Basically, fly-casting anglers will stay warm stripping flies through the water column. With the exception of a rare surface presence on unseasonably warm days, strip-dredging flies along the bottom is the name of the game to connect with a fish on a buggy whip.
Capt. Richard Andrews of Tar-Pam Guide Service has great success in the winter using flies dredged down deep. He recommends at least 400-grain, weighted fly lines. According to Andrews, stripers are best fooled with large, 1/0 to 4/0 weighted flies four to six inches long.
"The best flies are the same ones that are used in Weldon on the spawning run," said Andrews, who recommends tying the large flies with a combination of bright colors, including white, silver, chartreuse, black, pink, orange, green, as well as, Deceiver patterns.
Andrews recommends working the fly in short, quick strips to get it to move up and down within the strike zone.
"This stripping method gets the fly to move up and down, similar to jigging a soft plastic. This is very important and improper stripping can be the difference between catching and not catching fish," he said.
The deep-stripping technique imitates a baitfish perusing the bottom or ascending or descending through the water column.
Tapered leaders should be 15- to 20-pound, between six and eight feet long.