Picking away..

Ronald Sutherland

I was away for the weekend so not the best report....A quick update of around 15 fish off the Association water and 85 approx off the river as a whole. Reasonable grilse run but not giving the big weeks of the past. The river is running at around 8" after a top up so sport should be good this coming week, maybe it is yet to peak, watch this space!

My daughter April and I had some fun on lochs and had a good bag of brownies plus a couple of plump ones for the barbi! Can you spot the location?

Baby Temple Dogs are working great right now...check them out right here -



Fishing ok but nothing special

Ronald Sutherland

The Helmsdale had another reasonable week with around 70 - 80 fish off with over a dozen from the Association water. The grilse are definitely running now but not in huge numbers. If you are lucky enough to meet a pod the sport can be fast and furious. The quality of fish are generally good with a little red vent showing up and a few 2 lbs fish but on the whole they are in plump condition.

Brian Maskel grassed a couple early in the week on Cascade Pigs when the water was dropping and starting to look good, Mick Buttery had 2 from Horseback on Willie gun TDs and I managed to keep my eye in by landing a lovely fat 5 pounder from Roaries pool midweek on one of our deadly Helmsdale shrimp doubles fished on the dropper. John Sweetman rolled in and had a 4 pounder but the classic visit came from Andrew Gordon from Edinburgh. Andrew popped into the tackle shop late Thursday afternoon hoping to get a ticked for the evening, he hired one of our rods and just used the fly that was on the end, 1 hour later he had landed 2 fish of 2.5lbs and 9lbs and was very happy with himself indeed! Both fish were taken in the Style pool at the top end of the local water. The fly was one of our new RS Kinermony Rainbow coneheads. Click here to buy now -

RS Kinermony Rainbow conehead.

RS Helmsdale shrimp Loop double, click here to buy -

5lbs grilse and Helmsdale Shrimp impaled

Quality grilse caught on quality loop tackle!

The Style pool earlier this week at around 9" where Andrew Gordon had his 2 fish.



Better week

Ronald Sutherland

The Helmsdale had a better week and a sprinkling of grilse arrived to get the summer run under way. Once again unsettled water levels made fishing unpredictable and difficult as heavy rain lashed down sporadically over the catchment but incredibly around 80 fish were recorded. Many were coloured but a good percentage were sizeable fresh summer salmon and grilse. Pods of quality grilse showed up from time to time everywhere and were in great shape going against the recent trend of red vent and skinny fish. 10 year old Harry Hemsley made sure he got in on the action this week fishing Torrish rods when he grassed a gleaming fresh 6 pounder. Clay bank beat 5 was the pool and the fly used was an Alistair conehead.

The Association water struggled all week with the high coloured water but a settled window appeared on Friday and Loop Tackle CEO Gordon Sim took full advantage landing 3 sparkling well conditioned grilse. He lost 3 others and Peter Macmillan also landed one. An intermediate tip and RS tungsten conehead Cascade Pig was the tactical choice that paid off for Gordon on the day.

One of Gordons fish (below) prior to release.

The deadly RS Cascade Pig tungsten conehead, click here to buy now -

We are now also back in full swing this week after a midweek break in Glasgow when I attended my daughters graduation from Strathclyde University. A fabulous few days were had by all the family and we are very proud of her great achievement. She leaves the academic front and starts with a superb new opportunity in London at GSK as a global systems analyst very soon.

More news on the job scene as one of our young local anglers and fly tiers Jordan Marshall joins Helmsdale Co for the summer tomorrow. Jordan is an excellent prospect and keen angler and has learned to tie flies to shop quality extremely quickly, his enthusiasm for fishing will serve him well in the tackle shop I'm sure and we will have some of his own fly patterns available to buy very soon online so look out for them.

Jordan below with a nice fish this season.



Very quiet on the Helmsdale

Ronald Sutherland

It may be summer but it did not feel like it on the river as far as the fishing was concerned. All rods struggled to find fish in a taking mood. Conditions were not the best but good water levels certainly made the river look very fishy indeed. A good spate on the Sunday set the river up as good as one could expect for the week ahead but things remained a little unsettled and thundery. A few grilse were indeed caught and spotted but they were very few and far between.

Achentoul rods bumped into a pod on beat 6 Tuesday and landed 2, lost 3, they were well conditioned fish of 3 & 4 lbs. The rest of the week remained rather uneventful and no fish to my knowledge were caught on the Association water. However, Saturday produced a few and took the tally up to around 35 for the week. It's quite unseasonable right now with a clear gap between the last of the late springers and better summer fish and the arrival of the grilse run. 

Prospects for next week should be reasonable as long as the rain holds off and fish come in but the forecast is telling us different. Low pressures are lined up to hit once again from the West on Monday/Tuesday and the river is sure to rise at some point again. Midweek is cooling down markedly with the wind backing Northerly and another deluge looks set to hit on Friday.

So, in the event of little action to report from the river I have some superb new flies to show you to perk up the viewing and spirit here! We have designed some awesome looking new RS Tiger flies just in time for the summer run (hopefully). The double version of these flies have been tied on the famous Loop doubles for ultimate strength and hooking power. Green & blue are big colours abroad especially in Iceland, Norway & Russia and now even the Swedes are hammering Baltic salmon on these colours. Don't forget that blue and green flies have caught many huge fish over the years in the UK, Green Highlander and Silver Wilkinson were big favourites for decades and should not have fallen out of fashion... These cutting edge new takes on the old themes make for very aggressive looking flies and the fish hit them hard! We hope you like them, you can buy them here right now -

RS Kola Tiger Blue tube

RS Kola Tiger Green tube

RS Kola Tiger Blue Loop double

RS Kola Tiger Green Loop double

Another pic of one of our other deadly tubes, the Cascade Alistair. as you can see, fish inhale them well!