Viscous electron fluids have emerged recently as a new paradigm of strongly-correlated electron transport in solids. Here we report on a direct observation of the transition to this long-sought-for state of matter in a high-mobility electron system in graphene. Unexpectedly, the electron flow is found to be interaction-dominated but non-hydrodynamic (quasiballistic) in a wide temperature range, showing signatures of viscous flows only at relatively high temperatures. The transition between the two regimes is characterized by a sharp maximum of negative resistance, probed in proximity to the current injector. The resistance decreases as the system goes deeper into the hydrodynamic regime. In a perfect darkness-before-daybreak manner, the interaction-dominated negative response is strongest at the transition to the quasiballistic regime. Our work provides the first demonstration of how the viscous fluid behavior emerges in an interacting electron system.