At last there seem to be a few more fish entering the system. Around 40 were reported last week and a few off the Association water. I would be ordering your summer supply of Alistairs, Sunray Shadow, Willie Dog and baby Tds if I were you, slide a few Cascades and Silver stoats in there and you are totally covered.
Here is one of our big summer Smash & Grab deals - Our favourite "Go to" Loop summer setup - 14ft cross S1, Evotec reel, Gaelforce line 9/10, Gelspun backing, £50 worth of flies free amongst a superb deal on the whole combo, set up and ready to fish and ship! there is only 1 so hit the button and make it yours instantly. Save £340 on this dream casting combo, lightweight awesome power trust me!
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This deal is mine, click here for immediate delivery - http://www.helmsdalecompany.com/loop-summer-smash-grab.html
The Helmsdale has just come off its best week of the season so far with around 25 fish off and a few off the Association water. Not exactly on fire and its no different anywhere else. Nothing major is happening anywhere and rivers are generally picking away with figures well down on last year.
Our big deal of the week is for the next person who buys one of our superb Loop Cross rods or Loop Evotec reels from Baxters Fochabers, contact me immediately and get £100 worth of free flies! This deal is only on for the month of May so take advantage of this great deal asap. We also have the new Loop Q series salmon rods in stock in 15 & 13'2 from £280 - £310.
I had the pleasure of fishing the Spey on Brae water for 3 days last week thanks to Johnny Gray. Superb water and conditions for the most part but only 4 fish were caught for 11 rods. Mark Johnston landed a sparkling fish covered in long tailed sea-lice in the famous Rock pool beat 2 on one of our SuperSquid Cascade coneheads and Alex Cliff grabbed the headlines landing 2 one of which grabbed a large Flaming Skullhead. Simon Kirkup picked up No 4 on Junction pool beat 1. The fish were few and far between and i'll point you in the direction of an interesting piece written by Ian Gordon who has worked on the Spey all his life here - https://www.speycaster.co.uk/single-post/2018/05/06/Salmon-Fishery-Owners-Take-Heed
Mark Johnston - RS SuperSquid Cascade conehead - http://www.helmsdalecompany.com/rs-supersquid-cascade-conehead.html
Alex Cliff - pic uploading - Flaming Skullhead - http://www.helmsdalecompany.com/new-rs-flaming-skullhead-silver.html
Nothing outstanding to report this week other than the fishing has been fairly steady with approx another 20 off the river. No word of any over the falls yet but things have only started to warm up slightly. No rivers are really flying yet but I think its about to happen! The forecast is unsettled for the week ahead, good fishing conditions as long as the rivers remain steady in height.
We have the Owner Cutting Point single tube hooks back in stock for those of you who frequent the Oykel etc, these are imported from the States and are the most lethal single hooks you will ever see...excellent in tubes of all sorts especially long wing tubes like Sunray shadow, Collie Dog & Monkey flies, grab some here to try, they take an amazing hold on fish - http://www.helmsdalecompany.com/owner-cutting-point-single-tube-hook.html
Don't forget about our new RS Collection flies which are selling like hotcakes! RS SuperSquid and new Naked Kinermony & Cascades are landing in loads of flyboxes and catching fish! The Naked body series get no tinsel damaging bite marks so they last longer...perfect value for money!
We also have a great new range of 5 Flamethrower doubles as below in Ruby red, Hot Orange, Scandi Green, Global Blue & Willie Gunn.
RS Scandi Flamethrower
The water is still cold at around 4/5 degrees but catches are hotting up at long last and around 20 fish were reported including one or two off the Association water. All the usual suspects are catching, Alistairs, Coneheads, Willie Gunn and monkey tubes, if you want a lethal selection drop me an email or simply order on-line from your phone, tablet or pc, its so easy now...We also have a great selection of flies and tackle in Baxters Fochabers so drop in and grab some superb proven killers! and see our New Collection flies.
I also keep saying it and great to see some of you are taking it onboard...There is nothing better in my opinion than a Loop Cross S1 rod combined with a Gaelforce line and there is a combo for everyone. If you enjoy a large graceful D Loop and fish some of the bigger rivers then the Cross S1 15ft with record breaking Gaelforce 80ft head or 63 ft will suit you fine, on the other hand if you fish more medium to small rivers, its the 13 or 14ft teamed up with a 54fy Spey or integrated shooting head system that would be the punchy perfect setup for you...we have them all, and in Baxters too.
Never underestimate the legendary power of the Gold Body Willie Gunn, Michelin Star salmon food and now on a 1.25" Waddington with double hook. Click here and grab some quickly while in stock! http://www.helmsdalecompany.com/pro-golden-willie-gunn-double-hook.html
Not a week to write home about on the Helmsdale but it was still the best week of the season so far. Around 15 were accounted for including another cracking 15 pounder for Jim Forsyth in Croy pool of the Association water.
Borrobol had 4 fish up to 16lbs from Saluscraggie beat 1, Pilkingtons point beat 5 (16lbs) and fish off 3 ans 2. Beat 6 remains a real disappointement with only 1 fish off last week on the Achentoul rods. The water is still cold and season later than recent years, hopefully things warm up next week in all departments. Its not just the Helmsdale that is struggling, The Spey is not exactly on fire yet either. Heavy nowmelt this weekend and rising rivers should induce a fresh run everywhere.
Temps were up to 16 degrees yesterday (Sat 7th) on the Findhorn river and it was pleasing to hear that they are doing rather well. I was excited to join a good friend of mine Adam Macdonald and his party under the very experienced watchful eye of guide Lesley Tyson on Friday/sat. We fished the Altyre & Darnaway beats and saw quite a few fish. 5 fish were taken on the beat for the week before I tightened into a superbly conditioned fish estimated in the teens of pounds in the tail of Scurr pool, (exactly where Lesley said he would be!) The setup for you tecky people out there was as follows and my usual - Loop Cross S1 15ft, Gaelforce Spey 63ft head with 10 ft 7ips Gaelforce sink tip, Loop Evotec reel, Maxima nylon 18lbs and an RS Willie Gunn Special 1.5" copper tube with Fulling Mill Tube double, unbeatable and seldom lets me down on any river for water coverage or strike rate.
I think the spring fishing is about to really take off this week so get your flies ordered and rods out and get on the water. Grab one of our new McLean nets, Loop rods or reels and Gaelforce & Carron lines in Baxters Fochabers where we have set up a tackle area with all sorts of gear. or simply call me or buy online with us. Its time you were treating yourself to a new rod, stoip struggling with old gear and get some slick rocket science under your belt...you won't be disappointed! Loop Cross rods are unbeatable teamed up with Gaelforce lines at the moment, you know you want one! contact me for a great deal on any Loop/Gaelforce combo or simply treat yourself and pickup in Baxters.
Findhorn silver at its best for Ron
The trusty RS Willie Gunn Special invented by Ron which catches springers over and over again! grab them here - http://www.helmsdalecompany.com/rs-willie-gunn-special-copper-tube-pro-favourite.html
Tough conditions greeted Helmsdale rods last week again, unsettled conditions with an Easterly wind are never great and one day was lost with a rising river but there are fish running and over a dozen were recorded. I can also report that the first fish came off the Association water the week before last to the rod of Jim Forsyth in the Flat pool at 6lbs
The experience of Welsh regulars Andrew Thomas and Gavin Perry always shows through and this year was no different with 4 lovely springers up to 15lbs fishing Achentoul rods, Gavin taking 2 on a small black & yellow Monkey bottle tube and one on a Classic Willie Gunn 1" copper tube. Andrew took his perfect specimen on a TD in Caen Streams beat 1(pics below ) Pano Constantinedes also had a good week with 3 to his rod on Borrobol rods, the score could have been better as Alan Shannahan of the same party lost one at the net on beat 4 and a 20+ fish on beat 6 in the Manse pool. Fish also came from the Swirl pool beat 6, Ewes Neuk beat 5, and Lower Torrish beat 3.
Every beat is now producing fish so as soon as the river settles and a little warmth arrives the scores should almost double and fish will also be over the falls anytime too if they are not already over...
Andrew with a classic deep set springer from Caen Streams beat 1
Welsh international Gavin with his biggest at 15lbs from Lower Torrish beat 3
The deadly Monkey Bottle tube that did the trick twice, and you can buy it here right now - http://www.helmsdalecompany.com/classic-dee-monkey-bottle-tube-p1822.html
The classic Brora Willie Gunn pattern which has been catching salmon for decades, buy these legendary tubes here - http://www.helmsdalecompany.com/rs-willie-gunn-copper-tube.html
We now have these great new McLean weigh nets in stock and our new Fulling Mill tube boxes are selling like hot cakes so grab one when you can!