At times what is quite brutal fishing on a simply jaw-dropping giant powerhouse of a river, the one that, in the 1830s, Charles Darwin and a party of mariners dragged one of HMS Beagle’s skiffs up with great difficulty towards its Andean source for several days (one his men, I seem to remember, from reading the book “The Voyage of The Beagle”, wandered off into the desert for no apparent reason and was never seen again) then, taken by the stream, floated back to their river mouth base in ridiculously quick double-quick time. I fished quite a bit of the Santa Cruz in the mid 1990s, with the aid of a land-covering four-wheeler but not an access-easing boat. Caught a few steelhead to 16 pounds on a second (first, brief, WTF!, we’re going to need a bigger something, exploratory one, was fishless) trip. Very very hard, even brutal, fighters. Like the great river they have to battle their way up.
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