The glow-bug is used normally during the spawning season to target trout either feeding on trout eggs being washed down river but probably also triggers and aggressive strike from some trout.  This fly is used heavily on Lake Taupo's tributaries during the winter/spring spawning runs and is also used heavily in Rotorua and other places of New Zealand.  Some people do use these flies successfully in the back-country and wilderness fisheries all year around - so I am told!  More trout are caught in the Tongariro river and other Taupo tributaries then any other fly.

This initially would appear to be an easy fly to tie and it actually is once you get the hang of it.  When you get on a roll you can comfortable tie around one per minute.  I have added instructions for this fly.

These flies are used in a number of ways. I like Bug Shop glow-bug yarn with Salmon Egg as the main color and Flame for the dot. I prefer to tie glow-bugs with Danvilles waxed flymaster plus thread in a similar color to the dot if possible.  You will need to experiment a little to find the correct proportions to use as the yarn always seems to be in varying thicknesses.  Basically I like 2 parts main color to one part dot.  You are better to have small glow-bug on a big hook than the other way around as too bigger glow-bug ball on a small hook will not hook trout very strongly - not much gape exposed

 If the water is fairly clear I would use a size 16 or 14 on point a foot or 2 below a heavy fly nymphed upstream and across. If the water is colored after rain then I would use a size 10 normally.  When nymphing with glow-bugs your heavy fly or "bomb" needs to be heavier than if you were using a pheasant tail on point as the glow bugs require more weight to take them to the bottom where the trout lie waiting.

These flies are often used as streamer flies (cast across the river with sinking line and fish take as the fly swings around) often in bigger sizes like 10 or 8 and normally with a short leader of just a few inches or a foot - sometimes with split shot added on the leader as well to help sink the fly.  Glow bugs are also tied quite often with booby eyes in large sizes and fished at stream mouths or around lake edges where they are just cast out and left to fish like bait - sometimes with just a very slow retrieve or jerk every 30 seconds or so!


Hook:Kamasan 110-10
Thread:Danvilles 210 Waxed Flymaster Plus - Fluoro Orange color
Primary body material:    Bug Shop Glowbug yarn in Salmon Egg color
Secondary body material:    Bug Shop Glowbug yarn in Flame color


  1. Place hook in vice and attach thread  near eye of hook.
  2. Apply a drop of superglue.
  3. Pinch your yarn with the secondary color to be the dot on the top and hold over the top of the hook.
  4. Bring the thread up through your pinching fingers, over the top and down the other side and the pull the thread down which should pull the yarn down out of your fingers and onto the hook.
  5. Carefully apply one more wrap of thread over the existing wrap to make two turns in total.  Don' let the yarn twist around the hook as you do this and ensure that the second wrap is placed exactly over the top of the first wrap.
  6. Apply one more (the 3rd) wrap of thread around the eye side of the hook.
  7. Pinch the yarn up away from the hook and do two wraps on the top of the hook around the base of the yarn where it is now tied to the hook.
  8. Apply one more wrap around the eye side of the hook.
  9. Apply a little superglue to the thread and whip finish and cut thread.
  10. Pinch the yarn upwards - rolling between your fingers to get nice and straight.
  11. Use very sharp scissors to make a single cut as low down as you can without cutting the thread on top of the yarn
  12. If you have a rotating vice spin over and add a drop of superglue for good strength - superglue is meant to dissolve in water but certainly seems to last long enough to give the fly more of a life span.
  13. Tease the yarn down into a ball.

Video Demonstration