Peak season...

Ronald Sutherland

The Helmsdale is not firing on all cylinders quite yet but there are plenty of fish around and approx 60 off the river for the week including the Association water. I spent a few hours on the water last week (Sat ) and witnessed a good run of grilse around the tide especially, we had 5 interested between us, 3 hooked & 1 landed. As per usual my fiancee Donna bent the rod first and duly added another classic Helmsdale grilse to her tally. The Alistair UV conehead is always her first choice and it proved its worth yet again. 6 fish were caught on the day, Alistair Jappy had 2 before breakfast but the catch was disappointing considering the abundance of fish. Adam Macdonald started to make a dent in the population earlier in the week with 3 on Monday/Tuesday but the rest of the week was tough.

This seems to be the trend this year, very encouraging numbers of fish around but they are proving quite difficult to catch when in the past a mini bonanza would have been had throughout the system. 200+ fish July weeks were not uncommon a few years ago, my father worked on the river for 40 years, I have the benefit of all his experience & stats. The river was also netted at the mouth along with bag nets intercepting the run from East & West too. There are lots of fish around this year, back in the netting days there were huge numbers of fish around and thats the difference. incedentally,  3 pink salmon have now been recorded on the river along with plenty from other Scottish rivers, worrying maybe but we don’t know enough about the issue yet to know if this mini invasion could become a problem. (see pink collection below )

Next week could be the big one, more fresh water hit the system on Saturday so it is topped up perfectly and ready for some serious action! Coneheads should work very well and as you know, we have plenty of the best for sale right here –

When the river drops, there are no better flies than the 2 amazing RS Baby TD’s below, these are teamed up with size 14 Partridge Patriot Stinger tube singles to give an idea of how tiny they are. Single hooks suit them very well, you should try them, they take a superb hold and release is much easier. You can grab some here right now -

Donna smiling all the way into another Helmsdale fish on the Association water.

Landed and happy! Loop Cross S1 13ft, GDC 9 floater, G4 Loop Evotec 8-10....

One of Adams fish, absolutely pristine, cautht on one of our baby Tds...

When we are on the subject of pink salmon, this is one of our top selling sets for the ladies -



Still waiting for things to happen...

Ronald Sutherland

Momentum is growing on the Helmsdale as a mix of salmon and grilse enter the system, lots of fresh fish are being seen but catches are not reflecting this for some reason. Borrobol were top rods with 13, regular Ian Muir had 9 on Kildonan and the other rods had a reasonable picking between them. Things should accelerate soon as the peak of the season approaches. The tagging on the North coast bag nets is not seeing much of a run yet but good marks of grilse have been seen arriving. Next week should see things kicking off.

See our offers in the reports below if you are looking for great rods reels and lines, we also have a superb influx of new flies onboard also so get stuck in and secure your supply before they disappear! By the way, we have the best Frances flies in the world and they are one of our top sellers in red & black especially and on tubes doubles & trebles. You can check them out below and buy them right here - they are simply deadly in copper & tungsten especially as they get right down in front of the fish where they simply suck them on or grab them like tigers!



Hotting up slowly

Ronald Sutherland

Back in stock along with loads of your favourites, the Blue Elver....have a good look through the site for all the new arrivals. Alistair coneheads, baby tds, tungsten frances, micro SuperSnaelda and many more..

The Helmsdale is still somewhat simmering but catches of grilse are steadily keeping things interesting for those putting in the hours, Kildonan and Suisgill having the best of it last week with 20 and 19. A pink salmon was caught on beat 1 below and interestingly there were pinks caught on the Spey & Dee recently also.

Don’t forget to stock up with our deadly coneheads in Willie Dog crimp, Willie Dog summer and Cascade Crimp plus superdeadly micro versions of each too, these are our most successful summer flies, check them out right here, links to each below.

Cascade micro conehead -

Willie Dog Micro conehead, you can buy here right now -

How’s your casting these days? Is the line flying out of your fingers and making the reel jump? Do you enjoy watching it fully turn over at long distance? If it is not then you are probably not loading your rod and your line may be on the light side with its rating. Without getting too technical about things, technique is one thing, and we all have out own personal styles and methods of propelling line, but get the line rating spot on for your rod and use a quality line and you are most of the way to maximising your full potential.

I have seen so many anglers using old cracked dirty lines too light or way too heavy for rods that they have no chance of ever getting remotely close to perfection, or even just enjoying their casting as the art form it is.

Sometimes salmon fishing is all about the fly, luck, right place right time, but sometimes it is about light presentation at close and long distance as well as all the other variables.

When was the last time you ran your line through line cleaner to help keep it supple and clean, products on the market not only clean and lubricate lines nowadays but they fill tiny imperfections, all this helps generate extra line speed and that slick zip out through the rod rings.

We are offering you the opportunity to grab one of the best salmon lines out there recommended by many experts and even myself as the best! I have used and tested the new Gaelforce range over the last 2 seasons and I have not used anything better.

Buy one Gaelforce line and get a half dozen of our best salmon flies free.

Buy any Loop Evotec or Hardy Marquis reel and you get a Gaelforce line half price.

Buy any Loop Cross salmon rod & either Hardy or Loop reel and you get a Gaelforce line free inc a dozen salmon flies free.

The combo of Loop & Gaelforce is the dream casting combo….you only live once and we have great deals.

Call me for prices and the key to casting perfection!

A couple of nice recent fish to round off with below from Ian Muir & Chris Wall from beats 2 & 3



Quiet week on the Helmsdale

Ronald Sutherland

Last week was quide dour on the Helmsdale, the residents were not too interested and still no real sign of many grilse. 30 - 40 would cover the total catch including the Association water.

On a more exciting note we have made the Megan Shrimp available, the exact tying from the legend herself!, no frills, no flash, just the real thing and its a fly thats caught thousands of salmon. Check it out below and order some for the summer...

Speaking of tradition - we also have a great offer on Hardy Marquis reels and Carron lines, the cream of floating line summer fishing for years. Buy either size of Marquis reel and get a Carron 9/10 or 10/11 line half price..a superb combination of class, engineering and tradition at its best! call me for details and price thanks - 01343870158

Check out the Hardy reels right here -