River Rommaeno rapids in the headwaters of River Tornionjoki are home to big grayling.
The roar of the flowing waters and the pokes of bright-flanked fish at the surface in the mirror-smooth pockets of rapids provide heaven on earth for a large number of anglers. Finland offers the best possible medicine for this: large majestic streams and small brooks. Fish sizes vary accordingly. On a good day, your fly may be snatched by the world’s largest Atlantic salmon – or you may have to settle for small fry.
The largest river areas in Finland are extensive and fast-flowing fishing grounds. Rivers Tornionjoki and Tenojoki, still in their natural state, are among the most prolific salmon rivers in Europe and people fish salmon on these great wide arteries both from boats and from the shores.
Many rivers in Finland have been harnessed to generate electricity. However, these also have plenty of rapids areas suitable for fishing and the dam reservoirs make for good pike fishing spots. Such major rivers include Kymijoki, Kemijoki, Iijoki and Kokemäenjoki. The fastest-flowing river is Vuoksi, located on the Russian border.
Photo: Veli-Pekka Räty
A Teno salmon is hooked!
Grayling and salmon from Lapland
There are a large number of rivers significant in terms of fishing in Lapland. In addition to the major rivers, there are also plenty of fascinating grayling and salmon rivers in the region.
The list of Lapland’s fishing rivers is a long one: River Simojoki, River Lätäseno with its tributaries in Enontekiö in Northwest Lapland, River Ounasjoki north of Rovaniemi, Rivers Kairijoki, Nuorttijoki and Luttojoki in the backwoods of Salla and Savukoski in Eastern Lapland, as well as Rivers Juutuanjoki, Ivalojoki and Näätämöjoki in the Inari area. You can find plenty of small fascinating wilderness rivers in the Vätsäri area, north of Lake Inarijärvi.
Photo: Veli-Matti Paananen
The Keihärinkoski Rapids, Viitasaari.
Rivers Oulankajoki, Kitkajoki and Kuusinkijoki in Kuusamo are among the most famous trout rivers in Finland. Trout migrating into River Oulankajoki grow to weigh several kilos in Lake Pyaozero, also known as Lake Pääjärvi in Finnish, on the Russian side of the border.
Many small rivers in Lapland are only a few metres wide, but they still offer chances of catching big grayling or trout.
Trout rapids in the Finnish Lake District
Central Finland has plenty of large lakes connected by fast-flowing rapids. Popular trout rapids include the Huopanankoski Rapids in Viitasaari, the Keihärinkoski Rapids, the Kolima-Keitele rapids route, the Äyskoski Rapids of the Lohimaa resort in the Tervo district, as well as the Kapeenkoski and Kuusankoski Rapids in Laukaa.
Photo: Jaakko Tähti
The Huopanankoski Rapids, Viitasaari.
Juhani Aho, a famous Finnish author and journalist, spent his summers in the Huopanankoski Rapids area writing his distinctive short stories called ‘splinters’. Mr. Aho was one of the founding members of the Finnish Federation for Sports Fishing (Suomen Urheilukalastajain Liitto) and his stories are classics of Finnish literature about fishing.
Well-known destinations in Eastern Finland include the Ruunaa Rapids in Lieksa, the Konnuskosket Rapids in Leppävirta, the Kermankosket and Karvionkosket Rapids in Heinävesi and the Läsäkoski Rapids in Kangasniemi. In Western Finland, anglers in pursuit of sea trout head to Rivers Lestijoki, Isojoki, Merikarvianjoki and Kokemäenjoki.
Rainbow trout is a common game species on River Merikarvianjoki and on many other rivers and rapids fishing sites in Finland. Rainbow trout are pursued using colourful flies, small plugs and spoons.
Social rapids fishing in the South
Southern Finland has plenty of great small river areas, such as the Kotalankosket Rapids in Virrat, the Kuokkalankoski Rapids in Lempäälä, the Vihavuosi Rapids in Hauho and River Fiskarsinjoki.
Anglers enjoying urban environments head to River Aurajoki in Turku, River Vantaanjoki close to Helsinki and the Tammerkoski Rapids flowing through the centre of Tampere.
Some rapids in Sourthern Finland and in the Finnish Lake District are purely trout rapids, whereas the most common game species in many other sites is rainbow trout. Grayling is another common game species, while zander, pike, asp and ide, weighing as much as several kilos, add colour to fishing. Additional colour is also provided by other anglers – in places there may be enough of those to be a nuisance.
Some sites are suitable for fishing all year round; however, many river sites have an autumn closed season between 1st September and 30th November.
Photo: Jari Salonen
The Lankoski Rapids is one of the most well-known fishing grounds in River Merikarvianjoki.