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

Lakes Ruovesi & Tarjanne - winding fish route of Northern Häme


Photo: Julien Lajournade
Over a metre-long pike is an angler’s dream. Paloselkä area of Lake Ruovesi is one of the most famous fishing sites for big pike. Rocky shores are good pike spots in early summer.

Wide beautiful water route is situated between Virrat, Vilppula and Ruovesi in the northern part of the Tampere Region. This exclusive fishing area with its diverse water areas and narrow sounds form a great lake called Lake Iso-Tarjannevesi ('Great Tarjannevesi') that is on the same water level. The major parts of it are known as Lakes Ruovesi and Tarjanne.

In Finnish lake statistics basins that are connected at the same water level are considered to be one great lake. Based on that, Lake Iso-Tarjannevesi is 18th largest lake of Finland.

Lake Ruovesi – fishing and some witchcraft

To the north of Lake Näsijärvi lies a diverse water route meandering through forest sceneries. Renowned for its big pike, Lake Ruovesi is also a great zander site and offers an alluring fishing environment for anglers.

Lake Ruovesi starts at the Vilppulankoski Rapids, where waters flow from the rapids as a narrow meandering route towards the Paloselkä area to the east. On the Vilppula side of the route, the waters are lush and fairly shallow; there are extensive areas where the water is just a few metres deep. The sounds in the area yield zander catches right from the start of the season in late May. Popular fishing grounds include the areas surrounding Poukansaari Island, Soilu Strait and the area around Nokia Island.

Photo: Ismo Kolari 
Narrow straits and sounds are typical for the Vilppula Route.
Narrow straits and sounds are typical for the Vilppula Route.

Pike from the legendary Paloselkä area

The Paloselkä area is one of the most famous big pike areas in Finland, which more or less yielded more over 10-kilo pike than all the other lakes combined back in the early 1990’s. The fragmented and diverse area formed by Aittoselkä, Hongonselkä, Paloselkä and Majaselkä still provides good chances of catching big pike. The area is also a good zander fishing site.

Potential pike spots include shoals, fast-flowing sounds, bays and pits lying between shallows. There are also 10–20 metre deeps in this area. There are campfire sites on Kaisansaari and Kasilansaari islands where you can land in the middle of your fishing trip.

Photo: Ismo Kolari 
The meandering water area fascinates pike anglers.
The meandering water area fascinates pike anglers.

Predators thrive in torrents

Hanhonvuolle Strait is a great spot for fishing pike, zander and perch alike. On the eastern side of the strait, the water route becomes gradually deeper. To the south of Syvinkisalmi Sound, which connects Lakes Tarjannevesi and Ruovesi, lies the Mustaselkä area, a deep cauldron with big pike fattening themselves up on small fry in its depths. Other pike spots worth trying include the areas surrounding Varisniemi Point in the eastern part of the area, as well as Korpulanvuolle Strait and Korpulanlahti Bay in the southern part. The waters of Mustaselkä deeps are 30–40 metres deep and the area is also a potential site for trolling trout and zander.

Photo: Ismo Kolari 
Zander strike soft plastic jigs in Ruovesi sounds and shallows.
Zander strike soft plastic jigs in Ruovesi sounds and shallows.

Magic and art in fishing grounds

There are plenty of shallows and considerable depth variations in the Ruovesiselkä-Pöytäselkä area off Ruovesi town centre. Sites worth going after pike by spinning and trolling include the waters close to Haapasaari Island, the area off Storminiemi Point, the Väärinselkä mid-lake area and the waters off the shores of Kalela, the wilderness studio of the famous painter Akseli Gallen-Kallela. The banks of shallows close to the boat route and Kauttu Strait are good spots for catching zander and perch.

Finland’s last witch, Antti Lieroinen, was burnt on Lieransaari Island in Ruovesi in the 17th century. In memory of this event, the Witch Trials Festival is organised in Ruovesi town centre every summer, culminating in the election of the Witch of the Year.

Photo: Ismo Kolari 
Perch have become plump during the warm summers.
Perch have become plump during the warm summers.

The meandering Kauttu–Murole water route

In the southern part of Lake Ruovesi, between Kauttu Strait and Murole Canal, open lake areas and narrow sounds alternate while depth variations increase. There may be 40–50 metres of water under the keel just off the tip of a point. Famous fishing grounds include the areas surrounding Jäminginsaari and Palosaari islands in the Jäminginselkä area, Jäminginvuolle Strait and Kirnusalmi Sound. In Kirnusalmi Sound, you can also admire prehistoric rock paintings while fishing.

The Palovesi area has many islands with plenty of summer holiday homes. On arrival at the Ohrionselkä area, anglers can feast their eyes on the majestic rocky shores. The area’s game species include zander, pike, perch and – on a good day – brown trout, too.

Typical game species on Lake Ruovesi include whitefish, burbot and bream – the last of which is proudly blazoned on the Ruovesi municipal coat of arms – as well as other cyprinids.

Photo: Ismo Kolari 
Roach, bream and perch are common species in Lake Ruovesi. Angling with hook and line is a good way to go after them.
Roach, bream and perch are common species in Lake Ruovesi. Angling with hook and line is a good way to go after them.


Lake Tarjanne – the peace and beauty of nature

Lake Tarjanne a.k.a. Lake Tarjannevesi is characterised by a splendid range of rock-lined islands, long reedy shores and major depth variations. Located in the Northern Tampere Region, this lake of rugged beauty is a great pike and zander site.

Potential pike fishing sites include Purnunlahti Bay and its mouth area, Huilahti Bay, the waters close to Kauttakala Island, the sounds towards the Hauhuunvesi area, Syvinginsalmi Strait and the island area in the vicinity of Visuvesi village centre. The numerous mid-lake shallows make for great pike spots and in the summer you can catch a big pike close by while jigging for zander.

Photo: Ismo Kolari 
On Lake Tarjannevesi one can meet the beauty of nature.
On Lake Tarjannevesi one can meet the beauty of nature.

Island areas and mid-lake shallows

Zander can be found in abundance throughout the water area. You can go after zander in places such as the western and northern sides of Siperia Island and from there through to the northern side of Honkanen Island, the mouth areas of Pohjaslahti Bay and Syvinginsalmi Sound, as well as the areas surrounding Kuhakari Islet located to the north of Pöykkysaari Island. In these areas, a troller may also catch a brown trout on the end of their line on top of deeps and at the edges of banks.

The largest deeps lie in the mid-lake area and there are some places where water may be as much as 40–50 metres deep right off the shores of islands. The shallows rising from the midst of deeps up to a few metres and their banks provide potential fishing grounds.

A significant proportion of the islands on Lake Tarjannevesi fall within the National Shoreline Protection Programme.

Photo: Ismo Kolari 
In autumn it’s a good idea to go after big pike in deeper waters.
In autumn it’s a good idea to go after big pike in deeper waters.

Lakes Visuvesi and Vaskivesi

Lakes Visuvesi and Vaskivesi (46.2 km² in total) are part of the same water route as Lake Tarjannevesi. Big zander and pike are among the game species pursued in this water area that becomes narrower and narrower on its way towards the Town of Virrat. Home to a ruggedly beautiful island area, Lake Vaskivesi has great depth variations and the Oikanselkä area, in particular, is renowned for its big pike. Lake Visuvesi is shallower. You can try to catch zander in places such as the areas surrounding the Savisaari beacon on Lake Vaskivesi and the shallow off the shore of Mustinsaari Island in the Visuselkä area of Lake Visuvesi.

To the north of Virrat, on the other side of Herraskoski Rapids, lies Lake Toisvesi (29.4 km²), the deepest lake in the Tampere Region (85 m). The lake has excellent stocks of zander and there are big pike swimming around at mid-depth.

© 2013–2024
Area:210 km²
Length:49 km
Shoreline:1 084 km
Mean depth:8 m
Maximum depth:68 m
Game species
Brown trout

Additional information