The Mountain Village of Oshino
Located in Yamanashi Prefecture, Oshino is a mere 3.5 km from the flank of Mount Fuji. The town is also located in the famous Five Lakes region of Japan. There also happens to be two spring-fed creeks that flow through the town - the Katsura River and the Shinnasyo River. These two rivers are often referred to as Oshino Creek and the entire area is well known throughout Japan as a fly-fishing mecca.
If you are a fly-fishing aficionado standing on the banks of this peaceful river with Mount Fuji looming in the background, is an experience that needs to be on your bucket list.
In 1981 this area reached the public spotlight when President Jimmy Carter, who is a fly-fisherman, visited Oshino. He caught a large brown trout, about 47 cm (18 inches) long, in the Katsura River during his fishing trip here. You too can catch some very large trout in this river, even during the hottest months of summer.
The Katsura River portion of Oshino Creek area is catch and release and only fly-fishing is allowed. It would be helpful to have a long handled net, as the banks can be 1-2 meters above the river. There is a small island in the catch and release section that is off limits to fishing (apparently it is private property). There is plenty of parking located throughout the village of Oshino. From any of the fishing parking lots (which are free to park in) you can access the foot trail that travels the length of Oshino Creek. Please refer to the map of the fishing area to determine where to park.
The river is open for fishing March 15 through September 30. You can purchase a fishing ticket in town at the Lawson Convenience Store (or the Rivers Edge Fly Fishing Store) for ¥800 a day. The fishing cooperative volunteers patrol the river throughout the day, seven days a week. If you don’t have a fishing license when they come by to check you can buy one from them but it costs ¥1200. Bait fishing, as well as lure fishing, is allowed on certain sections of the river. Please refer to the map to ensure that you are fishing the correct style in the correct sections of the river.
No visit to Oshino would be complete without stopping by the local Rivers Edge Fly Fishing Store. They are very friendly and helpful and can recommend flies that are currently proving effective. They also have a large selection of fly-fishing equipment and an assortment of flies that are tied in the shop. If you come at the right time you can watch them tie the flies too!
I have travelled to Oshino Creek several times. It is one of my most favorite places to fish in Japan. The access is easy, the fishing is outstanding, and it is very reasonably priced.
Lawson Convenience Store
103-1 Shibokusa Oshino, Minamitsuru District, Yamanashi Prefecture 401-0511
Rivers Edge Fly Fishing Store
3265−5 Shinobugusan, Oshino, Minamitsuru District, Yamanashi Prefecture 401-0511
You can find more information on fishing in Oshino, albeit in Japanese, here.