The Luvanjoki water system joins the Emäjoki from the east in the very centre of Hyrynsalmi. With a length of more than 50 kilometres, this waterway has its origin near the Russian border, the waters flowing through a series of lakes — Mikitänjärvi, Luvanjärvi, Nuottijärvi and Salmijärvi — and several rivers and rapids. The most widely known of the rapids is the steep and beautiful Luvankoski, which thunders its presence at a point halfway down the Luvanjoki waterway. Another similar rapid is Nuottikoski on the downstream stretches. This lake-and-river system includes many small forest streams of interest to anglers in search of white-water fishing. The most popular rapids are located on the Mikitänjoki, which drains into Lake Luvanjärvi. The waters downstream of the Nuottikoski rapid are managed by the Salmi fishing association. The Kynäkoski eco-fishing area lies midway along the waterway, while waters upstream of the Luvankoski rapid belong to the Moisio-Luva fishing association.
The road to the Luvankoski rapid is signposted approximately 18 kilometres from Hyrynsalmi on the Hyrynsalmi–Kuhmo road (road 904). Further signs guide anglers along this narrow road for about 2km to a car park with a vending machine for fishing licences. The rapid flows through forest and is reached by a footpath. A footbridge at the head of the rapid leads to two regularly maintained lean-tos on the opposite bank, and there is a nature trail running by the river. Signs along the trail provide information on the flora, fauna and history of the rapid’s surroundings. The beauty of the rapid itself, an old watermill, a blacksmith’s croft and the two lean-tos all combine to create the ideal destination for a family nature trip.
The Luvankoski rapid is steep, strewn with boulders and with a strong current. The profile is typical of trout water, with a drop of around 8 metres between two lakes. Below the head of the rapid the water tumbles down over a bed scattered with rocks, then settling in a series of deep pools. Beyond the pools the rapid splits into an intermediate pool and a steep channel leading to the watermill. At the mill the river feeds a small waterfall, after which the three separate channels converge once again. The lower reaches of the rapid, although less turbulent than the upper sections, are extremely rocky, and remain so all the way down to Lake Niemelänjärvi. The rocky section contains deeps holes where trout thrive. Fishing with lures is best when water levels are high, with the biggest pools remaining productive throughout the season. The fly fisher might want to target pockets of smooth water behind boulders, even where the water is at its most turbulent.
Fish stock and maintenance
The most coveted game fish on the Luvankoski rapid is the lake-dwelling trout. The big fish register maintained by the Finnish Federation for Recreational Fishing records two examples of 7.7kg and 8.9kg, indicating the potential of this particular rapid. Trout averaging around one kilo are commonly caught here throughout the fishing season. Naturally, not all trout are migratory fish from lakes; to improve the chance of a catch, the fishing association stocks its own sections of the river regularly with catchable-size trout. Good-size grayling, and, on occasion, migratory whitefish from the lakes also occur in the rapid, while the waters are stocked regularly with trout and grayling fry.
- Length: 550m
- Elevation differential: 7.8m
- Average flow: 6.9 m³/s
- Services: 2 lean-tos with outhouses. Nature trail and fishing licence vending machine.