Bonefish Fly Retrieve and Strip Setting the Hook

Lead, Retrieve, & Setting the Hook

  • Lead the fish
  • Let fly sink to bottom
  • When fish gets within view of fly (3 – 4 feet away)
  • Short strip to get fish’s attention. Let it sit. Repeat.
  • Guide: “Okay, leave the fly there. Let it sink. Now short strip. Another short. Long strip. Let it sink. Short strip. He’s on.”

This is the strip/pause retrieve imitating a shrimp.

  • A dropping fly will usually result in a take
  • If fish goes nose-down in the vicinity of your fly, he’s taking it
  • Be calm! Don’t raise your rod! Just continue with a slow steady strip. If he’s taken the fly, you’ll feel resistance. This gradual pulling against the resistance will set the hook
  • If the fish didn’t take the fly, continue strip/pause retrieve

Angler demonstrates a perfect “strip set”. Left hand removes slack in the line. Right hand keeps the rod tip pointed down. The resulting tension sets the hook.