Things have slowed down slightly on the salmon front on the Helmsdale at least. The last two weeks have fished quite well and good numbers are still running however fluctuating water levels have made scoring a hit or miss depending on which beat you fish. Two grilse have been reported but generally excellent salmon of between 7 – 16lbs have been the norm.

The Association water has struggled slightly as fish are flying through the lower river but a couple have been picked up by locals, we are now on 25 fish for the season, Tommy Bird & Alexander Cowie catching the latest both at 9lbs.

The sea-trout have arrived in good numbers and I had one of my best sessions on Saturday night before the bells at midnight rudely stopped the bonanza! I had 7 super sea-trout up to 3lbs from 10,30pm – midnight mainly on a silver stoat double size 14. Last week provided another 25 for the week but rising water levels spoiled the fun midweek and the trout are sprinting up the system now.


Heavy rain on Wednesday last week offered long awaited fresh water to most highland rivers and after an e-mail from the Sutherland estate office informing me of available fishing on our neighboring river Brora I was on close alert to the water levels over there. A quick decision was made and I was on the lower Brora by 4am next morning with brother Andy. To cut a long story short we had 6 fish between us and it was one of the most enjoyable few hours fishing I have ever spent on a river, smallest 9lbs biggest 14. All my fish came to a Willie Dog conehead set up with a new Guideline tube double. One fish came out of the Ford, 2 from lower Fannich and one out of lower Madman. Andy had fish from the Lower Stoney and Corner pool.

The Guideline doubles are superb new hooks and the best I have seen for sharpness and style…they are going to be massive!!! Check them out on this site.

Here is the deadly fly below with Guideline double inset, I keep going back to this fly in slightly coloured water and it never fails to produce the goods – you really need some of these in your box!! It is my original and most killer design to date and I highly recommend it to anyone fishing any river for Atlantic salmon. This fly has proven beyond doubt that it works extremely well all season in all sizes. 


Following the spate last reported here we had some excellent fishing and the best week of the season so far. Good sport was had right through the system and 70 fish were reported from the week beginning May 18th. Since then another two good weeks fishing has ensued and perked up hopes of a revival. The poor figures in March & April were a disappointment but May is way ahead on last year’s weather & performance with what would seem a good consistent run of fish. Last weeks fishing was also fairly steady and one or two grilse were caught and lost.

Sea-trout should be arriving soon in decent numbers hopefully, Alexander Cowie had one last week but few have been seen as yet.


On the salmon scene locally we are up to 20 off now, the latest being landed yesterday ( Saturday ) after a fresh rise in levels. Alistair Jappy had a great morning with a fine brace up to 11lbs and Archie Miller rounded off the weeks fishing by catching a 10 pounder from Roaries pool late in the evening. Salmon are running daily now so chances are good on this water.We have a few more great new flies on-line and the deadly Park Shrimp double would be the most recent along with more sea-trout flies – get stocked up for a busy summer season!

We also have the very latest now rod from Loop on offer with a free Quattro tip multi-tip line. The Loop Opti Power Spey has a unique new adjustable reel seat which you can alter to find the best balance for the rod & line….click on the link and see it in action. At over £500 it is not cheap but at half the price of the best Hardy rod it is an absolute steal! Awesome power/balance and lightness that you will cast out of sight with.


Please call me direct at the shop on 01431821372 if you need any assistance or advice before buying any tackle or flies, we are happy to help and it is all part of the service to get you on the water with the correct outfit.