In this Video of the Week, we catch up with Michal Vavro of the Catch Me FlyFishing crew and discuss his expedition to the Bolivian jungle in pursuit of the Jaguar of the river. The Golden Dorado. I big-headed gold creature that lays waste to its prey and is not afraid to pull acrobatics. Michal and the Catch Me FlyFishing crew adventure from their familiar homes in Slovakia to the very foreign Jungle of Bolivia all in search of unfished water and an untouched Dorado fishery.
We had the opportunity to sit down with Michal and go over some quick questions about the trip and how the idea to trek into the Bolivian jungle was created.
Flylords: Who is Catch Me FlyFishing? Who does this group consist of?
Michal: “We are basically a family. Catch me fly fishing is basically me, my uncle, and my brother. Of course, we often take cameraman Rasťo and other friends with us.”
Flylords: How did Catch me FlyFishing start? Was it a group of buddies who love to fly fish and decided to take it to the next level?
Michal: “Yes, basically it created itself after we made our first film in Mongolia. We needed to name our “crew” somehow so the name kinda just came up. But before that, our party went fishing for many years, only this was a step that together moved us somewhere else.”
Flylords: Why Bolivia? That’s a long way away from Slovakia. Was it the mountains of the Andes or the ever mystical Golden Dorado of the high mountain jungle streams?
Michal: “Bolivia was our long-term dream. After seeing a few photos and videos, we were convinced that we must experience this. Beautiful fish in untouched nature. Jungla and everything that belongs to it. This is simply every fisherman’s dream.”
Flylords: What do you typically fish for in Slovenia? How did fishing for Dorado differ from that?
Michal: “In Slovakia, we fish mainly for brown trout, rainbow trout grayling, and huchos. Fishing was very similar to hucho hucho or aka Danubian salmon. We fished with 7/8 + rods and large streamers.”
Flylords: How special of a feeling was it knowing that you were the first “white fisherman” that far up that creek? Did it feel like you were in a different world, something far older and special than you’ve fished before?
Michal: “Man it was a special feeling. Fishing a river that you know no one has ever fished before is magical. If you ever try it you will understand. It is indescribable by words. I wish every fisherman could experience that feeling at least once in a lifetime.”
Flylords: What gear did you guys bring? 7wts? were you using a steel leader similar to that of pike? Did you purely fish streamers for dorado?
Michal: “We used fiberglass 7/8 wts rods from Epic. Very cool rods. The gear was basically very similar to pike or hucho fishing. Big flies and heavy lines. Big game fishing. We also fished some poppers but very rarely. A black streamer is the deadliest fly for golden dorado in my opinion.”
Flylords: What was the drink of choice on the trip? Did the crew find a favorite cocktail or beer that you now miss in Slovakia?
Michal: “Bolivian rum was definitely the drink of the trip. All-day all night. Yes, we miss Bolivian rum a lot.” 😀
Flylords: Lastly, what’s the next trip planned for Catch Me FlyFishing? Argentina? Iceland? The states? How are you guys dealing with Covid? Are you guys able to travel locally and fish?
Michal: “Well, we were supposed to go to Sweden for a pike, char, trout, grayling, and salmon fishing trip. But we had to cancel it, of course, due to the Covid-19 situation. Yes, we changed our fishing plans from broad to local fishing, finding new rivers, lakes, and visiting places that we wanted to fish for years but didn’t find time to visit.”
“So now we had some time, so we started hunting these local places. It was a lot of fun this summer. I highly advise fly fishers to go and try to fish small creeks that you know for years and know that must hold some fish. Now is the time for exploring your local waters. Well, our bucket list is very long but I would say the places we want to visit in the upcoming next 10 years are: Patagonia, Iceland, Russia, USA, Maldives, Nicaragua, Mongolia, Colombia, Canada, Norway.”
Huge thank you to Michal and the rest of the crew at Catch me FlyFishing. Be sure to follow Michal here @Michal.Vavro to follow along with his adventures!
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