Although coarse woody debris (CWD) is an important component of stream ecosystems in forested areas, the processes of CWD distribution, transport, and retention have not been clarified. In this study the distribution process of CWD pieces shorter than the bankfull width (S-CWD) is discussed using an in situ field experiment of log transport and a field survey of CWD distribution in mountain streams. The transport experiment showed that transport distance has a close relation to flow depth and also implied that the magnitude and sequence of a series of flows were important factors for S-CWD transport and retention in streams. The survey of CWD distribution indicated that in-stream obstructions played an important role in the S-CWD retention in deeper channels where S-CWD pieces were potentially transported distances more than spacing between trapping sites of CWD. Overall, the in situ field experiment and the segment- to reach-scaled analysis using h* (=depth/diameter) helped us understand the actual movement and distribution of CWD.