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Please welcome Katka Švagrová to the ASI Team
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author:


Katka Švagrová
ASI Team


Passion for life
I had heard that I was born with a fishing rod, and perhaps there is some truth to it.....

I come from a fishing family. My great-grandfather and grandfather were fishermen, and even my grandmother would pick up a rod  from time to time and set off on her motorcycle to fish a local river. I grew up beside a picturesque trout river which flows only a few meters from our house. From an early age it was more than clear that although I am a woman, I will build on my passion and keep the fly fishing tradition strong in my family.
 

My father and my love for nature taught me that everyone has a special thing inside of them; something they are born with and certain experiences will awaken it inside of you. There is a passion for something …. passion for fishing, a passion for nature. To be in nature is to be human, because this miraculous nature has given us life.  I thank God that I experienced this passion with fishing.



I do not remember exactly the year when I started fishing, but after watching old family videos it looks as though I was still sleeping in a crib. When I was two and a half years old I fell asleep every night with a fly fishing book in my hands and by the time I was four I was casting a rod nicely on my own. I spent every free moment of my childhood fishing with my father, you could say that I grew up in the woods.


I remember every vivid detail of how I caught my first trout with an artificial fly. I cut my dad’s  hazel stick and attached a piece of line, I then pulled out my box to select one fly. I chose the ugliest and largest grasshopper. "Do you really want this ugly fly?” I can still hear my father ask in my head. But I was determined, and it turned out to be the right choice. My father waded into the river and with a smooth motion he casted a fly on the surface of the water. I tried to imitate it with my hazel stick but was I tangled my fishing line instead.

   

I walked through the grass along the shore, which was taller than me and I wondered, “how do I outmaneuver the fish?” I do not know whether I had ever been advised, but I put a bead on seam just next to the shore where the grass bent over water. Even as a young girl I realized that feeding trout must hold under overhanging grass, so I placed my fly there and hooked into a nice brown trout. My dad told me that I was screaming terribly. He ran to me and helped me unhook my first trout. I remember feeling proud of myself that I caught and released this big trout (that was around 15 cm ☺). I believe that this was the moment that clearly showed me my way in life and awakened the passion ...... "passion for life".

I grew up with a fly rod in my hand and by the time I was six years old I started to tie flies. I collected a lot of experiences in local rivers and lakes and caught many beautiful fish. When I was 18 I started to study the Faculty of Fisheries and Protection program, spending even more time with fish. I have tried competition and during the five years of competition I managed to become four time champion of Czech Republic in fly fishing, but the competition was not what filled me. What really fulfills me is traveling with a fly rod. For the last few years I had an invitation to fish with a famous fly fishing Guido in Western Australia, Jonathan Shales, and one day I thought, “why not?”


 

I decided in one minute and gathered all the money had saved during my studies. Within an hour I had bought a plane ticket. Until I flew to Australia I had never been on a plane, and I had a fear of flying. My english was poor and I had never been without my family for more than a few days. I knew I was making the correct choice though. I was terrified but I was very determined to do everything I can to fulfill my dream of catching a billfish on an artificial fly! I spent a wonderful month and a half in Australia and plan to go back another year. Since then I also had the opportunity to become a fly fishing instructor of the national women's team in South Africa, where I spent another interesting month.
 
After several trips, fly companies started contacting me with offers of cooperation.
One day I got a message from Robert inviting me to collaborate with Arctic Silver. I didn’t know why then, but I accepted the offer immediately. But now I know why and I am proud that I can be part of the AS team. I believe that this decision was one of the most important and best decisions in my life of fly fishing.

In the future, I hope I can encourage young people of not only the Czech Republic but also of the world. I hope to Inspire them to detach from today's fast-paced life and the pursuit of money to spend more time in nature and to not give up on their fishing (even non-fishing) dreams.
Relax, let time just run and enjoy the magic moments....