Teno River in 19th Century English Fishing Literature

The Teno River and its salmon have attracted travelers in the 19th century, even though the journey with the transportation available at the time was challenging. The first fishing tourists arrived at the Teno River through Norway and wrote about their adventures in the far north in their own country’s newspapers, including “The Field” and “The Fishing Gazette.”

The first serious mention of the Teno River in a book dates back to 1848. Fishing tackle merchant J. Jones wrote the book “The Jones’s Guide to Norway” as a guide for those fishermen who ventured to the distant northern fishing grounds. The book was edited by Frederik Tolfrey, who had never been to Norway himself.

Sir Henry Pottinger, on the other hand, fished on the Teno River and wrote travel letters from there to “The Field” magazine. He wrote his first travel letter in 1858, and they were published until 1860. Thanks to his writings, the Teno River’s reputation as an exceptional salmon river spread among the countryside gentry who read the magazine. In his later years, Pottinger wrote his hunting and fishing memories into a book. The two-part “Flood, Fell, and Forest” was published in 1905, with the first part mainly recounting his trip to the Teno River.

The third British author who wrote about the salmon waters of the North is Llwelly Lloyd. He moved from Scotland to southern Sweden and also made trips to Lapland. His books are primarily hunting stories, but they also include fishing tales. The most famous of his works is “Field Sports of the North of Europe, Comprised in a Personal Narrative of a Residence in Sweden and Norway, in the Years 1827-28,” which was published in 1830. The book was translated into Swedish in 1855 and was titled “Anteckningar under ett tjuguårigt vistande i Skandinavien. Innehållande jagtäfventyr, råd för jägare och fiskare, samt strödda bidrag till Nordens fauna.” Some of the illustrations in the book were done by the Finnish artist Wilhelm von Wright.

In 2005, Erkki Timonen translated and published Llewellyn Lloyd’s book titled “Pohjolan erämailla ja lohivesillä” (In the Wilderness and Salmon Waters of the North), which is based on Lloyd’s extensive production and was originally published in London in 1885.

Research literature on the Teno River has been produced since 1972. Teno River research began when the construction of the Altan power plant was being planned. One of the options considered was redirecting the flow of waters from one upper lake of the Teno River, Jiesjärvi on the Norwegian side, towards the Alta River.

There is a research station for the Teno River at the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), which relocated to its current premises in the center of Utsjoki in 1992.