Published On: Mon, Dec 4th, 2017

Luminous Trout Flies – Doll Fly – Malcolm Bell video on Night Fishing


Doll flies with bodies of Aurora skirt strip work very well on trout after dark.

Doll flies with bodies of Aurora skirt strip work very well on trout after dark.

Luminous Trout Flies

Luminous Trout Flies. Fishing at night with luminous flies, and lures, allows you to get the most from a full day of fishing. There is certainly no doubt that these “glow in the dark” lures are very effective when used for trout fishing after sunset. Rainbows are particularly curious of lumo flies as are landlocked salmon in the Canterbury high country. Browns trout will also take lumo flies and lures.

I like to fish luminous trout flies on dark nights around lake margins. I feel it is essential not to shine your torch on the water when “lighting up” your lure. Try placing the lure in your palm and cupping your hand over the lens. This way you also avoid looking into the light yourself and being blinded by it. After which it takes your eyes some time to adjust to the darkness!

The lure will glow for hours with one blast of the torch, but I like to brighten it up every half hour or so. Some anglers like to charge their lumo flies with the aid of a camera flash. This is a good idea if you have a small one otherwise you would have to lug a big flash around all night.

The basic idea is to maintain the same lure action after dark as you would during the day. The little darts of yellow light are what attracts a strike, so keep the lure moving.

If you are fly fishing it really makes no difference which patterns you decide to make into lumo flies. I prefer black rabbit patterns with a luminescent coating on the head only. Another method is to apply a thin strip of Aurora skirt along both sides of the fly, tied in when completing the head. Again a popular Doll fly pattern can be made up with Aurora skirt strip wrapped around the body.

Doll fly tied with luminous body made from Aurora skirt .

Doll fly tied with a luminous body made from Aurora skirt. These thin soft plastic strips are wrapped around the body and tied off. They hold the torchlight very well and glow brightly.

For metal lures the best method is to first coat a small section of the lure with white FireFly paint. Over the top of this is painted the luminous mixture. This is called Lumo Kit from Leadbeater Floats and is available from leading tackle stores. It is made up of about ten drops of lacquer or rod varnish off the end of a match then add a small amount of the powder to make a thick paste. This same mixture can be also be applied to the heads of your night fly patterns. This Lumo Kit stuff really glows brightly and only a small amount is needed. Being in liquid form it is the most versatile to use.

Another good night fishing technique is to fish a luminous fly on a short dropper above your spinning lure or soft-bait. Trout and salmon will often hit your luminous flies and lures much harder than during the day!

This doll fly has an olive coloured wing and a body of luminous hair (available from good tackle stores).

This doll fly has an olive coloured wing and a body of luminous hair (available from good tackle stores).

When retrieved in darkness it is amazing just how easily your eyes can pick up the lure as it nears the shallows. As trout will often take close in it is important to be ready to give line if an instant bust-off, or the hook pulling out, is to be avoided.

Green doll fly.

This doll fly has a dark green wing. I think it pays to use smaller hooks. These flies have been tied on size 6 lure hooks.

If you haven’t yet tried luminous trout flies why not give it a go? The younger anglers in the family will find the experience great fun too.

Here is a great night fishing video with Malcolm Bell showing how to carry on fishing after the sun goes down at the Twizel Canals. Plenty of good night fishing tips in this video.

About the Author

- Fishingmag.co.nz website editor.

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