Lord’s Killer Trout Lure – Originally Creation of Frank Lord, Rotorua

Lord's Killer.
Lord's Killer.

Lord’s Killer

Lord’s Killer was originally the creation of Frank Lord. According to Derek Quilliam in The Complete Guide to New Zealand Trout Lures, it was first tied around 1940 and was intended to represent inanga (whitebait). When tied with the lighter buff coloured plumage of the woodcock it does look much like whitebait bearing in mind that the feathers are pressed tight to the hook as the lure is drawn through the water. The feathers, in turn, open out slightly as the lure stops. As it alternates between this stop and go, a fish-attracting pulsating effect is created by the angler mending the line.

Lord’s Killer can also represent a bully or koura (freshwater crayfish), particularly when tied with brown instead of the lighter buff coloured feathers shown in our example. The suggestion also is that this particular lure was the first of the killer patterns. It is the most time consuming and difficult of the Killer patterns to tie. 

It can take quite a few feathers to tie a proper Lord’s Killer. Start by tying in a tail of black squirrel hair.

Lord’s Killer

Hook: Size 4-8 lure.

Tail: Black squirrel

Body: yellow or red chenille

Side feathers: Brown Woodcock (as many as ten on each side). These feathers are difficult to obtain nowadays.

Ideally, you want the side feathers to be quite bulky to hide the chenille. It can take quite a few pairs of Woodcock feathers to get the desired effect. In the sample shown you can see the covering is still a bit “thin” above the hook bend with the black squirrel tail visible. Derek Quilliam states in his fine book mentioned above that in Keith Draper’s opinion the Lord’s Killer is a difficult fly to tie. It can take as many as 16 of the soft brown woodcock feathers to get it to look right!

Lords Killer was one of the most popular patterns for Taupo and Rotorua.

Lords Killer
The Lord’s Killer was once considered a “must-have” trout pattern for fishing the lakes and rivers of the central North Island.