We drove up the long snow covered road into the forest and arrived at some little wooden buildings and a tee-pee. We were greeted by the host and hostess of Ollila, Tuomo and his wife Marjo.
Tuomo explained what he had in store for us that day and the dinner that Marjo planned to cook us and then we set off.
We climbed aboard a snowmobile and sleigh and drove to a huge snow and ice covered lake surrounded by forest.
Here we were shown how to net fish under ice. Tuomo was brilliant with the children and very patiently showed them how its done, giving us all a chance to have a go. He told us all about his families history of fishing and the older and more modern ways of doing it.
We helped to pull up the nets and found some fish which would later be our dinner!
After this we headed back to the Juomuskota fireplace to warm up by the fire with hot drinks and biscuits.
We then set out again on the snowmobile to a different part of the lake and learnt how to drill our own holes in the ice to fish with rods. The youngest surprised us all by catching a fish by himself!
After the fishing trip we returned to Juomuskota, the 11 year old getting to have a go at driving the snowmobile which he was thrilled with.
We were served a lovely meal made of all the fish we caught that day and a delicious berry cake for dessert.
We had such a lovely and interesting time at Ollila and were really made to feel at home. All the kids loved the experience and were kept occupied for the whole day.
Winter fishing with an autistic child?
At Ollila with an older child, definitely! The host was extremely patient and interesting and brilliant with the children. There was space to wander off a little on his own, if needed, to play in the snow and the day was private and peaceful. The option to go inside to warm up and have a break was always available to us.
The price for the day was €60 per adult and €30 for under 12’s. This included all food and drink. Ollila is near to Kuusamo in Northern Finland. Other trips are available both in Summer and Winter and there is also accomodation on site. The website is http://www.ollilanlomamajat.fi and the contact email is firstname.lastname@example.org You will get a reply if you email, although not straight away as Tuomo may be out on trips. The host speaks very good English.