Sunday, July 8, 2012

Product Review - Bill's Wooly Bugger Maribou Chenille

Bill's Crazy Chenille! 
I got this stuff from the local fly shop probably around 2 years ago. I vaguely remember tying one fly with it to try it out. I then threw it in with my other chenille/yarns and promptly forgot about it.

Tonight I was tying some streamer patterns and buggers and stumble on it. I have Bill's Wooly Bugger Maribou Chenille in olive, but it comes in about 2 dozen colors. Anything from Oyster to red.

I tried it out and have to say it is probably the most unusual tying material I've ever used. I'm firmly convinced that Bill must have ruined some good chenille sweaters and to recoup his losses he cut them up and sold them as a tying material. That's exactly what it looks like.

Close up of the Chenille. Christmas sweater perhaps?

I have the Extra Fluffy variety, and boy is it fluffy! I started to tie a Wooly Bugger(WB) but quickly realized that the Extra Fluffy was a little too fluffy for a WB. I quickly scrapped that and after some head scratching I came up with a streamer pattern that this worked perfectly for. I somewhat remember the normal fluff being about half the diameter of this, so I'm thinking that maybe the normal fluffy would like OK on a WB.

So what do I think of it? Honestly, I'm not sure I'm feeling it as a chenille to replace the standard chenille on a WB. I think that it would work OK and it would add a nice texture to the body of the WB, but not liking it enough in that regard that I would use it to to tie all of my WB's with.

Where I think that this product really shines is in patterns that you want a larger body but don't want to wrap and wrap and wrap a standard chenille/floss/thread to make up the body and/or want a large body with some definite texture. I immediately think of things like crayfish and bait fish patterns. The material is also light enough that I have a hunch that you could use this on great big ol' dry flies and they would float well.  Hmmm........

So while I'm think that for WB's this is by and large a bust, this is definitely a material to pick up a couple colors of and try it out where you want big bodys and lots of textures. There's no website to order from, but on the package is an address and a phone number, so I'll publish them here.

Bill Skilton's USA-Flies
PO Box 64
Boiling Springs PA 17007
(717) 2 5 8 - 0 6 4 2
Half finished fly. See how fluffy it is?
Want to see the finished fly? Come back on Wednesday for the Fly of the Week and I'll show it and share the pattern!


  1. Can you buy enough of it in one color to knit the sweater back together? Actually I'm kind of surprised. I've bought stuff from Bill before and have always been more than pleased.

    1. It's not that I'm not pleased but if you look at it out of the packaging, you'd swear it was a sweater. I think it's more funny than anything.

  2. I will be back and view the Fly of the Week to see what you came up with. I have been known to visit the craft and yarn stores and pirate some materials that may not be common to tie up some flies with. Have had some success with various materials. I am thinking that this material would be good for some big old dragonfly nymph patterns for the ponds and lakes I fish.

    1. I think I may need to start visiting craft stores, thanks Mel! And I think you're right, the normal fluffy stuff, segmented right.... this would be killer.