During your first Spring season, you'll have a night vision of a bard visiting the Lost Valley. Go to the Harvest Goddess Spring after 8:00 pm to meet up with Gilbert, who will give you a Fishing Rod. Going fishing is a simple way to earn money when you don't have much going on.
To use the rod, walk up to a water path and press the A Button to cast your line into the water. Since Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley has a contextual tool menu, there's no need to equip your Fishing Rod to use it; just press the A Button at the right spot. Having feed in your bag when fishing will bring up a selection menu before your hook lands in the water, allowing you to attach fish bait to your hook.
You can see the fish shadows in the water while fishing. Once a fish gets close to your hook, wait until you see a ! appear above your farmer's head. At that point press the A Button over and over until you reel in the fish. Very strong fish may take a lot of fast button presses to reel in, else you might lose the fish off of your hook.
Completing Gilbert's fetch requests will earn you recipes for your Windmill to create fish feed. The ingredients necessary to craft a bag of fish food are Fodder Cornmeal, a crop mutation, and a fish. You can catch all of the fish in the game without the use of fish feed. Not many players utilize fish feed because there's nothing in-game that explains what the benefits of using it are.
The fish shadows will appear while fishing at any time of the day or weather. The two things that affect fish species appearance are the current season you are in and the elevation of the water you're fishing in.
Before you restore the seasons to the Lost Valley, the only fish you can catch are ones that exist in Winter season: Crucian Carp, Yellow Perch, and Mosquitofish. Even if your season is currently Spring, Summer, or Fall, because of the valley's curse you're only going to find those three fish species. You'll catch more types of fish once the seasons have been unlocked and the Goddess' Bracelet has been repaired.
The other factor that affects the type of fish you can catch is the location of the water path that you're fishing in. The waterfall pond by the Harvest Goddess Spring is at elevation level 30, and the stream that runs by the entrance to the valley is at level 10. Anything in between, or below, those levels must be created by you.
To create a space large enough to catch fish you'll need to use Excavate (Y button) to clear a path from a water source to where you want the fish pond to be. The water path will need to be at least two squares in width to allow space for the fish shadows to appear. You don't need to build bridges to span over the water ponds if you don't want to, as the water doesn't need to be an uninterrupted flow to be fish-able. Using bridges will just add a touch of visual style to your valley.
One technique that players might stumble with is with trying to get water to flow downstream. Digging a steady path on the same level is pretty easy, but a wood gate will appear to stop water from flowing off-level without a destination to go to. To resolve this issue, move down to the lower level and dig right below the wood gate to allow the water to flow.
There are six fish species that won't be catchable unless you to use your Excavation skills to create fishing ponds at various levels in the valley. An easy way to do this is to branch off from the pond at the top of the hill that leads up to the Harvest Goddess Spring, then make large enough areas to fish in as you manipulate the water to flow down the hill.
The largest fish in the game, the Alligator Gar, is only available in ponds that are built at land level 5 or lower. You may need to do a lot of digging to make a pond at this low of a level, but you can do it. The legendary fish can be caught during Summer season only. Its partner fish, the Arowana, is also located in low-lying fishing ponds during the same season, and is easier to catch than the giant fish.
You can sell your caught fish directly to Sam. Hanna won't buy raw fish, but if you cook the fish using your Kitchen, she'll buy the cooked dishes from you. You'll also be requested to catch fish for villager requests or ingredients for fertilizer.
There are a total of 11 different fish species in the game. The bookshelf in your farm house will list your discovered fish in the Encyclopedia, under the Collected menu. You can see the maximum size you've caught of each fish species, but it is just for reference. There is also a Goal Rank that grades the total number of fish that you've caught.
|Fish Name||Season||Elevation||Sell Price|
|Alligator Gar||Summer||1 to 5||300 G|
|Arowana||Summer||1 to 5||300 G|
|Barbatus||Not Winter||10 to 20||150 G|
|Bluegill||Not Winter||12 to 30||120 G|
|Bullhead||Fall||15 to 31||170 G|
|Crucian Carp||All Year||All levels||120 G|
|Goby||Summer/Fall||1 to 10||150 G|
|Mosquitofish||All Year||All levels||50 G|
|Perch||Spring/Fall||1 to 6||170 G|
|Rainbow Trout||Summer/Fall||15 to 30||150 G|
|Yellow Perch||Fall/Winter||1 to 10||170 G|