Aiming for a sustainable fisheries & stronger communities
Fly fishing tourism in Korea, Japan, & Mongolia should promote conservation, continued research, native fish rehabilitation, and encourage rural communities to become passionate stewards of the rivers and streams that flow through their communities and farmland. We realize that improved fishing conditions depend on real regulations and require citizens of Korea, Japan, and Mongolia to seek a better tomorrow for their nation’s streams, rivers, and lakes.
Far East Fly Fishing is here to initiate, cooperate, and inspire responsible sport fishing management and stewardship. We want to be a catalyst to inspire, educate, and boost rural economies through fly fishing tourism and cultural exchanges. True ownership in conservation programs comes from within local communities.
Currently, South Korea does not have a recreational fishing permit system nor does Hokkaido, Japan. Both lack officials to enforce the few existing fish & game regulations against poaching, overfishing, and habitat destruction. It truly is an uphill battle at the moment. We’ll need a lot more than optimism alone. We need you and your support as a traveling angler, volunteer, or academic. Ask us for more details on how you can contribute.
For every trip we sell, we donate a minimum of $20 per guest towards a conservation program in Korea, Japan, or Mongolia. If you’d like to learn more or contribute to our conservation work in North East Asia, Get in touch with us
Family Owned Small Business
Guide Service & International Fly Fishing Travel Agency
Seoul ,South Korea
Matthew Patrick Awalt
Since 2004, Awalt has worked as a field researcher, fly fishing-shop manager, fly fishing guide & writer. He’s written for The FlyFish Journal, Asia Sentinel & Waterlog Magazine. Matt’s guided flyfishing trips in Korea, Mongolia & Russia’s Far East. Awalt is an FFI Professional Fly Fishing Guide based in Seoul, South Korea. Matt’s roles include building and managing this website, sales, marketing, and guiding clients in Korea with hosted travel opportunties to Mongolia and Japan in the summer months. Get in touch with Matt directly with an email to [email protected]
Nami is our co-founder and spearheads our conservation projects and community outreach programs in Korea. While relatively she’s new to flyfishing, she prefers fishing dry flies on light tackle for Korea’s cherry trout. Nami is a talented artist and currently stuyding “Minhwa” traditional folk painting of Korea. Expect to see Nami’s art work featured on this website in the near future. For commisioned paintings or sketches, get in touch with Nami at [email protected]
Building longterm client relationships
Means listening to our clients’ goals, aspirations and coordinating a winning gameplan. Read what our clients have to say about fishing with us.
Rates & Pricing
Comprehensive Pre-Trip Info Packs
Upfront All-Inclusive Rates & Pricing
Hassle-Free Payment Options
Discount Rates for Return Clients
Expert Insights From Our Guides
Fund Conservation Research & Outreach
Exclusive Flyfishing Destinations Only Here
Military Rates for active duty & veterans over 60
Monday – Saturday
Seoul, South Korea
Times listed in Korea Standard Time
Inside Korea (031) 924-2351
Dialing from the US Direct
011 + 82 + 31 924 4046
Mon – Fri: 6pm – 7pm (KST)
Sat: 10am – 3pm (KST)
Closed Sundays / Holidays
Our journey began with a card. But not the card stacked in a poker deck or on a hallmark shelf. Before Matt Awalt, founder of Far East, took an English teaching job in South Korea, he sleuthed these keywords “Korean Trout.” The scant results lead to a website called jamescard.net. This site offered a wealth of knowledge to itinerant anglers including links to articles James had published in several US news outlets. On top of that, James was Korea’s only expat fly-fishing guide in 2007. Several email exchanges later, Matt boarded a Korean Air flight bound for South Korea to begin a year long contract teaching English and hopefully catch the mysterious landlocked cherry salmon Oncorhynchus masou.
What were the odds that in a country of over fifty million people, the two Americans would soon become good neighbors in a small town called Changwon. Two years later, James returned to the US with his family. Matt took the reins from James’ guide operation in 2009 inheriting a hodgepodge of old tools, a Sharpes of Aberdeens 4wt with no case, two pairs of blue rubber waders, and a full size Weber BBQ grill. There was no truck, no essential tackle and in particular no maps to James’ old trout haunts, not exactly a turnkey guide operation. When Matt pressed about the maps or even where to start, James, being a true Wisconsin sportsman, refused to offer any solution other than “fish hard for a year and go find your own creeks.”
After two years of blue-lining Korea’s mountainous corridors, Matt discovered a handful of creeks that held wild Korean trout. There were dozens of creeks that inexplicably held none. The 1st website, awalts.com was created for expat anglers in 2009. The interest from prospective clients soon exceeded Matt’s own expectations. In the autumn of 2011, Matt flew to Japan for a 10 day backpacking trip from Sapporo to the Shiretoko Peninsula. Two days fly fishing in Hokkaido revealed a pandora’s box of trout, char and taimen in Japan’s northern Hokkaido. On reaching Shiretoko, scores of pink and chum salmon were thick at the river mouth. The backpacking expedition proved to be a great success.
On return from fly fishing in Hokkaido, Matt contacted Andy Parkinson, then owner of Fish Mongolia for a podcast interview. The podcast never happened. However Andy instead offered Matt airfare, meals, room & board in exchange for three weeks of guiding in Mongolia. The last night by a campfire on the banks of X- River, Andy and Matt came up with the concept for a guide-owned travel agency to serve expat anglers. The idea for a “guide collective” was born and in 2013, Far East Outfitters was registered as an LLC in Bremen, GA USA. Since then we’ve added service to Russia, Mongolia, and are always looking for the next far flung destination. It’s funny how the cards fall. The joy of angling lies within a pleasant uncertainty.In 2020, Matt married Nami and the rest is history.
Exploratory Fishing in Korea
11 New Destinations Added
Conservation at Work
Making lasting relationships with locals is key to winning trust for future conservation work. Our greatest hope is to show rural community leaders the economic value of fly fishing tourism and education.
We seek to eliminate poaching, introduce low-impact farming practices, and enhance watersheds through restoration and riparian zone management. Our success is due to working with great guides, lodges, and crews. Good people make a huge difference. Wherever we fish, expect 100% catch and release fishing. Donate today to our friends at the Wild Salmon Center
Shooting an outdoor production based in South Korea? We offer field reconnaissance, academic research, and fact checking services for outdoor based TV programs and films. Consulting Rates are based on the total scale of the project and intensity. For a complete production solution, we highly recommend Mr. Jay Lee
Why Book with Us?
We’ve hosted US Embassy staff, English teachers, US Service Members, and provided research & consulting for the Discovery Channel’s N. American TV programs. One common question we hear is “have you ever had a difficult client to work with?”
We’ve certainly been challenged with tasks including securing landing permissions for a client’s private aircraft into Russia, assisted with security details for a former US ambassador while on a guided fishing trip but we’ve never had a “difficult client” Whatever the task might be our policy is straightforward. “Deal with it” No client request is too great or too small. We look forward to the next adventure with a “Can-do” attitude