AND BOATING IN THE PEARL OF ARCTIC CIRCLE
SALMON FISHING IN RIVER TORNIO AND BOATING IN THE PEARL OF ARCTIC CIRCLE
Imagine the flavour of salmon caught straight from the river, as fresh as it could ever be. A top chef waits on the riverbank, ready to grill your catch and sprinkle it with wild herbs and plants foraged from the wilderness. As the perfect end to such a magical day, imagine returning to a waterside chalet and sipping a glass of chilled vintage white, savouring your freshly grilled catch, before retiring to the privacy and silence of your idyllic wilderness accommodation.
The Tornio River’s lower course forms the natural boundary between Sweden and Finland. It is the northernmost river of Sweden, rising near the Norwegian border west of Torne Lake, the largest lake in Swedish Lapland, and flows for 570km to the Gulf of Bothnia.
The average weight of salmon in the Tornio River tends to one of the biggest of the all salmon rivers in the world, on average fish weighting up to 8 to 10kg. This river, renowned for its salmon, is the longest freeflowing river in Europe and a significant contributor to the entire culture of the Tornio River Valley. It crosses the Arctic Circle at the village of Turtola, and juts a stone throw further up on the river is located Pello, where your fishing experience awaits for you. Your driver-guide and local fishermen aren’t the only ones joining you to the banks of the river, but also your chef waiting for you to catch the meal of the day. Side dishes are freely growing in the region; wild herbs and plants giving a great addition to you freshly flamed salmon.
Best time for fishing in Lapland runs from mid June to Mid September, depending on the region, fish and methods used. TravelScapes Action’s chefs will always invite you to join on the process of preparing your catch of the day, and introduce you to the traditional methods used for cooking fish, such as smoking and blazing.
DAY 1 - THE ARRIVAL
On your arrival to Rovaniemi airport, you will meet your guide who will be your host during your stay with us. During your 1,5 to 2 hours drive towards destination Pello by River Tornio, your guide will run through the programme for the coming days and introduce you to the region.
On your arrival to your water-side chalet, your chef invites you for a welcome meal, and it’s time to rise a glass or two for your adventure that has just begun!
As you enjoy the meal with your fishermen, that will be with you the coming days, you’ll hear stories about the fish-driven life in the Arctic. Here we still rely on natural resources, such as fish, game, mushroom, root vegetables, wild herbs and berries. This will be shown on your plate during your stay too!
After the meal we set out in the boats, rowing in the calm waters of Miekojärvi Lake. With natural white sandy beaches in the midst of tranquil wilderness, this glittering lake district offers total peace of mind in a truly stunning setting. Surrounded by old-growth forest, the scenery differs greatly from that of the Tornio River, fed by the lake. It’s a day for simpler line-and-hook fishing, yielding catches of whitefish, perch and pike – and another sumptuous menu.
Once back from at your water-side chalet, you are sure to enjoy a glass of white wine to go with the fish, and perhaps enjoy the warmth of sauna before retiring in the comfort of your private wooden chalet.
DAY 2 - SALMON IN SWEDISH: LAX
As you wake up, the sun is already high up calling you out. Today we set off to Swedish side of the Tornio River. As the river is fairly wide, we use traditional river boats to reach the best parts of the river for fly fishing. These narrow boats are designed for salmon trolling and steering in turbulent waters, yet due to natural challenges in the streams, we’ll always have a qualified fishermen guiding us on the rivers.
We will be able to guide you on the rights spots, and tell you all about the use of traditional Finnish lures, wobblers, flies and spoons. In addition your guide will be explaining you the colour variations and the behaviour of these kings of the Arctic rivers, that have been keeping our nations fed for centuries. And today it’s you that will be enjoying the flavour of fresh salmon, first we just need to catch some!
DAY 3 - SALMON IN FINNISH: LOHI
After another sunlit night, the day out in the Arctic is calling you back to the riverside. Today we head for the trout and grayling zigzagging in the branching of Tornio River. Grayling fishing with dry flies and nymphs will provide you with yet another fishing experience, as your fisherman will be introducing you to mayfly and caddisfly hatch. The chef remains on hand to prepare another exquisitely fresh meal based on the day’s catch.
DAY 4 - LIFE IN A SALMON VALLEY
After three days of fishing, it’s time to check out from your chalet. The surrounding wilderness invites you to step closer, as it is time for a short stroll in the forest. We’ll climb up to Pieksänjupukka with incredible panoramic views giving to Miekojörvi lake district. Along the route you’ll witness a continuum of time; thousands of years old traces of the retreating Ice Age, hundreds of years preserved ancient pines, and more recently the signs of forestry, as well as new species planted in the region.
Afterwards we’ll drive to Kukkolankoski, south from Pello on river Tornio, where we can witness old-fashioned fishing method ‘lippoaminen’. Here the fishermen wait patiently with long stick with a net on the tip of it, as the whitewish or salmon rests in a current of the river, the fisherman can catch the fish with the net. We’ll enjoy a lunch in idyllic Kukkolaforsen settings, and pay a visit to local fishing museum.
As we arrive to Rovaniemi and your felltop chalet for the final night, your chef is already waiting with a dinner. In the evening there’s still time to have a hike in the surrounding wilderness before we take you out for a cruise on a river raft to witness the midnight sun that refuses to set behind the horizon. As we are in Finland, as expected there’s a sauna on the boat, and as a contrast for the heath of the sauna, you may wish to have a dip in the cooling water of River Ounas.
DAY 5 - CHALLENGING WHITE WATER
After your final breakfast in Lapland, it’s time to check out from your chalet before your guide takes you for yet another experience. You’ll be taken to River Raudanjoki, where the raft is waiting for you, ready to take you for a 10km challenge on the white waters. After instructions and testing on calm waters, we’re set to go. The most challenging part comes in Vikaköngäs, when you can only hear the rumble and thunder of the fast flowing rapids. As we descend to Vaattunki, it’s time to steer the raft on the riverbank and get dry by the open fire your chef has prepared for you, alongside a farewell lunch.
After a hearty meal it’s time to hop on the car, as your guide will take you to the airport. You can get changed in TravelScapes Action’s vip lounge at the airport before it’s time to say goodbyes to your host and check in for your homeward flight. We hope the memory of the fresh fish, clear waters and pristine wilderness will travel home with you!
YOUR ALL-INCLUSIVE BUT EXCLUSIVE SALMON FISHING EXPERIENCE
- 3 nights accommodation in a fully-equipped lakeside chalet with sauna
- 1 night accommodation in a fully-equipped fell-top chalet with sauna
- All transfers
- Full-time host
- 2 – 3 fishing guides
- All fishing equipment and permissions in Finland and Sweden
- All required boats and gear
- Fullboard with full-time private chef, including various culinary experiences
- Daily house wines, soft drinks and snacks
- Visit to fishing museum in Kukkolaforsen and lunch
- Midnight cruise on a sauna boat
- White water rafting and guide
- Guided foraging, walks and hikes
- Horse back riding on the river islands
- Quad bike ride
- Mountain biking
- Disc golf or golf
- Visiting reindeer herders
- Visit to sustainable amethyst mine
- Kayaking or canoeing