ITS A HARD LIFE

Chris Higham contacted me to say he has just came back from a trip to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, and i thought it was pretty hard going fishing in the spring in the north of Scotland which should really be called Winter fishing, but here is Chris just after landing a big Wahoo on a hand line  No doubt Chris had just put down his pint of Pina colada, Well done Chris and hoping when you are up fishing with us at end of April the weather is more inclement so you wont be wearing the same gear. look forward to catching up with you at the end of April.

                                                  GOOD DAY FOR CALUM

My Great pal Calum Beattie had a good day on Tuesday 12th March, Calum had an invite up to beat 3 on the River Helmsdale and landed an 11lb salmon then came back to his own beat and in early evening landed a 12lb salmon in the Gledfield pool both salmon were sea liced

                                                               Good week at Cornhill  5 Springers

                                       Week beginning March 4th see catch reports page for details.

March Cornhill beats second Springer


Mon 4th.After last weeks low water which saw the river running at 6 inch last Monday down to 4 inch on Friday. With heavy showers on Sunday evening On Monday morning the river was up and showing 1ft 4 inch on the gauge, I started fishing at 09.00 hrs at the Clump pool and was absolutely delighted to have a springer netted and released by 09.20 the salmon was carrying quite a lot of sea lice and after giving a very good account of its self the springer  was landed and estimated at 8lbs it was taken on a big Collie dog.


It is considerably colder today after the recent extremely mild weather and we also had a strong gusty wind to contend with.

First Springer off Cornhill February 18th 2019


February 20th.This is photo of Gledfield beats first salmon of the season Calum Beattie caught the sea liced 7 lb springer in the Gledfield pool on Wednesday 20th of February.


February 18th. I fished the Cornhill beat today the river was running at 1foot and it was bright with sunshine and showers although not as warm as was forecast but still pretty mild for this time of year. I touched nothing at all until i fished the Lairds cast where i hooked into a fresh springer i played it for approx 3 or 4 minutes before it unfortunately threw the hook, in the bright sunshine i could see it was spanking fresh and about 7lbs and was in the exact same lie that i very briefly pulled a fish on and off last Wednesday so who knows ?

An hour later 14.40 down at the Raven pool i hooked into another springer and i was absolutely delighted when this one was safely netted a lovely fresh springer of about 8lbs it was not carrying sea lice  but they were not long off, both salmon were taken on a Collie dog. I heard yesterday Invercharron beat had a fresh 6 pounder on Friday 15th feb.

 The first fish off the cornhill beat in the last few seasons have been on Feb19th.Feb21st.Feb17th.Mar6th.Feb10th.Mar8th.Feb17th.Feb25th.


2019 Salmon Fishing Season


February 12 th.We had a lot of rain Friday 8th Feb and a quick upwards rise in temperatures and subsequently the river rose quicky and we had a big river on Saturday 9th Feb of approx 8 ft.

February 4th   We are still going through this very cold spell and we have a good covering of snow on the mountains and hills down to a fairly low level, This week it is forecast to be warmer particularly the second half of the week so we will see if we start getting some snow melt and the  river going up a bit. Not great conditions  river banks extremely slippery with rain falling and freezing immediately on the paths, I have been doing some bush cutting if i had been fishing it would be safer doing it wading in the river.

January 20th We are now nine days into the new 2019 salmon fishing season, i had my usual opening day pilgrimage to the river to wet a line on the opening day more of a superstition than anything. This year the 11th January fell on a friday it was cold and over cast with just 6 inches registering on the gauge I gave a few pools a quick cast and had a nice walk down the beat and had a lovely Whiskey Mac ( whiskey and ginger ) sitting at the Little falls pool. In all the years i have fished for springers i have only ever had one January salmon 13 years ago now on January 19th 2006 a 7.5lb springer plastered in sea lice in the Gledfield pool just eight days after the season started i still live in hope of repeating it.

Then a walk back up the beat and back home, we then had a fall of snow on Wednesday 16th. It has turned much colder around minus 5 or 6 overnight and the snow is still with us.


My 1.500 hundredth salmon caught on 28th September


An update now that the 2018 season has ended I have had time to reflect on my own fishing season, it was a pretty strange season mainly due to the effects on river and fishing conditions that the weather had. In the early spring and through out the summer, we had both ends of the weather spectrum very cold with snow and snow melt water in the spring and basically a long very dry period of approx 10 weeks throughout the summer with the odd slight rise but no significant rain with periods of very high temperatures. On Feb 19th i managed to land a fresh 9lb salmon in the McKenzie pool this was the first salmon off the River Carron and the second salmon caught on the kyle rivers. I was plagued with terrible back pain throughout the season that was chronic throughout June July and August, I managed 24 springers in a couple of superb weeks fishing in the spring, the spring fish were in very good condition and in general were of the usual average size. Thanks to a truly very generous invite i had a superb fishing holiday in Iceland at the end of July. I was pleased with the salmon i had from the Kyle considering the limited amount of times i fished it. I managed a couple of big salmon during the last week of the season at 20lbs and 22lbs just to round off the season it was noticeable  that there were more big salmon coming into the river just as the grilse runs were ending and as the weather broke and we began to get more frequent rain these big salmon continued to come in through till the end of the season, In fact last week i had a walk down river at Cornhill and saw a very big salmon of at least 25lbs show in the Gledfield pool it was only slightly coloured 4 weeks after the season closed!

My total seasons total was  Salmon 51 Grilse 26 Giving me a total of 77 I was absolutely delighted with my 76th Salmon a 9lb salmon caught in the March pool on September 28th as it turned out to be my 1.500 hundredth salmon in my fishing lifetime.  When the really low water took  hold back in June the river dropped very quickly and it was accompanied by very high temperatures on the fourth day after the river had dropped i spotted five salmon lying at the very head of the McKenzie pool they were not their the night before when i spotted them they stayed their most of the day till the warmest brightest part of the day had passed before they moved on, I am a great believer that the salmon know what the weather conditions ahead will be and act accordingly and they ran in on the bare bones of the river and moved on upstream, that was the forerunner to a spell of very warm weather and the river dropped quite a bit lower. An update for the Cornhill beat is that the most productive pool on the Cornhill beat was McKenzie pool, followed by March pool, then on equal status was Lairds cast, Clump pool, & McGregor pool.   I reluctantly came to the conclusion my back problem was being aggravated by fishing so I can only hope that over the closed season it will greatly improve

2018 Cornhill Season catches


We ended the 2018 season with a total of 78 the breakdown was 55 Salmon and 23 Grilse. The most productive months were April with 29 followed by September with 26. We did of course have a complete drought period of about 8 weeks in mid summer. September showed a big improvement and we had some big fish over the latter part of the season we had two at 16lb one at 18lb one at 20lb and one at 22lb  a couple of big fish were hooked and lost and i saw several fish in the top teens and during the last week of the season i saw one salmon show a couple of times in the March pool that i would estimate to be upwards of 25lb. The most productive pool over the season was the McKenzie pool, then came March pool followed by Clump pool, Lairds Cast & McGregor pool all on an equal footing.

The most productive week was an April week when 15 springers were landed 11 of them sea liced, in these present times an excellent catch made on a two rod beat.



Last week I had two and a half very good days down on the Kyle landing eight salmon,  I fished Tuesday 4th, and landed 3 salmon 11lb.10lb.8lb & a 6lb grilse. Over Wednesday, & a short three hour stint on Thursday i was delighted to land another 4 grilse I also lost four salmon over the period and picked up a couple of nice sea trout.



I am just back from spending a wonderful weeks fishing in Iceland We fished on the Stora Laxa and then the west Ranga. It was all thanks to Adam Shaw  Jamie Parratt & James Appleton Metcalfe, and their unbelievable generosity and kindness in laying everything on to make it the most marvellous experience. It started on a high and simply got better we flew out to and back from  Iceland on a private jet, Seamus and Shane Teague made up the rest of the party, The other integral part of the party was Oli. & Dagur the two guides who stayed with us on the StoraLaxa and then came back with us to their home river the West Ranga, where a third guide Jan joined us.

I have a mountain of photos and stories of the trip so this will  be added to and up dated ad infinitum we all had great sport and great fun special mention to Shane who had not caught a salmon before who caught 3 salmon on his first two days on the Stora.

 My back problem re surfaced and i lost an afternoon and an evenings fishing very very frustrating on a trip of a lifetime, so many memorable  moments on the Stora one evening hooked a salmon and two grilse in a twenty yard stretch of the magnificent Gvendardrattur pool landing one losing one and almost beaching another  as Jamie ran up to give assistance it slid off the hook almost on the beach.

 Their was always a bit of action going on, as i fished the big nose pool i looked back up to the head of the pool to see Jamie playing a grilse. Over to the Ranga and first morning I hooked and played a cracker in the bottom pool fresh as a daisy  it was within seconds of being in the guides net and it threw the hook and was off Jan said 90 cnm  which would equate to my own estimate of approx 18lbs i proceeded to hook and lose another good one minutes later of 12 to 14lb. the rest of the week we all landed fish and also lost quite a few we did see a really good run of salmon coming into and through the prolific Home pool.

I had a lovely evening session hooking five in the Hellisey pool landing two and losing a good fish of up about 18lbs it had been showing regularly around the submerged rock, Adam who was fishing below me on the Rangarbakki came up and went in and immediately hooked into a real good fish.

The stories and laughs over dinner were memorable, the drinks and jokes on the Verandah sometimes at well after 1.00 am was brilliant the anticipation of the coming day over breakfast and what a breakfast and what a beautiful setting looking out over the prolific Home pool and the volcanoes beyond.

A bit of sport on the Kyle


I had my first trip down to the Kyle on  week beginning July 16th  long after it had started back on June 1st this was my first trip down as my back problem kept me away from giving it a go, after two short sessions in which i lost a couple of grilse and a decent salmon which i was very pleased with. The third session ended up very good i landed 2 small summer salmon & 2 grilse and lost two others one a good double figure fish. A quick trip down the following day and I managed another grilse. all in all very pleased with limited time i had.

Political correctness GONE MAD


Just when you think things could not get any worse!!! even more completely bizarre decisions made by POLITICALLY CORRECT political elite, Listen to the whole video as it will probably be blocked. If it happened in  Russia, China or Iran it would be on T V and in newspapers 24 hours a day Seven days a week. The issuing of D notices to stop the public knowing what the government are doing does George Orwell come to mind ? No matter what your political persuasion every body should be outraged.