Guide for travelling anglers in the Land of a Thousand Lakes 
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Lapland Finnish Lake District West Coast South Finland, Archipelago

Lake Kallavesi - the waterway of North Savo


Photo: Kimmo Pöri
Trollers set their sights on zander, pike and brown trout on Lake Kallavesi.

O Kallavesj, Kallavesj, you lake of lakes, where my Mum washed my shirts so many times, my Dad kept a trap for roach, my Brother on the sly went torch fishing, peeking, wooing.

Lake Kallavesi is part of the Kuopio and Savo identity. The verses cited above from the regional song of Savo, called Kallavesj – where the spelling of the name imitates its local pronunciation – speak about the great longing of a Kuopio man, who had emigrated to America, for the shores of his beloved Lake Kallavesi.

TOP 5: Islands with fishing cabins on South Kallavesi.

This largest lake of North Savo spreads around the City of Kuopio. The Kallansillat bridges on Main Road 5 split the lake in two, the North and South Kallavesi areas. Lake Kallavesi is part of the Iso-Kalla lake area, covering 890 km², together with the labyrinthine Juurusvesi, Muuruvesi and Riistavesi areas at the same water level, as well as the limpid Suvasvesi crater lake, which is the third deepest lake in Finland.

Photo: Kimmo Pöri 
Savilahti Bay close to the centre of Kuopio is a good spot for angling bream.
Savilahti Bay close to the centre of Kuopio is a good spot for angling bream.

Great zander and pike grounds on North Kallavesi

The most important game species on Lake Kallavesi are pike and zander. The zander stock is strong in the North Kallavesi area and big pike can be found in its mid-lake waters. You can catch even over one-kilo perch on the flanks of islets close to deeps in mid-lake areas such as Ripatinselkä.

Good pike spots on South Kallavesi include the Vatanen shallows and Kaarlo Island. Brown trout attract trollers in the Ollinselkä mid-lake area of South Kallavesi, which is also a great zander site.

There are plenty of islands on Lake Kallavesi. In addition to rocky and rugged shores, the area also has some sandy beaches and swampy bays in places.

Photo: Kimmo Pöri 
A catch from the Ripatinselkä mid-lake area of North Kallavesi.
A catch from the Ripatinselkä mid-lake area of North Kallavesi.

A wilderness in the heart of the city

The jewel of Lake Kallavesi is a 40 km² water area and the unbuilt island area within it. A King of Sweden donated the area to the City of Kuopio back in the time when Finland was part of Sweden. Thanks to the foresight of the City Fathers, this area located between the islands of Iivarinsalo and Vatanen has remained clear for the delight of anglers and nature lovers. The area's service facilities include fishing cabins, lean-tos and cooking shelters.

The island area has sharply outlined contours. Water deepens abruptly to 40–50 metres from the shores of Koisti and Mietti island groups and other rocky islands. The area is a fascinating trolling site.

Lake Kallasvesi is a popular boating area. Local cruisers sail out to Lake Kallavesi from the City of Kuopio and there are scheduled boat services in summer, taking passengers all the way to the City of Savonlinna. To the south of Lake Kallavesi lies Finland's largest island, Soisalo.

Photo: Lentokuva Vallas 
Islands in the South Kallavesi lake area.
Islands in the South Kallavesi lake area.
© 2013–2024
Area:478 km²
Length:60 km
Shoreline:1 699 km
Mean depth:10 m
Maximum depth:75 m
Number of islands:1 964
Game species
Brown trout


1. Vatanen

2. Hauto-Koisti

3. Kuusi-Koisti

4. Iso-Mietti

5. Kakssalminen

Additional information