lodging & beats

All you need & plenty of water

Life at the estancia

The estancia is located a five-minute-drive from the river, offering the perfect location for commuting back and forth between the beats. Driving dirt tracks across the Patagonian plains is an amazing experience with its unique nature and great wildlife. You might be lucky to encounter guanacos, foxes, armadillos and the hog-nosed skunk (don’t get too close!), and you’ll see plenty of fast running rheas, the South American ostrich, and flocks of flamingos.

The recently refurbished building at the estancia that is now the base of Camp Karku’s guests currently consists of three bedrooms, two bath rooms, kitchen, dining room and lounge area in front of the fire place.

There is nothing fancy about it but for most guests, it’s the perfect base for a week of fishing. We enjoy home cooked meals, beer and wine can be purchased at very fair prices and the highlight of the week is the asado, the Argentinian barbecue, prepared on a fixed outdoor stone grill.

After breakfast, we head to the river for the first fishing session and then take a break during the middle of the day. Lunch is the main meal of the day, and the hearty servings might call for a nap before we head back out for the evening session, to fish the most productive hours.

The beats

Rio Gallegos runs through 350 kilometres of Patagonia’s Santa Cruz region and as its basin reaches the fringes of the Andes mountains it classifies as a sub-Andean river on whose estuary lies Rio Gallegos city, capital of the province. The river is world-famous for its sea-run brown trout fishery and the incredible amount of 20 pounders caught here. 

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 and, at some point, will hold in some of the countless pools and pockets. By law, fishing is public on all the rivers in the region but private lands are locked by gates and the river is almost impossible to access on foot.

Because of the amount of water and the limited number of fishermen (four or five per week) many of these pools never gets fished. With so few anglers, we can focus on what we believe are the most productive areas, and have everyone fishing absolute prime water at all times.

We reach the beats by driving 4×4 trucks on dirt tracks but some areas are also left alone because they would require a good deal of hiking – and with so much water and limited time during a week, why bother fishing anything but the best water?