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The river Helmsdale opened once again on a glorious day with much anticipation in the air. The Strath had an eerie quietness about it but it soon provided some good sport for the lucky few who had the honour of fishing the most rested (in season) water of all time. John Hardy was one of them and he quickly got off the mark on beat 3  above landing fish in the New Stream and Georgina. George Hardy also had a couple from Red Bray. All beats scored before the sun scorched the glen and over 20 fish were reported for the day including 2 from the Association water which is also open for business on the same restricted basis as all other fisheries in Scotland. The season should now be in full swing with some heavy June fish arriving and...

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Fishing is getting closer as a Lockdown exit strategy is being penned. More and more anglers are topping up their flyboxes and looking out their fishing gear. Summer is here, the rivers are rested, anticipation is at fever pitch and a charge on our rivers is imminent.

We have just the set of flies to hit the ground running, and a very special set it is with more of Rons unique thinking on full display. Ron has designed so many new concept and innovative flies over the years, the latest being his RS Solar Monkey range which had immediate lethal success on the Spey. This success soon spread everywhere atlantic salmon swim so it was from this new Solar range that Ron took his inspiration to create yet another deadly tweak on some of our favourite salmon flies.

The Firetail series was born and it is heading for best seller status already. A deadly vibrant...

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Lockdown has been extended so only one thing for it, an upgrade of the deadly Alistair tube. The Alistair has firmly and fashionably taken over from the Megan tube which was the absolute "go to" tail fly of the past. Very few rods would be seen on the river Helmsdale in summer without a Megan tube on the tail end of a classic dibbling dropper set up. Nowadays its the Alistair tube and who would argue that is not more successful than the awesome power of the timy black & blue Megan?

Well, the rise of the Alistair is complete, it has powered its way on to most rods for much of the season in all forms, coneheads, copper and aluminium tubes, Pot bellied pigs, Tigertails and more but in summer it is the plastic tube version that now commands the top spot.

I had one of my best ever seasons around 15 years ago in the Highlands landing around 100 salmon mainly over the summer. The water was low all summer but the salmon were still running. At that time my top fly by a long...

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