While all the rain this spring has our gardens lush, our fire danger low and our rivers running abundantly, it’s also contributed to an increase in things that go bite in the night or day. Yup: mosquitos. Anecdotal evidence suggests that we not only have local beasties that are more abundant, but also a new and different variant whose bites are more painful and lead to more swelling. News reports suggest that the increased breeding opportunities are not necessarily going to lead to an increase in West Nile transmissions, but even without the disease factor, it pays to avoid the bites, in the first place.
Insect repellants, both synthetic (DEET, for example) and natural (various herbal concoctions based mostly on citronella and the like) are an option, but both require application and can be rather fragrant. DEET is especially problematic because, while it does repel insects, it also does nasty things like melt plastics and damage fly lines. The herbal treatments have proponents, for sure, but their efficacy can be spotty. There’s always the time-honored method of eating lots of garlic or vitamin B12, but your fishing companions might decide you’re just a bit too fragrant to be around.
What’s the alternative? InsectShield to the rescue!
InsectShield is a fabric treatment for clothing and accessories that really keeps the bugs away from your skin. The active ingredient is Permethrin, a synthetic pyrethroid developed from the naturally-occurring insect-repellent properties of a species of African chrysanthemum. It’s odorless, invisible and so tightly bonded to the fibers of the garments that it retains effective repellency throughout the expected lifetime of the item, usually about 70 washes (the average life-expectancy of a garment, as listed by the International Fabricare Institute). It has no unpleasant smell or feel and doesn’t have to be reapplied. Protecting yourself is as easy as putting on a shirt or pair of pants! Also great is that it’s easy to take care of : wash and dry as you would any of your other clothing, just remember not to dry clean it, since this strips the treatment off. As with any other technical clothing, avoid fabric softeners, as well, since softeners are usually silicon based and cover up the technical coatings and treatments, lessening or eliminating their efficacy.
Angler’s Covey carries InsectShield clothing from Simms (called BugStopper), ExOfficio (BugsAway) and Buff to keep the critters at bay, so there’s a variety of options for your mosquito-proof fishing enjoyment. Take a look at ExOfficio’s Sandfly Jacket and Pant (for
men) or Damselfly Jacket and Pant (for women). These are really lightweight, breathable pieces designed to slip on over other clothing. They’re lightweight enough that you can cram them in a corner of your pack and pull’em out as
needed. The Chas’r long-sleeved t-shirt for men and women is a great casual option, too, as is the Lumen Hoody, a women’s hooded mesh pullover that’s cute and critter-proof. For men, the Impervio technical t-shirt is a functional option on both the moisture-management and bug-repellent planes.
Simms has a more limited offering, being the men’s BugStopper long-sleeved shirt, but keep them in mind for next year, when their anti-bug line explodes with some really great pieces for men and women.
If you always wear long, heavier clothes and don’t need full-body protection, Buff and ExOfficio both have good accessory options for the gaps. ExOfficio has hats with and without head nets, plus bandanas and we even have some
BugsAway crew and hiking socks on the sale table that are good against chiggers and ticks, as well. Buff has a large array of neck/head-wear in patterns stylish, subtle, camouflage and utterly fishy that will perk up your get-up and protect you on any outing.
Moral of the story? Don’t let fear of getting bitten keep you inside, huddled over outdated magazines of exotic fishing locations. Don some InsectShield clothes and go experience our own, exotic backyard paradise, fly rod in hand!