Katka Švagrová has traveled all over the world. A pro for RIO Products and others, she has wet lines at a wide range of destinations and has caught many of the world’s most exotic species. She recently sat down to interview with The Venturing Angler:
Where in the world have you fly fished?
Even though I’ve been fly fishing most of my life, I didn’t start traveling the world to fish until 2014 when I visited Australia (Exmouth) to fish with esteemed guide Jono Shales. He passed the spirit of exploring what the world offers in terms of fishing, and since that time, I’ve traveled to South Africa, Maldives, Guatemala, Norway, Iceland, Belize, Croatia, Austria, New Zealand and Mexico. Many more places are on my list for the coming years.
What is your favorite destination and why?
It is hard for me to pass up fishing in my backyard in the Czeck Republic because it is full of memories from my childhood – fishing with my dad, grandma and friends. Those memories are still more valuable to me that catching big fish all over the world.
What is the most memorable travel experience you have and why?
One of the most memorable was my trip to South Africa in 2015. The people there were so kind and showed me many of the best places around the country. I fell in love with South African nature, culture and cuisine in addition to the incredible fishing opportunities. I hope to travel there again one day soon.
What has been the best trip so far and why?
I was dying to catch a roosterfish, so this past May we went to La Riberra cruising the Mexican beaches on an ATV with my friend Vebjorn searching for the elusive species. We had an EPIC trip landing 12 roosters within five days of fishing, and without a doubt, the fish of a lifetime for me. A HUGE rooster, which might have weighed more than me!
Do you have any travel coming up?
In the near future, I am planning trips to Argentina, Florida, Mexico, Australia in addition to another guiding season for me in Iceland. I can’t wait!
Is there a species that you are dying to catch? What is it about that fish?
I had a longtime dream of catching a sailfish on a fly, and after catching one in Guatemala last year, I had to start dreaming again. Now I’m obsessed with catching a GT from the flats in the Seychelles.
When you are not on the water, what do you want the most out of a trip and why?
I love to see the local culture, natural surroundings and trying new cuisine. I also love to meet the locals and make new friends all over the world.
What is your dream trip and why?
Right now my freshwater dream trip is to search the jungles of Bolivia for golden dorado. Luckily, that dream will be fulfilled in a couple of days! Hunting for these fish in this environment in the Amazon jungle is certain to be something very special. I’ll feel one with nature, as a hunter, connecting with nature and meeting a creature you can’t meet anywhere else on earth.
My saltwater dream destination is definitely the Seychelles – Astove or Farquhar. This is considered one of the best saltwater destinations in the world, so I can’t wait to get there and explore what is has to offer.
What keeps the spark going when it comes to fly fishing travel? What excites you about your work?
Traveling is not full-time for me, but it sure is an exciting way to live. You never know what tomorrow will bring, who will cross your path, and which fish you’ll be lucky enough to catch.
This summer I became a professional guide on one of the best Icelandic Atlantic salmon rivers, Laxa I Kjos, so know I absolutely live to guide. Working hard to help people achieve their dreams and share their excitement and happiness is absolutely amazing.
What is the one piece of gear you couldn’t bear to leave at home?
Every piece of gear has a specific purpose, but I can’t leave home without my Costa sunglasses. I also travel with a host of RIO lines to best match the fishing scenario. But the very most important piece of “gear” is my sailfish pendant as it brings me luck on all my travels – or at least, I believe so!
As you have traveled, what environmental issues have most concerned you?
It makes me ill to see how people treat Mother Earth. Seeing plastic pollution in our oceans is disgusting, so I really appreciate what companies like Costa are doing to help clean up our precious oceans.
To check out more from Katka Švagrová, please click here.