The joint permit area of the Korvuanjoki and Näljänkäjoki Rivers is a 110 kilometres long river fishing destination in the sparsely populated wilderness of North Ostrobothnia and Kainuu. The area covers dozens of running waters and rapids of various lengths. The waters of the permit area are owned by seven separate joint ownership associations, one private owner and Metsähallitus.
The rivers were once cleared for log driving but they have later been restored to be more hospitable to salmonids. The most probable and sought-after target species in the area is grayling, but there are also places where you can catch trout. The fish stock is primarily natural as the rivers haven't been stocked with fish in years. In order to secure the viability of the area's fish stocks, stricter permit terms are in place in Korvua-Nälkäjoki than in other recreational fishing destinations that are managed with plantings of catch-sized fish. Catching fish in these rivers can be a challenge, but skilful angling is rewarded with majestic, fully-finned salmonids that will not give up without a fight!
There are over 60 rapids in the area and numerous smaller running waters, so there is plenty of room to fish in. Many of the rapids are accessible by car while reaching some of the others requires some walking and their shores can have thickets and rocks that make them difficult to traverse. Most of the rapids are situated in areas where forestry is practiced, but there are also protected shores and old forests within the permit area.
The Eräluvat team went fishing at Korvua-Näljänkäjoki. Watch a video of the excursion in YouTube.
Purchasing a permit
In the joint permit area of the Korvua-Näljänkäjoki rivers, the customer can choose between a validity period of 24 hours, 7 days or the entire season. The angling permit prices are as follows:
|Permit validity||Permit price|
|24 hours||10 €|
|7 days||30 €|
|Entire season||50 €|
Persons under 18 years of age can buy the angling permit at half price.
Persons under 15 years of age may fish under the angling permit and within the fishing quota of an adult belonging to the same party, without needing to purchase an angling permit of their own.
Where to purchase A permit
You can pay licences using the most common payment methods in the online store (verkkokauppa.eraluvat.fi).
Metsähallitus' fishing permits may also be purchased by phone. The service is open on
weekdays from 9 AM to 3 PM.
With the Eräluvat app, you can purchase angling permits easily and quickly. You can pay with a debit or credit card. Read the instructions for using the app.
As of 1 January 2020, mobile permits are no longer available. This is due to mobile network operator’s decision not to provide the current service anymore.
Suomussalmi: TB Turjanhovi (service station)
Suomussalmi: Experience KL Oy / Hossa visitor centre
Pudasjärvi: Neste Pudasjärvi (service station)
Taivalkoski: Experience KL Oy / Kylmäluoma Camping
Kontiomäki: Kainuun Tähti Oy / Neste Kontiomäki (service station)
Permit terms for the area1 June–31 October. Check the protection periods in the permit terms.
What does the permit entitle the holder to?
A Korvua-Näljänkäjoki angling permit 5574 grants the right to fish in the river areas using lures or flies.
Hook and line fishing and ice fishing are prohibited in rapids and running waters regardless of whether the person has an angling permit or not.
Other Metsähallitus angling permits or simply paying the fisheries management fee does not grant the right to fish in rapids and running water sites.
The Korvua-Näljänkäjoki joint permit area has three rotating protected areas, some of which are protected at any given time. The protected areas change every three years. Anglers must check the current protected areas on our PDF maps, which are available in conjunction with the permit area map.
In addition to the rotating protection areas, the permit area includes the following permanently protected areas, which are
- the section between Myllykoski and Taivalkoski rapids in Korvuanjoki (PDF map 1) and
- the Mustarinta fishery area, which stretches from the wilderness cabin to Hätämutka (PDF map 3).
Trout fishing is also prohibited on the section between the Raumankoski and Louhenkoski rapids in Korvuanjoki (PDF map 2).
The regional restrictions are marked on the permit area map and on the more detailed maps available in conjunction with it.
One angler may use a maximum of one (1) rod with one line. The rod must be in the angler’s hand or within reach.
Only fly fishing gear can be used when fishing in Naamankajoki River.
Catch quotas and catch reports
The maximum number of fish that an angler may catch is indicated in the table below:
|Permit validity||Maximum catch|
|24 hours||2 grayling or 1 trout|
|7 days||2 grayling or 1 trout per day|
|Entire season||2 grayling or 1 trout per day|
There is no fishing quota limit for other fish species.
The 24-hour catch quota cannot be increased by purchasing several permits for the same 24-hour period.
Catch sizes and protection periods
The following catch sizes and protection periods for fish species are in effect for this permit area:
|species||Catch Size||Protection period|
|Trout with adipose fin||At least 60 cm||In rapids and running waters 1.9.–30.11.|
|Trout without adipose fin||At least 50 cm||In rapids and running waters 1.9.–30.11.|
|Grayling||At least 35 cm, in Korvuanjoki River at least 40 cm||1.4.–31.5.|
Trout fishing is prohibited on the section between Raumankoski and Louhenkoski rapids in Korvuanjoki (PDF map 2).
Anglers must observe the catch sizes and protection periods specified in the Fishing Decree for other fish species.
Water temperature has a significant impact on the survival of salmonids after they are released. When water temperatures approach +20 °C, you should use judgement before you decide to fish for salmonids. In waters warmer than this, fishing for salmonids should be avoided. In such situations, it is advisable to focus on species that are more resistant to heat, such as zander, pike and perch. See guidelines for responsible fishing.
Services in the area
When planning a fishing trip, keep in mind the fact that the Korvua-Näljänkäjoki joint permit area is located in a scarcely populated region and the services offered there are quite modest. The distances between the different rapids are long and there are not very many stores and service stations.
A list of accommodation in the area has been collected in this file in Finnish (PDF, 82 kb, opens in a new tab). You can also look for accommodation and other tourism services on the following websites:
- Suomussalmi website (suomussalmi.fi)
- Pudasjärvi website (pudasjarvi.fi)
- Puolanka website (puolanka.fi, in Finnish)
- Taivalkoski tourism website (visittaivalkoski.fi).
Grayling is the primary catch in Korvua-Näljänkäjoki and it is quite evenly distributed across the permit area. The best times for grayling fishing are the days around Midsummer in June and in the autumn when the waters are slightly cooler, which is when big grayling are especially active and willing to take the bait. In the autumn the fish move to calmer sections, such as the final or first stretches of rapids. Generally, grayling like to spend time in parts that are deep enough, have only a mild current and provide enough protection. The grayling in the area are, on average, 20–40 cm long, but the largest whoppers can measure in at over half a metre.
Trout can be found every now and then in all of the waters in the area, but the best chance to catch one of
these spot-sided fish is in the Korvuanjoki River. Early and late summer are good times to go fishing for trout. As opposed to grayling, trout likes the faster parts of rapids, even surprisingly rough ones. Hooking a catch-sized trout in the area can be a challenge, but it is by no means impossible.
- Trout is protected between 1.9.–30.11. As a responsible angler, you will avoid fishing andwading in waters where there is trout during this period.
Anglers should look for remote rapids that have been spared the brunt of heavy fishing pressure. One of the main benefits of a large permit area such as this one is that its waters are more resistant to fishing pressure than individual rapids fishing destinations. There are always spots to be found that have been left alone by other anglers. Careful planning, looking at maps and hiking can be handsomely rewarded.
During heat waves, catching either grayling or trout can be challenging because of the low water level and warm surface waters. When the weather is especially warm, you should do your fishing in the evenings or at night.
In order to trick passive fish, you should try holding the lure or fly in place in front of where you think the fish is. The fish might be prompted to strike after a surprisingly long wait!
The area is a great destination for canoeing anglers. The main channels always have enough water even during the driest periods.
- The rapids of the area can be fished using regular lure and fly fishing tackle of the small or medium-sized variety. Ultra-light tackle will also do just fine and make grayling-catching very pleasurable, especially when using lures.
- Wading gear makes fly fishing much easier, as in many places you won't have a lot of casting space behind you and the vegetation on the shore can be thick. A wading stick or other such accessory might also come in handy, as some of the rapids are quite difficult to wade in.
- As for lures, small spinners and river plugs are worth a try. You should also try small double-hooked lures in either gold or silver.
- As for flies, black/brown beaded nymphs, black leeches, Muddler Minnows, small tinsels and the Ylämaan Pajero have all helped anglers reach the desired results.
Fish plantings are no longer conducted in the area and a considerable number of years has passed since the waters were last artificially stocked. As a result, the angler can expect to catch fish that are the result of natural reproduction cycles. If the need arises, fry-stocking of native species (grayling, trout) is a possibility.
- The rivers in the area were restored between 1990 and 2002. The latest restoration effort took place in 2010 when gravel spots were created in the Korvuanjoki River to serve as trout spawning areas.
- The last time the permit area was artificially stocked was in 2008.
Clearing of the rivers
The permit area is a part of the Näljänkä route of the Iijoki water system. The rivers in the are
a were known for their abundance of fish in the past, but in the 1950s and 1960s the rivers were cleared to facilitate log driving. This marked the beginning of the end for the salmonids in these waters as the rocks that provided the fish with protection were removed and the spawning areas were caused significant harm. The situation was made worse by the ditching of forests that took place during that same period. These conditions hit the trout population especially hard and the viability of the fish stock was completely nullified.
The Environment Centres of Northern Ostrobothnia and Kainuu took to restoring the area's rapids between 1988 and 2002. The latest restoration effort in the are a took place in 2010 when Metsähallitus created dozens of gravel spots in the Korvuanjoki River to serve as trout spawning areas.
The most recent recovery plantings into the restored rapids were conducted in 2007 and no plantings have been conducted since then, except for a few test plantings of fry-sized salmon and sea trout. These tests were a part of the research project The Return of Migratory Fish to the Iijoki River.
Current state of fish stocks
Grayling is the most important catch species in the rapids and running sections of Korvua-Näljänkäjoki and the species is spread evenly across the area. To revitalise the population, the restored rapids were stocked with grayling between 1999 and 2006. These planted fish were from the stock of the Iijoki River. Today the area's grayling stocks are vibrant and reproduce naturally.
The Rivers Naamankajoki, Näljänkäjoki, Lylyjoki, Korvuanjoki and Korpijoki are great spots
for grayling catching. The rapids of Näljänkäjoki and Korvuanjoki have been known to hide particularly sizable specimens.
Trout is a much rarer catch, as its spawning in the area is quite minimal with the exception of certain river sections. Trout is relatively populous in the Korvuanjoki River, but even there the fry production fluctuates greatly from year to year. There are signs indicating that the trout of Korvuanjoki feed in Lake Korvuanjärvi, which is indeed a good vendace lake. However, trout that have migrated back into the rivers from the lakes are few and far between.
Trout was stocked into the restored rapids between 1999 and 2007. The plantings were conducted using fish from the stocks of the Rautalammi route and the Jyrävä side of Kitkajoki River. The side channels of the rivers are home to a local dwarfed trout variety called "tonko", and these streams also function as fry areas for trout that migrate into the main channel. As a result, one should leave these side channels alone; they are also not included in the permit area.
The most important fry production areas in the Korvuanjoki River are completely protected from fishing and the fry production in these areas is carefully monitored. The area's rivers also feature pike and perch, whichare known to strike at lures even in the rapids sections. There is also whitefish in the rivers, but it is a rare catch in the rapids.
RIVERS AND DISCHARGES
|Naamankajoki||3,85 m3/s (lower section)|
|Korvuanjoki||7,1 m3/s (lower section)|
|Näljänkäjoki||14,2 m3/s (lower section)|
Rivers of the permit area
Korpijoki is the main river in the Näljänkä route and it is the channel through which all of the
waters of the permit area run towards the Iijoki River. The significance of Korpijoki is especially visible in the size of the river's rapids. The permit grants anglers the right to fish in the upper reaches of Korpijoki over a 7 km stretch (from Vääräkoski Rapids to Korpikoski Rapids). The Korpikoski Rapids are by themselves over 2 km long.
- Average width: 20–45 metres.
- Target species: Grayling, Trout (on occasion).
- The rapids are difficult to wade in.
- Hot spots: Korpikoski Rapids.
Kalle Päätalo, one of Finland's most treasured authors, spent four summers as a log driver in Korvuanjoki in the 1930s. Korvuanjoki also has a fascinating history with freshwater pearl mussels: in 1925, the famed pearl hunter Konrad Hollo found the largest pearl in all of Kainuu in the river, and legend has it that this pearl ended up in either the Swedish or English court and became a crown jewel. As a result of excessive pearl hunting and log driving, which ravaged the river's ecosystem, the mussel population collapsed together with the salmonid populations. Today the area only has sparse colonies formed by old mussels that have not reproduced in years. The freshwater pearl mussel is a protected species and it may not be touched or plucked out of the water. Several projects are underway to find ways to revitalise the area's mussel populations.
Korvuanjoki begins in Lake Korvuanjärvi and runs into the Korpijoki River. This stretch of the permit area is 50 km long, with over 10 km of rapids (total length of all fast-flowing sections is almost 20 km). The drop height between Lake Korvuanjärvi and the Korpijoki River is approximately 100 metres. Korvuanjoki was restored in its entirety between 1988 and 2002, after which a large section of the river remained protected for a long time. This reinforced the river's trout stocks especially and bolstered natural reproduction cycles. As the new joint fishing permit area came into being, protection was lifted from certain areas, but the most significant fry production areas remain protected to this day. Korvuanjoki is the river with the clearest water in the area.
- Length: 50 km
- Average width: 12–14 m.
- Target species: Grayling, Trout.
- The area surrounding Kurjenkoski Rapids may only be fished using regular fly fishing tackle.
- Hot spots: Purkajankoski Rapids (begins in Lake Korvuanjärvi), Murrennuskoski Rapids, Säynäjänkoski Rapids and Lahnasenkoski Rapids, where there is a hut and campfire site maintained by the village association of Metsäkylä.
The rapids of Lylyjoki were restored in 1994. The riveris born in Lake Lylyjärvi and runs into the Näljänkäjoki River.
- Length: 20 km
- Average width: 12–15 m.
- Target species: Grayling, (Trout).
- Hot spots: Kinkelinkoski Rapids (lean-to shelter and campfire site), Taivalkoski Rapids.
Välijoki is a small river fishing destination with only a couple of shoots and rapids. Its shores are bushy
and hard to traverse. Välijoki is a great spot for anglers who prefer a challenge!
- Length: 3 km
- Average width: 4–6 m.
- Target species: Grayling, Trout, Pike.
The Näljänkäjoki River begins in Lake Näljänkäjärvi and runs into the Korpijoki River via Lake Suolijärvi. The drop height of this leg is 47 metres in total. The upper reaches of the river are small, but downstream the channel widens and reaches a significant size by the Vääräkoski and Kiehtäjänkoski Rapids. There are certain parts of Näljänkäjoki that were protected for a long time prior to the establishment of the joint permit area (namely the Rapids Juurikkakoski, Pitkäkoski and Kiehtäjänkoski). The river was restored in 1999–2000 and the most recent plantings were conducted in 2005.
- Length: 16 km (permit area).
- Average width: 6–10 m in the upper reaches and 20–25 m in the lower reaches.
- Target species: Grayling, Trout (a rarer catch).
- Hot spots: the Rapids Juurikkakoski, Pitkäkoski and Vääräkoski.
The Naamankajoki River is born in Lake Naamankajärvi and runs into the Näljänkäjoki River. This river
section consists nearly entirely of rapids and there is only one small quiet section between the faster waters. The river's rapids were restored for the purposes of recreational fishing in 1999. The rapids in the upper reaches flow fiercely while the lower reaches are calmer. The entire Naamankajoki stretch is a fly fishing area where fishing is only permitted using regular fly fishing tackle. The rapids are accessible via forest lorry roads leading from Luokkala to Parkkila near the village of Joukokylä. Length: 4.5 km.
- Average width: 10-13 m.
- Target species: Grayling.
- Hotspots: Kokkokoski Rapids, Harrivirta.
A small river fishing destination with no rapids. The banks are bushy and hard to traverse.
- Length: 7 km
- Average width: 4–6 m.
- Target species: Pike, Perch.
The banks of the rivers consist mainly of commercial forests used in forestry, but there are also protected old woods in the area. If you wish to fish in an environment that is as pristine as possible, the protected woods in the permit area may be found around:
- The southern banks of the Kuurnakoski and Särkikoski Rapids in the Korvuanjoki River.
- Both banks of the Korpijoki River.
- The lower section of Pitkäkoski Rapids and the upper section of Oravikoski Rapids in the Näljänkäjoki River.
- The lower section of Taivalkoski Rapids in the Lylyjoki River.
Nature enthusiasts should also definitely pay a visit to the Siikavaara Nature Preserve, which is one of the most treasured nature destinations in our country in terms of both scenery and plant life. The nature preserve is covered by a comprehensive network of trails and hiking structures. Siikavaara is located on the east side of the Korpijoki River.