Last month a few of us set off for the Rhinns of Galloway on a mission to catch big Pollack on the fly. We had chartered two boats from Ian Burrett at www.seafishingscotland.com and made it to the launch site at East Tarbert just after 9am. We loaded up and set off at speed to the first of the many marks we would fish that day. We drifted over these marks in about 40 feet of water, casting long lines and counting them down to the depth where the Pollack would be feeding amongst the rough ground and kelp beds. Retrieves were varied till we sussed the fish out and we were soon getting knocks and taps at the flies almost every cast.
The hardest part is not striking at these and continuing the retrieve until the line goes solid and the rod hoops over - not easy if you have been fishing for fickle trout in the weeks previous! Once you hook up into one of these strong fish you will know all about it as it lunges back towards the kelp beds, even the smaller fish are great sport on the fly and anything over 5lb will really put your tackle to the test.
Catching Pollack in these relativly shallow depths means we could put every fish back unharmed and Ians boats operate a strict catch and release only policy on inshore Pollack to help conserve stocks. With over a hundred fish landed to each boat up to 10lb plus we were all knackered by the end of the day but very happy.
To flyfish for Pollack in this way I would recommend a 9 foot #9 or #10 weight rod coupled with a decent disc drag fly reel. This should be loaded with a very fast sinking fly line - we use Airflo Depthfinders and Striped Bass DI7's - to get down to the fish quickly. For leaders use 3 or 4 feet of quality tippet of at least 20lb breaking strain, I prefer Seaguar Ace Fluorocarbon in 25lb or 30lb as it is very resistant to abrasion. Flies can be simple Deceiver or Clouser style baitfish patterns between 4 and 8 inches long to imitate the Sandeels and Launce that the Pollack feed on, we also had good sport on red and black patterns so it pays to experiment. For more information on Pollack Flyfishing contact us @ the GAC