On the Puutionkoski Rapid
The best thing about Puutionkoski is its peaceful natural surroundings, despite being only four kilometres from Puolanka’s municipal centre. The water is relatively clear, only slightly tinted by humus. The best fishing spots are found along the edges of the main current, on a stretch starting at the bridge and reaching as far upstream as the head of the rapid. During the course of an entire summer, you rarely see other anglers on Puutionkoski’s banks. Grayling is the standard catch here, and sometimes a fairly big one. Fish can be longer than the statutory 35cm minimum, but when I catch one I always release it. Now I’m out to break the 50cm barrier.
Good-sized trout move into the rapid from the nearby lakes to feed. Once or twice I’ve been left cursing and waving goodbye to some monster that has broken my leader ─ although some nice-size specimen has managed to release itself without breaking the line. On the night of 27 June, at 1:30 am, a large trout materialised from the turbulent water and hit my dark-coloured streamer. After playing the fish for around 20 eventful minutes, I finally managed to slip my landing net around this really neat specimen. By then I was a hundred metres downstream from the spot where I first hooked it. There were several times when I thought I might lose it, when it parked itself under a willow bush, or knocked the frame of my landing net, or made a long dash downstream. I even fell down once when my boots lost grip on the slippery rocks, water gushing into my waders. The trout was a 65cm-long male with a decent weight of 3.5 kilos.
Kari Hartikainen, Puolanka