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Kaitum river

Country: Sweden
District: Norbotton County
Type: River

Location size
River: 30 km

Distance from
Stockholm: 1300 km

General information about Killinge

The river is situated in Norrbotten county, Kiruna municipality, about 60km south of Kiruna town. The river valley is broad and covered with old forest, mostly pine and birch. The area is sparsely populated with few tourists and low fishing pressure, so despite short distance to the road and good camping facilities, there is a feeling of wilderness.

Well known river near the polar circle.

How To Get There

Road no. E10/E45 from Gallivare to Kiruna. After 50km from Gallivare, turning west in the village of Skaulo on a gravel road leading all the way to Killinge. The distance Skaulo - Killinge is about 50km and road is suitable for all types of cars. Distance from Stockholm is approximately 1300km.

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Location Details

The Kaitum river is over 200 km long, emerging from the lakes Kaska and Vuolep Kaitumjuare to flow about 200 km before joining the Kalix River at the village of Lappesuando.

The upper stretch river to about the village of Killinge is accessible only by small airplane or on foot. The lower part is easily accessible, taking road no. E10/E45 from Gallivare-Kiruna and turning west in the village of Skaulo on a gravel road leading all the way to Killinge. 

The stretch of river here begins a bit above the village and continues downstream about 30 km while dropping about 100 m in elevation, and is never more than 3-4 km from the road.

The whole stretch is good for fly fishing, and about a three-kilometer section (Svartselet-Gruvselet) is catch & release only.


The fish found here include grayling, trout, and salmon. Grayling are commonly 30-40 cm long, though 50 cm fish are not rare; trout usually weigh up to a kilo, though again bigger ones can be found; salmon can be up to 6-7 kg, though most are grilse.

How To Fish

Since this is summer fishing, for salmon use smaller flies: singly size 6-10, double 8-14, tubes 1-1½ inches.

In sunny weather, try flies such as the Greenlander (M. Frodin's variant of the Green Highlander, with black squirrel tail instead of Fox Squirrel) and Heggeli; for an all-arounder try Thunder & Lightening; and on cloudy nights try the Munroe Killer or Collie Dog.

For trout, the nymphs Black Martinez, Gold Ribbed Hares Ear, and Stonefly can be used, both weighted and not. The same for grayling, plus the Superpuppa from Lennart Berqvist.

For dry flies try stoneflies, Goddard Sedge, or Elk Hair Caddis. Streamers are effective for larger trout, mainly the Wooly Bugger in black and olive.

The best time to fish for grayling is in the afternoon and evening, while large salmon and trout are best caught at night.

Because the river flows above the Arctic Circle, it's light at night even in August. From my own experience, I suggest fishing for salmon in the pool between Pukinena and Storforsen.


Because of the large size of the river, 40-60m across, waders are necessary even though the wading isn't difficult.

The bottom consists of gravel and small stones, with large boulders present only in some larger rapids. Some pools can be up to 10 m deep, and particularly in summer the bottom is overgrown with aquatic vegetation and can be quite slippery.

A two-handed rod of AFTMA 7-9 or one-handed 7-8 is good for salmon. For trout, especially when using streamers, an AFTMA 6-7 should be used, while for everything else AFTMA 4-5 is OK.

Floating lines with a sinking tip or sinking leaders are best. The river has very clear water, so use a fine and long leader, fluorocarbon if possible.

Practical Info

The season starts at the end of June when the spring runoff declines and ends on August 31st. Salmon appear in August, which is also probably the best time for fishing in general.

License is required and can be bought in the store in Skaulo, the booth in Killinge, and at the tourist center and Norrsport shop in Gallivare. Prices are inexpensive (licenses can be bought for 1 day, 3 days and one week). A family license can be bought for some  additional amount. Along with the license you get a detailed map and information about stocked lakes.

Three-kilometer section (Svartselet-Gruvselet) is catch & release only. There is a limit of  3 fishes (trout, grayling, samon) / day, just one of them can be salmon. Minimal size for grayling and trout is 35cm, salmon 50cm. Pike and whitefish have no minimal size.

The river valley is uninhabited except for the villages of Killinge at the start of the stretch and Neitisuando at the end.

The forest is thick, with occasional bogs. There are many animals here, including moose, brown bear, lynx, wolverine, wolf, and many grouse such as the wood (capercaillie), black, and arctic.

Fishing tackle can only be bought in Gallivare or Kiruna, and these are also good places to stock up on food, since the store in Skaulo doesn't have much selection.

There is a booth in Killinge with just some basics. There are cabins for rent in Killinge, or camping is possible along the river.

The local fishing association operates a beautiful natural camp in Laxselet, with signs from the main road. They have toilets, a cabin to rest in, benches and tables. The fee is voluntary.

General information about Kalix River Basin

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