John's Journal...


Click to enlargeWhy Tie Your Own

Editor's Note: Tom Schneider has fished with a fly rod since 1988, and has guided fly-fishermen since 1992. He guides primarily for saltwater stripers, hybrid-striped bass, spotted bass and largemouth bass on Lay Lake. But he also has access to some private ponds and guides some small streams in Alabama.

Question: Tom, why did you start tying your own flies?
Answer: I started tying my first flies when I was trout fishing and guiding in Boulder, Colorado. When I started fishing Lay Lake, I decided I Click to enlargeneeded different types of flies to catch bass. I couldn't find the kinds of flies I needed in fly-tying shops. The reason I tie flies is to try and imitate the forage on which the bass feed. I didn't find many bass flies in the marketplace, except for the flies that are tied by Dave Whitlock. Most of the quality flies are tied for trout fishermen or saltwater fly-fishermen.

Question: On the day we fished together, you started me fishing with the little black popper. Why did you select that fly, on that day, for me to start fishing?
Answer: The day was cloudy, and on cloudy days, bass will feed on the Click to enlargesurface. I prefer dark-colored popping bugs when the day is overcast. Anytime there are cloudy conditions, I fish with darker flies. The tail of this fly is marabou, which I like because the marabou tail has flash, and the slightest twitch of the fly rod will make it move and cause a great reaction.

Question: You also have a weed guard on this fly. Why do you like to use a weed guard?
Answer: The weed guard makes the fly somewhat dummy-proof. Regardless of where the fly lands, more than likely you will not get grass on it.

Question: With this size fly, how big do you expect the bass to be that you catch?
Answer: We have caught bass that weight up to 6 pounds with this fly.

Question: Did you make this fly? Click to enlarge
Answer: No, this is an Umqua fly.

Question: What fly do you fish on bright sunny days?
Answer: I like either a white-and-red fly or a white-and-gray fly, because these colors are the same colors as the shad.

To learn more about how to catch bass with flies, or to schedule a guided trip with Tom go to; call Tom at Sunrise Anglers at (205) 669-2110 or (205) 410-0964; or e-mail Tom at



Check back each day this week for more about BUSTING BASS ON BUGS ...

Day 1 - Why Tie Your Own
Day 2 - The Hexagenia Limbata Fly
Day 3 - Schneider's Bama Slammer
Day 4 - Other Types of Baits for Flies
Day 5 - Fishing with Tom Schneider

John's Journal





Entry 256, Day 1