It has been a good week on the Helmsdale with most estates landing around 15 - 20 salmon. The surprising thing is that we were running on compensation water of around only 5" and this is not usually a turn on for the salmon. However the weather has been excellent for fishing with a cool North Westerly blowing downstream for much of the week and this has obviously been drawing in the fish.

The Association water has been quiet probably due to the fact that the high tides have been through the night with most fish entering the river under the cover of  darkness. Only 3 fish were been reported last week.

The great news is that as I write the river is rising fast after many hours of persistent heavy rain. The week ahead is all set to be very good with superb fly fishing conditions. The Association water will be a great chance if you fancy a cast as the whole stretch will be in fine fettle and with the high tides edging towards daylight early in the week there are sure to be fish caught. Tickets are available from the Tackle shop as usual and at only £26 per rod per day they offer great value.

The most exciting news this week is the arrival of the long awaited new Carron Jetstream Twin colour Spey lines. These lines have been tested and researched to the max by world Spey casting champion Gordon Armstrong and Carron product design Guru James Cameron who indecently can also throw a line huge distances. The new 65ft 10/11 is set to be a best seller as this will be a very comfortable easy loading line which will suit many anglers ( there are 4 65ft lines in this range 8/9, 9/10, 10/11 & 11/12 ) They have also launched a new more specialist line called the Proline which has a more advanced and versatile profile. This line will bridge the gap between more rods as a 10/11 will balance 14ft, 15 or 16ft rods.

We have all these lines arriving this week so be one of the first to impress and enjoy and pre-order one now right here on-line.


There is also a special offer on all our Green Highlander tubes so please stock up on these if you are heading abroad this summer. The green Highlander fly is especially affective in Russia & Norwa


It has been tough fishing on the Helmsdale this week with only around 20 salmon caught. Water levels have remained low with some compensation water keeping the river on the fishable limit. 3 salmon were caught on the Association water on Monday/Tuesday but the most successful angler as usual has been the big seal patrolling the estuary.

Day after day there are reports of salmon being thrown around and slaughtered and frankly anglers are fed up with the situation all around our coastline. A new government is now in power so maybe fisheries will get more power to protect their declining salmon & sea-trout stocks, after-all, game angling is only worth 120 million a year to the Scottish economy so why should we want to protect that at the cost of a couple of over populated seals!!


Despite the relatively low water conditions over the last two weeks the Helmsdale has fared very well although sport has been very hit or miss. Approx 100 salmon have been caught all over the system from the Association water to the canal on beat 5 above. William Jappy had two locally 10 & 8 and Alexander cowie caught the first grilse of the season at 2lbs 14oz + another good fish of 8lbs.

Badanloch rods continue to take full advantage of a rested beat 6 below Kildonan falls each Monday landing 2 x 6 and most other rods are catching their fair share. Small Temple Dogs on plastic & conehead tubes are fishing well and the Alistair is also doing the business as usual.We could do with some rain now to energise things once again and draw more fresh fish in. If no fresh water materialises then this week could be tough.

The big news from the Strath however is that Suisgill estate is up for sale. I do not know the pricetag but lets just say there may be many millions involved!

Water temps are up over 50 degrees now and forecast to rise further this week so floating lines are the order of the day. For best results keep your flies fairly small and even down to size 12s in the thinner pools. Best flies of the month have been Ally Dog conehead, Willie Dog conehead, Alistair, Sunray Shadow, Baby Temple Dogs and small plastic tubes - we have them all for sale right here so stock up for your next fishing trip!


In the last two weeks the Helmsdale has stumbled along like most other rivers in Scotland. No great numbers of fish have been reported but the sprinkling of 12 rods over the beats have accounted for around 45 salmon with another 4 from the Association water. Water levels have been very favourable over this period and beat 6 has been by far the best spot. Badanloch rods took full advantage of their Monday slot on this beat by landing 6 super fish and loosing a few more, the best catch on the river this season.
Salmon are through the whole system now and rods should be looking at the loch for some sport as soon as conditions dictate. Water temps have reached over the magic 50 recently and salmon are now readily taking flies on the surface however, conehead flies are working very well. These deadly tubes with weighted heads cut through the water and present a tantalising target in the danger zone for salmon – they are snapped up immediately more often than not if fish are around.
I invented the Willie Dog and Ally Dog conehead tubes around 12 years ago and they have caught thousands of salmon all over the world now. Both these conehead tubes were inspired by the huge success of Willie Gunn and Ally’s Shrimp flies which I decided to modernise using arctic fox hair and the Scandinavian Temple Dog style of fly-tying, the rest as they say is history. A great selection of these flies can be viewed and purchased here

The Helmsdale Angling club have just returned from a successful week on the river Brora landing 11 springers with the highlight being a first fish for Euan Sutherland from the Upper Potts pool at 8lbs ( on a Willie Dog conehead! ) Friday 30th was the top day when 8 cracking fish were caught mostly on the upper half and 4 from the Ford pool.

Euan proudly shows off his first fish from the lower Brora.

The "buy one get one free" offer is now closed.