Fly fishing in Tornio / Torne River in Lapland


In many rivers in Finland, such as the Tana (Tenojoki in Finnish) or the Oulujoki rivers, fly fishing already has over a century of tradition. Fly fishing traditions for the Tornio river from the 1800s or first half of the 20th century are not always found in written texts or in common knowlege. For a long time after increasing the salmon stock of the Tornio river in the early 1990s, the idea persisted that the river was not suitable for fly fishing. That myth however has been proven completely false over the past 20-30 years.

The Tornio river is a powerful river, and the core strategy for fly fishing is to find the right places to fish. You have to find fairways close to the shores that the salmon use to climb upstream. When fishing for migrating salmon, the best places are usually the rapid necks and pools, where fish rest for a moment. There are also necks and spots mid-rapids called “running pools”, where you might find salmon swimming but still willing to take the bait. Near the end of the fishing season but before the spawning season, when there are fewer migrating fish in the necks and pools, these running pools are typically areas worth trying.

Due to the large size of the river and especially at the beginning of the season, the absolute rod of choice is a two-handed salmon rod. In the cold waters at the beginning of the season, the fly should be allowed to reach the same depths that salmon are swimming. The surface current is strong, and the river often swells with floodwater. At the same time, strong lines usually bear 4-7 sinkers. The flies can be large and visible, and tube flies are popular. As summer progresses, and the water temperatures rises to about 10 ˚C, you can fish with floating or slower sinking lines. At the same time, leader lines are longer and the flies are smaller. This usually happens the week before midsummer. From this point on, the choice of line and fly are determined by the water temperature and depth. Usually, July is the warmest month of the season, and fishermen use longer leaders and smaller flies. At the end of the month, the size of the fly can grow again, but the number of flies should be more varied than at the beginning of the season.

Technically, most of the time spent fishing in a large river, you will traditionally cast a 45˚ angle downstream, swing and step, or cast a pair downstream. It rakes the migrating fish efficiently and is suited especially for cool water floating speed. In midsummer, it is worthwhile to head more across the river and give the flies more momentum. Even casting uphill and casting lines for trout can bring results. Surfboard  flies and riffling hitches should not be overlooked either. It’s never a good idea to stay locked into a single method when salmon fishing. Our guides will help you find the right tackle and techniques for catching salmon under different conditions.