Best fly patterns for big trout

Can you offer any suggestions on this?

Q: I really enjoy catching seatrout on a fly rod. While I would like to land a few really big ones, I don't mind catching the smaller ones. The fly patterns I have been using are Seaducer, Deceiver and Clouser Minnow, but I am not having as much luck as I would like. Can you offer any suggestions on this?

-Jim Sprankle
Tallahassee, Florida

A: One of the most effective ways to take school-sized seatrout is to combine a popping bug with a streamer fly rigged as a dropper. I prefer snelling a short length of mono to the bug's hook shank and using a non-slip mono loop to attach the pattern. The distance between the popping bug and the fly should not exceed about 10 inches, or the fly may tangle with the bug in flight. Streamers dressed with bright, fluorescent colors often outproduce more subtle colored flies.

It is important that the streamers be slightly weighted with the customary lead eyes, like the Clouser Minnow, or that the pattern has some weight included in the body. During flight the popping bug slows down, but the weighted fly wants to continue on. Nearing the target, the weighted fly overtakes the bug and straightens out the leader, eliminating tangles.

Seatrout are attracted to surface noises. During the retrieve, the popper makes that attractive sound and, when the trout approaches, the dangling streamer gets
their attention.