Great Outdoors columnist James Murray. (File photo)

Great Outdoors columnist James Murray. (File photo)

Column: Virtually fleeing self-isolation for distant exotic locales

Great Outdoors by James Murray

By James Murray


As winter drags on and the COVID-19 related need to self-isolate at home lingers, I find it harder to even think about the future, let alone make plans for it.

Doubt and uncertainty have seemingly permeated their way into many, if not most decisions. We live in a different world, that’s for sure.

Normally at this time of year I would be eagerly planning any number of fishing trips for the coming season. I would probably be on the phone with my friend Cory trying to figure out the best time to combine some sturgeon fishing with a salmon or steelhead run. I would likely be reading all sorts of articles in old fishing magazines about opportunities to catch two- and three-pound rainbow trout in lakes that I have not previously fished. And, I would also be searching on the Internet for tactical information such as hydrographic maps of specific lakes, types of regional insect hatches and suggested fly patterns, as well as general information on roads, seasonal access, local tackle stores and possible accommodations.

Ah yes, the internet where there is just so much information available – sometimes almost too much.

In fact, there’s so much information available now online that a person has a hard time making up their mind. By the time you have decided on one model of this or that, they’ve changed models and there’s a newer, better, up-graded and improved version available. Not to mention the fact that if you can’t find the newest version of something, you are bound to find an older version of it up for auction.

If you are not careful, checking out stuff on Ebay can be more dangerous than having an itchy nose at a used farm equipment auction.

Having said that, sometimes I do look up all-inclusive fishing trips to places like Belize and New Zealand. I know I’ll never be able to afford them, but it doesn’t hurt to look – and maybe dream a little. I can see myself in one of those fancy new angling kayaks they use down there, cruising through the bright blue waters along the Belize Barrier Reef, casting my line to tarpon and bonefish. After a hard day’s fishing I could head back to my cabana, put my feet up and enjoy a long, tall, cool Kahlua and cream. I could just sit there and think about what I might do mañana.

All those descriptions and pictures online of places like Belize and New Zealand are just so alluring. You can almost hear the waves, taste the salt air and feel the warm ocean breeze on your face. I never thought I would say this, but a person can (almost) experience going somewhere without ever having to leave home, and maybe, in this time of Covid-19, that isn’t really such a bad thing. We can fulfill some of our dreams without actually having to leave self isolation – well, almost. One can vicariously experience exotic places without even having to travel – which we are not allowed to anyways – and we can experience a certain amount of pleasure and enjoyment without endangering our lives. Yes, COVID-19 has changed our lives in many ways but there are ways to cope. We can still plan for the future.

I think I’m going to pour myself a nice, long, tall, cool Kahlua and cream, settle into my La-Z-Boy chair and read one of my old fishing magazines. I might even find an article about fishing for tarpon on bright blue waters along the Belize Barrier Reef. I can just sit back, relax and feel the warm ocean breeze on my face. As I turn the pages I can even think about mañana.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Seniors in the Interior Health region can book their COVID-19 vaccinations starting Monday, March 8, 2021 at 7 a.m. (File photo)
Seniors in Interior Heath region can book COVID-19 shots starting Monday

Starting March 8 the vaccination call centre will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

A group of men pose for a photo at the Griffin Lake internment camp. (Submitted)
Volunteers wanted to help commemorate internment camps in Shuswap

There were six camps along the Highway 1 cooridor between Sicamous and Revelstoke.

A member of the Vernon Search and Rescue winch helicopter team pulls a skier who broke her leg at the gorge backcountry area east of Sicamous into the helicopter on Friday March 5. (Shuswap Search and Rescue/Facebook)
Search and rescue helicopter helps injured skier out of Shuswap backcountry

The Salmon Arm woman broke her leg, but was helped out of the bush thanks to radio communication.

SASCU is looking to celebrate its 75th anniversary with a legacy project, in the same way the Shuswap credit union marked its 60th by commissioning the apple sculpture at its downtown location. That artwork includes 14 apples honouring SASCU’s founding families. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
Shuswap credit union to mark 75th anniversary with legacy project

SASCU will be looking for input from arts community, city

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

Multiple people were injured at a Vernon home following an early-morning break-in Saturday, March 6, 2021. (Black Press file photo)
Multiple people left injured following break-and-enter in Vernon

Police believe the early-morning break-in was targeted and not a threat to the general public

Isaac Gilbert is running for council in the by-election for Jake Kimberley’s vacated seat. (Submitted)
First candidate for Penticton council by-election makes himself known

Isaac Gilbert is making a second run at council after receiving 19.63 per cent of the vote in 2018

Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
Second COVID-19 outbreak declared at Kelowna General Hospital

One patient and one staff member on Unit have tested positive for the virus.

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

A Coldstream resident who found an owl struggling on her property in March 2021 is now spreading awareness of about the knock-on effects of rodent poisoning. (Kathy Renaud photo)
Okanagan owl ‘fighting for her life’ after ingesting rat poison

Coldstream resident warns against the use of rodenticide due to risk of secondary poisoning in raptors

Most Read