Mrs Simpson would be the most popular of the Killer patterns after the Hamill’s Killer. This fly has so many different originators linked with it that it is impossible to say who first made it. It came into use around the time of the abdication of Edward VIII who stepped down from the throne to marry Mrs Simpson. Hence the idea that if a Mrs Simpson could lure a king then why not a trout! I favour this explanation of the name; but what does it matter.
This lure certainly seems to have been first used in the central North Island trout fisheries centred on Taupo and Rotorua. It is a unique New Zealand pattern. I regard this fly as a must-have for fishing New Zealand’s lakes streams and rivers.
Mrs Simpson lures make an excellent cockabully, crayfish, and perhaps even a passable dragonfly imitation. Fish it on either a sinking line or floating line with a sinking tip. Strip the line to produce a jerky stop-start lure action. Mrs Simpson also makes an excellent night fly.
The brown “church window” feathers come from higher up on the back of the pheasant while the green feathers come from lower down. The original tie I believe used only the green feathers. However, the brown version works equally as well. From an economic perspective, it would be silly to waste half the skin. It is always better to purchase a skin with the feathers on rather than small plastic bags into which the feathers have been placed. It is much easier to find two feathers of matching size by pulling them from the skin than it is to search through a jumbled bag full of mixed feathers.
Avoiding waste I use almost all of the feathers from a pheasant skin no matter the colour producing both brown and green versions of Mrs Simpson. Body colours are either red or yellow. The often-heard suggestion is to use a red body at night and yellow during the day.
Hook size: 2-8
Tail: Black squirrel.
Body: Yellow or red chenille.
Sides: Rump feathers of the cock pheasant.