Helmsdale Co looking at going online only.

Ronald Sutherland

Fly BOGOF now suspended due to high volumes of orders.

We are examining the idea of becoming an online company only, Therefore over the next few months we will be having a clearance sale on all stock items in the shop, everything will be slashed by 50% so if you need jackets, rods, reels, etc etc please call in or call the shop on 01431821372. We will however be selling more than just flies and accessories online and will build up a stock again of rods, reels, jackets etc.

We have not taken the decision lightly but it works pretty well for Amazon and others. If you are visiting the Helmsdale river and generally purchase flies on arrival please order online in advance to secure them in future. We have no date set for this new development and it is not imminent so please still call into the shop if it is open or call us on 01431821372

From Midnight tonight (Feb 1st) we will be running a Spring BOGOF on all flies apart from Classics and selection boxes until Midnight Saturday Feb 6th ( please state BOGOF when you order). Usual rules apply, for every fly you buy we give you 2 and if the fly is out of stock ( which can happen due to volumes ordered ) we give you the next size up or down or nearest alternative. Please be patient on this popular special offer as we have to deal with large volumes of flies.

Good luck to the Dee, Tweed, Brora rivers and all others who open tomorrow.



Still quiet in the North

Ronald Sutherland

Still not happening in the North yet. We have had decent conditions recently but as far as I know the river Tay is the only river in Scotland producing fresh springers via spinning.

Check out this excellent link to Ezio (Fish) Taranto on his day on the Helmsdale recently -



Iced out! no fish off

Ronald Sutherland

Update 21/1/16

Please keep the First Fish competition going - we are now on £600 including shop donations for the Archie foundation. You can donate and lodge your guess on the pool right here -

Still no fish off but conditions have been very icy, all prizes are still up for grabs! The good news is that the weather is changing and we are due a big thaw which is set to last well into next week. The river will be perfect and I would bet the first fish will get caught. The Association water is available for £25 per rod per day and a great chance of an early fish.


Unfortunately our free week of fishing fizzled out on Saturday due to hard frost. Lower Caen pool (below), one of our most famous pools was beginning to gather ice along the banks at 1pm today (Sat 16th) with an air temp of -2. Rod eyes were freezing up at will and fishing was difficult. We had plenty action from kelts and ended up with 208 anglers registered for the week. One aggressive fresh fish was reported hooked and lost in the Flat pool midweek on the Association water and as temps cool down this area offers a very realistic chance of landing that highly prized fresh run springer.

So, no fish off yet, that means all the prizes are still up for grabs! tickets on our Association water run from £25 per rod per day, OAPs half price and kids under 16 free. Thanks to all who participated, it was great to see the village so busy. Thanks again to Steve Peterson Simms Europe, Gordon Sim Loop tackle and Clynelish whisky for their sponsorship and everyone else involved in making the week a big success again, and ofcourse the River Board for opening up the river to the public.

Lower Caen pool freezing up on Saturday

Simms Primaloft jacket, Bridge Hotel trophy and Clynelish still await the first fish!

Tight lines - get on the water, springers will be arriving anytime!



Helmsdale opening day report

Ronald Sutherland

The river opened today to a promising (but rather high) 3ft 6 on the guage, however, the 116 optimistic anglers who registered on the day could not winkle out the elusive spring salmon they were after. Weather conditions were very favourable but only kelts were the order of the day. Tomorrow the river should loose another foot from the guage and chances will very much improve. Water temps remain unseasonably mild at around 40 degrees so anglers have no excuses and I may be forced to wet a line myself!

The Tackle shop was packed early & late and the annual offering of Clynelish from our longest standing sponsor was very well received as usual. It was great to have Steve Peterson from Simms Europe in shop showing off some of their latest high class gear, a real boost to the event and they have a superb GoreTex Primaloft on offer for the lucky captor of the first fish. Loop tackle have upgraded their sponsorship by donating a new Cross SX rod to add to the prize fund.

If you have not had a cast yet then come along and enjoy the river for the rest of the week, conditions are improving by the day and there are sure to be fresh salmon in the system. A few pics from the day below.

Mother, Brother and Keith Webster enjoying the opening day tackle shop banter.

Steve Peterson showing off the latest Simms gear and prize jacket with the yours truly holding the Bridge hotel trophy in the foreground.

Steve Peterson fancying his chances on the banks of the majestic Kilphedir pool beat 2

The opening cast of the season from Donald Sutherland

My daughter April playing with the Sutherland Schools Pipe band for the first time, proud daddy!

A view of the large crowd gathered this morning.

The tackle shop in full swing.

Beat 4 looking very good ad midday with the river flowing at 3ft on the guage.

River Board manager Sir michael Wigan with Suisgil ghillie Donald Sutherland who opened the river.



Latest river conditions

Ronald Sutherland

All the talking is nearly over and the action gets into full swing Monday 11th. A big crowd is expected as the river will be totally ice free after the warmest run up on record, river temp has not dropped below 40 degrees since closing in September so fish will DEFINITELY be in the system! The free fishing extends from Monday 11th right through to Saturday, many thanks again to the Helmsdale River Board for this generous offering to the public.

This year we have the luxury of having one of the biggest global tackle heavyweights on site, Simms flyfishing. As one of our sponsors, Steve Peterson will have a selection the latest gear and accessories on site for Opening day in the tackle shop, A state of the art Simms Primaloft lined GoreTex jacket will be up for grabs if you catch the first fish! Loop tackle also are in on the act with a Cross S1 for the person who guesses the pool where the first fish comes from - please have a go in this comp right here and select you pool or pools - Spring salmon fishing legend Andy (torrish) Sutherland has spoken and picked his 3 top pools which you can see on the just giving page here -

A £5 minimum donation is required online or you can chose a pool on registration at the Tackle shop on any opening day. It is for a great cause this year ( The Archie Foundation ). Bacon rolls and meals are on offer from Thyme & Plaice and Timespan and Thyme & Plaice are offering a bottle of whisky for the first local to catch a fresh salmon. Clynelish, our longest standing Sponsor are also offering drams of their special malt on the day from the tackle shop and a bottle + the Bridge Hotel trophy will also go to the captor of the first fish, superb prizes, many thanks to all our sponsors.

As per usual we will have a huge selection of all the past and present killer flies and many of Rons latest new designs, If you have nothing better on next week, best get yourself over here and get a fly in the water!! You never know, you could catch the first UK salmon!

Suisgil Ghillie Donald Sutherland will lead the Sutherland Schools pipe band this year and open the river around 10am after the opening speech by Sir Michael Wigan. My daughter April Sutherland will also play her part by performing with the full Pipe Band for the first time, a proud moment for me!

The river is set to be high but clear so big flies will be the form on sinking tips and heads - very best of luck! see you there...

This is what we are looking for....Andy Torrish with last years January beauty of 18lbs taken on our lethal Monkey Conehead tube.