I just hiked Rim to Rim about two weeks ago and stayed down at Bright Angel/Phantom. The flies were less of a nuisance than the mosquitos. With all of the rain that has come in, puddles have formed along the banks and on the trails allowing the mosquitos to multiply in droves. The recent monsoon rains have also brought the scorpions out of their dens- a bit more prevalent than before. If the moisture continues- from Tropical Storm Kay, I would expect the bug levels to be higher than normal for the next few weeks. Sorry I can only report from dry land for your question!
I just got off on Thursday, the biting flies are a thing, even before Phantom. Bring flie swatters for sure. We cleaned the boat with bleach water 3 times. Helped a little. They seem to go to sleep at night though. Weird.
I talked to my friend who got off yesterday got a pretty interesting trip report and then asked him about the biting flys. His response was oh fuck! They were bad particularly at more popular camps. Ants were bad too and a nighttime invasion of beetles around Garnet. I’m guessing the warmer river will bring more unpleasant creatures.
Just took off Saturday at Pierce. Mosquitos were really bad once you hit the silt banks. Flies were a nuisance at the more popular camps. I was induced to a fly rage at least once where I almost knocked my passenger out of the boat after instinctively swatting at a fly that landed on her PFD. Nothing nearly as bad as Deso though.
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