View Full Version : Black fly "season" in ME

01-11-2018, 11:09
Simple question, when are the black flies bad in ME? I think I remember ya'll saying it's in June, but not 100% sure. Trying to pick dates for my big section up there, and looking at mid-July right now.

01-11-2018, 12:09
Mid July is better then mid June. The exact timing for when they are really bad is highly variable and is often quite abrupt. It can happen any time between late May and late June.

TJ aka Teej
01-11-2018, 14:20
There are 40 different kinds that breed from May to August. Some bite, most don't. They're extremely localized, if they're bad where you're at, walk another mile. Eat and take brakes in breezy spots, bring a tent, wear long sleeves and pants, use a headnet and Deet. They are not the horror story you hear repeated, they're just annoying.

Emerson Bigills
01-11-2018, 15:09
I had done several hundred miles of the AT in the SE, but not a lot of summer hiking out there, so I had never really dealt with major insects. I crossed over Bromley Mt on June 8th in VT and the black flies/mosquitoes whatever attacked us. There we times you literally could not focus on walking in some rocky sections because they were attacking you. I began to spray with DEET when needed. I don't recall them being a problem in the Whites, but they got serious again when we got into ME, the very end of June and early July. I had to "DEET up" each morning before starting out and usually reapply at lunch. It always sucked at first putting that stuff on, but once I started hiking I forgot about it until it started wearing off and the attacks were renewed. I had a headnet I used in camp, so I usually didn't have a problem when I stoppped, because I slipped into long pants and top with Permethrin treatment. I recall at one point in ME, my arms and legs were just covered with the small scabs where the black fly bites had been scratched by me at night in my sleep. Seemed like they started to ease up as I was in the back half of the HMW. Those suckers are pretty irritating if you have never had to deal with them before.

01-11-2018, 15:51
They come in around Mothers Day (may 13th) and are tapering off around Fathers day (June 17th). A snowy winter followed by a wet spring will delay things a bit. Black flies larva are trout food and they breed best when the streams are running. The mosquitoes rapidly fill in for the black flies until Mid July. I carry a head net until late July and use 3M Ultrathon when either type of bugs are noticable. It last longer and has far less DEET than the 100% stuff that melts plastic. The bugs are usually something you have to deal with until late July in Baxter. The Carry Ponds section between Caratunk and Long Falls dam road can be wet and real buggy in the early season.

01-11-2018, 16:48
It's the same thing as asking when "peak" foliage will occur... it all depends. I agree somewhat with TJ that they are not the "horror story" you may have heard, but they can be miserable. Also agree that you can often reduce the misery by just moving on a bit, and being prepared.

01-11-2018, 16:48
Just pray your not allergic to them. Some people swell up like a balloon. The good news is most people build up an immunity after a couple dozen bites. After that their just really annoying. Often you'll find swarms of them at the summits for some reason. I think the wind blows them up there.

The saying around here goes, "Black flies don't bite, they SUCK!".

01-11-2018, 20:50
Just google images for black fly bites. They can be pretty bad especially if you're allergic to their saliva. Generally by mid-July they are ramping down, but in localized areas they can be annoying all summer. Best to have full coverage clothing all season long in ME, VT, and NH if needed.

01-12-2018, 02:15
You can hunt them year round. No bag limit.

Highland Goat
01-12-2018, 07:35
The black flies are annoying, but are just one of the seasons in Maine. Snowy season, muddy season, rainy season, fly season, mosquito season, and the fall rainy season. Sometimes you get a nice week in the late summer if the weather is dry. I recommend just dealing with it.

01-12-2018, 09:33
Black flies need running water to breed (vs. mosquitoes who like it still). An old Mainer told me that when the first good heat wave comes in, usually July 4, the black flies died off. He was pretty close to right, too.

01-12-2018, 11:16
So if I'm reading all this right and plan a mid-August trip to Maine I should be free from flies and mud but could expect some rain showers? If so, I'll take it.

01-12-2018, 11:56
So if I'm reading all this right and plan a mid-August trip to Maine I should be free from flies and mud but could expect some rain showers? If so, I'll take it.

Mid August is a good time for Maine. Starting to cool off, less chance of thunderstorms, less haze, significantly fewer bugs.

Mr. Clean
01-12-2018, 11:56
I always went by “black flies for mother’s day, mosquitoes for Father’s Day”.

01-12-2018, 21:22
Mid August is peak summer, of late it does not really start cooling off until mid September.