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vchops 05-04-2021 08:53 AM

Black Fly update
Hi All

I have a 5 day trip planned for next week. How are the black flies as of now?

Thanks in advance,


DSettahr 05-04-2021 09:09 AM

Out and swarming according to a post in this thread:

TCD 05-04-2021 09:13 AM

Yes, it's the season in some areas.

In Keene, there are zero black flies as of yet.

But in North Creek on Sunday, they were in the "swarming but not yet biting" mode.

stripperguy 05-04-2021 10:13 AM

Was up Saturday near Hoffman Notch
Not a bug in sight!! But then again, winds were high all day long

Wldrns 05-04-2021 11:48 AM

Sunday, southwest of Old Forge, the early non-biting but annoying swarms were out. I swallowed a few by accident... small and not very tasty. The big toothed biters will be out in force very soon.

poconoron 05-04-2021 12:23 PM

Ferris Lake Wild forest area has small swarms but not really biting yet.

bluequill 05-04-2021 12:41 PM

Last week, Hammond Pond WF had some got lucky on my forehead.

vchops 05-04-2021 02:09 PM

Thanks for the responses. Any good advice for these? I experienced them once in Maine and it was insane, it’s been a while since I’ve been North at this time of year.

Wldrns 05-04-2021 02:52 PM


Originally Posted by vchops (Post 285725)
Thanks for the responses. Any good advice for these? I experienced them once in Maine and it was insane, it’s been a while since I’ve been North at this time of year.

Keep moving, don't stop when they are the worst.
Since the little buggers tend to like to attack at the highest point of a living body, it is very helpful to hike with someone who is taller than you. Especially when you are stopped, try to stand in a hollow spot lower than your chum. Share in idle chat for a minute, then silently slink away for a short reprieve.

DSettahr 05-04-2021 03:23 PM

Sometimes if you get a good swarm around your head, you can walk over to a companion, bow down real close to them, and transfer the swarm to their head.

Assuming that this is a paddle trip, if you can fit a bug house into the canoe you might be glad to have it.

Definitely bring long sleeve shirts, pants, and a head net. It should be too early yet for no-see-ums but make sure the head net is no-see-um proof or else you'll need another, different head net for trips undertaken later in the season.

Black flies do have one saving grace- they go away at night. So once the sun is down you'll be able to enjoy the campfire in peace. Similarly, they don't come back out in the morning until things have warmed up a bit- so there's usually an hour or so post dawn that is bug free. If you can be up early, you can use that time to your advantage (breaking down camp without going insane).

If you're out on a big lake, even moderate winds will keep them at bay during the day. But any sheltered coves, narrower streams, boggy stretches, etc., should be treated with caution.

Similarly, campsites on the east side of any bigger bodies of water can catch breezes out of the west during the day, which can also help with the bug situation.

RichieC 05-04-2021 04:45 PM

Buy a bug shirt... I have found since I bought mine, on the rare occasion I need it, it is invaluable. Sometimes it seems the word has gotten around to these critters, that I have one packed away, and can have it on in a minute... and they leave me alone. So i don't care how it works- these shirts just do, and if you don't get too close to a fire or bust through brambles, they should last forever.

Remember, these critters keep the pretty spots mostly devoid of PITA people, leaving you to entire tracts all to yourself. SO bug my favorite season. :)

I can vouch for the elite original bug shirt... i like the way it opens at the top. You can tighten it up around your face protecting the sides and back or your head- leaving your friendly gestures (waving to everyone) to keep them off your face, and when really bad, retreat behind it... you will spend a inordinate amount of time trying to figure out if some are inside or out... you can drink your liquids right through it, filters out their drunken little bodies nicely.

Have fun!

vchops 05-05-2021 01:02 PM

Thanks all! I’ll let you know how I made out. Bringing a lite weight bug net and a head net so fingers crossed!

Nehasane 05-06-2021 05:47 AM

They will not be active until the temp gets above 55F - hope for cold temps. Rain keeps them at bay, too.

Tick Magnet 05-07-2021 06:34 AM

Starting to swarm in southern Hamilton County, Wilcox Lake Wild Forest.

Right on time :D

adkjack 05-07-2021 11:36 AM

I tell folks that they are attracted to the tallest (mentioned) in a group and are also drawn by moisture and Co2 so the best thing to do is to hike with tall out of shape people who sweat a lot and breathe heavy.
Unfortunately all too often that describes myself. No wonder, now that I think about it, it was usually late May and June Neil wanted me to go bushwhacking with him. :banghead:

vchops 05-07-2021 10:31 PM

Temps are gonna be cold at night (32-39) and hovering around 55. Finger crossed ����

St.Regis 05-08-2021 08:15 AM

The weather is what it is, but this is the kind of spring that seems to extend the BF season and increases the probability of a bug blitz quad event (black flies, no-see-ems, skeeters, and deer flies) in late June/early July

Bunchberry 05-13-2021 08:46 PM

They were in the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness today. They were not aggressive. Three of the little buggers got a bite on me. I would bring bug spray from now on.

mgc 05-14-2021 08:20 AM

The little buggers are really lit up right now and will keep getting worse in the next few weeks.
Unless it's cool, expect them to try and carry you away. Strap yourself into your canoe or tie your ankles to a couple hammered in tent stakes. Last week I saw flies that were as big as Moto Guzzi's.
The recent snow added just a bit more water so my expectation is that this year will be Hors catégorie.
Your best best is to always have a hiking/camping or paddling companion with you to transfer them to.:eek:

montcalm 05-14-2021 08:36 AM

Got my bug suit ready:

ALGonquin Bob 05-14-2021 05:09 PM

Headed up tomorrow. As always, I’ll bring bug spray & my Eureka tarp with mesh enclosure. Also bringing a Thermacell unit this trip. Destination undecided. Will pick a spot while on the road.

vchops 05-16-2021 06:04 PM

Back from Lila today and was there since Tuesday. We stayed on snell isl in hopes of wind. Well, it worked. Totally tolerable but the main land was a completely different story. They were plentiful but not really biting early in the week but started to on Saturday. Bug spray worked for now.

Enjoy everyone.

Buckladd 05-17-2021 05:52 PM

Went to check on our camp in Northern Warren County on Sunday. All I can say is "yikes" about the black flies.

Jwojcik1990 05-18-2021 12:20 AM

I am sure it has been brought up before, but I managed to beat back the Black Flies with nothing more than a portable Thermacell on my recent 4 day fishing trip. I know the pads and fuel can be a hassle, but was totally worth the room in my bag.

St.Regis 05-18-2021 06:59 AM

Good advice about Thermacells

FTHR&DAGHTR 05-18-2021 10:26 AM

Standard rule of thumb has always been you will encounter black flies in the north country from Mother's Day to Father's Day. PLAN ON IT HAPPENS EVERY YEAR!

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