The Helmsdale is still producing good numbers of fish but few are fresh run now.

A super 25 pounder was hooked and returned on the loch along with another 3 for Badanloch rods on Thursday. Most rods did fairly well with scores in the teens. On a brief encounter with beat 2, I had the pleasure of a few hours and landed 3 on a mixture of Green boar shrimp and Tsunami. The latter fly providing lots of aggressive offers and follows. The pic below shows what happens when a super aggressive 20lbs + fish launches itself at the skating Tsunami and only hits one hook! The Rubbish heap on beat 2 above was the pool and the Willie Gunn Tsunami was skating beautifully at long range right into the draw and bang, a textbook smash on the surface and the brute took off upstream jumping 3 times before throwing the hook – the result is what you see below! A Totally straightened kamasan treble hook!! At this time of the year it very often pays to fish something a little different to the normal orange/black & yellow colours. My few hours on the river proved the point and the Tsunami was an absolute star performer. Fish it like the Sunray shadow and watch it make a bigger wake with less effort – and look out for that big wake on the attack from behind! get some in your box if you want an edge..they really do work well if fished properly! The one below is the 6cm tube 

After my experience, if you want to maximise your chances of landing a big fish I would recommend using stronger hooks like a Guideline/Salar tube double or treble or a Loop double. 

 The Willie Gunn Tsunami designed by Ron Sutherland showing a not so strong hook!

This week’s prospects are not great as water levels and weather conditions have settled down under a lingering high pressure. There are only 2 weeks of the season to go now so if you still want a cast on the Helmsdale, drop into the tackle shop for a day ticket as there is still a good chance of hooking a fresh fish on the lower river town water.

The Helmsdale may soon be closing but the river Tweed etc are only getting into gear for a big autumn run hopefully. Stock up on Junction shrimp tubes and coneheads if you are lucky enough to have any fishing booked there.