Troutnut.com Fly Fishing for Trout Home
User Password
or register.
Scientific name search:

> > Deer flies

Jmd123June 29th, 2012, 12:44 am
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2384
OK, our local insect scourge has come out and is making some of my latest fishing experiences quite miserable. Does anyone out there know of some way of fending off these pernicious bastards? They pretty much ruined last night for me and weren't too much fun tonight either. I have contemplated putting contact paper on my hat to see if I can just get them to land and get stuck. A coworker of mine recommended a piece of burning birch bark as repellent. Any suggestions from the crowd? There are places I plan not to return to for a month or so because it is just unbearable!

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
EntomanJune 29th, 2012, 7:27 pm
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Try a cheap cigar, Jon. You can decide afterward which was worse.:)
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
Jmd123June 30th, 2012, 1:47 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2384
My original fly-fishing mentor, a forestry professor named Terry Sharik, used to call it "smoking a rope". He swore it worked pretty good for the inevitable mosquitos that accompany Hex hatches. Then again, my sister said she tried one while in the Army and told me she brushed her teeth twelve times to try to get rid of the aftertaste...

How about those clip-on insect repellers that give off a mist of pyrethroid insecticide? Has anyone tried those on deer flies?

I am a big listener to NPR, and I love Garrison Keiler's "Prairie Home Companion" (actually saw him do it live in Ann Arbor four years ago). A couple of weeks ago he mentioned on "The News From Lake Woebegon" that the deer flies had emerged in Minnesota. He said that they should have been a Biblical Plague, and that if the Pharoh had to deal with deer flies he would have let the Children of Israel free much sooner...

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
EntomanJune 30th, 2012, 3:06 pm
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Well, you could always upgrade the cigar and accompany it with a flask full of fine Islay. Even if it doesn't work, you probably won't care by the time the cigar is done...:)
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
RleePJuly 2nd, 2012, 5:45 pm
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 382
Up until the advent of picaridin-based bug dope several years back (and especially since the Feds raised the 7% by volume picaridin content limit to 15% a year or two ago), I had to use a head net because I wear two behind the ear hearing aids and DEET could potentially damage the plastic cases on my devices. It was my only option when the bugs were truly bad. Now that I have a choice between picaridin-based repellents and the head net, I find myself actually opting for the head net a lot more than I ever thought I would. I don't mind the very, very minor difference it makes in the acuity of my vision, especially when the tradeoff is not being bitten eleven times a minute. Wally World sells a perfectly servicable head net for under $4.00 and you just wear your hat over it to keep it in place. Its light, very unobtrusive, effective and for me at least, I usually forget I'm even wearing it.

You might consider that...

As an addendum, I tried the cigar thing once many years ago. All it did was ruin my 5 years of being off cigarettes and it took another 11 years to quit again. But that's how I'm wired. If I smoke, I smoke constantly. If you don't have that sort of addiction-prone wiring, the cigar thing might work for you.
ShantiJuly 2nd, 2012, 7:14 pm
Sweden

Posts: 95
About the mosquitos, I'm from a country where the government sometimes has to take action against them, evacuations has happened.

Up in our high mountains, the swedish Lapland, insect season is short.
So the mosquitos and other smallish biting flies comes all at once.
A couple of years ago I spent week way above the tree-line with a guy who has been fishing these places the majority of his life.
One evening he declared that this was the worst mosquito invasion he'd ever witnessed. And bad it was.
You couldn't take deep breaths because you'd swallow twenty of them.
At night it sounded like rain when they were constantly hitting your tent.

In my opinion, there are two paths to go.
The first one is the unhealthy path, somewhat described by other folks above.
Smoking helps, sitting close to the fire, drinking moonshine. Repellent smearing all day long, until the booze actually starts to taste like it.
This method seems to be the most preferred one.

Second path, is the opposite.
Don't eat meat. Since I became a vegetarian I've a lot less fuzz with the buzz, not sure why but it's a BIG difference. And it's fun to pick on the meat eating friends as they struggle way harder than me to keep mosquitos away.
Also, Meditation -you're there, they're there, they're drinking your blood. Everything is the way it should in the chain of life.. Jai Guru Shanti Ooom.

I'm priviliged since I dont eat meat and do enjoy a good cigar by the fire.
Somewhere, right now, a fish is rising.
And you´re at the computer..
GutcutterJuly 2nd, 2012, 8:20 pm
Pennsylvania

Posts: 470
About the mosquitos, I'm from a country where the government sometimes has to take action against them, evacuations has happened.
Up in our high mountains, the swedish Lapland, insect season is short.
So the mosquitos and other smallish biting flies comes all at once...
...Second path, is the opposite.
Don't eat meat. Since I became a vegetarian I've a lot less fuzz with the buzz, not sure why but it's a BIG difference. And it's fun to pick on the meat eating friends as they struggle way harder than me to keep mosquitos away.
Also, Meditation -you're there, they're there, they're drinking your blood. Everything is the way it should in the chain of life.. Jai Guru Shanti Ooom.
I'm priviliged since I dont eat meat and do enjoy a good cigar by the fire.


Sorry to be the one to let you know that is simply a myth.
The native fauna where the 'skeeters thrive is full of...
You guessed it, animals that do not consume meat. Warm blooded herbivores.
Kinda like furry vegans.
You may not get bit as much as you previously did, but it doesn't have to do with whether or not you consume meat.
Probably more likely related to your mastery of the art of transcendental meditation

Oh, and 98% DEET works pretty good, too.
:)

I would like to hear from mosquito expert, Crepuscular, on this subject.
All men who fish may in turn be divided into two parts: those who fish for trout and those who don't. Trout fishermen are a race apart: they are a dedicated crew- indolent, improvident, and quietly mad.

-Robert Traver, Trout Madness
ShantiJuly 2nd, 2012, 10:28 pm
Sweden

Posts: 95
About the mosquitos, I'm from a country where the government sometimes has to take action against them, evacuations has happened.
Up in our high mountains, the swedish Lapland, insect season is short.
So the mosquitos and other smallish biting flies comes all at once...
...Second path, is the opposite.
Don't eat meat. Since I became a vegetarian I've a lot less fuzz with the buzz, not sure why but it's a BIG difference. And it's fun to pick on the meat eating friends as they struggle way harder than me to keep mosquitos away.
Also, Meditation -you're there, they're there, they're drinking your blood. Everything is the way it should in the chain of life.. Jai Guru Shanti Ooom.
I'm priviliged since I dont eat meat and do enjoy a good cigar by the fire.


Sorry to be the one to let you know that is simply a myth.
The native fauna where the 'skeeters thrive is full of...
You guessed it, animals that do not consume meat. Warm blooded herbivores.
Kinda like furry vegans.
You may not get bit as much as you previously did, but it doesn't have to do with whether or not you consume meat.
Probably more likely related to your mastery of the art of transcendental meditation

Oh, and 98% DEET works pretty good, too.
:)

I would like to hear from mosquito expert, Crepuscular, on this subject.


Ain't no myth! 100 % science! ;)
May well just be imagined by me. OR, a part of the whole transcendental thing.

I that mosquitos dont mind biting vegetarians, but could it be they prefer meat-eaters? They may have higher levels of iron in their blood/and or sending out scent that mosquitos like?

The water is deep under the thin ice that I am walking on, but still, I think there must be some truth in this.
Somewhere, right now, a fish is rising.
And you´re at the computer..
GutcutterJuly 2nd, 2012, 10:30 pm
Pennsylvania

Posts: 470
Yes, Shanti. There is much truth in what you believe, as long as the listener is wearing a tin foil hat
:)
All men who fish may in turn be divided into two parts: those who fish for trout and those who don't. Trout fishermen are a race apart: they are a dedicated crew- indolent, improvident, and quietly mad.

-Robert Traver, Trout Madness
OldredbarnJuly 2nd, 2012, 10:46 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2591
Sorry to be the one to let you know that is simply a myth.
The native fauna where the 'skeeters thrive is full of...
You guessed it, animals that do not consume meat. Warm blooded herbivores.
Kinda like furry vegans.


Shanti...I have to concur with Dr Antonio here...:) I've been a vegetarian since I was 16 and my fishing buddy used to love fishing with me. I would have a halo of blood suckers orbiting my head like it was the sun and ignoring him...They all gnawed on me...I've even had the no-see-ums drive me off the river during Hex...Night hatches co-inside with flesh eating bugs.

It hasn't been as bad over the last few years for some reason...Maybe weather related. It used to be that my late May week was cold and that made me a happier camper.

I'm not sure of what I'm about to say, but is it true that the males are not the blood suckers and the females are to give them the boost for egg laying etc? I had a weird experience one evening this last May...It was after dark and I had rising fish and what seemed like a zillion mosquitos crawling all over my head area and not biting...It was distracting as hell since I was trying to work a nice feeder.

Deer flies can really bug you and I had a situation similar to the above deal with the mosquitos...I had my nephew up in the 90's and they were hatching and not quite with it yet...They were all over our waders etc but not moving much and not biting??? Go figure.

Shanti...Maybe it is something in your diet though...We need you to tell us some of the odder things you may be eating up your way...There are a ton of wife's-tales about certain vitamins, garlic etc...

By-the-way...We here in Detroit are in mourning with the retirement of Nick Lidstrom...

Spence

"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
FalsiflyJuly 2nd, 2012, 11:14 pm
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 656
Deer flies, mosquitoes, cigars, Scotch whisky, vegan diets, meat eaters, evacuations, blood iron levels, meditation, thin ice, tin foil hats? I was ok up until Nick Lidstrom.
Falsifly
When asked what I just caught that monster on I showed him. He put on his magnifiers and said, "I can't believe they can see that."
ShantiJuly 3rd, 2012, 6:41 am
Sweden

Posts: 95
"Shanti...Maybe it is something in your diet though...We need you to tell us some of the odder things you may be eating up your way...There are a ton of wife's-tales about certain vitamins, garlic etc...

By-the-way...We here in Detroit are in mourning with the retirement of Nick Lidstrom..."

I'm not eating anything special, but I have a soft spot for different curries.
It could be the tin foil hat sacring them away though.. :)
Off to make a field study just now on the matter, hopefully there will be some trout along the way.

(Yep, Lidstrom, great guy, have not seen him play for some time but I thought he had a few years left in him.)

The trouth is out there..
Somewhere, right now, a fish is rising.
And you´re at the computer..
GutcutterJuly 3rd, 2012, 8:58 am
Pennsylvania

Posts: 470
I was ok up until Nick Lidstrom.


Me, too. Spence, get over it.
All men who fish may in turn be divided into two parts: those who fish for trout and those who don't. Trout fishermen are a race apart: they are a dedicated crew- indolent, improvident, and quietly mad.

-Robert Traver, Trout Madness
OldredbarnJuly 8th, 2012, 6:17 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2591
Me, too. Spence, get over it.


I'm trying Tony...I really am...You think I'm feeling bad, how do you think Howard's feeling?

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
Jmd123July 8th, 2012, 9:41 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2384
Well, as usual, this post took some serious twists and turns, and STILL no solution to the deer fly problem. Except for this past week - I avoided them altogether and let them feed on the tourist hordes up from "down below" for the holiday. Hope they got their fill, and that the downstaters didn't keep all of the trout...we got a little rain too, so maybe the streams aren't too low, but that heat wave was pretty awful. I'm not expecting my May and June success to continue, but hey, you never know...and it's just about hopper time already!

BTW, I eat mostly vegetarian (not strictly but I always like to say about 85% or so) and the bloodsuckers just love me. I eat plenty of garlic, tried the B vitamins, etc...DEET works just fine for mosquitos, and it will even work on deer flies if you spray THEM with it, at least it drives away the cloud circling your head at the moment. But still no ideas on how to keep them off...what, no small tracking units with micro-lasers that mount on top of your hat and fry them when they're within range? Come up with that and you could make billions...

Jonathon
No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
CrepuscularJuly 8th, 2012, 10:53 pm
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 919
Sorry to not respond sooner, Here is something that I actually have some knowledge on (at least on the mosquitoes, I will look into effectivness against deer flies).  I would recommend any of the following options
DEET, Picardin, or Lemon Eucalyptus oil(PMD) :
 
We can start with DEET .  Toxicity seems to be the big concern to most people.  Deet has gotten some bad press over the years but incidence of negative reaction to this repellant is miniscule when you consider how much of the stuff has been used over the years and how many millions of people have applied this repellant over the world. (use is estimated at over 200 million people per year)Over the last 50 years, fewer than 50 significant cases of DEET toxicity have been reported in the medical literature.
 The EPA asssigns toxicity of chemicals in four catagories with category IV being the least toxic.They classify DEET as a category III toxin, with very low eye,oral, and skin toxicity.The few cases of adverse reations to the stuff have come from instances where the usere was continually using deet on bare skinn over long periods of time, basically bathing in the stuff.  I would personally be more concerned about getting deet on my fly line than anything else.  
 
Picardin  
which is listed as a category IV Toxin by the EPA.  I have used it and it seems to work OK with mosquitoes, depending upon the species that you are dealing with.(This is just my personal experience)  There are some good studies out there on repellants. And Picardin seems to rank up there with DEET in effectivemness.
 
Lemon Eucalyptus oil (PMD);
Also seems to do really well but effectiveness does not seem to last as long so reapplication may be necessary after a while
 
IR3535:
Not as widely used as the other three, and in the literature that I am familair with it does work but not as well as the other three previously mentioned.

Hope this helps.
StrmanglrJuly 9th, 2012, 11:11 am
Posts: 154
Lately I've been using the same long sleeve shirt and spraying it down with bug repellant heavily. Same thing with my hat, it has a drop down flap for sun in the back and I drop it down spray it and the top real well and then I just put a little on the back of my hands and smear it on my face and I really don't have too much trouble. I'm still using deet but not nearly as much on me.

The small bug repellant fans work ok, if there's no wind.

The bigger ones that warm up and have an insert, from what I hear work great.

I've got a friend who swears by Vicks vapor rub, says he learned it from an Indian. Personally I think he's full of it and haven't tried it. Btw, where does an American Indian come up with Vicks as a home remedy?

I remember the very first time I was out trout fishing. Went for a 9hr wade. I was taking algae heavily at the time, specifically chlorella and spirulina. About 25 grams a day. I didn't even put on bug dope and didn't have a problem all day with the bugs. The only thing I could think was there was so much plant material in me they didn't like it.
RleePJuly 9th, 2012, 4:24 pm
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 382
>>I've got a friend who swears by Vicks vapor rub, says he learned it from an Indian. Personally I think he's full of it and haven't tried it.>>

About 11 years ago, I had a buddy come out from PA to fish with me in WI for the week. He said he had heard the same thing about Vicks and was going to try it while he was out with me. Mosqitoes/gnats/deerflies/you name it, they all walked right through it like he had nothing on at all. Hence, I'm not inclined to believe it works it works.

I will say though that his breathing was remarkably clear all week. He could have blown out a candle at 40 paces...
FalsiflyJuly 9th, 2012, 5:16 pm
Hayward, WI.

Posts: 656
When at war ask the Department of Defense.


http://www.afpmb.org/sites/default/files/pubs/techguides/tg36.pdf


http://phc.amedd.army.mil/PHC%20Resource%20Library/DODInsectRepellentSystemJustheFacts-June2007.pdf
Falsifly
When asked what I just caught that monster on I showed him. He put on his magnifiers and said, "I can't believe they can see that."
OldredbarnJuly 9th, 2012, 8:30 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2591
Just saw a news story the other night where an entomologist somewhere is working on something that somehow effects the smelling function on the mosquito. It will somehow open their sensors and basically overwhelm them,like when we smell something bad, and they will flee...Bill Gates' foundation has given them a huge grant in hopes of using it in Africa to help stop the spread of disease...Won't be available for 5 years.

Mosquitoes, and no-see-ums, and black flies are a pain, but those darn deer flies take a hunk of flesh...I still have a red mark just above my left ankle from a bite from a hike I did in May...Not sure who was the actual culprit, but it tore me up!

I have tried everything and turning oneself in to a toxic Deet dump will work for a bit...I've ruined the collar of shirts with it...

I used to smoke a pipe, under the fantasy that bugs don't like smoke...Since I don't smoke otherwise I would get a little "buzz" (-Let us take the air, in a tobacco trance,) and basically ignore the pain...Easier to do with rising fish in view...Discourging as hell when they aren't. I have thought of a "nickel bag" (Spence showing his age here) of medicinal pot...Maybe if I increase the "buzz" I just won't care...:) Deal with it days after with anti-itch cream.

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
Page:12

Quick Reply

You have to be logged in to post on the forum. It's this easy:
Username:          Email:

Password:    Confirm Password:

I am at least 13 years old and agree to the rules.

Related Discussions

TitleRepliesLast Reply
Re: Suggestions: Mid-Arbor Fly Reels 4wt. to 6wt. Up To $125
In Gear Talk by Feathers5
9Apr 14, 2015
by MiltRPowell
Re: Bug Sprays and DEET alternatives?
In General Discussion by TimCat
15Jul 30, 2018
by BobbyHead
Re: 18-inch Hex hatch smallmouth!
In the Photography Board by Jmd123
3Jul 2, 2011
by Jmd123
Re: A quiet night on the Rifle, but I conjured up a nice one anyway
(4 more)

In the Photography Board by Jmd123
5Jul 25, 2018
by Adirman
Re: Info on Chris Helm
In the Photography Board by Oldredbarn
2Nov 29, 2014
by Martinlf
Re: A Little Mousin' on Michigan's Sturgeon River
In the Photography Board by Oldredbarn
4Jul 28, 2015
by Jmd123
Re: Hike in the Clearwater Mountains in the Alaska Range (Day 4 of 4)
In Site Updates by Troutnut
4Jul 17, 2013
by Lastchance
Re: Mouse
In Beginner Help by Flyfishen24
2Dec 21, 2016
by RleeP
Re: Chrysops callidus
In Fly Tying by FredH
6May 31, 2011
by Jmd123
Re: Sun-screen and bug-spray
In Beginner Help by Roguerat
6Aug 27, 2015
by Martinlf
Most Recent Posts
Re: Stonefly?
In the Identify This! Board by Pdcox (Martinlf replied)
Re: Streamer rig set up questions
In Gear Talk by Fliesties22 (Martinlf replied)
Iowa Driftless
In General Discussion by KevinB
Re: Rio Puerco, Northern New Mexico
In Fishing Reports by Red_green_h (Jmd123 replied)
Re: fall bluewinged olive coloration.
In Fly Tying by Partsman
Re: Thankful
In General Discussion by Martinlf (Strmanglr replied)
Re: My (new) place and its environs
In the Photography Board by Jmd123 (Martinlf replied)
Re: Nymphing set up.
In Fly Tying by FC54 (Martinlf replied)
Re: Pretty float down the Yakima Canyon
In Site Updates by Troutnut (Martinlf replied)