Rick Thrun, creative director at Milwaukee-based marketing firm Propeller, started fly fishing with his father when he was 12 years old. He lost interest in the hobby for quite some time, but for the last eight years he has taken up his boyhood pastime again making several trips to a small fishing village in Mexico.
The first year he went fishing there, Thrun used his guide’s equipment. But the second year, when he and his wife, Laura Marx, returned to Punta Mita, Mexico, Thrun brought his fly rod on the trip.
“No one had ever seen a fly rod out there on the ocean,” he said. “But we went out there and we immediately started catching fish. I’ve been doing it now for the past eight years.”
Thrun says his fishing trips are like a “rodeo,” fast-paced on a boat that stops, starts back up in search of fish, and then stops, over and over again.
“It’s not just a boat ride on one of those giant boats,” he said. “I’ve been on fishing trips like that too. Once you get on the boat on one of these fishing trips you blast off in search of birds just off the shoreline.”
The birds indicate where bait-balls or large groups of fish have gathered and been pushed to the surface, Thrun said.
It’s not the bait-ball of fish Thrun and his guide Erasmo are after, though. The smaller fish are balled together and pushed to the surface because of the larger, feeder fish underneath them.
Thrun fishes for many varieties, but mostly catches bonitos, roosterfish (named for the crown-like fin on their heads), mackerel and Dorado fish, Spanish for “bull.”
Thrun and his guide practice a strong catch and release philosophy, but they will occasionally take a few fish back to eat and to share with the other villagers.
“I love it, I really enjoy the excitement of it and it gives me and my wife an excuse to get away from the cold months in Wisconsin,” Thrun said. “It’s a great getaway from my everyday workload and over the years I’m happy to say I’ve become really good friends with Erasmo and his family.”