Wilkie with a cracking Pollock on the fly

Wilkie with a cracking Pollock on the fly

My name is Alex Wilkie known to my friends as Wilkie, Im writing this feature to give you a bit of an insight into pollock on the fly. The inspiration for this article took place at the mull of Galloway, Drummore nr Stranraer

The guides that took us out are Ian & matt Burrett from www.onyermarks.co.uk Tel no 01776 840346.

I had a go at pollock on the fly this season for the first time and I am now hooked on this kind of fishing, for me its awesome. These stunning fish really do scrap – they pull the arms off you! and all in the first two big runs – what  incredible fighters…

On my very first trip, fishing round the mull head with matt and Ian Burrett, our two boats with three anglers per boat caught over a 100 pollock, averaging 5lb all on the fly. I personally landed a fish just over 10lb And had another at bang on 9 1/2lb but got totally smashed up with a monster snapping 25lb seaguar as I locked up on him just before he kelped me.

That fish has me totally hooked on this sport and I now have a memory that will last forever…

And another for Wilkie

And another for Wilkie – he’s “hooked” now.

All you thrill seekers out there should give this a go – You will love it!

Tackle needed.


I just used my bog standard pike fly fishing gear for this job a 9′  9# or10# rod is more than enough. Click here for suitable fly rod options.


A large arbor reel to hold a 9# – 10# line is perfect. Click here for suitable fly reel options.

Fly lines:

I use a airflo depth charge line a real super fast sinker (now discontinued) …but you need a line to get you down there. Click here for suitable fly line options.


I would not use anything under 25lb just in case you hit a big guy, Fluorocarbon or clear mono as the sea is so clear and pollock do have big eyes (so no dark  leader). The length of leader I use is about 7 foot, this is just for easy casting.


Click here for our selection of salt water flies.


Click here for our selection of predator flies.

Pike and pollock fly

Pike and pollock fly

Size 0/1 to 0/3 Long slime patterns with plenty of movement in them really work. The ones with the big dumbell eyes offer more movement.


Red/White   Black/Red Chartreuse/Orange & Sand-eel patterns all work really well

Red and white tied on with a rappel knot

Red, white and black tied on with a rapala knot


I use a Rapala knot, As it’s super strong and gives your fly some extra movement.

Top tips

Marking the line to help with depths and distances

Marking the line to help with depths and distances

A tip I have found that really helped me out is to mark your fly line from the braided loop to 23 foot on the line and again at 33 foot. As I use about 7 feet of leader I know the first mark on the line means the fish is about 30 foot down.

This will let you know how much you can let the fish run in the fight before you get ‘kelped’ – a term used by sea anglers meaning the fish runs through the kelp beds that come up from the bottom and snag you, usually ending with a lost fish.

And always ask the skipper or guide what depth of water you are in – just in case you do get a big boy.

Some more top tips for pollock on the fly :

THE TAKE:  If you feel a take or a pull just keep the fly coming don’t “strike”. Just let these fish hook themselves and lift or tighten into them – because of the  shape and size of their mouths striking Pollock will more often than not pull the fly right out it’s mouth!

RETRIEVE: I’ve found a nice steady retrieve will work best and remember to pause every now and then for 2 to 3 seconds. This lets the fly drop back through the layers which can be deadly.

HOOK UP’S: Sometimes you can have a fish hit you 3 or 4 times on the way up but still not manage to hook it – This can be quite common so just stay cool, then on other times they will take your fly right at the boat. Always remember keep retrieving till your braided loop hits the top eye of your rod and always “HANG” your fly at the side of the boat for at least 5 seconds!

For more details on salt water fly fishing equipment click here