John's Journal...


Schneider's Bama Slammer

Click to enlargeEditor'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: What's another fly you tie? Click to enlarge
Answer: I tie a crayfish-pattern fly that is much like the egg-sucking leech fly with which most steelhead fishermen are familiar. To build this fly, I start by putting on a weed guard because I'll be casting the fly into the weeds. Next, I add silly legs and flashabou. Then, I tie rabbit strips in tandem to give the fly claws, like a crayfish. I dub the rabbit fur in with cross strips, and for the head of the fly, I use ostrich herl to give the fly a little extra color. Finally, I'll add the barbell eyes. This crayfish-pattern fly is a really good early-spring fly.

Question: Tell me about the shadfly you invented. Click to enlarge
Answer: I spent countless hours not catching bass in the fall, using the conventional flies that I had. I wanted a fly that would mimic the fluttering fall of shad, when the shad began to die off in the fall. The fluttering action wasn't built into any fly that I ever had fished with, so to recreate that action, I developed the Bama Slammer fly. I tie this fly on a keel hook, and the fly is keel-weighted. I tie a little bit of lead into the shank of a hook. The more weight you have on this fly, the more the fly appears to swim when you strip line. The less weight you have, the more the bait flutters and falls when you stop stripping. On this fly, I use 9-foot monofilament leader. I can fish this fly shallow or deep, with either a floating line or a sinking line, depending on at what depth I find the fish. Since shad is the number-one forage that bass eat, and the 2-inch or 3-inch size is theClick to enlarge size bait that most bass eat, that's why I designed the Bama Slammer to be this size and this color and have this kind of fall. The shadfly is really effective anytime I find stripers or largemouth bass feeding on the surface.

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 3