March and April were thin months on the Helmsdale with cold weather and few fish about. Beats struggled to score. But May ushered in a complete change. The month saw about 250 in the book and some were heavy. This good run has continued into June. Two weeks ago an angler caught a 26 lb salmon on his birthday. Salmon over 20 lb continue to be landed and many fish in their teens.
The grilse have yet to arrive in any numbers. But an early run of sea-trout produced good sport and on the Lower Helmsdale several anglers did well. These sea-trout have now moved onto the main beats.
Weather through to late June has been unusually cold and north winds have made it seem worse. Late frosts have kept growth down and the sun has been a rare sight.
Unfed fry were returned to the river by the end of April. The Board is continuing with its DNA programme to establish what the Hatchery contributes to the returning population.