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Willie Gunn 01-11-2005 07:16 AM

2005 Season opens in Scotland
The 2005 salmon season has opened in Scotland. Not all rivers open on the same day, today the 11th Jan the Helmsdale and the Thurso have started. Today’s forecast is poor with gales and driving rain but I know the Helmsdale will be busy, Every year the estates allow free fishing on the opening two days.
I am giving today a miss and saving myself for Saturday when the Ness system opens, along with the Tay. Next month I have organised fishing on the opening day of the Dee (1st Feb) and the Spey (11th Feb). I hope to get up to date reports.

Muckle Salmon 01-11-2005 10:13 AM

Bad man
It is almost 5 months until our salmon season opens over here in the land of snow and ice :( and you have the nerve to post stuff like this! You are an evil,evil man Willie Gunn.

Willie Gunn 01-11-2005 10:18 AM

Gordon Armstrong is out fishing to-day but he is young and keen. I hope he will report his lack of sucess later this evening. We are both fishing Saturday, you still have time to get over for another chance of a Ness system fish. You know you are welcome

Muckle Salmon 01-11-2005 08:08 PM

Fishing the Ness on Sat.
Thanks Willie. Thought I might take you up on the invitation so told the wife I was going fishing on Sat.. She said "thats nice but I thought there wasn't anywhere to fish just now. Where are you going?"
I said Scotland. Then I ran like hell :lildevl:
Good luck on Saturday


fishingd0 01-12-2005 08:28 AM

Helmsdale opening day
Managed to make the opening day to the River Helmsdale yesterday.

The day before my local river (River Ness) was bursting its banks. However, with a phone call the the local fishing tackle shop in Helmsdale, I was assured that water conditions would be in good order. I found this hard to belive, in that only live an hours drive away.

Anyway, On arrival, I was proved wrong, with the water dropping at 2.5ft,clear and with very little wind. Almost perfect!

One of the local pipe bands, piped what appeared to be 50-70 anglers to the rivers edge, to start the new season. I felt this was a really good touch to the opening day cereremony.

Apart from a few kelts (well mended), things were quiet and there was no sign of that elusive January springer. However, It was good crack to meet up with a few freinds and wet a line after a long and wet winter!

As Malcolm said, its the upper Ness system opening day on Satuarday. Having phones the factor of the river today things don't look good. fingers crossed! :wink:



The light wind in the morning on the Helmsdale, was like a child with a box of chocolates and didn't know when to stop. By the evening, winds of over 100mph were recorded. A possible opportunity for long distance dapping? :chuckle:

I will try and get some photos of the opening day!

McIntyre 01-12-2005 09:08 AM

It's still a long time until the rivers in Norway opens, but it's allways fun to read reports from other rivers in other countries. I usually check the sites of fishscotland (spey, dee, tay, tweed and the esks) a few times a week, but is there any other sites on the internet which gives good reports from the other rivers?
Well, I check back here on monday to see Willie Gunn's report from River Ness, remember to take pictures of the springers before you release them :wink:

fcch 01-12-2005 12:51 PM


Lucky you. I had to shovel the snow off the garage door yesterday night to get to some materials. Still over 5 months before we get to opening day here. (hence the thread Dream Pool :( )

Keep us posted on your 'success'. Keeps us dreaming over the long winter months.

fishingd0 01-12-2005 01:40 PM

First Fish from Helmsdale!!!
Seems I was in the wrong place at the wrong time yestersay.

I have just found out that there was after all a springer caught . It was caught at 1.30pm on beat 2 (below) by Robert MacKay of Helmsdale on a "WILLIE GUNN". The fish was 5lb and sea liced!

Things are looking up!

Willie Gunn 01-12-2005 03:51 PM

Gordon sent me these to pictures, catch & release has not really caught on in Helmsdale

flytyer 01-12-2005 08:17 PM


When you go out Saturday are you going to perchance use the 16' Meiser so it can have a proper Chistening?

juro 01-12-2005 08:23 PM

It's reassuring and inspiring to witness the rich lore of salmon angling alive and well in the 21st century! Malcom, et. al. - I am definitely going to come visit, every spey fisher must at least once in his lifetime.

Thanks and please keep the reports coming!

andre 01-12-2005 08:37 PM

Malcolm, It does look like a few whiskys were released!!

Willie Gunn 01-13-2005 03:34 AM

Juro, you are very welcome, though I'm not sure if I can get a pipe band, even Madona, only got a lone piper when she came up for her wedding.

I will have the Meiser out on Saturday, when fishing with Gordon I need all I can to get an edge. The Meiser is an excelent kelt cather, but it would be great to get a new model on it.

Andre, if tradition was followed some whisky was gently sprinked into the river to bring goodluck, I'm not sure what is used on the Helmsdale but on the Spey we use a 10 year old Glenfarclas. Rumour has it that some of the older gillies will only drink water from the river as it will always have a wee drop of critter in it.

Gaspe Salmon 01-13-2005 07:24 AM

Dear Willie,

I really enjoyed the pic of the bagpipes. I wish we had those sorts of traditions here. I can just imagine the feeling of hearing them march down the first anglers of the season towards the river. Wonder if the salmon get spooked! ha ha...

Will make my pilgimage there one day.

Last little note. My father, who used to work quite a bit in Churnside, told me of a poem that he read in a bar, it was a conversation between two rivers the Tweed and the Til, if I am not mistaken. Do you know this short poem where the rivers are speaking to one another? If so, do you know how it goes, and if you do, could you send me a copy via email or post it. I always got a kick out of hearing it with the brogue my father used.

If you know of it, please tell me.

Kind regards to you and best of luck to all of you who are now fishing!


Robert Meiser 01-13-2005 10:32 AM

Hi Malcolm,

Good Salmon season to you.... I hope that you beach an ocean bright fish on the weekend.

My wife's family still lives in Ireland, and she's been planning a stay this late Summer during her teaching break.

I dream of fishing Scotland...

Would also love to try Loch dapping if Andy would have room in the skiff.

I think that this could be the year that it will really happen....};^)...!!!


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