RIVER OULANKAJOKI – THE QUIET OF THE WILDERNESS

 

Fishing licence sales offices for river Oulankajoki found in here...

(THE UPPER (northern) PART OF THE RIVER OULANKAJOKI)

 

More information: Tourist Info Kuusamo, Torangintaival 2, Kuusamo

Tel. +358 40 860 8365


The best sandy beaches in Kuusamo are found at River Oulankajoki. River Kitkajoki is more rugged and wild with its rolling rapids and quiet waters alternating between deep canyon banks. These rivers are situated in the middle of Finland’s most beautiful wilderness, but they are still very easily accessible.


Despite its grandness and beauty, River Oulankajoki is not visited by as many fishers as its two tributaries, River Kitkajoki and River Kuusinkijoki. The most famous hiking trail in Finland, Karhunkierros, follows River Oulankajoki and River Kitkajoki in many places. It is advisable to bring fishing equipment with you on a hike along Karhunkierros Trail, as there are also many good wilderness lakes on the way.


River Oulankajoki flows proudly through Oulanka National Park. The brown trout that migrate to Finland from the Russian Lake Paanajärvi reach River Oulankajoki first. In the beginning of the fishing season many trout are caught at Kiutaköngäs rapid, because not all trout are able to rise above it. Below Kiutaköngäs it is possible to fish from both banks of the river. Kiutaköngäs is an excellent early summer fishing beat, and after Midsummer most fishermen move to River Kitkajoki or River Kuusinkijoki.


Below Kiutaköngäs it is easiest to fish with spinning rods and lures, but downstream there are plenty of good stretches for fly fishermen as well. The easiest access to River Oulankajoki is through Liikasenvaarantie road, from where you should take a right turn to Nurmisaarenniemen metsätie forest road. If you drive along Jäkälämutkantie road, you will end up at Jäkälämutka. These areas are extremely well-suited for canoeing. At Jäkälämutka canoe slipway beach there is a new hut for 25 people, a toilet and a shed, available for use for everybody.


Kiutaköngäs rapid is the traditional and still fashionable early summer trout venue, but the rest of River Oulankajoki usually sees relatively few fishermen on its banks. The river stretches for kilometres both upstream and downstream from Kiutaköngäs, and there are many good slowly flowing spots where fish are plentiful. River Oulankajoki is a wide river, in narrow passages 10-15 metres from bank to bank, but in places of quiet water over 100 metres at best. The distance from the starting point at Salla municipality border to the Russian border zone, where the fishing area ends, is approximately 35 km. 

Trout at Midsummer

Brown trout rising from Lake Paanajärvi almost invariably reach River Oulankajoki first. On the first day of the fishing season, on 1 June, a catch of several trout is not uncommon at Kiutaköngäs rapid.


All trout are not capable to rise above the rapid, and this means that there are more trout below the rapid than elsewhere on this beat. Below Kiutaköngäs it is possible to fish from both banks of the river. A wide path leads to the south bank from Oulanka Nature Centre. The distance from the Centre to the rapid is one kilometre. On the north bank there is a small road which ends near the river, below the rapid.

Immediately below Kiutaköngäs it is best to fish with spinning rods and lures, but near and below the small island mid-river there is enough room and a good flow for fly fishermen. For most fishermen Kiutaköngäs is an early summer venue, even if trout are caught there throughout the summer.


Above Kiutaköngäs there are long slow-flowing stretches in the river. Deep beats where the stream is slow are short, but there are longer rapids at Taivalköngäs and Hepokoski. The depth of the stream varies from under a metre to several metres. Grayling is plentiful in the area, and best places to fish are rapids, slowly flowing stretches and also places where quiet waters turn into fast-flowing streams.


On the stretch between Taivalköngäs and Liikasenvaarantie road the fisherman has to walk several kilometres in order to reach the farthest fishing spots. Below Kiutaköngäs the river flows through handsome pine forests, where the riverside landscape is dominated with wide sandbanks.


Between long stretches of quiet waters there are a few fast-flowing spots where a catch of grayling is guaranteed. These places are easily accessible via Jäkälämutkantie road. The best grayling ground at Heikkisenniva and Taipaleenniva are at a walking distance, 3-5 km, from Kiutaköngäs.


The lower reaches of River Oulankajoki are perfect for canoeing. It is easy to set canoes or kayaks to the water right below Kiutaköngäs, and there are no dangerous or difficult rapids downstream from there. A spinning rod or fly fishing gear travels easily in a canoe. At places of deep water and brisk flow you can stop for a while and do some casting from a sandy beach.