The Kuusamo area is rich with lakes, ponds, rivers, and brooks – all interesting places for a fisherman to visit.

However, the greatest interest is usually focused on the three large rivers which flow to the east, namely River Oulankajoki, River Kitkajoki, and River Kuusinkijoki. Every summer the migrant brown trout return to these great rivers, to their birthplace, to breed. In Finland, these trout are unique in size.

The biggest brown trout caught from the three great rivers exceed 7 kilos every year. To be sure, super trout like these are few and far between, but the average weight of the Kuusamo trout is impressive: nearly always the scales show weights of over two kilos!


                 Find guided river fishing trips from here…

                 Rivers are marked on our fishing site map here…

Trout’s journey from their birthplace to Russia and back

The brown trout rise to the Kuusamo rivers from Lake Paanajärvi and Lake Pääjärvi, which are both located on the Russian side of the border. The trout are born in rivers in Finland, and spend their first 3-5 years in their native river. Then they descend to the great Russian lakes to grow. Some of the trout stay in Lake Paanajärvi, and some travel further down to Lake Pääjärvi.

The fish return to Finland when they have grown to a weight of nearly two kilos. The purpose of their return is to procreate, i.e. the trout come to their birthplace to spawn.

After the trout have risen to the river, they do not feed at all. This special characteristic, together with the exceptionally large size of the fish, is what makes the Paanajärvi trout unique in Finland. The Paanajärvi trout is temperamental and difficult to catch. There are many similarities between the behaviour of the rising brown trout and the Atlantic salmon.

The fishing season on River Oulankajoki, River Kitkajoki, and River Kuusinkijoki begins on 1 June and ends on 31 August. Nature reserve areas are marked clearly with signs, and their locations are also mentioned in the fishing permit. Nature reserves are mostly important fry production areas, and their locations have been carefully selected for this purpose.


Small rivers in Kuusamo

In addition to the three great trout rivers, there are plenty of other flowing waters in Kuusamo. These rivers are not usually crowded with fishermen. For the exploring angler, there is a good chance of finding an untouched fishing site where he can enjoy the tranquillity of the wilderness, surrounded only by the sound of the flowing water.

People going to River Kuusinkijoki often travel past some of the finest smaller rivers on the area. The most famous of these are River Varisjoki and River Suininkijoki, rich with trout and grayling. The waters of both these rivers flow towards River Kuusinkijoki, and the fishway at Myllykoski rapid makes it possible for the Kuusinki trout to enter these waters freely. Both rivers also host an original trout population, but catching a mighty trout is not unheard of at River Varisjoki or River Suininkijoki.

The grayling, and the River Varisjoki whitefish especially, are good additions to the range of catch available in these two rivers. The River Varisjoki fishing permit covers an area of seven kilometres, where there are many good sites to fish. A smaller river, River Maivajoki, is situated between Lake Maivajärvi and Lake Kiitämäjärvi. This river is a good place for catching grayling, whitefish, and even some brown trout. The fishing area is 3.8 km in total, of which there are 500 metres of fast-flowing rapids. River Pukarijoki is a small and modest fishing site on the east of Lake Kiitämäjärvi. The size of this fishing area is 2.3 km, with only 300 metres of rapids. Don’t let the small size of the water keep you from an adventure, as there are some fat graylings lurking under water, waiting to be caught!

Lake salmon in South-East Kuusamo

River Pistojoki provides a way for lake salmon to rise from Russia to the waters of South-East Kuusamo. The most famous fishing rapids are called Multikoski rapid, Piikstammi, and River Syväjoki. Multikoski rapid is rich with grayling and whitefish. River Syväjoki is a deep and slowly flowing river, a perfect site for dry-fly fishing. Copper-toned spinners and lures attract the famous big grayling of this river. Piikstammi is a gateway between Lake Muojärvi and Lake Joukamojärvi, which the lake salmon of River Pistojoki use for travelling between waterways.

Lake Iijärvi is the starting point of River Iijoki waterway. The first chain of rapids on this waterway is called Poussunkoski. It is a well-known fishing site rich with trout, whitefish, and grayling. There is a long casting platform at Poussunkoski, which makes it easy for even the disabled angler to fish there. The waters from this part of Kuusamo flow south-west, finally reaching the sea.

River Korpuajoki is a tributary stream of River Kostonjoki, a dark-watered and slightly rough area, but at the same time an easy water to fish. River Korpuanjoki is rich with fine grayling, and in places also with trout. The flow of River Kuoliojoki is broken into numerous rapids where grayling, whitefish, and pike lurk under the roiling water. A fisherman can consider himself lucky, if a brown trout bites into his lure at River Kuoliojoki. This is not an impossible scenario, but an uncommon one at that.

River Säynäjäjoki is a stream found almost at the centre of Kuusamo town. It is located only 5 kilometres from the town square, and it is a sure site for catching ide. There is also a population of whitefish in this river, and grayling is among the regular catch as well.

Permit needed for all waters
A fishing permit is needed for these smaller rivers and streams. Permits can be bought from Kuusamo Tourist Office at Karhuntassu, and from Ruka Tourist Information. In addition to the rivers and streams introduced here, there are numerous other fine fishing waters in Kuusamo. Many interesting sites for an exploring angler can be found on the fishing site map.