Water temperatures were up ...

Ronald Sutherland


Water temperatures were up as high as 45 degrees on the river Helmsdale last week and 18 salmon were recorded. Sink tips and intermediate lines were the popular choice with a range of fly density.

Make sure you are fully equipped for your fishing trip by having a range of sinking poly-tips and fly sizes available which can be attached easily to your floating line. The weather can be very changeable in the coming weeks and the angler who adapts to conditions best will catch most fish. Personally I wouldn’t fish anywhere without a choice of tungsten, copper, aluminium & conehead tube flies. Sinking tips in fast and slow sinking options between 5 & 15ft should cover most eventualities.

Be prepared and get an edge…tight lines.


Yours truly (Ron) returning a solid 14 pounder last week from Upper Torrish on beat 3 ( full report below )

As predicted the weekly total on the Helmsdale increased again last week from the previous. The river rose constantly on Monday by 13ins so the day was basically washed out apart from an early Achentoul fish from beat 4. Tom Plumbly lured an 8lbs fish from beat 1 on Tuesday, Graham Robertson had a 6 pounder from the Craggie stream on 5 and Tackle shop owner Ron Sutherland returned a gleaming 14 pounder from Upper Torrish on beat 3. On Friday 2 fish were reported, a cracking 16 pounder returned by ghillie Donald Sutherland on beat 1 and George Sutherland returned an 8 pounder in the Vale of tears on beat 6. Suisgil rods had another from the Little Rock pool on beat 6 on Saturday bringing the weekly total to 7 – 17 for the season so far.

All things considered the fishing was not too bad as rods were practically blown off the river on Thursday & Saturday. Most of the fish were returned which is very pleasing and hopefully this will help boost future spring stocks.

Water levels are excellent and running at approx 1ft so the week ahead should produce around 8 – 12 fish if conditions are favourable. 

Borrobol ghillie Glen Macdonald with Mike sheply returning a nice 7.5 pounder in the Whinnie (beat 5) 10 days ago.




Ben Jukes signed off last Saturday ...

Ronald Sutherland


Ben Jukes signed off last Saturday by returning a super 18 pounder on beat 6 in the Little Rock and this brought our tally to 5 for the week.

With good water, reasonable weather conditions and all ghillies back on parade we were expecting an increase in numbers for the week beginning March 2nd. However results did not pan out that way. Kildonan rods got off to a good start with a fish on Monday, Ross Mackay landing a sea-liced fish in Upper Caen on beat 1 and Tuesday with Don Mackay returning a good fish over 12lbs in the Flat pool on beat 6. This would indicate that some fish are already over the Kildonan falls.

Suisgill rods had a fish from beat 5, Andrew Thomas (Achentoul rods) christened his new Loop rod with a 10 pounder from the tail of the Marrel on (bt 1) and Mike Sheply fishing Borrobol rods had a 7.5lbs fish from the Whinnie on beat 5. That was it for the week and we are now on 10 for the season.

I would expect 10 springers to be caught by the end of February a few years ago but this seems to be another sign that the salmon seasons seem to be running later now and we simply have to get used to it.

I will be on the river this week fishing the Torrish rods, I am not making any predictions, but water levels should be good all week and I would expect more than 5 salmon to be reported.

On the Helmsdale Co front we have another Forum fly deal up for grabs – please check it out on

This is a great opportunity to purchase a deadly set of cracking coneheads at a special knockdown price. Coneheads are very popular and the set we have on offer ( for one week only ) will fish all season for atlantic salmon anywhere…I would advise you to snap up a set as they are not nearly this cheap normally!


Tight lines


At last the river Helmsdale has woken up. After a big thaw and spell of high water last week a few fish have appeared in the river. Things got moving on Monday when Lance Hacker landed the first Achentoul fish - a nice fresh 7lbs fish on Baddy Wood ( bt 4). Thursday saw Alan Stone fishing Borrobol rods land their first, a fine 10 pounder from Pilkingtons Point on beat 5 then the same fellow returned a super 18lbs fish from Lower Torrish on beat 3 on Saturday aided by Johnny Hardy. Johnny commented that he had not seen so many sea-lice on a fish in years.

With 3 springers off this week, predictions should be good for next – lets all keep our fingers crossed. We are now on 4 for the season.

Other Highland rivers are giving a fish or two now also, the Naver had 5 last week, Thurso 1 and Brora 1

All rods will be fished hard this week on the Helmsdale - Paul Young will be here, Andrew Thomas & Local Robert Mackay will also be on the water, if there is a fish about these guys will find them! Let's hope it is the start of a good spring run and all rods score.

Don't forget to stock up with flies from our site if you have a fishing trip organised and please place your order in good time.

Once again we have added new patterns so take time to surf through what is on offer.

I will be at the massive Tweed Angling Fair in Kelso again this year ( May 2nd + 3rd ) in the Atlantic Salmon Reserve tent tying Russian killers for the Kharlovka, Litza etc Please pop along and say hello and check out the fabulous fishing and flies on offer. We will have lots of flies for sale, tips on fly-tying and information/films on screen about salmon fishing specialising in Russia.

Oh....and you can bet I'll be tying loads of those deadly new Monkey tubes which seem to be catching fish all over the place recently ( pic below ). I had three of my 4 springers on the Dee last week on my version pictured below - 1" Tungstem body with 6.5" hairwing...AWESOME!