Fly Tying Patterns: Mrs Simpson

Mrs Simpson - Fly Tying Pattern
  • Hook: x3 Long Shank #2 - 10
  • Thread: Black 8/0
  • Tail: Squirrel
  • Body: Red* Chenille or wool
  • Side Wings: x3 or 4 Overlapping Rump or Church Window Feathers each side from Ringneck Pheasant
  • Notes*: Usually Red or Yellow

  • Tying Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Tied by D. Howard
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The Mrs Simpson is one of the most popular New Zealand 'Killer' patterns for both Rainbow and Brown Trout. The name is said to have originated in 1936 when King Edward VIII abdicated the English throne to marry Mrs Wallis Simpson, an American divorcee. Further more, if a Mrs Simpson could lure a King, then why couldn't a Mrs Simpson lure a trout! (further explanation here on

As a lure it represents a range of fish, invertibrates and some insects. Can be fished on a sinking line with a jerky start-stop motion or nearer the surface on a floating line with a conventional figure-of-eight retrieve.

The Mrs Simpson can utilise most of the rump feathers of a Ringneck Pheasant (don't bother buying pre-packed bags of feathers, purchase a full skin which will allow easier matching) - this makes no two patterns the same - the only constant typically is the body colour where red is used for a night-fished pattern and yellow for a day-fished pattern.