River Helmsdale- Kildonan Estate, Scotland

The Helmsdale is without doubt one of the most productive and exclusive salmon rivers in the whole of Scotland.

Our guests lucky enough to fish the Helmsdale have a good chance of hooking a fish from the opening day of the season right through until the river closes on 30th September.

The river also benefits from loch system at its head which allows for a fishable height of water right through the driest of summers when our neighbouring rivers are un-fishably low.

The Helmsdale has 21 miles of pristine fly water. It’s divided into twelve beats (six above Kildonan Falls and six below) which are fished in rotation between the six estates that own the river. Each of the estates fish two rod parties with the choice of two beats per day.

Parties have the opportunity to fish the whole length of the river over the course of the week with endless variety and stunning scenery its entire length.

The two rods will be well looked after by John Young the head ghillie and the estate can provide all kit if required.

Stalking at Kildonan

Kildonan estate covers some 21,000 acres of open hill ground with a variety of terrain from steep faces to challenge fitter stalkers as well as some softer ground. The views are stunning and the stalking can be very interesting. The stalking at Kildonan is for management cull animals and is not a “trophy destination”.

The estate can provide a rifle and has first class kit and facilities to provide a great experience.

The day will normally start around 9am with a brief session on the range to try the estate rifle and some instruction for any novices, before heading out on the hill for a day’s stalking.

Kildonan Lodge

Until very recently the lodge has been kept for sole use by the family. 2017 is the first year that it has been opened up for tenants to stay and as such retains a charming and un-commercial feel to it.

The main part of the lodge has 3 en-suite double bedrooms and three single rooms. For larger parties we can open up the extension which has a further two en-suite double rooms and two single rooms.

We are very lucky at Kildonan to have a great team to look after the guests with a real family connection. Janet Grant, Martins mother does the cooking and the food is fantastic! Guests are looked after in exactly the same way as the family. Martin’s Wife Rowana is the house keeper and she also does a great job.

Kildonan really is one of the best lodges on the river and also has the benefit of having the best location being roughly mid river with the easiest access to the upper and lower beats.

For 2018 the estate has renovated the old school house, which will be a 4 bedroom self-catering cottage which will be best suited for the smaller spring fishing parties.

Packages for larger parties of up to 12 guests can stay in the comfort in the serviced and catered lodge with the fishing and stalking from August onwards.

 Smaller fishing parties will be able to stay in the new fishing cottage. We can also offer stalking only parties through October with either the main lodge or cottage there are plenty of opportunities.

 The estate has a really strong following which is a testament to the quality of sport on offer here and we look forward to welcoming new parties when space becomes available.

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More about River Helmsdale- Kildonan Estate

Our view

One of the finest sporting lodges in Sutherland, with high quaility fishing and excellent Autumn stalking

Price guide


Other activities

Golf, Walking, Beaches, Whiskey Tours

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