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The Pollack - Norway’s greatest salt water challenge

 Skot McColl

After discovering the benefits of pollock fishing, the next step in the process was to test my fly-fishing skills. It has long been claimed that Pollack will actively feed on the correct fly pattern. This was a challenge for the staff here at www.netfish.no could not turn down.

Knowing what type of fly to hunt Pollack with was a subject that needed some research. One of our local sports stores seemed the best starting point for the search for information. The lads at Nordisk fiskeustyr gave what they thought to be the best flies for the job. The three they recommended were “lefty’s deceiver”, “clouser minnow” and a blue “woolly bugger”

It was explained to me that these were some of the best flies for the one simple reason that they simulate a fleeing bait fish. If fished in the correct manner they can really test you fly skills. The tip they gave me was to fish them fast and give as much action as possible



Below: Skot McColl with a hard fighting deep diving pollack In the winter sun


One of the smaller pollack

Forget the piles of fly boxes that we travel with, these tree will always to the job



I was in doubt as to what rod weight to use; as Pollack can grow huge I decided to take my all-round rod, which is my small salmon rod. Fly choice was simple. You see Pollack don’t eat insects unlike their fresh water buddies but they are active hunters and as with most predators they strike from the underside, so with the use of a white belled fly, I could simulate the under belly of their pray.

This theory proved to be perfect for, because I caught a small fish on my first cast and nearly every cast after that.  This was great fun, but what I wanted was some bigger fish so I could prove my point.

Using my limited brain mass I sat and thought for a moment and realized that a sinking rig was the answer, the first cast slowly drifted to what I thought was “the zone”, this was a complete success the largest fish I had ever caught hit my fly, the bottom!

Now with one fly less in my collection, this taught me to bounce the bottom with the fly, it worked a treat and I managed to find the fish. Three fish later I had figured I was the main man for this type of fishing.


As with lure or bait fishing it is important to know that pollock feed on most tides, but the mid tide period will often fish best, simply because the depth of tide has been more constant. Rock platforms are usually good around low tide and for the first two hours of the flood, then again at high tide when the pollack tend to roam. Peak tide periods sees them static and sheltering from the tidal flow.



As I said earlier the pollock have a reputation as fighters, this is no lie, wow do they go! What surprised me the most is that when they are close to land they’ll make a run for the nearest ledge, trying to find shelter, running hard and fast, not unlike Moby Dick! This is some thing that will be repeat again and again, so when the fish is close to land, don’t relax or they will have the upper hand.

In Norway this fish is under rated as a sporting fish, so with the winter season approaching why not add a new string to your bow and take a day off from the trout fishing and have some saltwater fun.

When fishing the salt water currents it is import to remember that the artic water can kill! So use a life jacket at all times and always ask the locals for the best tips. These two tasks can not only save your life but add to your fishing pleasure.

Right: Salt water currents are dotted along the entire west coast of Norway. It is here you will find your fish

Saltwater fly fishing is one of the fastest growing sports in Europe, for more information about Norway’s saltwater fly fishing you can contact NETFISH.NO. www.netfish.no