|  First Published: November 2009

There are few boundaries when it comes to flyfishing. Any locale that can be probed with conventional angling methods is also conquerable by a competent person with good flyfishing technique and the appropriate fly pattern.

Once only considered a daylight pursuit, flyfishing at night has now become a popular and productive area of our sport. One of the main benefits in tying your own flies is that you can develop patterns for fishing in specific situations.

This month’s pattern is one which I originally started tying many years ago when I regularly flyfished around the bridges in the Gold Coast Canals at night for trevally, tarpon, bream, mangrove jacks and anything else that happened by. However, it has now proven its worth during daylight hours also. The Glowser, which is a shortened moniker for glow Clouser, has proven a useful fly to have in my fly box.


When hit with a light from a camera flash or torch, the materials in the Glowser with hold their luminescent properties for some minutes. This makes the fly much more visible in dark situations, such as at night or in murky water situations. Obviously a fish has to see a fly before it can eat it, so luminescent properties can really pay dividends at times.

The Glowser works well in these low light situations, but the bright pink coloration also means it is a great fly for other species during daylight hours, especially flathead. It basically fits the model of all other Clouser patterns, however it is tied predominately with materials that will glow in the dark.


There are quite a few materials now on the market that have luminescent properties, which allow them to glow in the dark. Apart from the luminescent sparkleflash and tube used in this pattern, there is also dubbing, chenille, thread, powder paint, adhesive tape, head cement, crazy body tubing and others available. This allows plenty of experimentation when tying patterns with luminescent properties.

Many of these materials are also available in several different glow colours, such as the sparkleflash, which is currently available in green pearl, pink pearl, yellow pearl, orange pearl, white pearl and white UV pearl. The glow-in-the-dark tube is available in pink or white in both medium and small sizes. Check out your fly tying supplier and see what other options are available to you for patterns that will glow in the dark.

The eyes used are Tiewell Painted Eyes in lumo white but there are also others on the market including Tiewell Hot Eyes, both of which are available in several sizes. Another option would be to get some Glow Powder Paint to coat some of your existing eyes with.

I often do this with eyes salvaged from older patterns that I no longer want or which have had all the materials decimated from previous encounters. Often, these are tarnished or have the paint chipped off, so coating them with the powder paint gives them new life and saves a few dollars.

I have added a little Krystal Flash to this fly. While this material has limited reflective properties during darkened hours it does add some fish attracting appeal during the daylight hours.


The Glowser is fished exactly the same as any other Clouser clone. Short, sharp strips will see the fly dart upwards whilst pausing will allow the fly to sink headfirst.

When targeting flathead, the more times the fly hits the bottom the better the chance will be a nearby fish will be able to hone in on it. This upwards darting motion is somewhat similar to the movements of a panicked prawn and will excite many different species including bass, barra, salmon, tarpon, cod, bream and even snapper, just to name a few.

When fishing the Nerang River Bridges at night, the Glowser was stripped upwards with a long, single movement and then allowed to sink. Often we were casting down current, which resulted in the fly sinking backwards with the current during the pause. If casting up current, which would see the fly being swept towards us with the water flow, the Glowser was retrieved with short, sharps strips with intervals sufficient to keep in contact with the fly.


(1) Place your hook in the vice and attach the thread with a jamb knot just behind the eye of the hook. Cut around 8-10 strands of the krystal flash that is at least twice as long as the hook. Tie this in on top of the shank, just behind the hook eye and then secure it with thread wraps down to the end of the shank and then back again. Whip finish but leave the remaining thread.

(2) Cut a length of the glow-in-the-dark tubing that is a little longer than the hook shank. Take out the insert and then place one end just over the eye of the hook. Tie this in place with thread wraps, whip finish and cut away the remaining thread.

(3) Roll the tubing back over itself so that it inverts as shown. You may need to fray the end a little so that it will fully unroll back past the bend of the hook.

(4) Attach your thread around the tubing at a point that is roughly opposite the barb of the hook. You will need to hold down the tubing, wrapping with light wraps at first and then firmer ones. Next advance the thread forward, wrapping around the tubing to compress it around the hook shank as you advance forward to a few millimeters short of the hook eye. This is to ensure that there is no air trapped in the tubing, which would affect its stability in the water. Affix your painted eye at this position, just behind the eye, with a series of figure-of-eight wraps.

(5) Turn your fly over in the vice as shown. Cut a small portion of sparkleflash that is roughly twice the length of the hook shank. Secure one end of it in the space between the eye of the hook and the eye of the fly as shown. Taper the nose with your thread and then whip finish and cut away the remainder.

(6) Use the tips of your scissors to trim the individual fibres of the protruding tubing to around 1cm in length. These should be at slightly staggered lengths. Next, do the same with the krystal flash but this should be longer, protruding roughly 1cm past the end of the previously trimmed tubing fibres. Add a little vinyl cement to the thread nose cone area and your Glowser is now ready to venture into the darkened depths with glowing success.



HookBlack Magic SW Fly 1/0
ThreadMono fine
EyeTiewell (Painted Eyes- medium lumo white)
FlashKrystal Flash UV Grey Ghost
BodyTiewell Glow-in-the-Dark Tube (small pink)
WingSparkleflash #304 Glow Pink Pearl
FinishVinyl cement

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