Tips for specks on the fly

I love to fish for seatrout - and just started chasing them with a fly rod...

Q: I love to fish for seatrout - and just started chasing them with a fly rod. I am not having much luck. Can you offer some advice?

Jim Kennedy,
Houston

A: Perhaps the deadliest method for catching seatrout is the use of a popping cork with a shrimp or bait suspended below it. The loud, blooping sounds of the cork attract the trout, which quickly find the bait.

Fly-fishermen can replicate this effective technique for smaller fish, but it is not as effective on more wary, larger "gator" trout.

First, attach a popping bug to the leader. Next, attach a dropper or trailing fly like a Clouser Minnow, usually via a nail knot on the hook shank. The distance between the two flies should not be more than 10 inches. Anything longer than that tends to tangle on the cast.

It is important that the dropper fly is weighted so that it kicks over on the cast. On the retrieve, the popping bug makes noise and attracts the trout, which then sees the trailer and hits it ­- much like the shrimp-and-popping-cork scenario.