Sports Fishing in Niigata City and Japan

YAMAME ; Yamame Trout, Oncorhynchus masou

Click pictures !

photo 1

photo 2

photo 3

Biology of yamame trout

Yamame have interesting habits. After birth, almost of female Yamame grow up in the streams for one year and several months. Then they go to the sea in spring, eat a lot of foods for one year, and become Masu ( I tell you later ). But almost of male Yamame remain in the streams and become adult Yamame. So almost of Masu are female and large ( from 45 to 65 cm in length ), almost adult Yamame are male and small ( from 20 to 30 cm in length ). Young Yamame, both female and male, have dark spots on their bodies. Masu loose them, but adult male Yamame do not loose the spots. Please look at photo 1. You'll see the spots. This Yamame is adult, though small as 27cm in length.

Masu come back to their home river in spring, spend sevesal month without eating, and spawn with adult small male Yamame in autumn. But warmer parts ofJapan, female Yamame do not go down to the sea as male do not.

There are variants. In photo.20, Yamame loose dark spots like Masu, but they are 35 to 45cm in length and are smaller than Masu. We call them modori-Yamame. It means returned Yamame. Probably they spend only a few months in the sea. Though Masu never eat the foods in the rivers, Modori-Yamame eat a lot of small fishes in the river as if to catch up with Masu. I sometimes see they chase fishes in the surface of white-sprashing torrents in June.

My yamame fishing

Photo 2 is not so old. I have put it on the wall for a long time, and the color has been fade. There are three good sized Yamame. I fished them in exciting "evening rise" in the Tainai.

Yamame are alert and clever. Fly fishing ( with either traditional Japanese styles or western styles ) is the supreme sport in fresh water, I think.

Index of About Fishes