Kiruna is home to some of the world’s best grayling fishing. One of these areas is Sandåslandet, the barren sandbars we all long to return to.
The largest lake is Rostujávri, from which the rivers Rostuätno and the Norwegian Rosta River flow. These waters branch out and feed most of the running water in the area and the lake is also the headwaters for larger rivers downstream such as Lainio and Torne.
As Rostuätno meanders southwards, it eventually merges with another interesting grayling stream, flowing from the west, called Tavvaätno. Together these water become Lainioälven, a major tributary to the Torne River.
Sandåslandet is an area bounded by Tavvaätno and Pirtimysjokk to the south, the lakes Korvejávri and Kiepanjávri to the west, Rostuätno to the east and Kummaätno to the north. The landscape is known for its low mountains, wide tundra fields and endless wetlands.
The chief characteristic of the area is the immense amount of sand, likely leftover from an ancient glacial river’s wild advances.
The landscape is relatively flat, dominated by sand and voluminous low brush in certain areas. It is important to plan one’s fishing trip with respect both to required equipment but also to the shifting landscape. Enjoy hikes along the sand but avoid the brush. The vegetation can slow your progress and lead to much frustration. Many maps over the area show vegetated areas.
In the magnificent tundra in the very northernmost parts of Swedish Lappland lies the famous wilderness camp Rostujávri. Many associate Rostujávri with ice fishing for char in April, May and June and then with fly fishing for grayling, trout and char during the summer. The lake and surrounding wilderness is totally untouched. This area offers glittering, sandy grayling streams and shiny red char. Few places offer such a calm of the soul the way Rostujávri does.
The lake is the heart of Sandåslandet, and literally feeds life to the surrounding landscape. Rostuätno flows from the lake and is one of many biologically important headwaters to downstream Lainio River.
The famous camp lies on the southeast shore of the lake. There are cabins, sauna and boats available for rent. Drag fishing from boats is common on the lake.
Rostujávri is unique as it has outflow both to the Atlantic via Norway and the Baltic via Sweden. Further towards the Norwegian coast, Rosta River becomes Målselv and has salmon in the river.
Rostuätno begins in the eastern end of Rostujávri. The first few streams and rapids before reaching Härkejávri are good fishing spots both for fly fishing and spinners. The area is still close enough to the lake that the occasional char is possible.
After Härkejávri, special permits are required from Länsstyrelsen Norrbotten. Rostuätno is rich in trout and is often the most trout-dense waters in Sandåslandet. There is of course plenty of grayling as well.
The river varies between calm pools and fast moving waters. The landscape nearby is made up of boulders, sand and low brush. A ways downstream Rostuätno joins Tavaätno to form Lainio River and special permits are no longer required. The river is great for fly fishing, which of course most waters in Sandåslandet are.
South of Rostujávri lies the grayling stream Tavvaätno. Tavaätno is about 26 kilometers long and is divided into two geographic zones. The upper part is more of a tundra landscape with large expanses of sand divided by low brush. Tavaötno itself is formed by smaller waters upstream, namely Päkkejokk and Korvejokk.
Both of these upper streams are rocky and have fairly fast moving water, especially lower Korvejokk. The waters have mostly grayling but one can also catch trout, especially in Päkkejokk.
Päkkejokk’s headwaters are the enormous lake Kiepanjávri and the stream flows through an intermediate lake, Päkkejávri.
Korvejokk originates in lake Korvejávri and can be divided into two zones. The first zone is between Korvjávri until Sinutluobbal and the second zone is from Sinutluobbal down to the junction with Tavvaätno.
Downstream of Sinutluobbal there is a bridge over the stream nearby another stream called Skitsejokk. The stream used to be called Skitsekallajokk and has char in its upper parts near the large lakes Tjuolmajávri.
One kilometer downstream of Korvejokk’s inflow, at the beginning of Tavvaätno, another stream joins from the north. This is the twin stream to Skitsejokk, the even harder to pronounce Ittetjuolmajokk. Nowadays people just call it Ittejohka. Both of these streams are sensitive to water level changes and sometimes have very low water during dry periods. Even Ittejohka’s upper sections can have char in them. THe main fish population in all of these streams is grayling.
Thirteen kilometers downstream of Tavaätnos headwaters lies the larger Harrejokk. Harrejokk has plenty of grayling and originates almost as high up as Rostujávri.
There are some smaller tributaries that can be interesting for sport fishermen. The northern part of this stream flows through more solid ground and the bottom is otherwise sand or rock.
The lower sections, below the peanut-shaped lake Buljitjavri, are more wetland and difficult to hike. Especially the large bog Tavvavuoma near the junction with Tavaätno.
Sandåslandet’s many streams are fairly shallow and fishermen can always find a good spot for crossing by wading.