John's Journal...


Click to enlargeThe Hexagenia Limbata Fly

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.

Click to enlargeQuestion: One of the flies you tie looks like a mayfly. Why do you tie this fly?
Answer: The technical name for this fly is Hexagenia Limbata. This fly is what you will often find on large lakes in Alabama where the water table is very stable. These flies often will hatch from the late part of May until September. The hatch occurs late in the afternoon, and often you will see thousands or maybe even millions of mayflies on the lake. When the water temperature is approaching 80 degrees, you often will have a mayfly hatch every hour from 4:00 p.m. until dusClick to enlargek. The fly also has a small quill to keep it straight up in the water. I use a Mustad hook, and I tie this fly on hooks as big a No. 3/0 but usually the bass prefer a No. 1/0 hook. Bluegill primarily feed on this fly, but where you find bluegill you will also locate bass. As the season progresses, I will tie this fly on a No. 2/0 hook later in the season because the flies get smaller and smaller.

Sometimes I will use leader material to tie on a mayfly as a trailer tied onto the shank of a big popping bug. Using this technique, you can often catch two fish at one time. I use a goose biot for a tail, and then I dub the body with a yellow or brown dubbing. I overlay with a turkey quill that is Click to enlargestriped and laid in, on top. Next, I use either marabou or chickabou feathers, which are a hackle-type feather; then I use a dumbbell eye with an ostrich herl wrapped behind the dumbbell eyes.

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 2