Loop Cross rods and reels are on special offer in the Club Helmsdale Forum for members this month and we will be running a members fly BOGOF very soon! it pays to be a member of Club Helmsdale!! insider information on the Forum and regular deals on all sorts.

We have been informed of the following fishing availability -

River Brora, Laxelva & Aroy Norway

Brora WC 2nd March 4 rods and Struan lodge £4,257.32

Brora WC 3rd August 6 rods and the Lodge £6,957.94

Brora WC 24th August 6 rods and the lodge £5,498.95

Norway Aroy – 3 rods left for August 10-14 – last available rods of the season - £3,775 per person for 3 days fishing, ex flights

Norway Lakselva – 4 rods for 10-17 August - £6,750 ex flights.  This is the private water option

Norway Lakselva – 2 rods for 17-24 August - £4,750 ex flights – a combination of private and public water

Call me if interested, fair offers will be considered.


The river is still on 4 fish off, Conditions excellent with good water levels. Association water tickets available for £25, OAP and under 16s half price.

Don't forget our Tiger flies were catching last spring and are already hooking fish this year, you can buy them online right here right now -

Black & yellow TigerTail conehead

Black & yellow Tiger conehead

Flaming TigerTail

Kinermony TigerTail

Willie Gunn TigerTail

Alistair Tigertail

Caithness Sutherland and Ross SNP MSP Rob Gibson has welcomed an announcement from First Minister Alex Salmond that there will be an independent review of wild fisheries management in Scotland. Announcement here -

The First Minister said that freshwater fisheries must be ‘robust, sustainable and fit for purpose in the 21st century’, and to this end the Scottish Government has asked outgoing Scottish Natural Heritage Chairman Andrew Thin to chair the review.

The aims of the review are to:

•           Develop and promote a modern, evidence-based management system for wild fisheries fit for purpose in the 21st century and capable of responding to our changing environment.

•           To manage, conserve and develop our wild fisheries to maximise the sustainable benefit of Scotland’s wild fish resources to the country as a whole and particularly to rural areas.

Mr Gibson who as convener of the Rural Affairs Climate Change and Environment Committee carried out an inquiry into the management of the aquaculture and wild fishing sectors said an independent review was a welcome development.

“The announcement is important as the wild fish sector is critical to the rural economy and environment. It is that the management of the fishing assets in Scotland has changed little in generations and therefore needs updating for modern times. This should include much more water for local angling clubs wherever possible.

 “I have seen up close how this management does not work, both from issues raised by constituents and the evidence taken by the RACCE Committee. Our Committee said that there needed to be a fit for purpose management of wild fishing and the Government has listened and are acting to make sure that there is.

“This approach will help lay a new course for wild fishing in coming decades. It has an excellent steward in the guise of Andrew Thin and I look forward to the progress that it makes.” 


The River Helmsdale is still on 4 fish off. After the fantastic opening week in which over 250 salmon anglers took advantage of there is hardly an angler on the water now. This it the tragic state of play on the Helmsdale river! There are loads of anglers who would pay to fish for the chance of a spring salmon - Helmsdale Co could sell 4 rods per beat all through the season for estates let alone in the spring, I get constant enquiries for the fishing and people are lining up to pay but the availability is simply not there and the local community needs it.

On that note, there are still 2 rods available on the river first week February full rotation with a cottage on the riverbank for £675 + vat at £135 - total cost £810. This works out at £67.50 per day per rod which is less than most spring fishing on the Dee and accom is included here, not bad value when you look at it like that!



Andy lands the double

Ronald Sutherland

First fish captor Andy Sutherland had landed a prestigious double on the Helmsdale by catching the first fish on the Association water this week. A Dee Monkey bottle tube did the trick in the Flat pool, the fish was sea-liced at 8lbs and was returned. Its very encouraging to see fish running as early as this and you can fish the Association water daily for only £25 per day or half price if you are on a pension or under 16, great value and a realistic chance of catching one of our prized spring salmon....

There is still a week available on the Suisgill rods from Feb 2nd with accom if anyone is interested.

For Club Helmsdale members we will soon start our first fly Bogof of the year, watch out on the Forum for news on that. We will also have some great discounts on rods reels and lines. It's easy to upgrade your membership to Club Helmsdale, just click on the link and register -

The Dee Monkey Bottle tube which hooked Andy's fish, you can buy it here right now -

Dee Monkey Bottle tube




Opening week great success!

Ronald Sutherland

vid of the 14 pounder caught this week on Thursday -

We have the official opening movie on the Forum, awesome stuff!! don't miss it...

Some Helmsdale fishing if anyone interested...the springers are in!

February Fishing - With Accommodation
w/c Sunday 2nd February 2014
w/c Sunday 16th February 2014 - Sold
The cost of the week is £675 + VAT, to include the week's fishing (2 rods, no ghillie) and accommodation (Balvallioch cottage - sleeps 4). Please note that the fishing is not available without the accommodation.

you may need to hook up with me on facebook to view it as that seems to be where it is embedded. Let me know.
It was a fabulous week and the experiment absolutely worked out. I only heard of one kelt being miss-handled over the whole week from in excess of 260 anglers from all corners of the country. 3 opening week salmon was a fabulous result, the Helmsdale season is off to a flyer. I sold 2 Suisgill estate February weeks last night within 20 minutes of them hitting the net! I would say this is a direct result of the fast start.

There has been a huge call for more availability in Helmsdale spring weeks from anglers this week. They are amazed that after the opening week the rodding evaporates to only 2 rods per beat. A minimum of 4 rods per beat would be comfortably accommodated on the water. I will be writing to the Board to consider this on behalf of a very large group of keen anglers.
I would also like to think that due to the success of the past week that a free opening week will become an annual event. Once again I would like to thank the Helmsdale River Board for this unique opportunity, it was a great success all-round. Loop tackle also must be thanked for sponsoring the First Fish prize and donating one of their state of the art Cross S1 rods and a new Colour Concept Evotec reel.
I hear that the Sponsor of the River Opening, Clynelish distillery has this week announced that they are to double the size of their distillery in Brora! what should we read into that I wonder....

We are launching some absolutely amazing new flies this week - look out for them on the Club Helmsdale Forum. We will also start discussing what may happen in the new Fishery management review announced by the Scottish Government last week, this should be very interesting, there has never been such a review in our lifetime and now is the time to get things right. Please login and take part, this is too important to miss out on. Everyone engaged in Scottish angling should have their say.

One of our new classic Black & yellow tubes which is perfect for spring salmon fishing in copper & alumimium.

Classic Black & Yellow



No 3 off, 14 pounder Duncan Stewart

Ronald Sutherland

Brora angler Duncan Stewart grassed a cracking 14 pounder and the 3rd Opening week fish today. Duncan was fishing the Viaduct pool beat 1 when the fish struck his 1.5" RS Green Highlander copper tube. The sea-liced fish was safely returned. The river is running very nicely right now at 1ft 6 and perfect for most of the big lower Helmsdale spring pools. There are 2 days left to fish on the Opening week so if you have not had a cast yet, now is your chance, prospects are good and the springers are obviously running!

Duncan with his silver beauty

Duncan Stewart

Lucky fish hit by seals but managed to escape to fight another day.

Close up perfection

Duncan on the Viaduct pool

Viaduct pool

Ron's Green Highlander, Duncan's lucky fly. Buy here now -

RS green highlander

Salscraggie pool looking great today


Salscraggie pool

The glorious Lower Torrish pool looking right up to where the photo was taken from below.

Upper Torrish

A shot from up the glen today looking down towards the lower river and across to ben Morven, you can see some of the mist that was affecting the lower beats today and the Lower Torrish pool above.

Up the glen

Beat 2 at Torrish looking down towards the village in the mist, a gorgeous photo from local Alan Bithel.




2 opening day fish off

Ronald Sutherland

Massive thanks to the Helmsdale River Board for the unique free fishing event, Gordon Simm & Loop Tackle, Clynelish Whisky, Helmsdale Co staff and all the anglers (151) who made Opening day on the Helmsdale a big success. Well done to Ruth Dudgeon for opening the river in fine style. Congratulations once again to Andy Sutherland for catching the first salmon in the UK and Ronnie Dempster who caught the second.
The river is now open for the whole week ahead for free and the springers are obviously in. A great chance to fish superb water. Call in at The Helmsdale Company - Tackle & Flies Now on FB and pick up your supply of deadly Alistair TigerTail salmon flies and RS SuperSnaelda. We make the flies that catch the springers! Tight lines, have a great week!

Andy delighted at seeing the first UK salmon safely on the bank.

First fish on the bank

The large gathering in front of the closed Bridge Hotel

The gathering

Armed and ready in the shop

 Fly counter


The opening cast


Andy (Torrish) Sutherland has once again landed a Helmsdale opening day fresh fish. As usual he wasted absolutely no time and 10 minutes after the opening ceremony the lovely 8lbs sea-liced fish was grassed. Salscraggie pool on beat 1 just above the village was the chosen hot spot and brother Rons Tiger Tail Alistair copper tube ( from the Fulling Mill Collection ) did the damage. This is the first spring salmon caught in Scotland this year. Andy wins a fantastic Loop Cross S1 salmon rod and Loop Evotec Colour Concept salmon reel along with The Bridge Hotel Trophy, a bottle of Clynelish and a selection of deadly RS Fulling Mill Tiger tubes. An opening day fish on the Helmsdale is traditionally retained, 95% of the rest are returned.
The deadly TigerTail Alistair which caught the first fish

Alistair TigerTail

Ruth Dudgeon who opened the river with Sir Michael Wigan River Board manager.
Ruth Dudgeon and Sir Michael Wigan



Latest pre-season news

Ronald Sutherland

The river is looking very good and Opening day will be frost free! the ceremony begins at 9.30am and you need to sign in at the tackle shop for your fishing permit. We have 50% off all clothing and flies so a great chance to grab a bargain. Ruth Dudgeon will have the opening cast around 10am - hope to see you all there!

Here is the latest river vid -