Kiekinjoki and Kesselinjoki Rivers

Two Long and Peaceful Streams Amid Wilderness







The waters of the large Saunajoki lake-and-river system, originating in the south-eastern corner of Kuhmo, fall under the control of two fishing associations. In the downstream reaches lie the water areas of the Lammasperä fishing association, while the upstream sections are managed by the Saunajärvi association. The larger of the two waterways gathers its waters from the Elimyssalo wilderness area, emptying into the River Kiekinjoki. Another river, Kesselinjoki, flows from the south-east to join the Kiekinjoki. The combined river continues as the Kesselinjoki, although this is the name of the smaller of the two rivers. Another lake-and-river system begins in the south, in the Lake Saunajärvi area, flowing as the River Louhijoki into the River Saunajoki. There are practically no populated areas along these waterways. The area boasts dozens of rapids in a wilderness where one white-water angler will rarely come across another. A number of rapids in the eastern corner of Kuhmo, located in the vicinity of roads, are stocked with catchable-size fish; otherwise the streams have a natural fish population. 



Two long rivers, Kiekinjoki and Kesselinjoki, with their plentiful rapids are located in the south-eastern corner of Kuhmo, in countryside lying between the villages of Kiekinkoski and Kesseli. Originating in Lake Kivikiekki and the Kiekinkoski rapid near the Russian border, the waterway flows over dozens of kilometres towards Lake Lammasjärvi. The Kesselinjoki joins the Kiekinjoki at the village of Kesseli.

The main reaches of this waterway comprise almost a dozen kilometres of river with good currents and at least thirteen separate rapids for which a name has been given. In the upper reaches around Keikinkoski village lies an area strewn with lakes.  The lakes are bordered by sandy beaches, and the sparsely populated village has the idyllic aura of frontier regions.  Located in the country among these lakes are two rapids, Kiekinkoski and Välikoski, both easily accessible to anglers. A tourist farm near the Kiekinkoski rapid has cabins for hire by the lakes and along the river.

The continuous stretch of the Kiekinjoki begins from Lake Puuranjärvi. The river flows through forest in a succession of rapids and pools, most of which the angler must reach by following footpaths. At over 10 metres wide the river is best suited to a light spinning or fly-fishing rod. Starting upstream, the rapids on this stretch are Niskakoski, Ankapuura, Pikkupuura, Konttikoski, Vaaranpäänkoski, Saarikoski, Haasiokoski, Vääräkoski, Kaihtunkoski and Kallioinen. There is some private land on the southern bank, but the northern bank is open to hiking and fishing, starting from the upstream logging road down as far as the road bridge, and beyond along the entire length of the Toivonkoski rapid. The stretch of the river suitable for white-water fishing adds up to around eight kilometres. The adjacent small tributary, the Kesselinjoki, also has a long series of rapids on both sides of the road, known as the Kesselinkosket. Upstream from Lake Kesselinjärvi the hiking angler will find small, peaceful rapids on the Ruotinjoki and Kälkäjoki rivers. The next fishing area is located around ten kilometres further downstream, on the rapids managed by the Lammasperä fishing association.



Here the angler’s favourite is trout. Precedence in stocking is given to the lower- and uppermost rapids on the Kiekinjoki, and, on occasion, the Kesselinkosket rapids. Catchable-size brown trout are stocked a few times in the summer, the fish spreading slowly to other rapids along these wilderness rivers. The grayling population reproduces naturally, and the waterway yields reasonable catches. Trout and grayling fry are hatched naturally, which obliges anglers to allow them to grow to reproductive sizes. Larger, lake-dwelling trout are sometimes also caught on these rapids.



Rapids from upstream to downstream:


  • Length: 220m
  • Elevation differential: 1.5m
  • Average flow: 4.2 m³/s


  • Length: 240m
  • Elevation differential: 1.5m
  • Average flow: 4.8 m³/s


  • Length: 300m
  • Elevation differential: 0.8m
  • Average flow: 4.8 m³/s


  • Length: 240m
  • Elevation differential: 4.2m
  • Average flow: 4.8 m³/s


  • Length: 250m
  • Elevation differential: 1.3 m
  • Average flow: 4.8 m³/s


  • Length: 100m
  • Elevation differential: 1.2m
  • Average flow: 4.9 m³/s


  • Length: 550m
  • Elevation differential: 5.5m
  • Average flow: 4.9 m³/s


  • Length: 160m
  • Elevation differential: 1.4m
  • Average flow: 5.0 m³/s


  • Length: 450m
  • Elevation differential: 2.8m
  • Average flow: 5.0 m³/s


  • Length: 480m
  • Elevation differential: 3.8m
  • Average flow: 5.0 m³/s


  • Length: 300m
  • Elevation differential: 1.0m
  • Average flow: 5.0 m³/s


  • Length: 380m
  • Elevation differential: 2.8m
  • Average flow: 5.0 m³/s


  • Length: 240m
  • Elevation differential: 3.2m
  • Average flow: 5.1 m³/s


Licences for white-water fishing on the Kiekinjoki, Kesselinjoki, Louhenjoki ja Saunajoki rivers: 15 €/24 hours, 40 €/3 days and 60 €/season. The licence covers the rapids on the Kiekinjoki upstream from Toivonkoski; the rapids on the Kesselinjoki, Ruotinjoki, Kälkäjoki and Louhenjoki rivers, and Niskakoski on the River Saunajoki.

Pääkkönen&Piirainen (Kuhmo), Hotelli Kainuu (Kuhmo), Reino Kela ja Jari Määttä.

Fishing forbidden: Kesselinkoski, Kiekinkoski ja Ruotinkoski.


Bag limit 1 trout or 2 grayling/24 hours


Open seasons: 1.6.-31.8.


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