Thread: Queer Lake
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Old 02-04-2021, 07:31 PM   #5
DSettahr's Avatar
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 5,296
There's usually about 2 weeks between the end of snow melt across most of the ADKs and the beginning of black fly season, but as the other posters point out... it's super difficult to predict with any accuracy well in advance when exactly those two weeks will fall. And yeah, those two weeks also coincide with the height of mud season so don't expect dry trails.

Black flies do have 1 saving grace- they go away at night. If you can make it to nightfall, then the rest of the evening is usually bug free until daylight brings the black flies back. Mosquitoes and no-see-ums, in contrast, just get worse with the coming of dark.

I personally carry a bug bivy for lean-to camping during bug season. This allows me to enjoy bug free nights inside the lean-to. If I'm camped at a tent site, I can also pitch the bug bivy under a tarp, which allows me to avoid having to carry both a bug bivy and a tent.

A few years ago I also purchased a frameless bug house and have started carrying that on easier backpacking trips into buggy terrain. It is designed to be pitched over a ridgeline. It's still far from light but I've found that for trips during the worst of bug season, it's well worth the added weight.

Bug season itself lasts well through the summer across most of the ADKs. Black fly season is may through June, and then come mosquitoes and no-see-ums (although no-see-ums seem to be the most site specific- some areas get them really bad, others never get them at all). Deer flies overlap with mosquitoes and no-see-ums but get started a little bit later- mid to late July or so. How bad bug season is generally depends on a few factors, including how much snowfall there was that winter and how wet or dry spring was.

Across most areas of the ADKs bugs are usually pretty much done by late August. But there's a few areas where I've seen bugs after Labor Day. I've seen mosquitoes out and about (enough to be annoying) in the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness on Columbus Day Weekend, even. And FWIW: Anecdotally, bug season seems to be lasting longer in general in recent years.
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