Dore’s Mr Glister Tungsten Streamer

Quite simply, large backcountry browns in spooky water don't always require a subtle approach: in fact, this will more often than not result in them swimming hastily for cover as they sense the slightest imperfection in your dry or nymph presentation. No, you need to get right in their face. Forget specific feeding, give them something they want to attack.

Years ago, Brian Read and I had one such fish that beat us many times despite throwing our 'A Game' nymph presentations over a number of weeks. Tricky water and a large, wily fish foiled us every time.

A few modifications on the cone-head marabou streamer I grew up fishing resulted in a much more durable, full of movement item-to-be-preyed-upon and the next morning back at our pool, a 12.5lb high country brown posed neatly for a photo with a very deserving angler. Since then the Dore's Mr Glister has long been my go-to, all-around streamer pattern for over a decade, and for a number of very good reasons.

Brian Read and a 12.5lb brown trout in New Zealand with Chris Dore

Originally designed as a backcountry river streamer to deliver on an upstream presentation, its movement, shape and colouration are imitative of bullies in most NZ rivers, lakes and tidal estuaries. It has also become a firm local favourite for those swinging our southern winter waters with two-handers, stillwater anglers looking at getting a little more depth, anglers needing something to punch into the dreaded norwester, and those searching tidal waters and estuaries.

It's a jack of all trades, and a master of most. I may just be a little biased, however. 

The Mr Glister tungsten streamer boasts durability over the more fragile materials of the woolly bugger and other similar ties - there are no hackles to unwind here, or fragile marabou fibres to tear out after a fish or two. The Mr Glister is also the perfect guide fly, designed to take a beating and keep on producing.

With a tungsten cone head for weight and profile and a short, stubby taper, it is suggestive of the powerful taper of our common bully. The dunned glister body offers subtle bling and shine when wet and suggests life to this fly. A dark, magnum zonker strip lashed down with copper wire offers length and very fishy movement inviting eats from both rainbows and browns.


Chris Dore, southland fly fishing guide

So I always get a number of queries as to how I fish Mr Glister streamers. Do I just swing it? Do I strip it? Well, it all depends on the water etc and how the fish are reacting.

In larger, deeper pools I will often fish them slow and deep across and down, letting it swing under control across the current. While the fly sports plenty of movement from the rabbit strip wing, it can also be stripped in long pulls. If pulling fish from cut banks/cover etc I will land the fly a metre or so from the shelter, then strip very fast as if imitating prey trying to escape. Watch for fish chasing and be careful not to strip it all the way to the rod tip: the fish will usually see you and pull away. A handy tactic to avoid this is to simply stop the retrieve as the fish charges it down. Suddenly they find themselves upon their prey and only have two choices - yes or no.

In general runs/river scenarios my usual method is to pitch the fly upstream alongside, or well ahead of the most likely water and strip the streamer straight back down. Big trout are both predatory and territorial. If your fly is swung away then it isn’t much of a threat as it’s leaving the trout’s territory. If they’re not hungry, they don’t have to move on your fly. However, if your streamer is moving downstream, straight towards the fish and his territory, then it is a threat, and this can trigger an ultra-aggressive response

One tip that will often convert missed chances is what you do immediately following a chase down, or when a fish hits your streamer but doesn’t hook up: Get it straight back in there, fast! The fish is still aggressive, pumped, and looking for a fight so if you can get your shit together in those valuable few seconds after the miss, drop your fly just past him and strip into it again, the fish will more often than not hit it a second time.

Mr Glister fly


  1. Remember, in clear water the fish will see your streamer from some distance. If you don’t land your fly where intended, fish it out anyway. If the fish are spooky it’s better to land your fly further away... they’ll still see it!
  2. In dirty water, the splash down and movement of the materials/stripping of the fly will still get noticed. Fish even closer to cover
  3. Don’t switch off and fish totally blind; imagine what’s down there, fish to structure and visualise your fly working through the water. Oh, and if you see a fish, cast to him. Sight fishing with streamers can be super productive too!

We all have those days when the fish aren’t out or are just not playing ball. Having a Mr Glister or similar streamer in your kit, and an awareness of how to present it can change your day around, there’s more to it than ‘chuck and chance’.

The next time you see a fish sitting in a tricky current, a super spooky pool, or simply come across an empty bit of water that just looks super fishy, throw ‘em a Glister and see what charges out.

You can either head to your local Manic Fly Collection stockist to grab a few or whip up a couple of your own by following the video below. 


Chris Dore is a battle-tested fly fishing guide with over 15 years of professional guiding experience, battling the demanding, ever-changing conditions that our New Zealand rivers throw at us.

In 2006 Chris became one of the first New Zealanders to successfully pass the internationally recognised Federation of Fly Fishers Certified Casting Instructors examination and has since taught many thousands of anglers to up their skillset.

For more in person and on river fly fishing advice and upskilling why not book Chris for a day or three?