A Bit Of Southern Comfort

Fly Fishing and history on the Big Muddy

End of the Line

July 2022

Woodland Plantation was founded in the 1830s and today is located on a 50-acre tract of land on the banks of the Mississippi River at West a La Hache, Louisiana. The plantation’s big house was constructed in 1834 by Capt. Willam Johnson, a prominent riverboat pilot, slave trader and occasional pirate. Among his associates was the notorious Jean Lafitte. Johnson and his four sons developed the property into a successful sugar plantation.

Photo courtesy of Woodland Plantation.

The Johnson family continued to own the property until 1897, when it was purchased by the Wilkerson family. In 1934 a Currier & Ives drawing of the mansion was added to the label of Southern Comfort whiskey bottles, where it was prominently displayed until 2009. Since then it has moved to the back of the bottle in a much reduced size.

Photo by Jimmy Jacobs.

In 1997 the then dilapidated house and land were purchased by Clarie and Jacque Creppel and their son Foster. Over a two-year period the mansion was totally renovated and in 1999 opened as a guesthouse. Under Foster Creppel’s managment, Woodland has added newer buildings, as well as relocating historic structures to the property.

One of those was a deconsecrated Catholic church that was remodeled into the “Spirit House.” Today it is home to the resort’s dining hall and bar. Its prsent use as a place of good spirits and pleasant evenings is meant as a counter balance to the locations historic misery. Up until Hurricane Betsy destroy it, the spot on which the Spirit House stands was occupied by a four-story building used for holding slaves in transit in the 19th century.

The Spirit House at Woodland Plantation. Photo by Jimmy Jacobs.

Foster Creppel, himself an avid fly angler, quickly recognized the property’s location amid great fishing opportunities as a way to promote Woodland. Today around 70 percent of the guests are fly fishers.

Woodland can accommodate up to 60 guest in eight buildings on the property. The plantation also offers a meal plan that includes gormet regional dinners, full southern breakfasts and box lunches for carrying on the boat.

For angling, Woodland has more than 20 fly-fishing guides on call , along with up to 40 light-tackle captains as well.

For more details, reservations and rates, visit the Woodland Plantation website.

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