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An Angler's Guide To Insect Repellants And Other Ways To Prevent Insect Bites Rob Worthing, MD FAWM

I’ve always wanted to write something about biting insects for anglers. But, the inevitable distractions - like actually fishing - always got in the way. Today, I find myself in a position where I have no excuse. Instead, I appear to have a tick borne illness. I got lazy, didn’t protect myself, and I got bit. As I sit at home, using up my sick days from work, enjoying a screaming fever, fatigue, malaise, headache, and one crazy bulls eye rash, it only seems fitting that I write this article. So read up and arm yourself with some knowledge, because you don’t want what I got!

The author displays a classical rash of tick borne illness like Lyme

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Each summer across fly fishing rags, forums, blogs, and social media outlets the debate over the best line of defense from mosquitoes, ticks, and other biting insects erupts. Why? Two reasons. First, these little blood suckers are annoying. Second, they carry diseases that we really don’t want. Diseases like Lyme, West Nile, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Tick Borne Paralysis to name a few. Throw in Zika and a few news reports on Powassan virus this summer, and things get bonkers. The difficult part for most of us fisherpersons is trying to figure out the good information from the bad. What really works, and what doesn’t work so well? What’s safe, and what’s not so safe to use? Many of us have a particular product that works well for us around our home waters. Such experience can be very helpful. To further help us make an educated choice, this article will summarize the best evidence on the subject of insect bite prevention that science has provided us to date. Only here the info is geared for real-world use by anglers, not so much the scientists. A fly fisherperson can control biting insects in two ways. First, using physical barriers. Second, using chemical barriers like insect repellants. There’s also the notso-effective, sometimes dangerous stuff out there that we ought to address. That gives this article a total of three parts – physical barriers, chemical barriers, and not-so-effective/dangerous stuff. And since the chemicals are what seem to be debated the most, we’ll subdivide a few to try and provide everyone with an evidence-based plan to prevent bites they can feel good about.

Tenkara Angler - Summer 2017  
Tenkara Angler - Summer 2017  

Tenkara Angler Magazine chronicles the tenkara lifestyle through entries about community, destination, tactics, gear, and creative essays. A...

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