Brief rewind and where this journey led me in 2019.
It has been a while since I found time to post something on ExpediTom. This is primarily because I was busy with studies, work and internships. Those circumstances prevented me from doing any further weekly posts about my adventures. However, this means there is a lot to report on in the upcoming weeks.
Before diving into my year, let us have a look at some interesting changes to the Swiss fishery. First and foremost, the Kanton Graubünden made a very important announcement of implementing new legal-size limits. Apart from only defining a minimum catch size, they also have now a maximum. This catch window provides protection for older fish, which are valuable for reproduction. Moreover, there is now a seasonal bag limit of 60 trout per river in place. This is great news and a novum for Switzerland.
Secondly, the National Council (Nationalrat) adopted the “Rösti” initiative. This initiative releases operators of hydropower plants from their obligation to pay compensation under the Nature and Cultural Heritage Protection Act. In consideration of the fact that only around five percent of Swiss water-network is still considered intact, this is a deplorable decision.
Thirdly, the Kanton Bern made several changes to its license system. The most significant novelty is a surcharge for license holders, who are not in a fishing club (CHF 50.-). This favors people, who make efforts for the environment in such a club and is an incentive to join them. Additionally, they also implemented a yearly bag limit of 50 trout in total.
Time to Rewind
I started the year 2019 with posts on winter sleeping bags and bygone fishing trips. Moreover, I wrote an article on how to prepare for trout opening and how to cure cabin fever, which is applicable year after year. In the same manner, the post on fishing gear for Switzerland has not changed that much either – luckily global warming has not yet proceeded that fast.
Fly Fishing Rewind
To be honest, the fishing season 2019 was a tough. I must admit that on the one hand there were not as many trips as in 2018, nor did I catch any significant fish in Switzerland. Yet, this does not mean that the adventures were not worth doing. The opposite is the case. Increasingly appreciating the environment and all its subtle ways of being, I was delighted of what I was able to observe. Even if I did not catch anything. More on that later.
Among the best fishing experiences in 2019 was with my old friend Claudio in New Zealand. But wait – what brought me back there?
In order to continue my teacher education, I had to spend one more month in an English-speaking country. I seized this opportunity to do something that I truly love: fishing and photography. After countless rejections, I finally found a volunteering position in New Zealand. You can read all about this journey in my NZ-Diary. Among other incredible things, I was able to take part in a duck hunt and visit hatcheries. Moreover, this position allowed me to travel throughout this magnificent country and visit all the places I had skipped on my previous stay.
Apart from this lengthy stay in New Zealand, I did not travel abroad. Nonetheless, I visited many new places. Among my resolutions from 2019 was to explore more in Switzerland. Together with friends I sojourned to unknown corners of this small treasure and was amazed by the sheer beauty of the landscape. For instance, Philippe, Robert and I spent a weekend in the wonderfully remote Calanca valley.
Given, I stayed mostly home-bound, I used the time to finish writing about previous journeys, for example to Canada.
Declining success on fishing trips, shifted my focus to another passion: photography. While I spent more time observing nature around me, I was intrigued by the diversity under our very nose. Therefore, I began to research on various species and am continuing this focus in 2020. To celebrate my master’s degree, I treated myself to some new glass: The Sony 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3, which is an incredible tele-zoom lens.
Concerning videography, I have finished several projects, but only a few have seen the online daylight so far. Among the ones which emerged from the depths of my hard drives is the one about “The Chase”. It is about a funny fishing trip in the Jura mountains with my good mate André. Check it out:
Perhaps there will be some more releases of videos that I prepared in 2019. Yet, there are some new projects waiting to be started as well.
Apart from continuing to blog about adventures near and far, I plan on creating more video content. The winter months are usually time to spend at the vise tying flies. Moreover, improving my fly casting skills is high on the list. Apart from that I plan on focussing as well on photography, in particular of wildlife in Switzerland. One goal is to participate in at least three photography competitions. Do you know of any I should take part in?
Last but not least
This rewind 2019 owes a big thanks to you my dear reader. I have only begun this journey recently, but it has taken me far and wide. Moreover, I was privileged to meet many great people around the world. Your comments, mentions, and help are extremely appreciated, and I hope to go fishing, hiking, or photographing with all of you guys at some point, somewhere.
Tight Lines and all the best,