The River Helmsdale opened on Jan 11th with a ceremony on the High St, with a stirring performance from the Sutherland Schools Pipe Band. There were more visitors than in previous years demonstrating that this event is becoming part of the calendar in the north. Anglers sign in but are not required to pay any fee for tickets, and they may choose wherever in the river they want to fish.
There were 4 days of good open angling weather and suitable water heights, but no fresh salmon were caught. Anglers reported fewer kelts than normal which it is felt was probably due to a recent heavy spate over the Festive Season which recorded a height of 10 feet in the village. Kelts were probably swept to sea in these heavy waters.
Meantime water levels remain good.