Black Flies


Original Post
EricBacus · · Germantown, NY · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 45

I'm planning a trip next week (22nd-26th).

How bad are the black flies in the Dacks and in NH (Cannon, Cathedral, Rumney). I went to the Dacks a few weeks ago and it was brutal.

Thanks

Alan Rubin · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 0

Pretty bad as one would expect from a damp June. ADKs usually a bit worse than NH but not that great a difference. Acadia--especially Otter and Great Head are your best bets for diminished bugs. For shorter trips some of the CT crags are fairly open and often have a decent breeze to keep the bugs at bay. I was at Farley (in Mass) yesterday and the bugs were reasonably tolerable there.

Zach Swanson · · Newton, MA · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 38

Rumney was pretty bad in April and early May, but then a cold snap hit and the last few times I've been up there I didn't much trouble with them.

caesar.salad · · earth · Joined Dec 2012 · Points: 85

Rumney usually isn't bad at all in my experience. I was at Pway yesterday and there were tons of mosquitoes though.

Steve Posner · · Richmond, Vermont · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 0

Ive been climbing in northern VT lately, in between Daks and NH. Black flies are still out around here. I'm sporting a few big itchy bites from climbing yesterday at Smugglers Notch. But I think they're beginning to dwindle. Seems like peak was a couple weeks ago. 

Kenny Haulsee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2017 · Points: 0

Are the flys at Rumney an all summer ordeal? I'm thinking of heading up mid to late July and it would be a huge bummer to drive 10 hours to get shut out by black flys! Any info is greatly appreciated! 

Jay Morse · · Hooksett, New Hampshire · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 30

Black flies are mostly gone, or going away soon throughout all of New Hampshire.  I was at Rumney 2 days ago, and didn't notice a single black fly.  Even PWay probably only has a week left.  They are never really bad at Rumney even during peak black fly season except maybe the Blackjack Boulders.  Locals know black fly season as Mother's Day -> Father's Day.

However, mosquito season is here.

Eric Engberg · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2009 · Points: 0

You'll probably be ok by then - at least better off then you would be right now.  A lot depends on the weather between now and then.

Healyje · · PDX · Joined Jan 2006 · Points: 285

I spent a couple of years in NH and my recollection of it is as follows:

  • Up to your eyeballs in snow all winter
  • Eight weeks of the ungodly hell that are Black Flies
  • Eight weeks of Alaska-class Mosquitos
  • Eight weeks of Deer Flies and Ninja-Rated Horseflies
  • Then for three weeks it's hallucinogenic beautiful like few places on Earth
  • Up to your eyeballs in snow all winter

After two years of that I bailed for PDX under the promise of windsurfing, no bugs and no snow...

jdejace · · New England · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 10

Some of us like winter :-) 

Bug situation was tolerable at Cannon and Cathedral this weekend. You probably won't get out without a few bites but they won't ruin your trip. 

Nick Grant · · Natick, MA & Tamworth, NH · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 15

Black flies have cleared out up here.  Because of the recent wetness, mosquitos are bad in the woods (wicked bad in Tamworth, NH).

Nick Goldsmith · · Pomfret VT · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 440

Its all about how you dress. long pants, long sleaves and a bug net for belaying.

Tim McGivern · · Medford, ma · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 7,901

Was at Cannon on Saturday. Black flies were like I've never experienced before. I had a dozen biting me at a time on top of Duet buttress. They were also flying into my pants! I have bites all over me....I'm pretty itchy still today!

grog m aka Greg McKee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 70

West coast best coast.

Brian · · North Kingstown, RI · Joined Sep 2001 · Points: 650

Black flies may be gone in southern NH but they are definitely still around up in the Whites.  I was in the Lincoln/Franconia area this weekend (6/17-18) and they were biting in full force.

John Berry · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 5

I was at Rumney yesterday, mostly Jimmy Cliff, and the black flies weren't an issue. The mosquitos were a pain in the ass though.

caesar.salad · · earth · Joined Dec 2012 · Points: 85
Healyje wrote:

I spent a couple of years in NH and my recollection of it is as follows:

  • Up to your eyeballs in snow all winter
  • Eight weeks of the ungodly hell that are Black Flies
  • Eight weeks of Alaska-class Mosquitos
  • Eight weeks of Deer Flies and Ninja-Rated Horseflies
  • Then for three weeks it's hallucinogenic beautiful like few places on Earth
  • Up to your eyeballs in snow all winter

After two years of that I bailed for PDX under the promise of windsurfing, no bugs and no snow...

As a native New Englander who gets out of here as much as possible, this is why I leave. Bugs don't like the taste of me though. I'm one of the lucky ones.

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65
Nick Goldsmith wrote:

Its all about how you dress. long pants, long sleaves and a bug net for belaying.

Because nothing says pleasant climbing in the humidity of a northeast summer like long sleeves and long pants.

Russ Keane · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 140

I have a few mysterious red welts on my underarm area, after climbing Rumney.   Are these from black flies?

Kevin Heckeler · · Upstate New York · Joined Jul 2010 · Points: 1,411
Russ Keane wrote:

I have a few mysterious red welts on my underarm area, after climbing Rumney.   Are these from black flies?

Chiggers?  I have quite a few on my legs from climbing in the Gunks on Tuesday.  It sucks because there's no indication they're there or you're being bit until a day later the itching and welts start.  I put deet around my waist band, where I usually would get nailed by them, but never put deet on my ankles like I normally would and of course that was their way in.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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