Autumn is kicking in

Ronald Sutherland

19/9/17 Latest update is around 150 off last week after great water, the total could have been many more if the river was more settled.


The Helmsdale provided around 65 fish last week as the unsettled autumn conditions moved in. This week is also proving very unsettled and the river is very high indeed. The upper beats should produce as soon as the river starts dropping. We have all the gear required to catch salmon in the autumn (as you know ) or just call us for advice, we are always available to chat.

We have cracking pocket sized salmon fly selections in Baxters of Fochabers now also ( pic below ) so pop in if you get the chance, Its a superb place to shop and eat with a huge choice of great products from local and international businesses. Our large selection of our best flies is selling well and with all the big water about it would be a good idea to top up on your Monkey and red Frances tubes, top autumn killers.

Christmas is coming, yes, not Halloween yet but its the time to start thinking of that Loop rod you have always wanted or replacing top of the range Simms gear, indulge yourself....you are worth it! Below I'm letting you into part of an email I received from a very experienced guide who I had the pleasure of having by my side last week. The point being that I was using my favourite setup of Loop Cross S1 salmon rod and Gaelforce line, The dream combo I won't change for anything! effortless power and accuracy and a total pleasure to fish with.

Big news and amazing new flies coming soon


"Hi Ron,

Thank you for your reply and for your compliments, that is very much appreciated. It was a pleasure guiding someone of your extreme casting capability and covering the water so perfectly. I enjoyed watching every cast, it was a real pleasure I can assure you.

Thank you also for sending some of the flies which worked so well for you, that’s very kind".


We are giving away £50 worth of our flies with every Loop Cross S1 rod purchased for Christmas.

We are ordering from Loop & Simms soon so if you fancy giving yourself or receiving (working on) an awesome Christmas present this year please order online or call/email me and we can get it all for you in plenty of time. Treat yourself...casting should be a pleasure, not a chore!

Drop into Baxters Fochabers on the banks of the Spey and grab some of these, great little Christmas presents.



Cooling down.

Ronald Sutherland

latest news 3/9/17 Around 60 off last week so things are still rolling along but the temps need to start dropping soon if the season is to end with a bang! Don't forget to scroll down and check out our superb and deadly end of season flies, they are exactly what you need! you can either buy them in Baxters of Fochabers on the banks of the Spey or simply shop online right here - http://www.helmsdalecompany.com/


The Helmsdale is easing itself into the final phase of the season, pretty good on the whole so far, but now anglers are getting tested. The last two weeks have been tough going. Fresh fish are still running and you can bump into one anytime but the trend is how best to persuade the residents now. It is always a challenge, good water helps but even this does not guarantee sport nowadays, the days of big killings on the back of big spates are over, probably due to the unpredictability of the weather and warmer autumn temperatures. Word is, the river has over 1000 fish off so far with a full month to go, not bad considering the fish have been hard to catch all summer.

If you are lucky enough to be fishing the Helmsdale, or any other river for that matter you need to start fishing smart and that simply means broadening your tactics a little. Even though it is still mild don't be afraid to fish deep espcially if there is good water levels, Frances tubes and coneheads are as good as it gets, RS Willie Dog coneheads, Red/Gold SuperSnaelda conehead, RS Willie Gunn TDs in copper/tungsten. Take serious note of water clarity, depth and temperature. If the water is clear go for amaller flies, 1/4" frances copper/tungsten tubes, Black Frances, Silver Stoat, Cascade Pot bellied Pig. Bigger water will command the heavier brighter patterns like Framethrower, Cascade Pig Tungsten, Cascade Conehead, Cascade SuperSnaelda, Willie Dog Conehead and Black & orange Monkey. Keep the explosive Sunray Shadow in mind also as they have a habit of getting attacked by the bigger fish as Glen Macdonald Borrobol rods found out yet again last week in the Marrel pool beat 1. He hooked another brute which turned and headed for the Association water at high speed before throwing the hook unfortunately.

To make things easy we have set you up a great deal on our top ten "best of the best" salmon flies for £30 normally over £40 as tungstens are around £3.99 - £4.50 generally. So to take out the hassle, just grab our very Special selection by clicking right here for immediate delivery - http://www.helmsdalecompany.com/best-of-the-best-autumn-selection.html

Best of the best selection



Another good week on the Helmsdale

Ronald Sutherland

Catches were fairly good on the Helmsdale last week once again with good numbers of fresh fish still entering the system. Borrobol and Achentoul rods both had over 20 fish and the total was somewhere around 80 off including the Association water.

The big news is that we have just situated one of our large fly towers in Baxters Village Fochabers. With over 125 dozen of our best flies on display this should be a great outlet for anglers fishing the lower Spey and for passing trade heading to one of the many other rivers in the area. The flies are for sale along with tube doubles in the Whisky shop area, just pickup a tub and help yourself with Frances, Monkey, Kinermony killer, Willie Gunn TDs, Baby tds, infact the whole top deck is Monkey tubes of every sort....Drop in if you can and check out the quality on offer. Obviously we have many more patterns available online right here - http://www.helmsdalecompany.com/

I have also had some insider information from a ghilie on the river Dee on a fly that is making big headlines for a group of French anglers over the last few weeks. RS Feeler Willie Gunn in 10s & 12s is really making its mark and getting noticed, so much so that the Ghillie has ordered dozens for himself!( pic below )

Our fly tower in Baxters Village right on the A96 and easy to pop in to grab some deadly flies....

RS Feeler Willie Gunn is really fishing great right now and out fishing everything on certain rivers - buy now right here or from the cube at Baxters - http://www.helmsdalecompany.com/feeler-willie-gunn-salar-double.html

RS Alistair Flamethrower

Some more of our deadly little beauties.

RS Red Cascade is starting to fish well now also.



Top week of the season.

Ronald Sutherland

The river produced over 100 fish last week for easily the best week of the season. This week may be as good as lots of fish appear to be around the coast. If the weather is kind, catches should once again be very good. The Association water continues to pick away and is well worth a cast at only £25 per rod per day.



Peak season...

Ronald Sutherland

The Helmsdale is not firing on all cylinders quite yet but there are plenty of fish around and approx 60 off the river for the week including the Association water. I spent a few hours on the water last week (Sat ) and witnessed a good run of grilse around the tide especially, we had 5 interested between us, 3 hooked & 1 landed. As per usual my fiancee Donna bent the rod first and duly added another classic Helmsdale grilse to her tally. The Alistair UV conehead is always her first choice and it proved its worth yet again. 6 fish were caught on the day, Alistair Jappy had 2 before breakfast but the catch was disappointing considering the abundance of fish. Adam Macdonald started to make a dent in the population earlier in the week with 3 on Monday/Tuesday but the rest of the week was tough.

This seems to be the trend this year, very encouraging numbers of fish around but they are proving quite difficult to catch when in the past a mini bonanza would have been had throughout the system. 200+ fish July weeks were not uncommon a few years ago, my father worked on the river for 40 years, I have the benefit of all his experience & stats. The river was also netted at the mouth along with bag nets intercepting the run from East & West too. There are lots of fish around this year, back in the netting days there were huge numbers of fish around and thats the difference. incedentally,  3 pink salmon have now been recorded on the river along with plenty from other Scottish rivers, worrying maybe but we don’t know enough about the issue yet to know if this mini invasion could become a problem. (see pink collection below )

Next week could be the big one, more fresh water hit the system on Saturday so it is topped up perfectly and ready for some serious action! Coneheads should work very well and as you know, we have plenty of the best for sale right here – http://www.helmsdalecompany.com/helmsdale-co-flies/coneheads/tds.html

When the river drops, there are no better flies than the 2 amazing RS Baby TD’s below, these are teamed up with size 14 Partridge Patriot Stinger tube singles to give an idea of how tiny they are. Single hooks suit them very well, you should try them, they take a superb hold and release is much easier. You can grab some here right now - http://www.helmsdalecompany.com/rs-baby-td-aluminium-tube-rons-favourite.html

Donna smiling all the way into another Helmsdale fish on the Association water.

Landed and happy! Loop Cross S1 13ft, GDC 9 floater, G4 Loop Evotec 8-10....

One of Adams fish, absolutely pristine, cautht on one of our baby Tds...

When we are on the subject of pink salmon, this is one of our top selling sets for the ladies - http://www.helmsdalecompany.com/the-pink-collection.html