Kuusinkijoki is a celebrity among fishermen. There are not many rivers that can offer you experience and fish as great as Kuusinki can. The rivers proud, brown trout can vary from two kilograms to all the way to seven kilos and beyond! Grayling fishers will also enjoy their time by the river. It is possible to catch over one kilo individuals! So be prepared to crush your previous brown trout and grayling records.
River Kuusinkijoki is the smallest of Kuusamo’s three great trout rivers. The river flows through a varied forest landscape for about 15 kilometers before it enters the border zone and eventually Russia. The width of the river varies from couple meters to almost couple hundreds. Most of the river, however, runs with the width of 15-30 meters in between of more or less steep riverbanks.
The upper reaches of the river offer a quite spacious but a bit bushy beach meadow. Around Kiukaankorva and below that the river is pressed between cliffs for a few kilometers but after that in the middle reach the river is surrounded by more friendly beach meadows and bushes. Around Takalammi it gets even a bit swampy.
Near Sipinkoski the cliffs start to rise again higher and higher straight from the river bench. This is where the most rugged landscape starts. Throughout history the river has drilled its way deeper in the rocks, and the cliffs with pines growing on them are majestic sights.
There are few flaws in the wild landscape in form of loggins which at some points are very close to the river benches. However, the loggins are not visible when the fishermen travel in the bottom of the canyons. Before Russian border, around Saunavaara the river calms down and is surrounded by sand and idyllic beach meadows
Kanava (power plant canal) - Käpysuvanto
At the moment trout fishing is forbidden in the upper reach from kanava to Melalampi! Fishing of graylings and whitefish is allowed. The fishing season in river Kuusinkijoki is between 1st of June and 31st of August.
The river Kuusinki starts from lake Ala-Vuotunkijärvi. However, fisherman is interested the part that starts after the power plant of Myllykoski. Trout run up the river even beyond the power plant thanks to fish ladder. For a common fisherman the trout are unavailable between power plant and Varisjoki. There are a couple of rivers between lakes Vuotunki and Kuukasjärvi but the fishing licences are only for the residents of Vuotunki or members of local fishing association.
Below the Myllykoski power plant is a 200-meter-long protected area and after that the actual fishing area starts with the lower Channel of the power plant. Near the upper part of the fishing area you can find a parking zone with a fireplace.
The Channel is about 1,5 kilometers long. The whole section is slow, easy and steady stream only broken by couple smaller streams joining the river and some bigger rocks in the river.
Rocks are quite easy to locate by observing the surface of the river; if there is a break on the surface, it tells you that couple meters upstream there is a rock in the bottom of the river. Those rocks are excellent places for brown trout to rest, so you should stay alert when offering your lure to those locations.
The whole Channel area is slow paced and deep so brown trout can be found basically from every spot. Locating the most promising spots, you might want to focus on any irregularities in the stream, like rocks on the bottom that breaks the stream. Also, deeper spots attract fish and if you are able to locate such pit in the river, do not hesitate to try it.
Usually typical catch from Channel includes graylings and whitefish. Especially during July, you can catch some whitefish weighing up to couple kilograms. But to catch such a thing is no walk in the park, not to mention getting it out of the river. The peaceful stream of Channel makes it difficult to fool big whitefish and the high river bluffs make it difficult to get one on the dry land. Walking on the riverside, however, is these days quite comfortable since there has been some maintenance in last few years. The fellow fishermen are often absent on the Channel area so it is a great spot for someone who seeks some peace and quiet. There is also a fireplace near the Channel’s bridge.
The Channel ends in channels neck where landscapically natural Kuusinki river begins. The neck itself is a textbook example of beginning of rapid with plenty of fish and especially good spot to catch brown trout in the end of summer. Deep and smooth riverbed rises slowly while the stream grows towards the first foams and the calm surface is broken by few promising rocks - this is the place to find your brown trout. This fact makes it also quite popular among fellow fishermen. To ensure that fishing is fair and everyone gets their chance, fishermen follow gentlemen’s rules that give equal possibilities to everyone. These rules are described in detail in separate info box.
After Channel’s neck there is a one kilometer long “Putkonen”. From Putkonen, you can find a great variety of rapids and pools. There are also nice rocks and stream edges. In the last part of Putkonen there is a calm backwater which is broken by few large rocks. In the end of summer, you can see some jumping brown trout but also the pools found on the upper rapids are great brown trout spots. These same pools act as a home for graylings and if you can’t get your grayling hits, you can assume there might be something bigger lurking somewhere near - so do not forget to try to trick those brown trout if the place seems quiet!
In overall, Putkonen is one of the best fishing spots in Kuusinki and it is also easy to reach. The road is only 20 meter away at most. This area has room for bigger fishing groups and you will probably face no waiting here. There is also a fireplace on the intersection of forest road and Paljakantie.
Below Putkonen there is a part called Käpykoski. There you can find some nice grayling pits that have the same rule than the pools in Putkonen, if there are no graylings, change to your brown trout gear!
A bit lower the rapid lets its water to Käpysuvanto, where wading fisherman can find at least big pikes. A river pike is strong fighter and can offer some delicious meal if nicely prepared.
After Käpysuvanto, the river is protected. So, no fishing on this 800-meter-long area. All protected areas are well marked so there should not be problems of accidentally fishing these locations.
Käpykoski area is one of the calmer regions of river Kuusinki. It offers fishing at your own pace. Also, it is easily reached since roads go on both sides of the river.
Vajjeus - Mustasuvanto
Next fishing area towards downstream is Vajjeus which is located after protected area. It is one kilometer long calm stream that and its main catch is grayling.
The graylings in this area are usually good in size and located all around the stream. There are still some favourite places. You can find some necks before the bigger streams and in those necks, you will find some good pits. You can try to locate them by climbing a bit higher on the river bench. Polarized sunglasses might come in handy while doing this on a sunny day. These very pits serve also as a resting points for brown trout climbing up the river. So, it might be worth it to give some effort locating these pits from the river.
Vajjeus is easy to find. When you come from upstream along Paljakantie, leave your car to the second gravel pit (ca. 3km from Suorajärvi intersection) and head for fishing. The same gravel pit holds also a fireplace.
Below Vajjeus you will find Melalampi. This pond’s shores are a good way to get your waders dirty. This pond is a great place if you are looking to break your pike record.
Unlike Melalampi, the Melalammen niska (neck) is considered to be a great spot for brown trout. Deep channel goes on the southern side of the river and especially when the nights get a bit darker in the end of summer you might find a huge brown trout from here. If you want this in the end of your fishing line, be sure to fish with low volume since this low paced neck does not forgive loud splashing and racket.
The rapid after this neck is quite short, under 100 meters. It has few nice-looking rocks. You should try these spots especially if there is reason to believe that there is a lot of travelling trout. The rapid descends to Jussinlampare, which is a good resting point for travelling brown trout.
Jussinlampare itself is hard to fish with fly fishing rod. It is more suitable for regular fishing reels. There is some weed on the bottom of river here and it makes fishing a bit tricky. Wading is also almost impossible since the river here is so deep. You can reach the bottom but your head might be under water at this point.
Anyway, there is often a big brown trout in Jussinlampare. Especially when summer comes to its end and when the sun starts to set, brown trout start to move towards the neck which is a great place to catch one during this time. There is also Kivipuronmutka which is located 100 meters towards downstream. This can also be categorized as a great brown trout area. You can identify Kivipuronmutka from the small stream (Kivipuro) which descends to river Kuusinki from south. In the mouth of this stream you can find a deep pit which is often occupied by brown trout.
From Jussinlampare-Kivipuro area you can also find big graylings, especially during the end of the season. During the best brown trout season this area can be crowded, but there is always room if you follow gentlemen’s rule. You can reach this area easiest by Paljakantie which has a sign towards Kivipuronsuu. Kivipuro stream itself crosses Paljakantie 200 meters towards Kuusamo from Vapavaara intersection. There is room to leave your car on the side of the road.
From the Kivipuro’s bend the stream grows slowly downwards to a kilometer long Kiukaankorva rapid. Kiukaankorva is the fastest rapid in the upper part of river Kuusinki. The river squeezes through high rocks and falls down with great speed. There are a great number of good pits and rocks where you might find brown trout. Especially in the beginning of July.
In the end of the rapid, the river makes a tight S-curve. In the middle of the curve is a narrow part which is good for brown trout. After the curve, river descends between high rocks towards Kiukaankorva backwater. There are few pits in the channel here and you can find both graylings and brown trout here.
Kiukaankorva backwater is big, calm and has slow stream. In the beginning of the summer, you might bigger whitefish there and towards the end of the summer, some big graylings. Rojokosken niska (neck) which starts from Kiukaankorva, on the other hand, offers better change for brown trout although it is a bit difficult to fish. There are huge rocks on the bottom of the river and on the shore as well which makes it a tricky terrain. Kiukaankorva backwater’s shores can also be a bit rough to go due to thickets.
Kiukaankorva rapid is easy to reach from Paljakantie since there are a lot of signs and a parking place. There is also a fireplace at the lower part of this rapid. Kiukaankorva backwater and Rojokoski are easier to reach from the northern side of the river. If you drive Kuusingintie for few kilometers you will see a twenty year ago chopped opening on steep hill on your right-hand side. When you see it, you know that you have arrived to Kiukaankorva backwater which is also visible to the road. It is a good idea to visit also Rojokoski once you are there. It is about 500m long rapid and its lower part is best for fishing, just before it descends to Mustasuvanto (backwater).
Mustasuvanto backwater is one of the biggest and deepest backwaters in Kuusinki. Huge greyfish and graylings that are located in this backwater sometimes dine below Rojokoski. This is one of those moments when you want to be in the right place at the right time. During autumn you can hear loud splashes in the middle of Mustasuvanto created by brown trout.
Juumankoski - Vihtamutkat
Rapid’s neck which starts from the lower part of Mustasuvanto is called either Mustaniska or Juumankosken niska, whichever the name is, it is still a great place to catch a brown trout. After the neck, there is around 1 km of rapid called Juumankoski. The most famous fishing spot there is called Juumajokisuu, which is the junction between river Kuusinki and a smaller Juumajoki river.
This river junction is worth trying especially during the beginning of summer and high waters, since rapidly flowing Juumankoski itself doesn’t really have proper resting points for rising brown trout. The whole Juumakoski area is excellent for grayling but don’t expect to break any records. The area is very spacious and there is room for plenty of fishermen.
The rapid’s neck after Juumankoski has rather poetic name: Hevonperse which literally means horses ass. The place looks very nice and you can see brown trout making ruckus during the whole summer. However, it is not considered very good place to catch them. Maybe this has something to do with the naming…
Below the neck, the river shrinks to a couple meters wide throat. After Hevonperse starts a section called Särkisuora, which on the opposite is considered as a great place to make some catches. Särkisuora is about half a kilometer in length and it is rather slow paced and deep. It offers almost every year some huge brown trout ranging around 6 to 7 kilograms. It might not come as a surprise, but this is gets quite crowded especially during July.
The best catching points are located around the junction where this small stream called Särkipuro connects to the river on the northern side of the river, but this doesn’t mean there aren’t lots of fish on the other areas as well. This place is easy to reach from north by driving to the end of Kuusingintie or from the southern side by turning from Paljakantie to a small forest road near the bridge that crosses Juumajoki.
In the end of Särkisuora, the river runs directly against rock wall and makes tight turn to right followed by hard turn towards left. This place is called upper Vihtamutka and it has a reputation as a great brown trout location. By the end of the curves there are some big boulders surrounded with deep water which may accommodate fierce rising brown trout. There is also one pit before this rocks that you shouldn’t leave without trying your luck.
Below these rocks the stream calms down and gets quite deep. There are usually good-sized graylings with good chances for brown trout as well. This slow stream ends in a curve that is even tighter than the previous ones and is called lower Vihtamutka. The section before this curve and the curve itself has nice pits for some proper fish. So, pay attention.
This area has also a good reputation as a grayling fishing spot. The average sizes and quantity are respectful. However, the lower Vihtamutka is quite tricky to reach so you should prepare for a half kilometer walk and some bushy riversides. On the flipside, this location usually lacks other fishermen.
Vihtamutka area could be considered as a middle point between upper and lower part of the Kuusinki river. The lower parts of the river can be reached from the southern side by driving Paljakantie road until there is a junction to Lohipyörre. From northern side you can approach by turning from Channel towards Suorajärvi and driving Suorajärventie for little less than 10 kilometers followed by a left turn to Jelestimantie road. There are good signs to help reach your destination.
Takalamminpuro - Paljakankoski
After Vihtamutka region, the Kuusinki river slowly continues towards Sipinlampare. This slow-paced region offers great spots for graylings. The most well-known brown trout spot here is around the river junction between Kuusinki and Takalamminpuro.
If you are approaching from the northern side by Jelestimantie road, take a turn to Takalammentie road and drive until it ends. There is less than a kilometer of walking from there. You can also take the road towards Sipinkoski since it goes near this spot.
Next section is called Sipinlampere which is a large backwater area where the stream still has some speed. This is a great area for grayling and whitefish. However, brown trout shouldn’t be forgotten when fishing here.
The river’s neck after Sipinlampare is for careful fisher. The neck is wide and very shallow. So, if you can wade carefully to a nice spot you might get lucky with some brown trout. Especially during the end of the summer on a dark and cloudy nights.
The Sipinkoski itself is a versatile, a bit over one kilometer long rapid. It offers rocks, pits and streams with good chances for rising brown trout. By the end of the rapid starts a calm Hanhisuvanto backwater which is great place for brown trout as well as grayling
Hanhisuvanto is the best regarded backwater in Kuusinki for brown trout. Big graylings and whitefish have also found their home here. The backwater is quite deep and kind of difficult to reach. The neck of Hanhisuvanto is one of the best places to make a catch. There is a short rapid after Hanhisuvanto and after that the river calms itself and is called Hanhivirta, which still remains as a respectable fishing spot for both brown trout and grayling. There is also a spot called Hanhiniska neck which is protected from 8 pm to 8 am.
After Hanhivirta there is a nice-looking neck called Veneensärkijän niska. The rapid after this neck is very strong so this is a nice resting spot for a rising brown trout. The rapid itself has good pits and rocks where the rising fish struggle forward. So, try these. The rapid is also less crowded from fellow fishermen.
Continue from the rapid and you come across to a place called Paljakanlampare. It is a small backwater between two streaming rapids where the river almost stops completely. There are few rocks that offer nice checkpoints for rising brown trout. After Paljakanlampare the rapid is a kilometer long and is called Paljakankoski. It is quite shallow and wide. Thus, there is usually no one bothered to fish. However, there are some nice pits at the upper part with some potential.
Hanhisuvanto-Paljakka region can be approached from northern side by forest roads. The mentioned Jelestiman tie road has signs towards Takkupyörre and this road goes also to Hanhiniska if you continue until the end of the road.
Takkupyörre - Lattakiven mutka
Takkupyörre is arguably one of the most legendary spots in Kuusinki. The Paljakankoski rapid calms and turns in to calm backwater while taking a tight turn to east while forming a nice swirl. There can be some foam on this swirl and if there are some insects hatching, you can find a shoal of whitefish under the foam. Dry flies and good nerves can serve you well here!
Below Paljakankoski rapid is a good spot for graylings and there might be some brown trout waiting before taking the challenge of the rapid. There is a small island and the region between this island and southern shore of the river can turn to be a good place to catch brown trout.
After the backwater the stream gets some speed again and turns in to spot called Kotiranta. This place is at its best during the end of the summer when the nights grow darker.
After Kotiranta, the stream calms down just to grow again towards a small turn which has lots of resting spots for rising fish as well as the over winter habitants. After this turn the river calms again before Takkupyörre neck. The slow-paced neck is split by a rock that can offer a catch. Below this spot there are lots of other rocks that has the same opportunities.
Takkupyörre is the most famous and best fishing spot in Kuusinki. This can be confirmed by the amounts of fellow fishermen trying their luck. So, if you want some peace and quiet, maybe this is not the right place for you, especially during July and August.
Between Takkupyörre and Lohipyörre, there are some really good resting spots for rising brown trout. The rapid has very strong stream but offers some very good spots especially when the water is warm.
There is a good spot for both grayling and rising brown trout before the Lohipyörre. Lohipyörre itself is also one of the more famous spots in Kuusinki. In 1992, a road was made to Lohipyörre and the spot has been so popular that the catches today are not in the same level that they were in the old days. Lohipyörre is easily reachable, which is fine. However, the best spot in Lohipyörre above the neck is very sensitive and with the number of fishermen there makes it difficult to approach without the fish to get stressed, especially during normal and shallow water times. It is best to fish the southern side by casting from the northern shore to avoid stressing the fish.
You can reach the northern side by taking the road to Saunavaara. There is a parking place, toilet and signs to guide you to Raatehammas and Raatekoski. The path rises around Raatehammas on the river canyons edge and goes from Raatehammas to Lohipyörre.
The rapid between Lohipyörre and Raatehammas is very good for catching the rising brown trout. After the strongest stream there is a pit with several meters of water, a good place for brown trout to be. However, this spot is extremely difficult to fish, and many leave it alone. After the stream calms down you can find a nice place to fish with some good chances for a fish as well. The southern part of the river is easily accessible from the road to Lohipyörre. However, there is a one kilometer walk.
After Raatehammas, the river grows again to a proper rapid with some good rocks in the middle of the stream. The river turns to east and you can see a big flat stone on the northern shore. The place is named after that rock to Lattakiven mutka. There are some good spots where the rising brown trout make their travel.
The Raatehammas - Lattakivi region is usually quite calm unless there has been a lot of action around Saunavaara region earlier. After the Laattakiven mutka there is about one kilometer of protected zone called Raatekosken rauhoitusalue.
All of these spots have some kind of fire or camping places. Both sides of Takkupyörre, northern side of Raatehammas and southern side of Lohipyörre have lean-tos and toilets.
Haisusaari - Rajavyöhyke, “Koivumutka region”
After the protected zone of Raatekoski, there is a large island called Haisusaari which divides the river. The northern side is smaller and calmer and can offer great spots for grayling and whitefish during the early summer with high waters. It’s not impossible to come across a brown trout either.
The bigger stream has some deep pits with very steep edges so be careful when wading. These same pits can also offer big grayling and brown trout during early summer. If you continue down from here, you come to Saunaniemi which offers some great rocks! After this the stream calms down to a backwater-like spot and offers nice spots for grayling and brown trout.
Below these lies Koivumutka, which has somewhat legendary reputation among fishers. The river makes almost a 180 degree turn and there can be fish almost anywhere. After this curve the stream gets wider and turns to lower Koivumutka.
This curve is almost as tight as the previous with similar potential for catching some brown trout. After this the river splits to two or maybe three streams. The one on the South is the biggest and best for fishing. There can be some graylings on the other two as well if the water is high. The best spots are towards the end of the island and you should continue fishing all the way until a burned lean-to.
After the burned lean-to the river turns towards east and arrives to the curve of Riippusilta (suspension bridge). Fishing after suspension bridge is forbidden all summer between 8 pm and 8 am. This leads to a fact, that the brown trout that rises from Russia is available during night only above the bridge so it can be very crowded.
The area below suspension bridge is very good for grayling and whitefish and no one forbids the brown trout to rise during daytime.
There is a beam across the river to mark border zone between Finland and Russia. This also marks the stop for fishing.
You can reach Saunavaara - Koivumutka region from northern side via Jelestima-Saunavaara forest road. Saunavaarantie road ends to a landscaped gravel pit where you can find fireplaces, hut, couple of toilets and lots of places to make a camp. This area is the most popular fishing place in Kuusinki river and sometimes is very crowded. But you can still choose your fishing times wisely to avoid waiting in lines.
The biggest line former is brown trout fishing during night times. So, remember gentlemen’s rules and wait for your turn. It really works here. During the daytime you can find yourself alone in the river and the brown trout doesn’t disappear anywhere during daytime. Coincidentally, the best brown trout spots are also good for graylings, so the daytime is better bet for grayling fishing around this region.
The fact is that most brown trout are caught during night-time. It is also a fact that there are more people trying to catch them during night-time as well. One could conclude that the changes to catch a brown trout is the same in any time of day...