Fishing The Fly Forum

Hamish Young

Pollock adventures
« on: 11/10/2016 at 09:01 »
With the trout season ended and Salmon best left to having a shag, I have turned to my other addiction of late - Pollock fishing with the fly.
I confess I am largely a fair weather fisher when it comes to having a go in the salt, partly this is down to an unwillingness to get unnecessarily wet and cold but also because there's few - if any - finer places to be than on the Scottish coastline when the weather is at its best.

Here's a few pics from this years adventures, not fish heavy as so far this year I've yet to have any big fish but loads up to 2lbs.

A West Coast Pollock, typical stamp of the fish kicking around at present.

I like small imitative patterns.....  :z13


Some of the essentials.....


Waiting on weather.....

Euan having a last cast.....

Like I said, there are few more beautiful places............


:z16

Euan Innes

Re: Pollock adventures
« Reply #1 on: 11/10/2016 at 17:27 »
Affa good fun I have to say!  :z4
Both spots were lovely but Loch Broom takes the win. About thirty minutes before we left it became really still - the water became mirrored and the stags could be heard roaring on the other side. I also heard wooshes of air from my left and a small pod of dolphins appeared and headed and tailed past me. They joined up with more and looped round for another pass before heading out to sea. Just magical  :z14
Add that to the three figures of fish that we caught and released, including my first three Wrasse, and you have the makings of a great day out. My right arm has just about recovered from chucking a DI7 #9 sink tip for 7 hours :z4
So next year when the salmon fishing is crap you will find me in the salt with a fly rod. You need more salt in your diet, not less!
Epic fun! :z16

 :z1

Hamish Young

Re: Pollock adventures
« Reply #2 on: 14/10/2016 at 19:49 »
Had a couple of messages about these forays after Pollock so to answer some queries:

Pollock are a predator (the large eyes and mouth are a dead giveaway :!) and unlike some of its relations in the Cod family it will live and feed at all depths; so it's highly adaptable. Essentially they will eat pretty much anything but the main diet are other fish, they are effective bottom feeders and I've had one or two regurgitate crabs that they had earlier in the day. The biggest fish tend to be found in deep water - so that usually means out of the range of the shore fly fisher - but if you are blessed with the ability to cast well and have deep water close in and good kelp beds then it might a pound fish or something a whole lot bigger on that next cast. About 7lb is my best on the fly and as is always the way, I've dropped much bigger.

Pollock tend to be non-migratory and stay in broadly the same area all their lives. Although they will travel for feed (who doesn't :? :!) it's the colder months that will see them head for deeper water and more stable conditions, warm settled conditions will see them remain feeding inshore extending the shore fishers season. I'm pretty sure they spawn in December/January but water temperature is likely to be a key element.

For their size Pollock fight really well but when you remember that 99% of the Pollock you hook will dive for kelp beds it's important to get control quickly, so that has a bearing on the gear you should use. It's tempting to fish light, but you absolutely must be prepared to bully the fish out of the weeds so I would not recommend going much below a meaty #7wt. I tend to use either a 9' #9wt and more recently a 9' #12wt - mostly for shits and giggles as that #12wt casts a long, long, long way  :wink Oh yeah, I have had two Pollock head for the open sea and take me into my backing. Thought I'd hooked a submarine on both occasions and to be honest I only landed one of them, although I did get both to the shore and touched the leader - a catch for saltwater fly fishing - one was the 7lber and the other was its big brother  :z10

Fly lines - something that sinks like a brick coated in lead and concrete. Airflo make the most affordable options but the Rio Outbound remains a goodie.

Flies - whatever you like. Clousers etc work well. Experiment :! :!

H :z18

Liam Stephen

Re: Pollock adventures
« Reply #3 on: 14/10/2016 at 22:34 »
Great info there Hamish, cheers!  :z16

I'm looking to get into the saltwater next year.

 :z18
Liam

Sandy Nelson

Re: Pollock adventures
« Reply #4 on: 15/10/2016 at 08:57 »
You And me both :z16

Still have the blank and the bits sitting ready to go, when i get the time. :X2

Sandy

Hamish Young

Re: Pollock adventures
« Reply #5 on: 15/10/2016 at 10:36 »
You And me both :z16

Still have the blank and the bits sitting ready to go, when i get the time. :X2

Sandy

Get your finger out, get it built and come play  :z7 :z13

H

Euan Innes

Re: Pollock adventures
« Reply #6 on: 15/10/2016 at 20:38 »
OK I am now a salt addict.
I am actively looking for the "right" reel and I have several things being watched on Ebay.
The "right" reel must be heavy enough to balance my sturdy Orvis #9, cheap enough to be scratched on the rocks, have room for a LOT of 30lb dacron backing and have a good enough brake to withstand a big Pollock. Not easy to find!

I am also looking for a salt fly box that can take larger flies but not cost a fortune and be small enough to go in a pocket. Also not easy to find as salty stuff is new and expensive. If you believe the press a 700 rod with a 500 reel is the only thing that can stop a sea fish - utter pollocks!

The flies are fairly easy to tie and your imagination can work better than Google or the established patterns. Dumbell flies are a real pain to cast and if they hit you they really are a pain. Hamish and I both made contact due to wind gusts and both incidents could have been worse so glasses are a must. I find lighter more mobile flies work for me, with bead chain eyes for a wee bit of weight but not enough to make casting a chore. I like smaller lighter flies, Hamish likes BIG weighty flies and we both scored so go with what you feel like.

I use a #9 Airflo DI7 tipped Sniper line with a extra super fast polyleader on it to smooth out the turnover. This tip is currently 10 feet but I am experimenting with 6 foot tips. Nylon needs to be strong but not visible under water. The 30lb stuff that I currently use is like a rope and turnover is not great. Seaguar Ace Hard is on the cards in 15 and 20lb spools, but it is 13 a go! Yikes! The good news is that you only need a metre or so at the  end of the polyleader so a spool should last a while.

Good, long forceps or pliers are also a must as some of these flies go a long way down the throat. Needless to say all the gear must be salt water resistant and when you are done, dump everything in fresh water after hosing it all down. We left our gear overnight in fresh water and there was no corrosion. Wipe down the fly line after it is washed and check for nicks and cuts. Shorelines can be brutal on fly lines.

After all that good clothing is next. Boots that don't slip on wet rocks, waterproofs, thermals and the ability to carry all that so you can remove layers as the day warms up. Ullapool went from 9 degrees to 17 degrees and the jacket, fleece and thermal that I needed in the morning were too much 3 hours later. I have gone with a good rucksack that doesn't interfere with casting. We also needed a lot of water as the salty air and strong sun dried us out.

A shoreline is like a river or loch - you need to find the right features, spot where the fish will feed and get your fly on to the target. The tackle is a bit heavier but the principals are the same.

It is really good fun and makes the fishing season 12 months long!

 :z1

Liam Stephen

Re: Pollock adventures
« Reply #7 on: 16/10/2016 at 00:02 »
You And me both :z16

Still have the blank and the bits sitting ready to go, when i get the time. :X2

Sandy

Or build it for a friend!  :wink :X2

Liam

Sandy Nelson

Re: Pollock adventures
« Reply #8 on: 16/10/2016 at 08:38 »
Nice try :z16

Euan, I'm wth H on this, i use the bigger  Orvis Encounter IV when I'm in the salty stuff. It works well on the Sea-trout in the estuary as the drag seems to be the same as the rest of the Orris range, but the plastic body takes all sorts of damage. I doubt it could cope with Bonefish or Tuna but Pollack should be just fine, i've had Sea-trout to 5lb on the fly with mine  on the switch, without issue :z16 Plus its sensible money for something that has to deal with Rocks  :z18

Otherwise you might need longer arms  :z4 :z4 :z4

And H, i think this is  definite for one of next years trips, besides a jaunt up your way is Looooooooong overdue  :z14

Sandy

Sandy Nelson

Re: Pollock adventures
« Reply #9 on: 16/10/2016 at 08:55 »
I reckon they might just like the Polar Candies in chartreuse, much easier to cast and sink well :z16

http://www.fishingthefly.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=3220.msg26450#msg26450

What do you think?

Sandy

Euan Innes

Re: Pollock adventures
« Reply #10 on: 16/10/2016 at 09:16 »
Aye Sandy, they should work nicely.
I am working on a version of a Crazy Charlie and my "prototype"  :wink will probably need some kind of glue. I have never used anything that can be cured with UV but I can see a glue and torch kit being bought soon.
I do use Crystal Flash in blue for a lot of my salt flies as it looks great in the water and it shimmies during the retrieve. Arctic Fox works well as do bucktail tips. Stiff bucktail doesn't do it for me but the tips are ace.
Salt flies are a great thing - you can just go with what makes you happy.  :z4

 :z1

stickleback

Re: Pollock adventures
« Reply #11 on: 16/10/2016 at 11:19 »
OK I am now a salt addict.
I am actively looking for the "right" reel and I have several things being watched on Ebay.
The "right" reel must be heavy enough to balance my sturdy Orvis #9, cheap enough to be scratched on the rocks, have room for a LOT of 30lb dacron backing and have a good enough brake to withstand a big Pollock. Not easy to find

 :z1

I've recently bought a Redington Behemoth for salt water fly fishing on my annual holiday to Florida.  I got it because it gets very good reviews about build, drag and capacity etc.  I haven't yet used it but certainly looks the business and think it will pair up nicely with my Lefty Kreh 9'  #8 TiCrX.  The bunch of you have whetted my appetite to try it out more locally - it should be a bit cheaper than going to Florida !

Steven Sinclair

Re: Pollock adventures
« Reply #12 on: 16/10/2016 at 15:40 »
Is anyone fishing marks local to Aberdeenshire or is it mostly westcoast and the Highlands?

Cheers,

Steven

Euan Innes

Re: Pollock adventures
« Reply #13 on: 16/10/2016 at 15:41 »
The Behemoth is on my list along with the Airflo Sniper and Xceed. The problem I have is that the Orvis Access is tip heavy when I have my old Ryobi 357 magnesium on it so I need to bring the weight back a bit. That and I do like a bit of bling even if it is going to get dinged up. There is also something cool about a salmon sized reel on a trout sized rod - makes you look like you are after sharks! :z4 :z4 :z4

The Airflo reels are at really cheap prices these days - I could get a new Sniper in a 9/10 for 45!

 :z1

Jim Eddie

Re: Pollock adventures
« Reply #14 on: 16/10/2016 at 16:39 »
Is anyone fishing marks local to Aberdeenshire or is it mostly westcoast and the Highlands?

Cheers,

Steven

Not that many Steven, one decent one is off the  rocks at the lighthouse at Boddam,  Pollack and chance of a Bass in summer.

 :z18

Jim