Camping photo

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To DEET or not to DEET? That is the question. Well, according to DEETer, it’s an easy answer. Given all the nasty things that mosquitoes and other bugs can cause, from mere discomfort to deadly disease (the most dangerous animal on the planet isn’t the crocodile, or the shark, or some poisonous snake… it’s the mosquito), when I’m fishing in buggy places from the jungle (Bolivia and Costa Rica) to the tundra (Alaska), to the rivers of Michigan or Maine, I always wear the power repellent.


I know… I’ve heard the stories about nasty things some chemicals can do, from melt your line to mess with your health. I’m lucky to live in the high country where I don’t experience a lot of skeeters or black flies on an every-day basis, even in the summer. I am selective about how much and how often I dab, and I wash my hands after I rub it on. But when I fish in buggy places, it’s all about weighing the alternatives. And speaking from a purely personal perspective, the choice is clear. The only bugs I like are the ones trout eat.

I like to use the cream form of [Ultrathon]( wps/portal/3M/en_US/Ultrathon/Products/). It costs $10 (or less) for a 2-oz. tube. I’ve tried sprays, smokes, and other alternative products. But nothing for the skin works like this, at least not for me. It was developed for military use, and the protection lasts longer than other products I’ve tried. What say some of you folks who live in buggy places? Do you DEET or not?