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Welcome To Doc Thompson's High Country Anglers

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Playa Blanca and Casa Planca 2014 Trip Recap

Diane with a nice bonefish

Each winter I take a break from fly fishing here in NM to escape to a warmer climate.  The last few years I’ve been hosting a winter trip down to Playa Blanca and Casa Blanca in the Yucatan.  I Just returned a few days ago from another great trip.  The trip featured a lot of wonderful fishing memories.  Fun, camaraderie and laughter shared by all.   

At Playa Blanca we were blessed by a week of supreme weather.  Lots of sunshine and gentle breezes offered ideal permit conditions.  During the Playa week the 8 anglers combined for 7 permit landed, several agonizing lost permit, and many follows.  Of course I had my share of blunders but managed to land a permit and break one off.  Two guests landed the super slam with a permit, tarpon, snook and bonefish.  There were 2 grand slams landed during the week including mine.  Some anglers primarily focused on tarpon and snook.  They were nicely rewarded with some big jumps.  At the end of the Playa week we said good bye to old friends and newly made friends.  3 of us moved up to Casa and welcomed new friends. 

Will with a very nice snook
The Casa week started off with some overnight and early morning rain.  No worries though; one of the many great things about Casa and Playa is the ability to have backup fishing options if the weather isn’t ideal.  Just duck into one of the back or side lagoons to focus on bonefish, tarpon or snook.  The first part of the Casa week brought lots of bonefish action.  The best bonefish action I’ve experienced.  There were times of bonefish after bonefish.   Literally take the fly out of one bonefish while preparing to cast to another one.  Many bones in the 3-4 pound range with a few 5-6 pounders.  The bonefish at Casa and Playa are definitely growing each year.  3 permit broke off during the week despite spotty permit action.  We cracked the code on the Casa pier.  3 of us each landed a tarpon on consecutive evenings at the pier.   It no doubt resembled a 3 ring circus without a plan.   The plan was cast to tarpon.  We never had a plan for landing them but we do now.   Audrey celebrated her 85th birthday at Casa Blanca in grand style.  On her birthday she landed several nice bonefish including a 5+ pounder.  Afterwards the lodge threw her a birthday part with cake and balloons.  

I recognize that Squimp
Both Casa Blanca and Playa Blanca deliver on service with an eye for big things and small details.  All of the lodge staff, kitchen crew and guides are very friendly and helpful.  Each morning started off with fresh brewed coffee delivered to the rooms as the wake up call.  The breakfast table featured mouthwatering fresh fruit papaya, mango, pineapple and cantaloupe.  A wide range of cook to order breakfasts include Huevos Rancheros to Migas to French Toast.   Dinners featured flavorful Yucatan style dishes often featuring fresh fish.  Their palm leave and mangrove smoked chicken is tops!  When I am asked if I prefer one lodge over the other, I can’t say.  They are sister lodges and are both great, that’s why I decided a week at each.  A person has the option of Casa or Playa.  Or go all in for both weeks.  2015 dates will be announced soon.  In the meantime if you have any questions or are interested in join this grand fly fishing adventure please contact me.

Friday, January 17, 2014

As 2013 was coming to an end I found myself working on a new website and fishing the Louisiana Coast.  The Louisiana marsh was everything I’ve heard.  The nice thing about redfish is their tendency to be a little forgiven.  A trout bum like me can make a less than stellar cast and still recover.  Saw good numbers of 6-8 pound reds, some reds in the 10-15 pound range and several in the 20 pound range. 

Now in 2014 I am crunching to get the new fly fish New Mexico website up and going.  Actually Marc is doing most of the work, I just plug in the New Mexico fishing info.  The new website should feature information on Northern New Mexico fly fishing.  The local waters page features overviews of fly fishing the Cimarron River, Rio Costilla, Rio Grande, Red River and some private waters.   At the end of each river description there is a link to the fishing report.  The photo gallery will have photos from various fly fishing trips in New Mexico.  Look for a list of places to stay whether you are fly fishing out of Eagle Nest, fishing in Taos, fishing out of Cimarron or want a peaceful quiet place to stay in the mountains.   Somewhere on the website there is even a link to buy New Mexico fishing licenses.   Parts of the website are a work in progress and will take a little time to get the kinks worked out.

Our winter fishing here in New Mexico is pretty much limited to the Lower Red River.  There are several springs feeding into the Lower Red that help make it a winter fishery.  Look for a few midges and Baetis in the afternoons.  Keep an eye out for snow and ice packed along the trails.  The Lower Red usually starts getting consistent in mid to late February and continues to fish through March until mid April when runoff usually kicks in.