Re: fisjing with minnow flies for striped bass
Hey Bruce welcome to the forum.
Typically you'd want to "strip" it back to you (as opposed to reeling it in). To retrieve the fly by "stripping", assuming you're right handed, you'd keep in contact with the fly line with the index "trigger" finger of your right hand, alternately "crooking" your index finger as you strip the fly line in with your left hand in 2-6" strip--- then pinch the fly line between the index finger and the cork as you get ready to strip again with your left hand. (By maintaining contact with the fly line in your right index finger, you're ready to pinch the fly line against the cork and come tight to a fish if one strikes in between strips). Start with something like a strip strip pause, strip strip pause to imitate a baitfish-- and feel free to change it up fast or slow to see what might work.
By stripping in the fly on the retrieve, the fly line will be outside the reel for you to cast again, as opposed to reeling in and having to strip off slack line to cast each time. Some care needs to be given to the slack line as you retrieve it. Depending on where you're fishing, it may be a good idea to have a stripping basket to keep the loose fly line as you retrieve it.
Ard (Hardy Reels) gave you great advice. Typically you'd want to cast up current, and depending on the fly and density of the fly line you're using you could try a couple things:
Dead drifting- after the cast. let the current swing the fly line and fly down current, then strip it back to you. Often used with floating fly line and flies with a lot of built in action (marabou, flat wings) or to imitate stuff like juvenile crabs, cinder worms and shrimp that often are swept in current.
Cast, brief pause, then retrieve by stripping in, often used with floating or intermediate lines when fish are actively chasing stuff on or near the top.
Cast and countdown- when using a weighted fly, like a Clouser or a sinking fly line, cast and count 10 "Mississippi's" to let the fly get a bit deep before starting the retrieve. Next cast count to 20 etc until you start bumping bottom or find where the fish are holding.
Hope this helps--- keep asking questions if you have them, and tell us a little about the fishing you're doing.