The 10 free opening days are over and no fresh springers have been landed. Conditions have generally been decent and from midweek last week almost perfect. Experienced local John (Hardy) Sutherland has covered the water well on a daily basis picking up 2 baggots and a rawner plus numerous kelts but the first sea-liced springer still remains elusive after the efforts of over 150 anglers. The opening 10 days were a success for the village once again, the load was spread well and the river never too busy apart from opening day.
With the rest of the UK rivers opening very soon its a good time to get your fly orders in, The Dee,...Read more
The Helmsdale opened in a blaze of winter, conditions eased on Saturday but still no springers to be seen. Around 150 brave souls registered for a cast over the first 4 days. The water was well covered with every conceivable fly and line combo but only kelts were responding. Local favourite to sniff one out, Andy Sutherland, methodically picked his way through all his secret hot spots but still had nothing to show for it. Regular visitor David Baird and his team had a great few days bending the rod many times in expectation but all were models from last year unfortunately. Personally I fished all the best spots also along with my partner Donna but only kelts and brown trout were interested. I may return in the week ahead as conditions are set to get much warmer as you can see from the forecast.
No fresh fish reported on day 2 as far as I know but plenty kelts. Conditions were better as the high winds dropped but heavy snow kicked in as the day progressed. Tomorrow the river should be in great order at around 1ft 6, get the rods out! Read more
Winter bared it's teeth for the first time yesterday as the Helmsdale river opened amidst gales and snow showers. As per usual the Sutherland schools pipe band provided the entertainment but their performance was pushed to the limit by vicious weather. Local junior angler Jordan Marshal had the honour of casting the first fly of the season and he set things rolling in style. Unfortunately the river was in rising mode all day as it crept up to around 3ft from 9" the day before. The unsettled conditions offered little chance of a fresh fish and only a few kelts were reported by the hardy anglers who battled the high winds. Today, Thursday, heavy snow has changed the whole scene but the river is dropping so chances are much better.. 100 anglers checked in for opening day. Read more
Registering for the 10 free opening days will take place at Thyme & Plaice and from the Belgrave Arms Hotel from today (Tuesday 10th). Both will be open late to cater for the big influx of anglers.
I will have a large selection of killer flies onboard this year as the shop is up for sale, look out for the Black Hilux with Loop on the back around the Bridge Hotel car park, but if I'm fishing, I'm fishing! I'll also have maxima 15, 18 & 20lbs + Sinking poly-tips and lines. I look forward to seeing you there But I won't be around for long as I have plans to catch the first fish!!