It´s the first week of August already and it´s time for a new post. I would like to talk about my favourite place to go fishing. As I mentioned in my last post, I have travelled a lot and I have tried different kind of fishing on all kinds of water bodies. But one country has a special place in my heart – it´s Finland! Of course Australia was awesome experience and Canada and Alaska remind me something similar to Finland, but let me tell you why I still love Finland the most? In the following post I bring out some points from my view, why this location is my favourite.
If you look the map of Finland, it seems like it has more water than land. Finland has 187 888 lakes! That´s why it is often called “a land of a thousand lakes“. You can always find a private spot to enjoy fishing. Finns don´t like company anyways, if they see a fellow fisherman, they keep their distance and mind their own business. You can go out in the wild, have your own lake and feel the real calmness and peace.
If the thousands of lakes weren´t enough, Finland also has a lot of sea. All the western and southern border is surrounded by the sea. And in addition to that, there are hundreds of rivers and streams that are full of fish. So Finland gives you a plenty of opportunities. You choose!
The Finns don´t miss these opportunities – fishing is one of the most popular recreational activities for them. About 40% of Finns, it is about 2 million people, participate in fishing-related activities every year.
The most common fish species in Finland are perch, roach and pike, but the cool climate has also created good conditions for salmonids. Catching the salmonids is highly valued by Finnish fishermen. The most popular fish in Finland is trout. Salmon, zander, bream and char are also widely caught. Of course, pike, perch and roach don´t leave local fishermen cold.
Gulf of Bothnia and Åland Islands
Gulf of Bothnia offers good opportunities for sea fishing. The main fishing species are pike, perch, sea trout and Atlantic salmon. The Åland Islands also have good conditions for fishing for sea trout, pike and perch. The average pike caught in the Åland Islands ranges from 2 to 5 kg, but quite often up to 15 kg monsters are caught. Perches in this area are also big, perches weighting more than a kilo are caught quite often there.
The southern lakes are mostly warm and shallow. The most popular fishing species are pike, zander and perch. The best time to catch a zander is in July. The average weight of the zander is about one kilo. Zander is mainly caught by trolling.
In Southern Finland, there are good opportunities for bream and ide also. There are also rivers where salmon and sea trout are found. Rainbow trout and brown trout are also quite common. Good places to catch these fish are for example river Vantaanjoki and Kymijoki.
Central and Eastern Finland
If you look at the map in Eastern and Central Finland, you may feel that there is more water than land in this area. This area, which is very attractive to fishermen, has large and deep lakes suitable for trolling. For example Saimaa and Pielinen lakes are good locations. Brown trout and Saimaa salmon are most important fish species in that area. Saimaa salmon has lived in these lakes since the ice age! The average size of the Saimaa salmon, however, is less than its relative living in the sea has. But every year, Saimaa salmons weighing 5 kilos and occasionally even more, are caught.
The trout rivers in this region are generally short and with rapids. These rivers can provide very good conditions for brown trout, rainbow trout and grayling. The average weight of a trout caught is one kilo, but the trouts weighing two and three kilos are common also. Both spinning and fly fishing are used to catch these fish. The best trout rivers are located near the towns of Viitasaari, Rautalampi and Heinävesi.
Northeastern part of Finland
Very good fishing rivers can also be found in northeastern Finland. The main rivers of the Kuusamo region – Kitka, Oulanka and Kuusinki, are great places for brown trout fishing. In 1989, fly fishing world championship was organized in this area. The most popular fish in these rivers is the so-called Russian trout, who has a life circle similar to the Atlantic salmon. They spend their youth upstream, then move downstream to the lakes of Russia, where they feed on small fish and grow big. The average weight is about 3 kilos, also trout weighing 7 and more kilos are caught every year. In mid-summer they come back to the rivers of Finland to spawn. Russian trout are often caught with small wobblers. Fly fishing is also popular.
In addition to the main rivers of Kuusamo, other significant trout and grayling rivers can be found in northeastern Finland.
Fishing in Lapland is well suited for those fishermen who want to enjoy private fishing alone in the wild. The fish there may not be the biggest (except salmon), because the cold climate does not allow, for example, trout to grow very large – trout weighting one kilo is already a decent catch. Very important fish in Lapland is grayling, who is found almost everywhere. In larger rivers they weigh about a kilo. The larger graylings, weighting more than two kilos, are caught usually in western Lapland. River Teno and Näätämo in Lapland have large grayling populations and you can get pretty big graylings from there.
In the northern lakes and rivers of Lapland, lives Arctic char, which is considered as one of the most delicious of the local fish (the meat resembles trout and salmon, but is even more reddish in color). This fish is caught using fly fishing, spinning and also in winter with ice fishing. Lapland chars aren´t the biggest – usually less than a kilo. But char hunters are ready to walk miles along difficult terrain to catch their favourite fish. The largest specimens can be found in larger lakes, where they are usually caught by trolling. Good lake to catch char is for example Inarijärvi – in the 80s, a char weighting more than 9 kilos was caught from there. Brown trout, grayling, salmon and regular trout also live in this lake.
Lapland also offers good opportunities for salmon fishing. The most classic salmon river is the Teno river, which many consider to be one of the world’s best salmon rivers. The best time for salmon fishing is from late June to late August. The Teno river salmons are really big. The average weight is 9 kilos! But one or two fish weighing about 20 kilos are caught every year. Another major salmon river is Näätämo river that flows through wild nature. The salmon in there aren´t as big as in Teno river, but still it offers a good experience to salmon and grayling hunters.
Most fishermen go to Lapland to catch salmonids, but there are good chances to catch whitefish, perch and big pike also.
So now you see how varied opportunities Finland has, there is something for everyone, and you can do it all alone in the wilderness. Every place has it´s pros and cons, some might like other places more, but Finland is a special place for me. I hope you got something useful from this times story. Thank you for reading and see you next time!