Wheaton man turns lifelong love of fishing into a business

As a child, Javier Guevara loved fishing in his native Ecuador.

Now the Wheaton resident has parlayed that sport into a growing business by taking anglers on trips of a lifetime.

Wheaton-based Ecuador Fly Fishing Tours is a company that takes participants on catch-and-release excursions for tarpon and snook in the Mexican Mangroves, payara and peacock bass in the Colombian jungle, and trout in the Andes Mountains of Ecuador.

"It has been incredible to take people and show them such beautiful places outside of their four walls," said Guevara, 34. "And it also helps them to cross off another thing on their bucket list."

Guevara came to the United States and settled in the Chicago area when he was 18. He attended the College of DuPage, met and married his wife, Jennifer, and started raising three children in Wheaton.

He always loved to fish, and fell in love with fly fishing more seriously around 2007, he said.

That's when he started a club of other anglers until he formed the Ecuador Fly fishing Tours last year, he said. He operates the company on a full-time basis.

He takes groups of 8 to 10 people once or twice a month to one of the countries for a fishing trip. His next adventure trip leaves this week for Colombia for 10 days. Trips cost from $1,500 to $2,950, which includes the fishing, room and board and local transportation. Airfare from home to the country is extra, he said.

All trips aren't just to foreign countries. Some are around the United States, such as salmon fishing in the Milwaukee River.

Getting a group of strangers together often forms new bonds of friendship.

"We're on this adventure together and by the end, you're like family," he said.

And there is no exaggerating on how big the fish is that got away.

Some of the largest fish they've caught are in the 20 to 23 pound range, he said.

"Some of these fish are tough to get into the boat," he said. "And a lot of people just start to shake once they have caught it. It's a thrill to do it."

<h3 class="briefHead">Youtech on the move </h3>

Wilbur You, owner of Youtech & Associates, said his marketing firm has moved into larger offices with about 6,000 square feet at 387 Shuman Blvd. in Naperville - the fourth such move in 3 years due to expansions. He now has 22 employees, compared to 8 last year. "We are actually now hiring across the nation," You said. "We just signed a large contract with a large sports agency in Dallas and putting remote people there full time as well. We should be around 30 employees at the end of 2016."

<h3 class="briefHead">FastTracks</h3>

Aaron Drewery is the store manager at the new Lumen Optical store, which features boutique eyewear and offers eye exams in Kildeer. ... Edward Musz, Comed's senior energy efficiency program manager, will be accepting the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance's 2016 Inspiring Efficiency Impact Award. Honored for its Small Business Energy Savings program, this year ComEd aims to serve more than 10,000 customers and achieve a savings goal of 140 gigawatt-hours by May 31. ComEd will receive the award during the 2016 Midwest Energy Solutions Conference on Feb. 24-26 at the Chicago Hilton & Towers.

Jason Fuerst rejoins Rhea + Kaiser in Naperville as creative services manager after a brief stint away from the agency ... Also at Rhea + Kaiser, Justin Kenny has been promoted to senior account manager of public relations and Cindy Sanders has been promoted to media buyer.

Dave Abram, a 15-year associate with Batavia-based Parksite Inc., will be the sales manager for the company's newly acquired New England market. Abram has been interviewing potential associates to be fully operational in this territory by April 1. The company will be a full-service distributor of DuPont Corian and DuPont Zodiaq in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut.

Deana and Lenny Rago of Mount Prospect are owners of the first Illinois location of Bar 145 in Mount Prospect. The gastropub opened in January in the space formerly occupied by Blues Bar. ... Peter McGrail, chief financial officer of Paylocity Holding Corp. in Arlington Heights, will attend the Northland Capital Markets Growth Conference in New York on March 9. ... Jenny LaPointe, a real estate broker, has joined the sales team at Re/Max Suburban in Glen Ellyn.

• There's more to business than just the bottom line. We want to tell you about the people that make business work. Send news about people in business to Follow Anna Marie Kukec on LinkedIn and Facebook and as AMKukec on Twitter.

Fly fishing is just what every angler can appreciate

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Javier Guevara of Wheaton with his catch in the jungle of Colombia. Guevara is owner of Ecuador Fly Fishing Tours, also based in Wheaton. COURTESY OF ECUADOR FLY FISHING TOURS
Javier Guevara of Wheaton, at left, with his group of fly fishermen at the Bogota Airport in Colombia. COURTESY OF ECUADOR FLY FISHING TOURS
Wilbur You
Jason Fuerst
Justin Kenny
Cindy Sanders
Jenny LaPointe
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