HomeIn EnglishTourismWater and Fishing Tourism
Water and Fishing Tourism

Laakajärvi2.jpgThe diverse bodies of water of Sonkajärvi offer something for everyone. A tranquil boat trip is possible on the multiple lakes; rapids and rivers offer a more brisk experience. The height difference between the headwater lakes near the border of Kainuu and Haukivesi two hundred kilometres to south is over 90 metres, and the short rivers between the multitudinous lakes tend to be fast-flowing. Fishing grounds suitable for sport fishing are great in number and are suitable for example for fly fishing, angling, and ice fishing.


The 25 kilometres long Nurmijoki is one of the few river routes in the Northern Savonia. The river includes several rapids some of which are relatively calm, others foaming and more rapid. All rapids can be shot by a boat or canoe. The route begins at Jyrkkä and ends at Koirakoski from where one can take oneself all the way to the Saimaa proper. There are several campsites along the route. All the rapids are classified according to the International Scale of River Difficulty.

Class I: Fast moving water with riffles and small waves. Few obstructions, all obvious and easily missed with little training. Risk to swimmers is slight; self-rescue is easy.
Class II: Straightforward rapids with wide, clear channels which are evident without scouting. Occasional maneuvering may be required, but rocks and medium-sized waves are easily missed by trained paddlers.

Rapid Classification Length (m) Height Difference (m)
Jyrkkäkoski  I, II  110  4,1 
Haapakoski  I, II  1050  2,5 
Päsmärinkoski  I, II  1200  5,4 
Nurmikoski  700  3,9 
Koivukoski  300  0,8
Leppikoski  500  0,4
Saarikoski  300  0,9 
Mäkäräkoski  750  2,3 
Aittokoski  1300  2,4 
Koirakoski  I, II  350  3,5 


Beginning from Sukeva and ending after 74 km in Iisalmi, Matkusjoki flows comparatively tranquilly through cultivated land. There are, however, several small rapids. Matkusjoki is suitable for paddling and boating.

Taimen Gösta Sundman placeholder.jpgAlready in the 19th century the Finnish novelist Juhani Aho, a fly fishing enthusiast, praised the merits of Nurmijoki that has consequently a long-standing reputation as an ideal fishing ground. The rapids of the river were dredged during the heyday of log floating but have been restored decades ago to enable recreational fishing and canoeing. Nowadays the rapids and lakes of the route tempt sport fishers from near and far. The original fish stock of the river consists of trout and grayling, but fisherman’s luck is aided by stocking fish annually. Recreational fishing is furthermore supported by releasing full-grown trout four to five times a season to the river. The committee that actively takes care of the stock of fish in the river was grounded thirty years ago by the owners of the waterbodies. During the high season the first rapids of the route may be a bit crowded but one does not have to go far to enjoy of the total peace of the wilderness.

The water of the lakes and river contains a small amount of humus. The lack of agriculture along the river has nevertheless ensured the purity of the water.

Both flies and lures provide catch. Fishing from canoe is possible on lakes and peaceful streams. At rapids only spinning is possible. The roads on the both sides of the river have signs leading to the fishing spots.


Haajaistenjärvi is a regulated headwater lake with an area of 450 hectares. The lake is particularly suitable for lure fishing, and the use of nets is prohibited during the fishing season (1.6.–30.9.). As the regular stocking of trout significantly raises the probability of catch, it is no wonder that Haajaistenjärvi has become a favourite target visited even from considerable distances. Pike perch is the most probable catch when the water has warmed, and the number of pike is great as well, but the main attraction of the lake is nevertheless the trout. Fish is aplenty, but the laws of nature can be cruel – the choice of the colour and size of the lure is of a grave importance. The water of the lake is quite dark, and bright red colours are the safest choice.

Sale of Fishing Licenses

Fishing licenses are sold at several places in Sonkajärvi and Iisalmi. A list of the current retailers of licenses can be asked from the citizen service of the municipality (+35840 675 0001).

It is to be noted that the rapid in Jyrkkä is not administered by the trout committee administering the rest of Nurmijoki; an additional license is required.

Map of Nurmijoki