THE LOST BOYS: History Lessons from California’s San Lorenzo River

“And the story it told of a river that flowed, made me sad to think it was dead.”“The Horse with No Name,” an American song popular during a time when the San Lorenzo River still had fish in it.

Vampires are so hot right now, but think back to those ever-pale, never-dying vampires in The Lost Boys (1987) lead by bottle-blonde Kiefer Sutherland (channeling Billy Idol). They’re sexy, they’re deadly, they’re hot-blooded, tempting and taunting the mortal Michael, swinging under a foggy train bridge in “Santa Carla.” As a rumbling train menaces the menacing vamps, they squeak and squawk at Michael to hang with them—so to speak. Teetering between cold human mortality and hot vampire immortality, Michael lets go, taking a symbolic drop of faith into a new, eternal, bloody life: “Never grow old, never die.”

HOT! But the fiction of that Lost Boys train bridge in Santa Carla in reality is the 115-year-old train trestle over the troubled waters of the San Lorenzo River, which runs through Santa Cruz, CA, and forms a boundary between the surf-arbitrary designations of “midtown” and the “west side.” The trestle connects Seabright to the Boardwalk with 300 feet of wood, steel, creosote, asbestos and other early 20th century toxicities, anchored on two concrete supports about 30 miles from the source of the river in the Santa Cruz Mountains, and about 1,000 feet from where those waters flow into Monterey Bay…

Subscribe to start your collection of the world’s best flyfishing publication


The FlyFish Journal Mailing List

We respect your time, and only send you the occasional update.