To make a long story short I spent the next 4 hours catching some nice sea bass. I had 30 to 40 explosive hits on the top-water and had about a 25% hook-up success rate. Casting along the walls was fun, especially in the wind and when wakes from HUGE container ships would crash into the boat. It was a challenging and rewarding and fantastic day.

If anyone wants any more info on this guide service then drop me a PM. Also note that the owner of the guide service speaks excellent English and offers flats fishing for various species in other regions of Japan.

In closing, Japan has an excellent fishing culture. Fly fishing is common for trout in the north. Freshwater bass fishing is very popular (with tournaments and wild colored bass boats etc.). Surf casting from shore for sea bass was proven to be popular based on the dozens of fishermen that I saw. Trophy sea bass are over 34 inches in length by the way.

If you cannot afford time for a fishing trip in Japan (and by the way rates are similar to Cape Cod based guides) then I at least recommend that you hit some of the fishing shops in Japan. They have some really cool tackle, especially for tuna and marlin etc.

Good luck out there,


11-09-2008, 04:48 PM
Hi Mike,

Nice story, sounds like fun, way more fun than you can have in Manchester :hihi:

11-10-2008, 05:37 PM
Great report! Those sea bass look like they must be related to snook. Gotta love any fish that will slam a fly on the surface!

Any chance you can post a recipe for the flies you were using? I bet they'd work great for stripers and freshwater bass too.


11-10-2008, 05:51 PM
Glad to see that has developed. Back in 94-96 I tried to find similar, but it was bait fish party boats only.

11-11-2008, 05:49 PM

I will post some photos of the fly later this week. I kept the fly that I abused on the trip.

Stay tuned,


11-14-2008, 06:38 AM

Excellent story...very cool. Hope I get the chance to do that at some point.


11-15-2008, 10:42 AM
All fish were caught on this single fly...which should look pretty familiar to us all.



11-15-2008, 11:04 AM

Thanks for the photo of the fly. Looks like a flyrod version of a Rapala :cool: .

What's inside the tube? Is it just some type of floating yarn with a little sticking out for the tail? Or is there some foam in there as well?


11-16-2008, 06:12 AM
There is a strip of foam in the tube with EP fiber like yarn for a tail. I had not analyzed
the fly in detail before so thanks for asking.