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11-01-2010 08:43 PM #1
River Helmsdale Opening day report
The River Helmsdale opened with a thawing + 4 degrees on the thermometer (today Jan 11th) but this was not enough to shift the 8” of ice which has built up daily in the river since December 18th 2009.
After an assortment of up-beat tunes from the Sutherland Schools pipe band, river board manager Sir Michael Wigan welcomed all to the opening ceremony which drew a larger than expected crowd. He warned the few hardy anglers who had tackled up to take great care on the perilous ice and also thanked Clynelish distillery for providing some fine whiskey refreshments throughout the day and a prize bottle for the captor of the first fish caught.
The gathering outside the Bridge Hotel.
The longest serving ghillie on the Helmsdale River Alex Fraser (Badanloch estate) was then introduced and led down to the river for the traditional honorary first cast of the season, this he managed in fine style and officially opened the new salmon season.
Badanloch ghillie Alex Fraser launching the first cast across the Coach pool on the Association water with Sir Michael Wigan looking on.
Unfortunately the eagerly anticipated Scott Mackenzie Demo day had to be cancelled earlier in the week due to the lack of casting space on the river. Scott who has won the World Spey casting championship on 3 occasions has recently launched his new range of superb DTX salmon rods and these were to be on show with instruction on the biggest pool on the lower Helmsdale but sadly it was not to be. The weather has frozen most pools solid for the time being apart from the tidal water! This event is to be re-scheduled hopefully at a later date.
Andy Sutherland searching for another first fish in the Association water on the Flat pool...he's on thin ice there
Carbisdale Caster shooting one across the Style pool on the Association water, from there on up everything is pretty much icebound!
Conditions were tough to say the least with large banks of ice on both sides of most pools and a fair run of grue to pop up that copper tube mid-stream. However, to add some extra excitement to the proceedings a few new Spey casts had to be invented to deal with the extreme challenge on hand “ The Ice Flip Roll “ and “ The Ice Lay Drop T “ both became standard practice by the end of the day!
No first fish but Andy's his first kelt of the season slides up on the ice no problem.
The Lower Caen pool closing up even more today.
The Highlights, only 3 kelts were miraculously landed from Lower Caen (Bt 1) and the Flat pool on the Association water by locals Andy Sutherland & Robert Flett.
Tomorrow is another day but prospects are not good!
River temp 33 - Sea temp 40.5 - Air temp 41 midday
Last edited by Helmie; 11-01-2010 at 10:44 PM.www.helmsdalecompany.com - the salmon fly specialists
11-01-2010 08:55 PM #2
Excellent report and pics Helmie. It's nice just to see somebody fishing after the close season"... the grand excuse for loitering in peaceful places."
11-01-2010 09:38 PM #3
good to see so many people turned out in the conditions . im sure all the whisky helped heat the poor souls up ... nice report ron . and some great pics ..
hope the scott mckenzie day can be rearanged ..
11-01-2010 09:39 PM #4
carbs caster . is that you trying to fish out your old car .
sorry paul coulndnt miss that one
11-01-2010 10:01 PM #5
Well done Ron, for the report and braving those extreme conditions !! Looked like a good turn out, all things considered, and great to see some casting again. Well done to big bro too, I'll bet that kelt got his ticker fluttering when it took .
A shame the Scott Mackenzie demo day had to be cancelled, but understandable from the pictures. That said, the race for the first fish in Scotland is still on, go lads if you're out tomorrow, and good luck.
15-01-2010 11:11 PM #6
whats the scores on the doors ron
how did the rest of the days go did anybody fish the other 2 days and what was caucght
im just peeved the weater put heid to my attempts to go up
17-01-2010 08:14 PM #7
Spot the difference !
No scores yet chaps....the water has been all over the place since Tuesday. As you can see from the recent pics below, we have a thaw
I am on beat 6 tomorrow and this week will give the first realistic chance of a fish...watch this space
The Whinnie pool on beat 1 was one of the only pools open for a cast on opening day
Same pool was a tad high yesterday
Lower Caen pool on beat one just above and round the corner from the Whinnie - blocked on opening day
No ice problems now Jan 16th
Last edited by Helmie; 17-01-2010 at 10:59 PM.www.helmsdalecompany.com - the salmon fly specialists
17-01-2010 10:52 PM #8
Great pics Ron, and what a difference in the river over a few days. Good luck this week coming, I'll be tuned in for reports .
18-01-2010 03:53 AM #9
- Join Date
- Aug 2009
well done ron,a fine report and good photos,
18-01-2010 02:01 PM #10
Hell its a country wide thaw. Not so good. Hopefully a few fish will arrive when the water settles. Thanks Helmie