The week opened with almost 4ft on the gauge rendering the river almost un-fishable but conditions improved by Tuesday and fish were on the move. Andy Sutherland fishing the Torrish Rods had an early 10 pounder on the banks of Little Rock pool beat 6, an orange & black conehead Monkey did the trick. Another 3 fish were caught on Tuesday, Suisgill rods had 2 fish off beat 4 and one came off beat 2 for regular visitor Rik Marr fishing Kildonan rods.
Wednesday provided another 2 fresh fish and water temps were on the rise. Thursday and Friday offered one each day which increased the seasonal tally to 16. By close of play on Saturday the water temperature had risen to 44 degrees with a fresh North westerly wind (excellent fishing conditions you would think?) correct, Saturday was going to be a day to remember.
Torrish rods got off to a great start on beat 2 with a solid 14 pounder from the Private pool for Andy Sutherland on an Alistair tube, he improved his...

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The last three weeks on the Helmsdale have produced the following scores - 2, 3, 2 a grand total of 7 springers for the season so far. William Jappy rounded off his week on Badanloch rods with an 8.5lbs fish from Salscraggie and I had the pleasure of hooking one in the Clay bank pool on beat 5 on Wednesday. The sea-liced fish weighed in at 8lbs and one of Helmsdale Co's new Flaming Temple Dog conehead tubes was the deadly fly! The set up I now use is an absolute pleasure to fish also - Scott Mackenzie DTX 15ft, Carron Jetstream 65ft 10/11 head sinking Spey line. I have fished for many years with various tackle combo's and I have had much enjoyment watching my line shoot accross the river but fishing with the new DTX teamed up with either a Carron Jetstream or DTX Multi-tip line is amazing and takes fishing...

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Another 3 fish were taken on the Helmsdale this week. Achentoul rods had the first on beat one with Welshman Andrew Thomas hooking a 7lbs fish in the Marrel pool. This was followed the next day by Kildonan rods with a 7.5lbs fish from Salscraggie for Don Mackay ( who had the first fish on the Thurso ). Andrew's mate Allan had another fish for Achentoul on beat 5 from the Bridge pool at 5.5lbs and that was it for the week.

Conditions were not great and we could have done with a little more water but as I write today we have a big thaw on and the river is up to 3ft. There are sure to be more fish off next week as the weather forecast is settled and the water will be perfect - watch this space! 5 off the river now.

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