Rods & reels

The ideal setup for Rio Gallegos is the combination of a single hand rod for gentle presentations on calm days or in shallow water and a double hander for anything else. The single hander should be from 9’-10’ for a 7-weight line, and the ideal double hander would be 12’-12’6”, also a 7-weight. Because of the wind, medium-fast to fast action rods are the better choice for these sometimes demanding conditions.

A quality fly reel with a solid, adjustable drag and enough capacity for your fly line and 100 metres of backing will do the job. There is no need for reels with heavy drag system –  the fish are usually fought with relatively low drag pressure. 


Rio Gallegos is a shallow river, meaning there is normally no use for sinking lines. A floating shooting head, or a F/I shooting head (a floater ending in a shorter intermediate section) of around 7 meters with a 10 feet clear intermediate poly leader or Versi-Tip to get a little below the surface works great.

Only in case of lots of rain and a high river do Sink 2 shooting heads occasionally come into play. As an alternative to cover such a rather unlikely event, you could bring a couple of Sink 3 tips instead of a sinking shooting head.

Most of the time, a tapered leader of 9 to 12 feet will do the job. During the day, they fish tippets from 0,22-0,26 mm and during the night 0,30-0,33 mm.

The flies

We fish a lot of different flies, depending on the prevailing conditions, with Copper Johns, Girdle Bugs and Sunray Shadows in various sizes being some of the most popular choices.

Basically, you need flies for anything from low water and clear conditions to high murky water. Large leeches, zonkers and similar will have you covered in low visibility.  At dusk, a Sunray Shadow is fished close to the surface is one of the coolest ways to catch a Patagonian sea trout.

When the river is low and clear, nymphs with rubber legs or smaller streamers are the keys to success. 

Most of the time you can get away with fishing just a few different flies for the majority of your time on the river. But once in a while, you need something completely different which is why Camp Karku stocks a good selection of different patterns, in case you need that special fly that’s not already in your box.