Flotsam & Jetsam - Special Tips Odds & Ends
Biting Fly - Fun Facts: Don’t Bug Me!
Deer Flies and Black Flies
Deer Flies are pests of domestic and wild animals, but will annoy and bite humans. Deer Flies feed by sucking blood and cause a severely painful bite. These flying pests are closely related to horse Flies. Often confused with Horse Flies, Deer Flies are a little smaller in size. The wings of this fly have dark markings and their body is tan or dark in color.
The female of the species feeds on animal blood, while her male counterpart is a pollen collector. Deer Flies deposit their eggs in damp areas around streams, lakes, ponds or swamps. The larvae of this fly feeds on insects and can be found developing in wet areas.
Deer, stable and horse Flies are bloodsuckers that can cause grief and misery to humans, pets and livestock when they bite. They usually buzz incessantly around the head. Reports from foresters working in coastal areas have described deer fly swarms so thick that they actually ingested Flies when trying to breath. One woods crew had to wrap handkerchiefs over their mouths to keep from ingesting the obnoxious, persistent blood- suckers. Most species inhabit moist areas rich in organic matter. Most human reactions resulting from fly bites are initial pain, local irritation and swelling. Large local and systemic reactions do occur in hypersensitive people.
Deer Flies, yellow Flies and horse Flies are collectively called Tabanids. Many of the Tabanids have large, brilliantly colored eyes. Over 3000 species occur worldwide. Deer Flies prefer wet breeding sites and horse Flies prefer wet soil near water. Tabanids depend on vision and odors to detect hosts. Carbon dioxide emissions from humans and animals are probably the single most attracting element to many Tabanids. Feeding varies with species. Some Tabinids attack the upper parts of walking man and others prefer the lower limbs, however, most are day biters.
Black Flies are minute, stout bodied and humpbacked. Preferred habitats are wooded coves along fast flowing streams. The larvae are aquatic and feed on microscopic organic material in streams. Black Flies swarm mainly in the early morning and evenings oftentimes completely surrounding people who are unfortunate enough to be where they are. Long distance host finding begins with Flies detecting odors upwind. As they near the host, they orient to carbon dioxide emissions and within six feet they use vision.
Black Flies can discriminate between colors often preferring black, blue and green. These Flies are more common in hilly and mountainous areas where shallow, fast flowing streams occur. The bites from black Flies can be very irritating. Many bites are the rule and not the exception. A small, bloody spot develops at each bite site and itching is intense.
Eliminating Deer Flies and Other Biting Insects
The nature of these Flies makes it impossible to eliminate through spraying programs and other chemical treatments. Some states have banned chemical treatment in ecologically sensitive areas such as wetlands - the prime breeding area for these insects.
Therefore, repelling the pests is the best method when in their environment. For extra protection from biting Flies (as well as chiggers, punkies, no-see-ums, etc.) there are products made for applying to your skin and others for applying to your clothing. DEET is used extensively for repelling or killing various insects on people but is not always as effective on biting Flies as it is on mosquitoes, ticks and a few Flies. Be careful with DEET, however, some find this chemical deleterious to their health.
Deer Flies are usually active for specific periods of time during the summer. When outside, repellents such as DEET and Off (N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) can provide several hours of protection. Follow label instructions because some people can develop allergies with repeated use, look for age restrictions.
Permethrin-based repellents are for application to clothing only but typically provide a longer period of protection. Repellents can prevent Flies from landing or cause them to leave before feeding but the factors that attract them (movement, carbon dioxide, etc.) are still present. These Flies will continue to swarm around even after a treatment is applied.
Light colored clothing and protective mesh outdoor wear may be of some value in reducing annoyance from biting Flies. In extreme cases, hats with mesh face and neck veils and neckerchiefs may add some protection.
We are in the process of evaluating two items. One is a household remedy. BOUNCE, the clothes dryer scent material can be placed under your cap, flagging out the back like the French Foreign Legion. You may look
weird (no dumber than those funky fly fishing hats with the wrap around fold-down, man they’re ugly!).
The other material is made by Tred Not - Deerfly Patches. This is an adhesive patch you stick on the back of your cap. It acts like fly paper and as the damn things buzz you and land, they get stuck to it. One patch is good for around 40 Flies. That’s about one patch per hour some days. There’s no harmful chemicals and the reports are effective, if you don’t mind “wearing” a bunch of deer Flies for awhile.
Horse Flies and deer Flies can be serious nuisances around swimming pools. They may be attracted by the shiny surface of the water or by movement of the swimmers. There are no effective recommendations to reduce this problem.
Permethrin-based sprays are labeled for application to livestock and horses. These insecticides are very irritating to the Flies and cause them to leave almost immediately after landing. Often, the Flies are not in contact with the insecticide long enough to be killed so they continue to be an annoyance. These Flies will swarm persistently around animals and feed where the spray coverage was not complete (underbelly or legs) or where it has worn off. Repeated applications may be needed. Check the label about minimum retreatment intervals. Pyrethrin sprays also are effective but do not last as long as permethrin.
Horse Flies and deer Flies like sunny areas and usually will not enter barns or deep shade. If animals have access to protection during the day, they can escape the constant attack of these annoying pests. They can graze at night when the Flies are not active.
It is difficult to impossible to locate and/or eliminate breeding site of horse Flies and deer Flies. They breed in environmentally sensitive wetlands so effects of drainage or insecticide application on non-target organisms or water supplies is a concern. Also, these insects are strong
fliers that can move in from some distance away. Breeding sites may be very extensive or some distance away from where problems are occurring.
Since elimination is generally not an option, what can you do to avoid these critters from ruining your outdoor fun? Check the link below for solid info to help you and yours enjoy your time outside.
10 TIPS for BUGS
Saving Your Skin: How Boaters Can Fend Off Harmful UV Rays
by Marc Malkin
Perhaps more than anyone else, boaters and anglers need to be aware of the potentially harmful effects of the sun’s powerful rays. This is especially true during the summer months. While there’s no need to fear the sun or curtail your favorite outdoor activities, taking measures to protect yourself from UV dangers while boating or fishing is vital. BoatersWorld presents the following tips for enjoying time out on the water without getting burned. Heeding this valuable advice may just help you save your own skin.
A couple of decades ago, not many boaters or anglers knew about the importance of warding off the damaging rays of the sun. In fact, many of us applied “tanning oils” that actually attracted more sunlight and increased the burning effects. At the time, sun protection lotions were not mainstream, and very few people were aware of serious sun-related risks like Melanoma and other skin cancers. Things have definitely changed as far as awareness is concerned. Most people are now quite conscious of the dangers of extended, unprotected sun exposure, and make it a point to put on sunscreen or sunblock before they head outdoors. However, many do not use these lotions properly to assure maximum protection. First off, not all sunscreens and sunblocks are created equal. Experts, such as Jim Weintraub, a board-certified, Westlake Village, Calif.- based dermatologist, recommend using at least a SPF 30 sunscreen (a sunscreen that provides 30 times your skin’s normal level of protection).
For anglers and boaters, water resistant sunscreens are best – the others will simply wash off due to spray and perspiration. Also, be sure to apply the sunscreen at least one hour prior to sun exposure, so it can bond effectively with your skin. Make sure you use the sunscreen liberally over all exposed parts of your body. Reapplying the lotion throughout the day is very important as well. The effectiveness of even “waterproof” and “rub-proof” lotions tends to wear down over time, so putting on another layer of sunscreen periodically makes a big difference.
Don’t forget – your skin is not the only concern when it comes to sun protection. Your eyes are also extremely vulnerable.
Ophthalmologists agree that failure to protect your eyes with high quality sunglasses that block out UVA and UVB rays, can lead to eye diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration of the retina – the leading cause of blindness for Americans over the age of 55. Sun exposure can also cause cancer of the sensitive skin around the eye and eyelids, as well as photokeratitus. For all of these reasons, selecting sunglasses that screen out the highest possible percentage of damaging rays is a key factor, especially for boaters and anglers. While many sunglass manufacturers claim to offer “UV protection,” the level provided is not sufficient. When it comes to your health and vision, it pays to invest in sunglasses that provide at least 95 percent of the sun’s harmful UVB rays, 60 percent of the UVA rays and about 60 to 92 percent of visible light. Costa Del Mar and H2Optix are a couple of manufacturer’s offering sunglasses with lenses that fit into this category. Their sunglasses are also polarized, which helps to eliminate glare and blue light. For anglers, polarization is also important for spotting schools of game fish, baitfish and current breaks.
Head for Cover
When selecting a hat, choose one that will provide maximum coverage. Don’t base your choice purely on “looks.” Remember, it’s not a fashion show out there – the idea is to enjoy being out on the water, while minimizing the harmful effects of the sun. Long-billed caps or wide brim hats provide better overall protection than standard “baseball” style caps. With this in mind, select a hat on the basis of its functionality and comfort, not purely on design or a trendy logo.
After a lot of use or when storing for a period of time, take the time to prepare your gear for inactivity. This helps us in three important ways; It assures us that by giving our tackle basic care it will last longer and perform properly and that next spring everything is in good shape and we’re ready to fish.
Wash the grip and reel seat with dish detergent and scrub it good with a toothbrush. Take the rod apart and wash each section separately with dish detergent and scrub the guide feet with a toothbrush. Rinse everything thoroughly with water, wipe it off and let it dry at room temperature for several days. After it is dry dress the ferrule with Murray’s Ferrule Dressing. If the rod has a separate rod sac-liner wash it in the washing machine and dry it in the dryer. The heat of the dryer will kill any mildew present. Finally put your rod in the sac in the hard case and store it in a cool place until you’re ready to use it.
Remove the line and backing from the reel and each spool. Clean all exposed surfaces with a cleaning solution such as Carbona using a toothbrush, Q-tip and cloth. Wipe the inside of the spool firmly with a cloth. Allow everything to dry. Apply a light coating of reel oil to the reel click, pillar and drag (unless the reel manufacturer says not to.) After the reel is completely dry put new backing on the reel and attach the line.
Remove the line from the reel and wash it with ivory hand soap on a paper towel. Rinse it with water on a separate towel. Dry it with a separate towel. Apply a small amount of Glide Line Dressing to a paper towel and dress the whole line. Finally, rub the whole line down with a dry paper towel and put it back on the reel.
Remove everything from the vest pockets and the fly drying patch. Wash it in the washing machine with Ivory powder on a gentle cycle in cold water. Run it through a second rinse cycle and then line dry it.
If there are any bad leaks follow the manufacturer's directions for repairs. When mine are so worn out that the manufacturers say they are beyond repair I paint the leaky areas inside and outside with a solution of half and half Aquaseal cement and accelerator. Store all waders in a cool dry place.
Even our best breathable coats can wet out in a heavy rain if they have gotten dirty through use. Follow the washing and drying instructions on the coat’s label. If you don’t want to go to this much trouble spray the whole coat with a thin coat of Tectron.
Wading Staff: Coat all of the joints liberally with paraffin.
Fishing Caps and Hats:
Clean with a cloth soaked in Ivory powered solution. Rinse off. Dry. Spray with Tectron.
Those that are matted or mashed can be restored by steaming them over a tea kettle of boiling water using a strainer or forceps. Caution: The steam can easily burn you so be careful.
Nymph and Streamers: Those that are matted or twisted out of shape can be restored by rinsing them in warm water in a colander for several minutes then spread them out on a paper towel in the sun or in front of a heat duct to dry overnight. About a dozen at a time is right.
Taking care of your tackle in this way is both beneficial and enjoyable for it brings up memories of the nice fish you caught the past season and it whets your appetite for fishing next season.
The Smallie Shuffle: Two for the price of one!
Smallmouth bass and other fish will follow a hooked fish during the fight. Why do they do this and how can it benefit you?
If you’ve ever fought smallmouth in clear water and watched what’s going on near the hooked fish, you have no doubt seen other fish following. Some believe the exaggerated body movement of the hooked fish stimulates others, believing the hooked fish is chasing prey. The others move in to get in on the action.
Others believe stomach contents regurgitated by the hooked fish offer an easy meal for nearby fish and they hang close awaiting the next delectable morsel jettisoned from within.
Regardless of the reason, the followers are in an aggressive mood and from which you will capitalize. Simply throw a light colored streamer behind the hooked fish and get ready for a hook up. It’s an aquatic version of “leap frog”. . .or the Smallie Shuffle, as we call it.
Land fish number one after hooking fish number two. While your partner is fighting fish number two, you cast back out for fish number three, and on it goes. It’s not uncommon to pick up several fish with this technique. Most of the time the fish are of similar size as well.
General Fly Tying Tips from Harry Murray,
- I mash the barb down on all of my hooks as I’m starting to tie a fly if that style hook can’t be purchased as barbless.
- I cover the whole hook shank with thread and cement when I put the hook in the vise except on hair bugs. This helps the material grip the hook and makes the fly durable.
- I place my head cement in a hypo syringe so I can place a mini-drop of cement at each material tie in spot and trim off spot to make my Flies durable.
Deer hair is easy to spin on bass bugs if you do two things:
- Clean out all of the short guard hairs and fuzz from each bunch of hair before you tie it in.
- Keep the hook shank free of thread and cement.
- I like to use Kevlar thread when tying bass hair bugs in order to pull the hair tight and still not break the thread.
- To make you hair bugs durable paint the stomach of the bug along the hook shank with spar varnish cut 1:10 with paint thinner after the bug is complete.
- I like to use moose body hair on my dry fly tails for patterns for size 16 and larger Flies. It’s very durable, floats, and very stiff.
Never use more tailing material on a dry fly than is needed to float a fly of that size. An excessively thick and long tail can make the fly appear much larger then it really is and many trout will refuse it.
- After you’ve tried a parachute dry fly use a hypo syringe to place a mini-drop of cement right where the hackle meets the post.
- When using a spinning loop to form the body of patterns such as Strymphs, Shenk’s White Streamer, and Shenk’s Cress Bugs, take the fur directly from the skin and keep the fibers perpendicular to the thread loop when you spin the fur.
- When tying Flies smaller than size 18 keep everything sparse. This makes the fly easier to tie and catches trout better.
- Smallmouth bass hit natural minnows in the head so you don't have to be concerned about making the wings and tails a little to long. But for this same reason I don't like to use hooks longer then 3X or 4X long. This is the reason you miss so many strikes on the long pencil poppers. The bass hit the fly in the head and miss the hook point.
- Be sure to keep the folded hair out from below the hook shank on Humpies and Beetles. It can fill in the hook bite and you'll miss many strikes. Likewise when you tie deer hair bass bugs be sure to trim the stomach of the bug as close as possible after tying the bug in order to effectively hook the bass.
- In order to show the ribbing to the trout on your small nymphs counter wrap the ribbing opposite of the direction you wrapped the body.
- Firm, snug wraps of thread make your Flies durable, not great numbers of wraps.
- Fly tying cement that is moderately thin (like Murray’s Head Cement) penetrates the tying materials and hold them securely to the hook and thread thus helping the fly hold up longer. Thick high loss cements are fine on the head wraps.
- To increase the durability of you Flies which have turkey and other quill wings such as hoppers and muddlers, etc, paint the quills with a thin coat of Murray’s Wing Kote and allow it to dry before removing the part you will tie in.
- Don?t crowd the hook eye! When you are tying a new pattern allow a little extra space at the eye until you become familiar with the steps.
- When tying Flies to match specific nymphs, it is good if they look like the naturals but it is far more important that our nymphs act like the naturals. Very productive Flies that show this are the pulsating action of the Murray's Hellgrammite and the emerging swimming action of the Murray's Mr. Rapidan Emerger.
You can get more information about Harry Murray on his