Lainio river – Swedish Lapland

 In fly fishing, Travel

Here is a fishing destination that many of you may have heard of, especially here in northern Europe: the Lainio river. Located in Swedish Lapland, this river is an interesting challenge for all anglers willing to experience Lapland. The swedish part of Lapland offers amazing fishing opportunities with good chances to also catch salmon, as in Lainio river.

We decided to give it a shot and try to reach our fishing spots, paddling. We were aiming for trouts and graylings, as it is usually possible in these areas of the world.

We started our journey from Kemi, Finland, where we packed the car and transported the canoes on a trailer. 5 to 6 hours later, here we are on the banks of Lainio, loading up our supplies and gears into the canoes : food,  waterproof bags with dry clothes, first aid kits, stoves, tents, sleeping bags and of course our fishing gears.


In August, the part of the river where we paddled, did not present any major obstacles: rapids were quite easy. At this time of the year, the current was not too strong in the rapids, however our friends managed to flip over their canoe as they tried to set their anchor, to turn their boat, to fish in the middle of the stream. We actually tried it and it is pretty efficient, a bit risky though. You need to sit tight when the canoe is turning toward the current. Like this, we managed to get 2 graylings and one trout. All caught & released.


Our canoe all geared up.


We continued paddling on a distance of 9km, crossing other rapids and good looking pools where we saw salmons coming to the surface.


Enjoying the landscape


What about our fishing equipment?

Lainio is  a river with a great alternance of rapids and pools of different sizes. When we were there, the water level was low but still enough water to enjoy the rapids and some good fishing. It is a river where you have good wading possibilities, but not everywhere, with sufficient backspace for good casting conditions. At least on the pools where we were fishing. The water temperature was at about 8˚C. We all decided to fish with medium heavy tackle in case a salmon would hit our lures or flies.

2014 was a really special summer as the number of salmons, coming from the Baltic Sea reached 100.000 units in the Tornio river, connected to the Lainio.

Here is a short list of the fishing gears, I brought with me:

Fly fishing:

– A 8’6 #5 rod/  Vision XLB reel, streamers and dry flies, really cool to use on those strong graylings.

– A Vision GT4 SW 9’#9 rod/ Vision XLA reel, designed originally for saltwater, I use it mainly for pike fishing but it proved to be a great short rod for salmon as it is quite stiff.


The fly fishing gears I mostly use in Lapland.

Lure fishing:
– Patriot spinning rod 2m10, lure wt 5-25g ( for light fishing, good for grayling and trout, and affordable) and a nice set of Mepps spinners and Vibrax lures of different sizes and colors to cope with the changing weather and light conditions.


My pack for a day of spin fishing

My friends were using Ugly Stik rods from light to medium heavy versions.

Fishing conditions in August

As you can see from the pictures, the weather was changing from light rain to sunshine, which is very usual in this latitude during summer.  For the temperature they were between 6˚C in the morning to 15˚C in the afternoon.


First salmon caught on Bete-Lotto


8kg salmon caught on a Pot Belly Pig Black shrimp plastic tube fly, floating line and 9ft tapered leader.


Copper pot belly big black – Shrimp Fly


Catch & Release !

The fun part!

As we only had small motors fixed to our canoes it was not possible to go upstream with those. So we had to walk back to the parking lot where we left the car, pulling the canoes all the way upstream, through the rapids. On the shallow part we were able to use our motors to rest a bit. This is definitely the best way to keep you fit!

It is definitely a place I would recommend and if you want to join us on a trip up there, leave me a comment, I can arrange it for the coming summer!

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Showing 2 comments
  • Spencer Sherley

    I have an old Arjon “Lanio” 2-piece 8 1/2 ft #915 fly rod in fishable condition, looks like fibreglass.
    Are these collectible?

    • Bruce

      Hi Spencer!
      Thanks for your comment!

      You should go and ask the guys in the Classic Fly Rod Forum there They might be able to give you an answer. I am not expert in the matter of classic fly rods ;).

      Tight lines!

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