The Hatchery fishing programme is well under way now on the Helmsdale and some very big fish are being caught for stripping. No surprise in that considering the form of the past season. Borrobol estate alone has had 11 in the 20 - 24lbs range, 2 at 25lbs and had others of 27,28 & 30lbs. fish in the teens of pounds were also aplenty, check out another recent big fish pic below.
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As another season on the Helmsdale closes out there is much optimism in the air for spring 2018. The final tally will be knocking on for around 1700 fish, not bad for a river so lightly fished. The trend this season has been on a par with other Northern rivers with bigger fish dominating the run and grilse numbers coming a poor second. Remarkably there have been a handful of superb fish of over 30lbs and dozens over 20 during one of the better seasons in recent years. Rods on the river have always been difficult to access, I think it just got harder!
The Brora recorded a cracking fish of 32 lbs recently also, Mr James Stewart-Richardson being the lucky angler, The Lower Fannich pool was the hot spot, North bank, and the fish was 43 x 23.5". I don't think it would be fantasy to believe we could see a 40lbs monster grassed sometime very soon on the Helmsdale or Brora.