Bug Spray [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Bug Spray

08-16-2000, 12:15 PM
I was wondering if anyone had any favorites in the bug spray category. I use Skin So Soft now, but it just doesn't seem to be doing the trick anymore, at least for the no see ums. Anything that keeps both mosquitos and no see ums away? Thanks.

08-16-2000, 01:38 PM
Hi Nick:
I find that that the only acceptable repellent is one that contains DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide) in relatively heavy concentrations. Two that come to mind are Muskol and Ben's. Yes, I know that apparently the body does absorb some of the dope and that the effects of it on humans (if any) are not known. Still, if you really need protection, I feel that it is the way to go. If you can find a product with 35% or more DEET in it you're in business. I find that Off and even Deep Woods Off are not that great (low DEET concentrations). If the bugs are present but not terrible I just go without and put up with the occasional bite. This stuff works well for for mosquitos, noseeums, deer flies and especially black flies.

For more info about DEET, go to the url below. Keep in mind that this info is put out by the industry that makes the stuff.

<a href="http://www.reillyind.com/deet/content/htm/deetnews.htm" target="_blank"><!--auto-->http://www.reillyind.com/deet/content/htm/deetnews.htm</a><!--auto-->

Hope this helps.

08-16-2000, 03:01 PM
Thanks for the info. Hopefully now I will be bug free.

08-16-2000, 06:42 PM
Terry W (who is fishing right now) uses the Avon Skin-so-soft moist towellettes. I like the idea and am anxious to try them. I've found that ASOS works fairly well for no-see-ums and to a lesser degree for mosquitos. I like the fact that it is a relatively harmless chemical.

I worry about deet for my kids, although I have used it myself figuring I am a half baked old fart anyway. It sure works, but it makes me a bit nervous.

The best medicine is prevention, wearing lightweight waders and good clothing over the arms is a solid start. Applying bug spray only where needed is the best approach. I used to make my son wear a bug headnet over a baseball cap, got some chuckles from other fishermen until they had to run to the car slapping themselves silly. Still needed spray for the hands though.

If you target open coastal areas with a sea breeze there will be no bugs. A 5-10 mph salt breeze virtually eliminates biting insect issues.

Boy I sure do miss the pacific northwest! For some reason, there are no mosquitos (to speak of) in western Washington State's steelhead country.

08-17-2000, 09:26 AM
I use a product called Farmers Insect Lotion (or Repellent, I forget which). Made of several types of oils, and this stuff kept green heads off of me at Joppa, which I found impressive! It's "natural", but stinks (maybe why it works) like one of those mosquito candles (it has calendula in it, or whatever that napalm is called).

www.burtsbees.com makes it.

08-17-2000, 09:37 AM
Here's a more accurate link. Just page down to the Lemon Grass Insect Lotion.


08-18-2000, 06:46 PM

Juro has some pretty good advice about covering up. I bought a long sleeve shirt of that supplex material in part to keep the sun and bugs off me. Wearing high concentrations of DEET seems to make me feel a little lightheaded, so I try to avoid it, but when it is neccesary I have found that Ben's insect repellant works well. The Ben's that I found has only a 19.5% DEET concentration, and if I remember correctly I read a report that anything over that amount doesn't help keep the bugs away. If others have different opinions, then I really can't argue - I just know that I hate to wear the stuff, so I try and spray my clothing (hat, shirt, etc) and not my skin, and it seems to work OK.

I'd probably look for other stuff for kids if you have any.

Have a good weekend,


08-18-2000, 09:00 PM
There's no question that DEET works, but aside from the potential threat to human health, you should also be aware that there is a SERIOUS threat to the health of your gear.

I have some stuff that is 100% DEET and I made the mistake one evening of spraying it on my forehead while wearing a headlamp which is made of a hard PVC outer shell. Well, about 30 minutes after doing this, I reached up to turn it on -- it had become dark. I felt something very gooey and wet up there. Upon inspection, I found that the DEET had melted the plastic nearly an 1/8" deep.... you may be saying to yourself, "Big deal, so I won't go night fishing when the bugs are out." But guess what else is made of PVC plastic: the outer coating of your fly line!! Yes, you could easily melt entire sections of coating off your line with a single spray. On the bright side, DEET would work really well in preparing a line for a blind splice

Another thing not to get DEET near is your waders. One test of how good waders are is how well they stand up to a 25% DEET solution. The best out there still suffer some damage. The worst will leak as a result. I can only imagine what a 100% solution would do.

So, if you do opt for high concentration DEET products, please use with caution. You could end up getting bitten where it really hurts: your wallet.

tight (DEET free) lines,