The upper most reaches of Tomuraushi river was running highish, due to
the rainfall a few days earlier. Still a tiny stream that can be comfortably
covered with a twiggy 7ft 2wt.
Scouting the lower stretch we managed to locate some rising fish. Casting
to a sighted fish is always fun, but then again, who travels this far up
in the remotest H'kaido only to harass juvenile bows?
The biggest problem with Oshorokoma is their extreme innocence. Eiither
simply stupid or have a total faith in us humans (equally stupid), they
have no fear of our wading feet and cheerfully swim up to us begging for
the worst fly in our flybox. So much so, they grind down an average flyfishermen's
self-esteem within an hour I warn you.
We drove down along the river in search of somewhat more challenging antagonists.
Seeking variety we drove to Tokachi, in the center of H'kaido. Our first
stop was Furano, a pastoral little village.
So we cut the day short and did a river side barbecue - with a supply of
locally picked vegetables.
Despite the humble size, the stream was inhabited by pest quantity of Oshorokoma.
A close kin of Dolly Varden they dwell in the coldest waters of Hokkaido.
They rarely grow bigger than 10inches but do mature small, boasting their
own beauty no ordinary Iwana char would ever come to possess.
We hurried to the Tomuraushi campsite and barely managed to pitch a tent
before the night fell.
H'kaido is a home to some 3,000 Grizzlys. And Taisetsu is the area where
their density is the highest, second only to Shiretoko. A bit unnerving
after dark, but once nicely drank who cares?
Thanks to the cool dry summer with good sunshine, the Furano winery is
known to produce arguably the best wines in Japan. Visiting their cool
underground cellar is a pleasure, literally, for the senses.
The high summer has come. Daytime temp in the mainland Japan soared up
to 35degrees, testing the patience of 130million odd people.
Taking advantage of over appreciated JPY, for a moment I thought about
venturing out abroad. But the ridiculously expensive airfare made me settle
with something more affordable - again - Hokkaido, our precious northern
We took the night's lodging in Obihiro, an agricultural hub of the central
As if to welcome our visit the town was celebrating Tanabata fest with
numerous make shift eateries and toy shops.
'10 H'kaido in Summer - 1
The night passed without an event (or so we believe). Anyways we woke up
in a fresh mountain air. Now, time to fish.
Having enjoyed a bit of civilized taste, we headed further east to Taisetsu
Taisetsu in Japanese means ''big snow'', and for a good reason - they are
a chain of 20 odd rugged peaks. With altitude of 2,000 meters and higher,
they are buried in snow and ice good part of the year.
Even at the height of the summer, evening gets pretty chilly pretty quick,
creating a mysterious sight, river of fog.