The Helmsdale Opening yesterday was enjoyed by 130 keen anglers with Saturday expected to be the busiest day. Yours truly opened up the season this year after delivering a toast of Clynelish whisky from the new opening quaich. ” A toast to the good health of the river and an abundance of salmon, to the anglers and ghillies i wish you good luck and tight lines for the season ahead”. Most anglers in attendance had a Clynelish in hand by this time offered by (the better half) Karen Sutherland, The first few casts were made and the river was pronounced “open for business”.
Sir Michael Wigan got the ball rolling with the Sutherland schools pipe band as usual, both were on top form and enjoyed by the large gathering.
Conditions were very good with the river running at 1ft and very pleasant weather. Lots of kelts were caught and a farmed fish was also recorded but no fresh springers were teased from the clear running river. With water temperatures hovering around 40 degrees there are sure to be fish in the system, someone just needs to get lucky!
We have another 3 days free fishing so get the rod out and get over – the first fish prize awaits you!
A few pics from the day and a couple of movie snippets from the opening days below – the official film/photos will be posted soon.
No action to report from day 2 on the Helmsdale, a strong bitterly cold easterly wind blowing upstream made for very demanding conditions. The first two days have recorded the highest ever figure for angler attendance with 180 names in the book for the free fishing. Monday & Tuesday will be open to the public, lets hope the weather holds for the next batch of keen visiting anglers.
Eddie McCarthy has reported no fresh fish caught on opening day on the Thurso, however lots of well mended kelts were caught which will no doubt bode well for future stock.
Will keep you posted on any further news.