ACCESS IS EVERYTHING
A guide's vision
Camp Karku is the brain child of Sergio Corbalan, an Argentinian fly fisherman that left his cooperate career behind and decided life was better on the water than in the office.
After guiding for various well-known outfitters in Patagonia, he got his big break when he started talking to the owner of one of the biggest estancias on the Rio Gallegos about letting his flyfishing clients getting access to their many beats on the lower river.
These estancias are renowned for not exactly being keen about having strangers on their land and many had already tried – and failed – before him. But none of them had gone to school, and were good friends, with one of the sons of the estancia. After several meetings, they finally agreed on a test season, literally giving him the keys to the golden gates, and thereby accessing the lower 40 kilometres of the river and its many pools, previously inaccessible.
Sergio was already familiar with many of the beats, having fished them privately as a friend of the estancia, and the first season he brought a few clients on the river was a success. As far as the fishing goes, at least.
“Camp Karku has access to the first 40 kilometres of river running through private land, so every sea trout will be passing through their beats …”
The estancia was hesitant to open its doors for something that might not work out so part of the agreement was that accommodation was in tents on the river. And while camping can be a lot of fun it can also get a little rough when the famous Patagonian winds start to blow. So, after a first season where everything worked fine, some big sea trout up to 20 lbs were caught right from the start and guests wanted to come back the following year, one of the seventy-year-old houses of the estancia went from housing some of the workers to fly fishermen.
It’s authentic atmosphere and great location made it the perfect foundation for a fly fishing operation on the lower parts of the river and Camp Karku was born.