River Helmsdale Opening Jan 11th getting very close!

Helmie

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The river Helmsdale will open very soon and Badanloch Ghillie Alex Fraser will have the honour of launching the traditional first cast of the season. The long range forecast looks to be very icy but with a slightly warmer blip on the cards a few days before opening day on Jan11th - lets hope this relaxes the ice and opens up the current icy river. A good supply of 1",1.5" & 2" copper and tungsten tubes will be most usefull with medium sinking lines. The other popular "Scandi type" approach is to fish lighter aluminium & plastic tubes on faster sinking lines or shootingheads. Either way you will be presenting your fly close to the salmon who will be lying on or close to the riverbed.
The anticipation of that first cast of the season is a magical moment and when you have free fishing on the whole lower Helmsdale at your mercy it feels even better. If there is the slightest chance you can get away for a day or two get yourself booked into the last few rooms at the Bridge Hotel for the big opening day buzz. Call me at the Helmsdale Tackle Shop for advice on availability tackle & flies. The first 3 days of the season are open to the public as usual.

We had a super sea-liced springer on opening day 2009 caught by Andy Sutherland on a 2" Alistair copper tube. Beat 1 Lower Caen right bank was the hot spot - It can happen! hopefully it will happen again and lets pray for a great spring in 2010 everywhere.
 

Helmie

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Indeed, not long to go for us as you have stated in another thread Crispin...and it is great to see a fresh springer from the Drowes in your fine country across the water;)

Here are a couple of pics from the Helmsdale - what a difference a year makes! The top pic is Lower Caen (right now) - the bottom pic is Andy Sutherland ( left, on south bank ) looking for another opening day fish from the same pool.

Looks like the bottom 2 miles of the river hold the only chance this year on opening day unless temps rise FAST! wading looks a little scary :eek: and when you hook him, where you gonna land im :confused:

Lower Caen today 2/1/10

Lower Caen 11/1/09


Kilphedir pool today 2/1/10

Kilphedir pool last January

I think the DTX Demo day with Scot Mackenzie may be in trouble here!

A few more pics from below Lower Caen today 2/1/10
The Whinnie beat 1 - very good trim and one of our best low water spring pools - looks good! ( we may have to draw lots for this one!!!


The Association water looking clear of ice also.



Plenty room for a springer to slide in!...all hope is not lost yet!
 
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fishingmike

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Helmie

Maybe i should bring an ice pick rather than a wading stick! When the rod rings start icing up it all adds to the occasion, i cant wait for the season to kick off in 190 odd hours (how sad i am!).
Busy tying up a fly that i can only descibe as a cross between a fast eddie and the infamous cascade alistair, i am sure if it cruises within 3 inches of a silver tourists snout it will prove irresistable.
Any way i must go as my wife is calling to advise my daily mince pie ration is ready for consumption, thus ensuring i struggle to get my chest waders over my ever increasing girth, look forward to seeing you on the 11th.
 

Scanny

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It looks great Ron, for taking pictures not fishing :) here's hopping it thaws this week, ive just got all my "bits and bobs" ordered up to practice with this week for next Monday. Come ice or thaw ill still enjoy it im sure

The Whiskey will be free flowing so it should be a great couple of days and all the Christmas insulations should keep the cold at bay.

Ive a few pink and purple creations to try if all else fails.
 
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love 2 fish

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It looks great Ron, for taking pictures not fishing :) here's hopping it thaws this week, ive just got all my "bits and bobs" ordered up to practice with this week for next Monday. Come ice or thaw ill still enjoy it im sure

The Whiskey will be free flowing so it should be a great couple of days and all the Christmas insulations should keep the cold at bay.

Ive a few pink and purple creations to try if all else fails.

if the forcasts are right . [ which they never are ] its a snow plough and gritter we need ... :)
 

Scanny

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Well at least giving the good lady a call and telling her your snowed it and will have to fish the rest of the week, wont sound as implausible as it usually would :D
if the forcasts are right . [ which they never are ] its a snow plough and gritter we need ... :)
 

Helmie

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Guys...its not looking good....we may be casting the DTX off the harbour wall at this rate:D:D
Frost forecast all week:(

The roads are ok at the moment L2F...in places:eek: You might get snowed in quite easily...but you might just get snowed out also :D I'll have the hot spots all to myself after they settle from the Sunday bombing!!! :D:D
 

Helmie

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. if this weather keeps up you might need to add tnt to your allistairs to get through the ice[/QUOTE]

I have the dressing :D...and all the hot spots have been pre-marked;)...lets keep a very close eye on the weather.
 

onthedangle

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I have the dressing :D...and all the hot spots have been pre-marked;)...lets keep a very close eye on the weather.[/QUOTE]

i'll keep my fingers crossed that you dont get the weather we have been having down here, it has snowed every day for a fortnight!! snowing very heavy tonight at least 6 inches in the last few hours:eek:
 
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onthedangle

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otd . im getting the same snow as you . but nothing an allister tnt wont clear . :D

what could be better is an allister tied on one of these ludicrous tubeology thingamajigies!!!:eek: they could do damge to an afghan cave, so should cope nicely with the helmsdales ice!!:D:D
 

carbisdale caster

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Wee update on the roads, Inverness to the Dornoch bridge took nearly two hours this morning in 4wd (just under 45 mins in normal conditions) :eek::eek:

Drive carefully lads, still if the weather stays as it is at least the pubs will do a roaring trade, looking forward to putting some faces to names.

Paul

P.S. Ron if you're needing a hand breaking the ice up i'm sure I could manage to drive the car into the river (and thanks to recent weddings i've got a few bottles of red sauce for you) ;):D
 
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Helmie

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what could be better is an allister tied on one of these ludicrous tubeology thingamajigies!!!:eek: they could do damge to an afghan cave, so should cope nicely with the helmsdales ice!!:D:D

Its already been done;) but on a better system that is being refined & designed as we speak to still look like a fly, but a very interchangeable fly. Below is a 4 piece Alistair on a new high spec system made up of brass & aluminium all of which screw in place ( no spinning involved ) this system will be introduced very soon by another Heilan member on here...I just got a few snippets to play with :cool:

Alistair 4pc brass/alumin


Monkey 3pc alumin
 

Helmie

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P.S. Ron if you're needing a hand breaking the ice up i'm sure I could manage to drive the car into the river (and thanks to recent weddings i've got a few bottles of red sauce for you) ;):D[/QUOTE]

Good man..you are well qualified :D.....but make sure you drop off the claret first mate :):cool:
 

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New Secret weapon?

Hi Ron,

Hmmmm, looks very interesting? Would you like to shed some more light on those tubes for us :cool:

I'd be stocking up on thermals in the shop looking at those pictures.

All the best for 2010,

Sam
 

Helmie

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I'll unscrew these tomorrow Sam when I get back to the shop and post some pics.
The system is still being refined at the moment, i'll have more details here when they are ready for launch. You will be able to change weight and colour fast ;) and why not!
 

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Thanks Ron,

Sat twiddling my thumbs in the shop this morning watching the odd mad soul head out for a few holes on temporary greens.

Could do with getting the tying vice in here to give me something to do :)

Think you might need to organise some alternative activities for the 11th?

How about inline skating up and down the river, a snowball fight, line tray luge down the high street, then off to the pub?

Fingers crossed for a speedy thaw.

Rgds,

Sam
 
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Helmie

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Ha Ha...aye...maybe try all of the above :D

We may try to open up enough of the Lower Caen pool this week to at least get our DTX demo day on..

By the way I am also dying for a game of golf now too...just finished reading over Christmas " The greatest game ever played" makes you need a swing ;) Harry Vardon was some player with the gear he had! and Frances Ouimet, well, I don't think you will ever have an amateur winning the US Open ever again....great story!

Get that vise situated in the back shop!...or maybe you can use that gizmo that changes the lie and loft of irons? :D
 

simon-s

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Hi All!

Looking forward to the free fishing next week...lets hope the weather isn't too harsh on us all.

Quick question...do we have to book the fishing or is it on a first come first served basis? I only ask as I won't be arriving in Helmsdale until late on Monday afternoon and don't want to miss booking for Tues/Wed fishing.

Also, having never fished for salmon before and not really sure what flies to fish with...should I buy flies when I arrive in Helmsdale or get sorted before?

Thanks,

Simon
 
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Strathglass

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Hi All!

Looking forward to the free fishing next week...lets hope the weather isn't too harsh on us all.

Quick question...do we have to book the fishing or is it on a first come first served basis? I only ask as I won't be arriving in Helmsdale until late on Monday afternoon and don't want to miss booking for Tues/Wed fishing.

Also, having never fished for salmon before and not really sure what flies to fish with...should I buy flies when I arrive in Helmsdale or get sorted before?

Thanks,

Simon

:eek: :eek::eek:What an introduction to Salmon Fishing - Smashing ice on the Helmsdale!! Best of luck...

As for flies I believe there may be a guy in Helmsdale that usually has one or two for sale.
 
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