what's the worst you've everbeen bugged

…by bugs?

Last year, end of July in the Apostle Islands on Lake Superior. The flies were worse than usual - more what I’ve heard it’s like earlier in the season. Summer was getting a late start so that might have been part of the problem.

Deciding to travel light, the only long pants I had were my wetsuit bottoms… That was a long week.

Back in June 2001. the black flies were horrible. The only safe places were the tent and way out in the canoe…


On the upper Missouri River in…
Montana. It was fine as long as you were in the middle of the river, but as soon as you got close to shore you are swarmed by mosquito’s, flies and gnats. The only way to get away from them is in the tent and that’s hotter then hell.

So what’d we do? Very long days on the water and take-out early.



paddled the Missouri last year… didnt have any problems… prolly since we passed thru the upper in may-june.

every night was “bad” from Montana to NewOrleans, soon as the sun started to go down the biting bugs seemed to come out to feed… so we would just retire to our tents instead of covering ourselves in DEET

the hands down worst ive ever seen was hiking on the Appalachian Trail may-june in the 100 mile wilderness up in Maine… the blood thursty blackflies are horrible up there… 5 min after using 100% DEET they seemed to send in soldier flies to divebomb and lick the DEET off so others could make their way into feed :slight_smile: least thats how it seemed… i actually went insane hopping around screaming for 5 min once before i regained control, grabbed my gear and high-tailed it out of the area.

ditto Apostles
When we were up there they were unreal on Oak Island. It was strange because several of the other islands we were on that week had zero. We paddled over to Oak an were absolutely ravaged by the flies.


Summer '89 in western PA
Near the Allegheny River, wasn’t even canoeing. Just finished a new house and was trying to put in the yard, the little black gnats were so thick around your head, you couldn’t breath.

friendly flies
I’ve run into some bad black fly problems and they bite. The worst was a friendly fly outbreak in the BWCA a couple of years ago. These didn’t bite, but they were as thick as anyone in their nightmare could imagine. Literally, they would land and stay on you as thick as you pants leg would cover your leg. Using the leg as an example, your leg was completely covered with them with no room to spare. And, that was only your leg. You’d pick up a pack and there would over a thousand on the pack.

1981 Clam Lake Wisconsin
I slept with my exposed arm against the tent wall. The mosquitos got me through the tent. They had a real gang stang.

July 2005, Yellowstone Lake

– Last Updated: Oct-05-05 11:37 AM EST –

Normally, mosquitoes don't plague people on the water. Normally, they don't hang out in open sunshine on a gravel beach.

This summer in some locations of Yellowstone Lake, they did both. My husband and I wore bug suits *while paddling* away from one campsite, and the mosquitoes actually followed us to the middle of a crossing, about 1.5 miles out in the arm. They had been waiting all night for us to emerge from our tents; I counted at least 50 of them sitting on each mesh window before I gave up trying to count them all. All night their combined whines hummed a steady drone.

One afternoon, after we had retreated all the way to water's edge to escape them (a stiff breeze helped), we waited literally 5 minutes too long as the sun began setting. Just before the sun slipped below the horizon, swarms of them stormed out of the forest and immediately found us.

Someone returning from a canoe trip down the southern arms had warned us the bugs were exceptionally bad this summer. An outfitter guide had also warned us. My punishment for not taking their warnings more seriously: 100+ bites. That's 100+ bites even though I wore a bug suit most of the time.

North Casades

The Barrens - what else is there to say?

Barry Arm
in Prince William Sound, AK. While waiting for our ride, the swarms of nats were absolutely furocious. Had to result to eating lunch, walking at a very fast pace, still in my Goretex, with my hand stuck up into my bug net, whilest trying to shove a dripping hummis wrap in my mouth. I still have yet to figure out how them SOBs got into my drytop. It’s making me itch just thinkin’ about it!

some friends were in southern AK…
…for a fishing trip a month ago & said the 'skeetos were so bad you had to keep the bug mesh out from your skin or they would sting you right through it. But the fishing was great (big salmon).

On the Yukon
While paddling the Big Salmon river and the Yukon river in the Yukon Territory. Check out the pics: http://homepage.mac.com/zach1109/PhotoAlbum2.html

I got ate up
This past summer I was in central TX for a few weeks in the field, no where near any paddeling sites. By the time I left from my anles to a little above my knee was a mass of ant bites. It was hard to put socks and boots on when I left. In the group I was with I wasn’t the worst off.

Jemez mts Northern NM
I was working on a thinning contract with the forrest service in an area called schoolhouse mesa. Part of the contract was in an swampy area (lots of small springs) and the mosquitos were so bad that they formed what looked like smoke clouds over the crews heads. We soaked ourselves in deet and still barely escaped with our lives or at least our sanity.

Flamingo, Everglades National Park
In Flamingo it was bad to the point the I could not open my eyes. I bought a real bug suit recommended by a Florida Wildlife Officer and life is good now. The suit does get hot though.

Last year I paddled for an overnight to Panther Key with my Labrador Morgan. There was a nice breeze and it was a cool night. When we woke up it was dead calm and I could not see out of my tent. The tent was covered with “no-see-ums”. I put on my bug suit jacket and opened the tent. The bits were intense on my hands and legs and Morgan ran into the water. She waited for me to pack the canoe, jumped in and we sprinted until we were well off shore. The rest of the day was pleasureable. I carry a can of biodegradable insect spry that elininated the bugs in the canoe.

I am not big on deet so bug suits are for me. I am going to use a new child frendy repellent on Morgan’s tummy in the future she had terrable welts.

Fon-Du-Lac River, Saskatchewan
The skeeters where so damn bad one day I would have shot myself if not for the lack off a pistol. The damn things filled our food bowls, hung around us in amounts that droned out any other sound, and covered the tent screens in quantities that cut off the air flow. We fished that evening and with our Bug Shirts, knee boots, pants and fingerless gloves the only appendage exposed to the vermin where my finger tips. I swear I could’nt see flesh on my finger tips as the damn things where fighting for any source of blood they could find. I think I left that river somewhat anemic! Otherwise one fine, beautiful river experience.

DuMoine River Quebec
Black flies AND sheeters in early May. Lived in headnets for a week, ate in headnets for a week, even wore them on the water about 75% of the time. What I would have given for a Original Bug Shirt! (now a part of my wardrobe, as well as a Suzy Bug Net).