Skip to content Skip to footer

Wild Pursuits Guiding

Want to catch massive halibut on a fly rod?

Wild Pursuits Guiding offers one of the newest and most diverse saltwater fly fishing destinations on the grid. If catching big powerful fish is your thing, then Northern Norway should be on your bucket list. Imagine fishing in shallow clear water and knowing that with every cast you have the chance of hooking fish well in excess of 100lb.

The main species that Wild Pursuits target is the mighty Halibut that is one of the largest species that can be caught in European waters. The areas fished allow you to use much lighter gear than what is traditionally used for halibut. Wild Pursuits have been involved with two Norwegian fly caught records and unofficial world records, and when we fished with them, we landed 15 halibut in three days – with the biggest one weighing in at 35 kilos!

The first thing that surprises most people is how visual the fishing is. Drifting over the shallow grounds and watching the countless groups of cod searching for their next meal is exciting enough, but then to spot a giant halibut cruising past really gets the pulse racing. It would be a fair statement to say that fifty percent of all the takes from halibut on fly are witnessed boat side as they follow their chosen prey right up to the surface.

Other species that can regularly be caught is the powerful coalfish that come in their vast numbers to chase herring and other small bait fish. The Coalfish that inhabit the fjord come in all sizes with many being in the one to five pounds range, but it is the fish in the ten to twenty pounds plus range that is of most interest

The numbers of cod that can be caught need to be seen to be believed. The cod fishing in the shallows can actually be great fun sight fished with a fly rod.

Of course these Norwegian fjords are home to a huge array of different species, and you can catch multiple species in a week.


Halibut are targeted with the heaviest of equipment. I used a 9’ #12 Scott Meridian fly rod in combination with a Waterworks-Lamson Cobalt fly reel pre-spooled with 250 meters of 100 lb backing and a Scientific Anglers Big Water Taper S3/5/7 with a 100 lb core. The leaders I used were a little less than a rod’s length and ended in an 80lb tippet section. In terms of flies, I used imitations of herring and mackerel tied on powerful 6/0 – 10/0 hooks – preferably with stinger hooks and jig tails in the end.

Fact File – Halibut

The Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus) is the world’s largest flatfish. Its geographic range stretches from Canada and Greenland east towards Northern Europe and Russia – limited, mainly, to the arctic reaches but in some instances occurring all the way down to the 36th parallel.

Halibut are typically found in deep water (some scientists believe that they can be found down to 2 kilometres of depth), but they also appear in shallow water, particularly during fall and winter. Here, they settle in areas with sand, abraded pebble and rocks, clay, and scattered vegetation. ­

Halibut are fierce but slow-growing predatory fish that feed on everything from herring, eel and crabs to coalfish, trout, and salmon. They become sexually mature at the age of 7 – 10 years depending on the habitat, but they can live up to 60 years. And in the meantime, they can reach lengths of up to 3 meters and weights in excess of 300 kilos. Halibut are bottom-dwelling fish that ambush unsuspecting prey, but they are also known – on occasion – to hunt pelagically or in the surface film.

The world’s largest Atlantic halibut ever caught on a rod was landed by a German fisherman in 2004 – after a fight that lasted 1,5 hours. The fish weighed 234 kilos and measured 274 cm. In comparison, the largest Atlantic halibut ever caught on a fly rod is relatively small. It was caught by Jo Stephenson in 2016 in Reisafjorden, Norway, and was estimated at 44 kilos (147 cm). In the meantime, that fish has been topped by a halibut landed by one of Jonny’s clients in September 2021 – a fish estimated at somewhere between 65 and 70 kilos.

Want to travel?*


    *Disclaimer: In the Loop Magazine is in no way liable for the execution of trips booked via our contact form. In the
    Loop Magazine merely liaises and forwards information requests. 
    All bookings and related services are handled by the actual lodges and guide agencies.