Rewind 2018: Small fish, big travels and ShutterTom

Here’s a quick rewind of 2018 with some of my favourite shots of this year.

Our New Years dinner was spaghetti with tomato sauce, we didn’t stay awake until midnight, and in the morning I found a charging leg prothesis. This is my kind of New Year’s Eve.

Tom

Travel Rewind 2018

Waking up to the sound of Patagonian wind, I unzipped our tent and went outside. Philippe and I started this year at a small camping spot called Yellow Plum in Puerto Natales. Our New Years dinner was spaghetti with tomato sauce, we didn’t stay awake until midnight, and in the morning I found a leg prothesis charging. This is my kind of New Year’s Eve.

Patagonia

Between the end of December 2017 and January 2018, ExpediTom spent an entire month in South America exploring Chile and Argentina. We flew from Milano to Santiago de Chile, and further down to Punta Arenas. By Bus, we continued to Puerto Natales, and further into Argentina. In El Chalten we spent several days, hoping for a weather window to open to allow us to do the Huemul Trek.

It sure did.

Epic journey along the Southern Patagonian Icefield: Huemul Trek Rewind 2018 Trekking TrekkerTom

Epic journey along the Southern Patagonian Icefield: Huemul Trek

After this trek, we drove all the way back spending time at the Perito Moreno Glacier, hitchhiking back with a Brazilian couple to catch the bus just in time. Next we visited Torres del Paine – notoriously known for bad weather. We had sunshine and moderate winds (read: blew me away). We continued all the way up north into the Atacama Desert for star gazing, camping, and altitude endurance testing.

Finally a bath

Research in Canada

In July, I packed my bags again to leave for Canada. This time the purpose was not entirely for pleasure, but rather to research for my MA Thesis. The topic is intermediaries (such as Indigenous peoples and French-Canadian voyageurs), who participated on Arctic explorations in the first half of the 19th century. The first month I spent in Ottawa (LAC), Toronto (MTRL) and Winnipeg (HBCA) researching. Obviously, I also went fishing, but only once.

Furthermore, I spent several days with a friend of a fishing buddy and this was awesome! He gave me some advice where to fish and we even managed to go on a weekend trip together. Even though, success did not materialize for me in terms of fish size (no salmon, no stealhead), it nevertheless was a blast.

Travel in Canada

After this month researching and little fishing, we undertook a road trip in Eastern Canada. I initially planned to drive all the way to Nova Scotia and back in 10 days, but this was a little presumptuous. Instead, we drove to the Lake Superior Provincial Park and circled Lake Huron back to Toronto. There are some awesome camping spots on this route!

Camping in the woods Lake Superior Provincial Park Rewind 2018
Camping in the woods Lake Superior Provincial Park

Next, I met up with Philippe again to do the West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island. This post is still in progress. Additionally, there will be a video on that one as well. Soon.

West Coast Trail Vancouver Island

At the beginning of September, Robert arrived and our trio untertook a road trip through the Rockies. We started in Vancouver, drove to Nelson, Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, Whistler and back. Apart from driving, we did a trek to the scenic Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park. The post for this trek is not published either and there will be a clip too. Soon.

Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park Canada ExpediTom shutterTom blog rewind 2018 Landscape fine art
Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park Canada

Home bound exploration

The further I travel abroad, the more I learn to appreciate the amazing landscapes in Switzerland. Therefore, a goal for 2018 was to explore more at home, which I did. Apart from visiting many cool sights, my highlights were the Landwasser viaduct, exploring some creeks, and the Ice Cave adventure.

Otherworldly experience in the Ice Cave in Switzerland
Otherworldly experience in the Ice Cave in Switzerland

Fishing Rewind 2018

Home waters

Concerning the fishing, I undertook about 20 trips in Switzerland and reported several of them. The opening day trip somehow set the scene for the rest of the year. I have to admit that this season was pretty difficult. Oftentimes, I did not even catch anything. Jonas on the Fly repeatedly teased me to be the only small fish guide on the planet. But I really love to fish for (small) trout in even smaller creeks and the people who join me are aware of this. As John Gierach puts it in his book called Fly Fishing Small Streams: “[the] stature of a fly fisherman isn’t determined by how big a trout you can catch, but by how small a trout you can catch without being disappointed, and, of course, without losing the faith that there’s a bigger one in there.”

Casting for small trout in even smaller streams. Fly Fishing Switzerland Swiss alps Rewind 2018
Casting for small trout in even smaller streams.

However, I would have loved to show off at least with one outstanding catch from Switzerland. Perhaps 2019.

Abroad

It was in the Black forest in Germany, where André and I were able to catch some magnificent fish in an enchanted surrounding. This a very memorable trip.

Black Forest Trout in Germany Rewind 2018 Fly Fishing ExpediTom
Black Forest Trout in Germany

In Chile, I spent the last week alone fishing around Coyhaique. Although the beginning was slow, I managed to catch one remarkable fish. Important notice: I did not have any guide – this would have enhanced my success rate.

Stunning Chilean Brown Trout caught in Patagonia Fly fishing Expeditom Chilean Patagonia
Stunning Chilean Brown Trout caught in Patagonia

In Canada, I did not find much time to fish, but rather spent time outdoors trekking. Since this travel, André calls me TrekkerTom rather than ExpediTom. I can live with that.

All in all, it was a tough year, even in countries that are famous for big fish. I will be back.

What’s next?

Recently, I wrote post number 100, which I celebrated with a look back. My goal is to pulish weekly posts on Friday again. Yet, at times I might do a longer post every 2 weeks. There are many things I want to write about: Mount Assiniboine, West Coast Trail, fish stalking, outdoor equipemt, reviews and many more. So my goal is to write about 52 posts in this year.

Travel

There are several destination currently discussed, but nothing can be specified at this point. Stay tuned!

To stay up to date:

Fly Fishing

Regarding fly fishing, I want to continue to fish in all 26 provinces in Switzerland. This was a goal stated in 2017, but I have not finished this yet. So, I will continue this adventure. What is more, I would love to explore many more creeks and rivers, which also includes some remote hiking and overnighters in the Swiss Alps.

Golf course Swiss alps

ShutterTom

Lastly, I want to seize the opportunity to introduce you to my new website called ShutterTom – very creative, I know. This website is my video and photography portfolio and hence is more static than ExpediTom. There will be some posts on photography trips and topics though. The more I posted here on ExpediTom, the more it became apparent that I need another website to seperate exclusively photographic topics from my personal fly fishing, outdoor and travel blog.

Go check out ShutterTom!

ShutterTom Logo
Shuttertom Timelapse Showreel 2018

This rewind 2018 owes a big thanks to you my dear reader. I only began this journey recently, but have received great feedback and also critical comments, which help me improve this website. Your comments, mentions, and help are highly appreciated and I hope to go fishing, hiking, or photographing with all of you guys at some point, somwhere.

Tight Lines,

Tom



2 Responses

  1. Rob Mellors

    Fascinating read, as ever, Tom and some glorious photos. Glad we met you guys in Atacama. Keep on travelling and look forward to hearing abput your travels in 2019. And thanks for all the advice on Sony gear.

    • Hi Rob,
      thanks for your compliment. Appreciate your kind words. It was a pleasure to meet you and Jane too and I am looking forward to read from your upcoming adventures on your blog. Are you happy with your new Sony gear? I assume there were certain things you had to get accustomed to…?
      All the best,
      Tom

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