Don's Fly Tying - Mrs. Simpson


My RV neighbours at the recent 58th annual British Columbia trap shooting championships were Dave and Diane Upper who reside at Bowser on Vancouver Island. Now Dave has made more than one fishing trip to New Zealand so naturally this raised a discussion of favourite flies, both for Western Canada and those used on the world famous NZ waters! As the Uppers were planning a trip to Tunkwa Lake as soon as the trap shooting was over, Dave had a good selection of flies with him, many of which were his hand tied patterns. Dave also showed me several New Zealand flies that he had acquired on his fishing trips there. A pattern that struck an extra degree of interest featured quite a different construction technique than most of our local flies. Dave said it was called the Mrs. Simpson and he further explained that it worked just fine on several Vancouver Island Lakes. So, we don't want to miss an opportunity to share such a renowned pattern with you and with Dave's permission, the following is a tying description of New Zealand's Mrs. Simpson big trout fly!



Start by selecting some long black saddle hackle strands for the tail. An immature dark pheasant feather that has not yet opened will also suffice. Next tie in a red wool body hook bend to just short of the hook eye. Dave says various colours can be used for the body. Now comes the more precise step to select a double pair of mottled brown but green tipped tipped feathers from the back of a male pheasant. I have been fortunate to have experienced 12 years of Brooks, Alberta pheasant hunting with my yellow lab Jessie so I have a good supply but it may be necessary to purchase a full pheasant cape if you are not a hunter. The unique part of the Mrs. Simpson fly is that the wing feathers are tied two on each side facing directly back along each side of the hook shank. Once the wings are tied in just back of the hook eye, you can only see the wool body from below! I use invisible thread for almost all of my flies so I finish this pattern with a black thread wrap to create a thin head but you can of course use black tying thread throughout! Cement, tie off and you have created the famed Mrs. Simpson New Zealand fly!

Your comments are welcome at "dhaaheim at telus dot net"

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