The season has ended with a respectable catch total of 1720 salmon and grilse on the private beats. The Lower Helmsdale too had good catches. The rain continued most of the year but never resulted in enormous spates. River levels held up well.
On the private beats the notable feature was that two thirds of the catch is estimated to be salmon and one third grilse. 20 years ago this would have been the other way round. It lends support to the theory that we are on the turn from a predominantly grilse cycle to a predominantly salmon cycle.
Weights were good and 22 fish were caught which weighed over 20lb. The beats returned over 96% of their fish to the water.
The Helmsdale Board is happy to welcome anglers to the Open Days in 2018. This starts on Thursday January 11th at 10am with the Pipe Band ceremony in the High St. and goes through to Saturday January 20th. Fishing will be by fly only. The whole river is open to fishing and there is no limit on numbers of anglers. Permits will be issued from the Belgrave Hotel in Helmsdale, tel 01431 821242.