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Fishing In Finland

Close your eyes and think of paradise – because that’s if you choose a fishing holiday in Finland, you will find it’s as close to perfect as it can be.

Close your eyes and think of paradise – because that’s if you choose a fishing holiday in Finland, you will find it’s as close to perfect as it can be. Cast your line from your rowing boat on a vast, glassy lake where there’s no one else to disturb you. Wade stealthily out into the middle of a fast-flowing river to cast your trout fly. Or let a local expert take you on his boat through the myriad islands of Finland’s incredible archipelago to find the richest fishing grounds.

You’ll find the clear, pure waters of Finland provide an almost limitless variety of opportunities for top quality fishing, wherever you decide to cast your line. Finland has a long tradition of satisfying the needs of even the most demanding visitors, such is the extent of its wild rivers, peaceful lakes and rugged coastlines.

Enjoy the tranquillity of the wonderful serene lakeland or the unique beauty of one of the world’s most stunning archipelagos. Choose instead perhaps to chance your fortune on one of the many fast-flowing rivers and rapids that course through the country’s vast forests. Or make the most of Finland’s 1,1100km coastline, either from the shore or aboard a boat. The choice is yours – and what a fantastic choice you have!

The Lakes of Finland

There are nearly 188,000 lakes in Finland, and you will find ample opportunity for a vast range of fishing activities. The most sought-after lake fish are pike, perch, zander and trout, as well as various species in the roach family. In summer, angling from the shore or from a boat are equally popular pastimes, though in winter it’s always an exciting opportunity to bore a hole in the lake ice and go after whitefish, pike, burbot, grayling and char.

The best locations for pike and perch are scattered throughout Finland, both on the sea and in inland waters. The zander (or ‘pike-perch’ as it is more commonly known) is indigenous to southern Finland, so the best sites are to be found here and along the southern coast. Some of the larger lakes throughout Finland have a healthy population of vendace. Which in turn support plenty of brown trout.

The Rivers of Finland

Finland is truly a land of rivers and brooks, with its thousands of kilometres of streams teeming with fish of all sizes. The most sought-after river fishing species are salmon, trout, grayling and whitefish. The more slowly-running rivers are often also home to pike and perch.

Fly-fishing and spinning from the shore are the most popular and most rewarding methods on the rivers, though other techniques from boats are also possible on the larger salmon rivers.

Finland’s main salmon rivers include the Tenojoki in Lapland, the Torniojoki and Simojoki in northern Finland, the Kymijoki which opens into the Gulf of Bothnia at Kotka. Other popular salmon-fishing sites are the delta areas of the Kemijoki and Oulujoki rivers.

You will find superb trout rivers and rapids in central Finland, Karelia, Kuusamo, northern Finland and Lapland, while the best waters for catching grayling are in the north. You may be particularly keen to go after the sea-spawning grayling of the western Oura archipelago and the Lake Saimaa grayling.

More and more people are discovering the joy and satisfaction that goes with fly-fishing in Finland. Rivers and rapids offer fly-fishers excellent sites for their sport. Some sites even offer separate pools for the exclusive use of fly-fishers. Salmon, trout and grayling are the most common quarry for fly-fishing.

The Seas around Finland

Finland’s coastline include the fabulous archipelago, unequalled for breath-taking beauty anywhere in the world – and containing more islands than any other! Here you will find some of the most rewarding spots for sea trout, pike, perch and zander.

In summer, pike and perch can be caught by spinning from boats or the shore. Jigging for perch can also bring a splendid catch, and zander is trollwed from boats in mid-summer. With the change of season come new opportunities; ice fishing for perch, pike and burbot is possible – and popular – even when winter is at its most extreme!

Where to choose

Finland is fortunate enough to offer more or less unlimited fishing opportunities. A little research will pay dividends as you plan a fishing break that will suit you perfectly. We can’t hope to mention every district, river or lake that’s worth a look – but the following offer a representative sample of the diversity of Ffishing opportunities throughout Finland.

Helsinki’s coastline and archipelago offers a true paradise for anglers, especially if you enjoy putting to sea and using lots of different methods to fish for the rich variety of species. By the way, when you’re not fishing, you’re also sure to enjoy the many attractions of Finland’s lively capital city, with its excellent restaurants, clubs, hotels and entertainment venues.
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There is a wide range of fly fishing waters not far from downtown Helsinki. Rivers are typical for the region. Head for Karkkila, Tainionvirta, Jaala or the River Vantaa and enjoy excellent sport for brown trout, grayling and rainbow trout.
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The fabulous Kymijoki River is one of the largest in southern Finland, collecting water from an extensive catchment area. It boasts extensive areas of rapids which are accessible by rubber dinghy, though the fishing in these rapids is naturally quite challenging. The main species you’ll find are asp, pike, grayling and rainbow trout.
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Finland’s Lakeland offers pure crystal waters and a wonderful variety of fish – in a setting that really is second to none. Brown trout and grayling abound, and there is usually equal success to be had from fishing either in a boat or on the shore.
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Central Finland boasts the sort of water that can genuinely be called a ‘flyfisher’s paradise’. There’s a feeling of being right out in the wilds, though every fishing venue is easily accessible. Brown trout and grayling are the prime catches.
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Kajaani in Finland’s north-eastern region offers excellent fishing opportunitiesd on the Eco-Rapids Tour, in the sparsely-populated lands of Finland and Russia. Visitors join locals in complying with a fishing culture that proptects the natural fish population. This means trout and grayling are usually released back into the water to grow and breed.
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Kuusamo’s wild and rugged surroundings provide the perfect backdrop for a true fishing adventure on one of the region’s mighty rivers, close to the Russian frontier. The most sought-after catch is a running trout.
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High up on the upper and lower stretches of the River Teno you will find the world’s most productive watercourse for Atlantic salmon. It flows for almost 330km from south to north, separating Finland and Norway on its way to the Tana Fjord in the Atlantic. Every year many salmon weighing more than 20kg are caught.
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Fishing opportunities year-round

In Finland you can choose your preferred catch and means of fishing according to the season.
The best time for sea trout fishing is between April and May, and also from September to November.

The white nights of the Finnish summer

One fantastic speciality of fishing in Finland is the night-time trip during midsummer. We say “night-time” but we use the words advisedly, as there is only a slight greying of the sky for an hour or two. Light nights begin north of he Arctic Circle in May, and during late June and early July there is virtually no night-time in the whole of the country. What better excuse could you want for making the very best use of time to be out fishing!

Worth knowing

Fishing seasons are extensive in Finland. Some fishing areas do not have a close season at all. For example, there is no close season in the Merikarvia river, the Lohimaa and Kymijoki rivers. They, like some other faster waters in central and southern Finland, remain open through the year.

Fishing with rod and lures in rivers, brooks, rapids and tide rips has a close season between 11 September and 15 November. Arctic char in the Vuoksi system also has a close season from 11 September to 15 November. The close season for grayling is 1 April to 31 May.

There are certain minimum catch measurements: 60cm for salmon, 40cm for land-locked salmon, brown trout, sea trout and Arctic char, 30cm for grayling and 37cm for zander.

Permits and licences

It’s best to choose the location that suits you best, because obtaining permits to fish in Finnish waters could not be simpler. With a few exceptions, no permit is required for basic angling with a hook and line, in summer or winter. In other words, the vast majority of fishing opportunities in Finland may be enjoyed completely free of charge.

If you plan to fish by means other than basic angling or ice-fishing, you will need to pay the fishing management fee (€20 for the year of €6 for seven days’ fishing) and obtain an actual fishing permit.

Special fishing sites require permission from the owner of the water area. Such permits are sold by individual fishing districts, local fishery associations, municipalities, private owners aor the National Forest and Park Service. These are required for lure fishing, other types of fishing and crayfishing.

More information

Unforgettable fishing experiences are yours for the taking in Finland. Choose the archipelago, a stretch of tranquil lake or a majestic salmon river. Let your imagination conjure up a future fishing expedition that will offer a beautiful setting and worthwhile sport!

Visit the Finnish Tourist Board website for more details:

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