Best Lures for Dolly Varden: The Top 10

February 17, 2021

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The Dolly Varden (Salvelinus malma) is native to cold-water tributaries of the Pacific Ocean in North America and Asia. It is a species of salmonid and is in the genus Salvelinus of true chars. This fascinating genus has 51 recognized species, most notably are the Arctic char, bull, lake, and brook trout. So you’re probably wondering, what are the best lures for Dolly Varden?

Glad you asked! In this article, we’ll go over the top 10 best lures for Dolly Varden as well as how to use them.

Let’s dive in!

Top 10 Best Lures for Dolly Varden

There is a wide variety of lures available to target Dolly Varden. These are some of the most effective options:

1. Peetz Anchovy Spoon Lure

This is incredible lure is a Premium, Handcrafted Quality lure. It eases smoothly into the High-Performance Fishing Tackle category. The Peetz Anchovy Spoon Lure’ CJ Special 4-inch is 4 inches long, weighs in at 67 oz (19 g). It is manufactured from powder-coated aluminum.

This lure has a perfectly balanced design and a unique, one-of-a-kind swimming action. A specific twist and bend in the tail allow this lure to roll in different directions. The lure is beautifully painted Chartreuse and is rigged with 7/0 super sharp Mustad Ultra Point hooks.

2. Mepps Comet TRU-V

The Mepps Comet TRU-V screams innovation and features some interesting research and development. Scientific research suggests that many species of fish aren’t equipped with UV (Ultraviolet) filters in their eyes like humans are. UV light is almost invisible to the human eye.

But this research indicates that it may be quite visible to these fish. This is why fish generally avoid bright light and prefer shady areas or deep water, where there is low light. Fish have UV patterns in the form of lines and spots and reflect UV light. Mepps, all the way back in 1974, started utilizing reactive decals on their spinners.

They took it a notch further in 1989 when they introduced UV reactive paints. This lure features a blade and body, which has been painted with colors proven to catch fish. The blade features a dot pattern to maximize contrast in any condition and at any depth.

3. Peetz CJ Special Herring Spoon

The Peetz CJ Special 3-inch Fishing Spoon is another quality, premium lure and is deadly when targeting Dolly Varden. It comes rigged with a super sharp treble hook and manufactured from High Gauge Powder-Coated Brass. The color combo is UV Fluoro Pink and Silver, with realistic Gold Scales.

The Peetz CJ Special 3-inch Herring Fishing Spoon is manufactured with the same technology as the 4-inch Anchovy Special and offers the same outrageous swimming action. This lure is effective for Trolling, Casting, or Jigging and popular amongst ice fisherman.

The Peetz CJ Special 3-inch Herring Fishing Spoon has a length of 3 inches, weighs in at 4.5 g, and offers a fixed center of gravity. It’s also a great option for Arctic Grayling and Arctic Char.

4. The Mepps Comet Mino

The Comet Mino is hands down one of the Mepps top fishing lures. Anglers can use it to target almost any fish. Voted one of the 10 best Bass Lures of all time by Bassmaster magazine, this lure means business. To ensure a realistic finish, all Comet Mino’s are professionally airbrushed.

The lure is designed with an erratic swimming action that imitates a wounded baitfish. The gorgeous Mepps Comet Mino is offered in a variety of sizes, from #00 to #5. The #00 is an ultra-light spinner, and the #5 is available as a 3 or 4 inch Mino.

The Silver Blades are genuinely silver-plated, and the Gold Blades are polished Brass. These lures are quite versatile and are used for trolling or casting and run at mid-depth.

5. Acme Kastmaster

The AcmeKastmaster Fishing Lure is made to last, and it is manufactured using the highest quality materials. It is machined from solid brass and won’t break, bend or corrode, even after repeated exposure to saltwater. Expert anglers constantly field-test the AcmeKastmaster Fishing Lure.

It is extremely versatile and ideal for Dolly Varden, salmon, and various other salt and freshwater fish types. It also features a Multiple BB Chamber inside and comes rigged with 2 x #10 super sharp treble hooks.

This lure is balanced and aerodynamic and offers great casting ability without twisting your line, has been tested up to 15 pounds, and can be used for trolling, spinning, or casting.

6. Dynamic Lures Glimmer Trout Lure

This lure is a classic topwater crankbait. It is designed with a slender low profile and a small front lip. It is made from high-quality ABS plastics, features a multiple rattling BB inner chamber, and offers the ability to maintain an upright position through the water.

The Dynamic Lures Glimmer Trout Fishing Lure is a slow sinking lure and can achieve 0-2 feet running depths. It is a Heavy duty lure made from industry coated ABS Plastic and comes rigged with 2 x ultra-sharp #10 treble hooks. It has a length of 2.25 inches and weighs in at 9.07 g.

7. Blue Fox Vibrax Minnow Spinner

The Blue Fox Vibrax Minnow Spinner is great for Dolly Varden, trout, pike, and bass. It is made from premium Balsa wood, which allows the lure to remain semi-buoyant for a realistic retrieve.

The flashing spinner offers loads of flash and simultaneously disturbs the water to attract fish. The Blue Fox Vibrax Minnow Spinner offers a size three blade and weighs in at 3/16-ounce.

8. TRUSCEND Fishing Lure

This is possibly my all-time favorite lure. The attention to detail is unbelievable, and it’s one of those lures that you need at least 3 of in your tackle box. The TRUSCEND fishing lure is a hand-made, lipless crankbait that offers a vibrating copper blade and is effective as a Deep Drop Sinking Lure.

Some additional features of the TRUSCEND Fishing Lure:

  • The colorful body is made from imported hot stamping and can reflect light for 360 degrees. This allows light to reflect off the underbody of the lure. It features a unique design of fluorescent crystal wire. It is rigged with two super sharp hooks, one in the front and one in the back. This increases your catch rate by up to 80 %.
  • This lure offers an extremely stable swimming posture, which allows better reflection underwater. The long fluorescent tail has been designed to attract larger fish from far away and even at night. It swims well in any water layer and offers a realistic swimming action.
  • This lure offers a knife head design, an aerodynamic design to assist when casting, and is available in different weights.
  • This lure has realistic 3D eyes and comes rigged with enhanced double-circle hooks.

9. Mepps Black Fury Spinner

The Mepps Black Fury Spinner is another great lure for targeting Dolly Varden and is considered to be one of the all-time great Mepps Spinners.

The Mepps Black Fury blade swims close to the body so anglers can easily use it in shallow to mid-depths. They are excellent low-light lures (early morning, late afternoon, or overcast conditions) but work well on sunny days too.

10. Rapala Husky Jerk 10

The Rapala Husky Jerk 10 Fishing lure is an extremely versatile lure to use when targeting Dolly Varden. It offers Neutral Buoyancy and runs straight and true, with loud rattles to attract hungry fish.

The Rapala Husky Jerk 10 Fishing lure offers exceptional long-Casting abilities, but it can also be successfully trolled. It comes out in a bar of shiny silver and weighs in at 9.07 g.

How Big Do Dolly Varden Get?

Dolly Varden from the North lives substantially longer when compared to Dolly Varden located in the South. The Northern form can have a lifespan of up to 16 years. They can achieve an impressive length of 30 inches (76 cm) and weigh in at 20 pounds (9.7 kg).

The Southern form Dolly Varden have a life span of around eight years and can weigh up to 10 pounds (5 kg). Smaller, freshwater resident Dolly Varden matures at a much earlier age (2-4 years and is much smaller, achieving a length of 3-6 inches.

These species are considered to be part of Salvelinus alpines. This is because many populations of Arctic Char, Dolly Varden, and bull trout overlap. As the Dolly Varden grows and mature, they relocate to deeper pools and feed on insects, salmon eggs, crustaceans, and other small fish types.

Sea-run Dolly Varden continues feeding on their migratory path towards saltwater. During this difficult journey, they will feed on “out migrating” salmon fry where possible. There are multiple ways to target these elegant animals, so let’s discover the best lures for Dolly Varden.

How Do You Fish for Dolly Varden?

Catching Dolly Varden can be loads of fun, and there are numerous ways to target them:

Towards the end of spring and early summer, particularly after a frigid winter, the Dolly Varden Trout mainly feed on juvenile fish within their habitat, generally its trout and salmon. Choose your lures, bait, or flies to imitate these types of fish. Spoons, hard body lures, spinnerbaits, and steelhead flies will all produce fish during this time. We recommend using a large trout rod.

During the peak fishing season (salmon run), Dolly Varden feeds mainly on salmon roe (salmon eggs). Choose your flies or lures to imitate this tasty meal. Although other types of bait imitating lures and spoons may also produce fish during this period, a salmon roe imitation will definitely get you more action.


Dolly Varden is a special fish species, great to catch, and a vital food source to many. There are numerous ways to target Dolly Varden.

Spoons, lures, and flies can be effective depending on the time of year you are fishing, but in summer and the warmer months, salmon roe or a roe imitation will probably get you more fish. We hope you enjoyed this article on the best lures for Dolly Varden.

Happy Hunting!

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