Written by: Nicole Roller
Best pants for a buggy area. I purchased the Ziwa convertible pants for my granddaughter who is doing research in a mine in Glenallen, Alaska. The mosquitoes are fierce and she reports that the pants are effective in protecting her legs. I’m a long time fly fisher and have found the new bugsaway pants very effective in protecting my legs. The products carried by Orvis meet the needs of 3 generations of members of my family.
—Orvis Customer “tomSFF,” from St. Petersburg, FL
Ah, summer. The vegetation is in its full glory, the weather is sublime. . .and the bugs are out in force. Just call it ExOfficio clothing season. Because if you spend as much time outdoors as I do, you know that bug-spray alone just doesn’t cut it—and in fact, sometimes it’s the spray itself that’s biting you in the rear, so to speak.
Lots of anglers are aware that fish have an exceptional sense of smell, and there’s a whole fish-attractant market built around that fact. What some may not realize is that there are many scents that will actually send fish swimming away from a fly or lure—and one of the very worst offenders is DEET, the active ingredient in most deep-woods insect repellents. That’s just one of the reasons ExOfficio BugsAway® clothing uses an alternative to DEET: an insect-repelling compound called permethrin. It’s a synthetic version of a chemical that occurs naturally in chrysanthemum seeds. While permethrin is known to be toxic to fish (and cats for that matter), the process that ExOfficio’s BugsAway® clothing goes through binds the permethrin tightly to fabric fibers, so the chemical stays right where you want it.
Permethrin is a highly effective insect repellent, shielding you from mosquitoes, ants, flies, chiggers, midges and ticks—in fact, while we’re on the subject, it’s actually a much better tick-repellent than DEET is. It’ll do all that, and without keeping the fish away, too.
Now, there is some question as to whether any of this matters much for fly fishermen, as opposed to spin fishers. Common wisdom says that if scent does have an impact on bite-rates in fly fishing, it’s probably only in a small minority of cases. But on those days when your fly goes untouched for hours on end, don’t you want to know that it isn’t because you inadvertently tainted it with repellent? As you stand on the water’s edge, do you really want to wonder: “Do fish think I stink?”