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The Kerma Rapids – For the More Demanding Fisherman

The Kerma white water area consists of two sets of rapids and a current extending between the two.

The Kerma white water area consists of two sets of rapids and a current extending between the two. It is a white water area where protective legislation forbids construction and that has also been categorised as a significant protectorate for freshwater nature and scenery. By character it is more demanding than the Karvio rapids and thus to the particular interest of more advanced fly-fishers. Kerma is one of the few white water areas of the Finnish lake district where the fisherman has the opportunity to have a go at catching wild brown trout. Over a century ago Juhani Aho, the pioneer of Finnish fishing-related literature, referred to the Heinävesi route as the Eldorado of the fly-fisherman. Even to date brown trout and freshwater trout may freely wander to the open waters of greater Saimaa – Suvasvesi, Kermajärvi or Kolovesi – led by smelt and vendace and return to spawn in the currents of Kerma.

The Kerma rapids are a versatile site for fly-fishing. One will find evenly flowing currents, peripheries, gurgling white waters and backs of rocks; something to suite the taste of every fisherman. There are plenty of places to catch fish in a multitude of ways. In addition to our most common species of fish, brown trout, Saimaa salmon, whitefish and grayling dwell in the waters. The fauna of the lake is cared for merely by restocking it with the fry of brown trout and Saimaa salmon, an action that supports natural reproduction. Because of this there is a great deal of young fish in the area who, when caught, should be carefully handled. In order to ensure future fishing and a fish population, non-barbed hooks are recommended.

The Kerma white water fishing area can be divided into three parts. Beginning from the Kerma locks it breaks up into three separate currents: the Saunavirta current, leading to the main rapids, the Haapakoski rapids and the Kissakoski rapids. Today, Haapakoski and Kissakoski are protectorates for the offspring of fish. Saunavirta, on the other hand, is a popular offshore fishing site, although it has a few excellent fishing sites on shore. Excluding the small rapids area, the water is rather deep and easily navigable by rowing-boat. Wading in Saunavirta is difficult due to the deep and rocky shoreline. The banks toward the main village are private property, whereby landing on them is forbidden. It is a good idea to fish in the vicinity of large rocks and old timber floating equipment, in the main currents and the peripheries of the lower part of the rapids.

The current doesn’t really slow down between Kermankoski rapids and Saunavirta, prior to its turning ninety degrees left and surging into the rapids. Just before the nape of the rapids the current breaks up into two separate channels, which differ greatly in character. The rapids can be characterised as extremely fast-flowing, whereby particular caution is to be exercised while wading and rowing in them. The fishing sites in the rapids are easy to spot but the strong current, clear water and abundance of insects provide additional challenges. Both the nape of the rapids as well as the final flow are very popular places to fish.

Vihonvuonne, close to a kilometre downstream of the main rapids, is the last of the rapids. Vihonvuonne boasts two napes, past of which the first the current is still rather calm and the course deep. After the second the current is particularly fast-flowing and rocky. There is an islet, which divides the current in two, in the middle of both napes. Due to these islets a turbulent and deep current where, from time to time, real whoppers dwell, runs both between the napes and in the final flow. The fishing sites of this area are also relatively easy to come by. Wading in Vihonvuonne is moderately easy downstream of the lower nape, despite the relatively rocky bottom. The area is also suitable for fishing from a boat, right through to the lower nape. In addition to this the lower parts of the final flow are easily navigable by rowing-boat.

Fishing season:
1.5.-10.9. and 16.11.-30.4.

Permitted fishing equipment:
Only the use of artificial lures is permitted

Other restrictions:
Fishing from on the shore and off unanchored rowing boats permitted

Licences sold at:
Kermankeidas (also rowing-boat rentals), tel. +358 (0)17 566 191
Neste Heinävesi (petrol station), tel. +358 (0)17 561 695


rapids fisherman

fisherman on a pier