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Old 05-12-2008   #1
Carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 262
Desolation Gray Canyon BUGS?

Hey everybody! I hope everyone is enjoying the runoff so far!

I was out on the Roaring Fork yesterday testing out the new rig setup prior to our week long Deso trip next week. Yesterday seemed to be the peak of the Caddis Fly hatch as there were millions if not trillions of flies all over. You had to keep your mouth shout just to not get an unintentional snack. It was difficult to drink a beer without having one end up in your suds.

This raised the question by my fiance on the bug situation in Deso. She is not a "bug person" and is concerned about the potential bugs there. Of course I was trying to convince her yesterday that the bugs aren't a big deal, that the Caddis flies dont even bite but just fly into you. Also that she shouldn't let some creature that is so small ruin the fun. Anyways, I am trying to make the best of it and assure her that she will be fine on the trip.

I would like to know from some veterans of Deso and even people that might have been on a trip recently what I/she should expect as far as bugs, etc. Is it a friendly trip for a non "bug person"? Obviously, I want her to go! Please help!

Thanks and think runoff!!!

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Old 05-12-2008   #2
Pugetopolis, Washington
Paddling Since: 96
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 767
Sounds like she may be in for a rough time then. Deso's pretty infamous for its bugs. Esp the first 20 miles. Maybe you'll get lucky though

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Old 05-12-2008   #3
D'ango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 75

The bugs weren't bad two weeks ago, but it has been colder than normal up there. Expect lots of mosquitos to hatch as temps climb next few weeks, and the higher runoff backwaters & mudflats become habitats. If the timing is wrong, this can be the absolute worst bug spot ever. Usually they are worst the top 25 or so miles, then taper. Bring mosqito suits (from army surplus store). For up to date info, call the shuttle service people (River Runners in Vernal), they are @ the launch & takeout almost daily right now.
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Old 05-12-2008   #4
caverdan's Avatar
C. Springs, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,443
We put in on the 4th and took out last Friday. No bugs yet.
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Old 05-12-2008   #5
shattusi's Avatar
steamboat springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 23
I have also been down the last week of may with flows @ 21,000 and there were hardly any bugs not even many mosquitos. we had more problems with poison ivy. make sure to bring something for it, just in case. it will be a great trip.
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Old 05-12-2008   #6
Beardance42's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 238
Longtime Deso boater here.

Bugs are usually the worst after peak flow, as the water recedes from the reeds and bars. That's 1-2nd week of June. The worst I ever saw was a July 4th launch in '03, at Sand Wash. Very bad mosquitos.

But even then, they lightened up as the water picked up past Jack Creek. No-see'ums pop up in occasional halos, but it's usually windy enough to keep them at a minimum.

September is a great time to go - no bugs, cooler days, less crowds, nice color in the box elders and cottonwoods.

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