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."
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