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International Business Knee Deep in a River
What is it like to be an online entrepreneur and live in Kainuu Region in the Eastern Finland? Well pretty same as anywhere else where you get an internet connection. Except one thing.
Except… You get to go fly fishing a lot!
I love fly fishing, especially in the wilderness, with no schedules, no time restrains and no rules (except the local fishing regulations obviously). For me fly fishing has been a fun family thing since I can remember. Nothing too serious.
Until 2008. Something major changed when I travelled to a fly fishing trip to South-Africa in 2008 and decided I want to be a fly fishing journalist. That turned into several years of writing articles as a freelancer and ended up with me starting my own business Kajanaclub.com in Kajaani. An online fly fishing business that is.
Kainuu has plenty of great fly fishing rivers surrounded by forests and wilderness. But not to be too predictable - I do not take clients fly fishing in Kainuu. I have a whole digital aspiration when it comes to this fly fishing business.
From remote wilderness to International Business
Internet enables carrying out international business and serving clients even when you are based in a rural area like Kainuu. Especially when the product is digital. Therefore, I really encourage companies to experiment with these possibilities that we currently have due to the internet.
In Kainuu we have really good and fast connections. And as far as I know, some pretty up-to-date education that grows a new generation of capable workforce.
I’m happy to see that in Kainuu we have interesting start-ups and companies testing out totally new business concepts and digital product ideas. My own passion is to find a way to connect my two interests; fly fishing and internet – and make a business out of that. Now 4 years in the making, and there is still plenty to learn. But the journey has been a blast!
Internet based revenue models
This whole blogging-internet-digital-socialmedia-thing is so intriguing, so interesting. It’s opening up totally new revenue models. I’m obsessed to learn more about it. I have to try new things and see how it works. It’s so major that I just have to study it, try it out, see what it does, test what will happen.
Because I believe in movement. I believe in trying things. And internet has enabled totally new levels of testing possibilities. You can try out a new idea on international waters and almost instantly see results!
Trying things and moving forward, even without very specific direction, has always been the thing that brought me the best things in life. Discoveries of what is important for me. Lessons that I can afterwards be so thankful that I stumbled on.
I believe in movement. Movement gives direction.
So keep on moving!
I will too. And testing and trying this blogging-internet-digital-socialmedia-thing. Let’s see what comes out from it. Life is an experiment.
And because of internet I get to do all that right next to my favorite fly fishing rivers - connected to a 4G on my mobile.
It’s a new day in the wilderness.
2 River Recommendations
Rivers are the heart of my business. Rivers are the source of all my online content. And content creation is the core of my business.
In Kainuu we have plenty of rivers. That’s one of the main reasons I love to live in this place.
(A side note: there’s also an airport with several flights per day, which is crucial for being able to live and run a business in this remote region… I do love the outdoors and wilderness but time to time you need to get to more urban and populated surroundings and do a bit of travel to get new ideas. But the best is when you can have them both.)
There are two specific rivers in Kainuu that are very special for me. Varisjoki River in Paltamo and Hossanjoki River in Suomussalmi.
Trout fishing in Varisjoki River
Varisjoki River is a lovely place for some trout fly fishing. But how to catch trout and what kind of trout flies to use for brown trout in the rivers of Kainuu?
Fishing for trout is one of my all-time favorite fly fishing experiences. My number one recommendation for trout in Varisjoki River is a black nymph with a heavy golden bead head.
Fish are most often staying at the bottom of the river in a nice cozy place where they have shelter and they can just wait for the current to bring in their next meal. It would take a lot of energy to rise all the way up to the surface to catch one little bug for dinner.
Therefore, when you use nymphs you can serve your fly right in front of the fish, which is lurking in the bottom. Especially if your nymph has a heavy bead head it sinks to the river bottom really well.
To get an idea why I love Varisjoki River in Kainuu Region so much, see this video of an awesome trout fishing day. First I caught my trout. And it was an awful-awesome-fight right at the apex of a rapid. Later, each of our gang caught a trout. What more can you hope!
Hossa – our new National Park
Another top place in Kainuu Region for those who love the outdoors and would like to test fishing in Finland is Hossa in the Suomussalmi municipality.
Hossa has lovely clear waters with different types of fishing from lake fishing to rivers and rapids. Being one of the most sparsely populated areas in Europe, the tranquillity and authentic nature are guaranteed. I used to spend a lot of summers in thw waters of Hossa as a kid, so that place brings back some nice memories.
One of the best fishing spots in Hossa area are a river called Hossanjoki and a fairly big lake called Pitkä-Hoilua. A part of Hossanjoki River is reserved exclusively for fly fishers. Stocked trout and naturally reproducing grayling being the most common catches. And it’s not impossible to get a large lake-run trout if you get lucky and are prepared with suitable equipment!
To get a better idea what few days of fishing in Hossa would look like, see this video.
Anni Yli-Lonttinen is a fly fishing journalist and an entrepreneur. She has written for publications in her native Finland as well as other countries. She has been writing about fly fishing for over 9 years. In 2014 Anni started her own fly fishing online business. In her own words she is the eternal novice of fly fishing with over twenty years of experience.
Her company, Kajana Club.com, offers fly fishing enthusiasts inspiration, courses, community and help with international travel planning.
Subscribe to Anni’s fly fishing Channel on youtube.com/kajanaclub