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Old 18th January 2010, 10:08
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Default Helmsdale Fishing Reports 2010

Helmsdale Salmon 2010 season opens under tough conditions

The River Helmsdale opened on the 11th Jan with a thawing + 4 degrees on the thermometer 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 refreshment and a prize bottle for the captor of the first fish caught.

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.

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. The captor of the first Helmsdale salmon of 2010 will win a DTX rod providing the fish is verified by a good photograph and released unharmed to the river.

Conditions were tough to say the least on the day 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 "became standard practice by the end of the day!

The Highlights, only 3 kelts were miraculously landed from Lower Caen (Bt 1) and the Flat pool on the Association water by Andy Sutherland & Robert Flett.

If you are interested in fishing the Helmsdale or other fisheries in the area look up Ron Sutherland - Helmsdale Company. The Helmsdale Tackle Company Ltd
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