The following video displays three different saltwater stripping techniques.
The first piece is a wading scenario with little current movement. A pair of bonefish are feeding around the mangroves in ultra skinny water. Notice the changes in their body language. When they eat something or become excited their body tenses and their fins and tails become rigid. Often when a bonefish or permit eats the fly while swimming towards the angler, the angler misses the bite, which is the case in this video. Be aware of the subtleties, like surface disturbances or changes in the posture of a fish. If your cast is a little off, but has not spooked the fish; try to make the fish aware of your fly. Two quick strips: bump, bump and stop. If it appears that the fish is going to eat your fly, make a slow, long strip until your arm is extended back behind you. A nice, fluid strip will keep you connected to your fly and will not frighten the fish.
In the second video, the quarry is tarpon. The first cast is not successful, but the guide spots another fish at 1 o’clock. The angler makes a back cast as the boat is slowly swept downwind. In order for the fly to remain in place and not be pulled along with the ride, slack must be thrown into the line. This keeps the fly in position until the fish approaches and the angler begins stripping to feed the fish.
Finally, the last segment demonstrates the need to speed up the strip. Like the previous video, the boat cannot be stopped; but this time, the boat is moving toward the fly. To move the fly, the angler must strip faster than the boat is moving.
The next time you are on a boat or wading, be aware of how the current and boat are affecting the movement of your fly. Try to control all slack and stay very connected and tight to your fly. Also, watch the fish you are trying to feed. If a school of 25 fish is tailing while coming toward you, pick one and focus on that one fish. Pay attention to the body language of the fish. We all want to get the bite, but it’s very rewarding to hear the sound of your reel whirl.