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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My son and I fished Wet Beaver Creek on 4/16, about a mile above the road that crosses the creek at the day use area. It's a pretty slow moving stream with lots of pools and very clear water. Lots of really small bass and some stocked trout. Anyway, when we got home I had tiny red spots all over my legs below the knee. My son had a few, but only above where his socks covered his legs. I thought they were just scratches & punctures from the raspberry and/or blackberry bushes we had to occasionally walk through, as that is what it looked like and my legs have looked like that many times from stream fishing without waders when there were brambles I had to walk through. But last Thursday, six days after the fishing trip, those red spots grew to large red bumps that itch like crazy. Imagine about 50 fresh mosquito bites on both legs, all itching at once. I thought maybe we had gotten into poison oak or ivy, but the onset time was way too long and after looking at pictures of those plants on the internet I confirmed that we weren't exposed to them. Then I discovered some pictures of something called swimmer's itch, and bingo, I was sure that's what we have. My doctor thinks so too. On your first exposure to it, it takes about a week for your body to react. The next exposure, it's only supposed to take a couple of hours for the reaction. Anyway, swimmer's itch is caused by a microscopic parasite in the water that comes from bird droppings. You can get it swimming in lakes, ponds, streams, etc. The little bugger burrows into your skin and dies. Apparently the natural host for reproduction is snails, so when they get into humans they just quickly die. But then eventually your body tries to rid itself of them and you get an allergic reaction to them. The spots eventually go away, and you don't have to take any medicine unless you need a topical steroid to reduce the inflammation. But it is super uncomfortable and really nasty to look at. Wet Beaver Creek is a really popular swimming destination, so I wonder how many other people are getting exposed to it right now. If you plan to fish there, you should wear waders. Don't wet wade it like we did. I've never encountered it on Tonto Creek where we fish quite a bit, but that creek has a pretty good flow to it while Wet Beaver is low and slow. Has anyone else ever encountered this on any AZ streams?
 

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I have had something very similar in AZ's high country in the spring when no fishing or wading was involved. I suspect chiggers or no-see-ums.
 

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Yep. I got swimmers itch while float tubing in Saguaro without waders a few years ago. Itchy like crazy but passes pretty quickly.
 

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The next question is: Did you catch any Fish ????

Scott and I fish Tonto , Haigler all the time, I wonder if you can get it from fish handled without gloves ? We do that all the time like everyone else does also. LOL... Something else to be aware of, Now its also Snakes on shore line and/ or swimming, seen that recently. .
 

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My experience with chiggers (and it is vast considering the years in the wheat fields and pastures) is that they crawl under the tops of the socks and you end up with bite there but not so much on the open part of the leg.
 

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The next question is: Did you catch any Fish ????

Scott and I fish Tonto , Haigler all the time, I wonder if you can get it from fish handled without gloves ? We do that all the time like everyone else does also. LOL... Something else to be aware of, Now its also Snakes on shore line and/ or swimming, seen that recently. .
I would say no. You would have to be in the water. One way to prevent getting swimmer's itch is to vigorously dry off using a towel or shower immediately after you are out of the water. The little buggers dig in once you have left the water. Growing up in MN, swimmer's itch was part of life. If you dried off and stayed away from the weeds, and took a shower after leaving the water you could avoid it most of the time. I also don't think it is an issue in water that is flowing. I got it at Saguaro by going right through the weeds with my float tube. Oops.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Bearfoot, we did catch fish, some little bass and stocker trout. It's a pretty little stream. We were just out exploring new water. But I wouldn't go back without waders. I think I'm going to stick to streams where the water moves faster, flushing out the riff raff as it goes.

Kcota 15's comment about drying off with a towel seems to be the ticket. That's what the articles I read on the web said to do too. But that's tough to do when bushwhacking a stream where you are in and out of the water numerous times during the day.

We did get some welts on our arms, at least I did, probably because I cleaned the fish and splashed some water on my arms while cleaning up.
 

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Interesting fact about those bass in Wet Beaver. They are called Redeye or Coosa bass. They look like smallmouth, but they have blue cheeks and kind of orange fins. They are from Georgia. They don’t get very big, a 10 incher is a beast. Who knows how they got here. The people back east are starting to protect them more. Neat stuff. Wet Beaver is full of them.
 

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Thanks for the heads up Kelly. The couple times I've been there the pools close to the road are packed with swimmers and waders, boy are they in for a rude awakening! In all my years fishing AZ I've never had this experience, although I have picked up a parasite from playing football in an irrigated park.

Good to know. Thankfully I was given a free pair of waders by a friend a couple weeks ago, should I ever need them!
 

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Red itchy bumps? Sounds more like you stopped at the strip club in star valley...
Whereabouts is that? Asking for a friend that wants to avoid the itch.
 

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Went fishing on the White Mountain Apache Reservation this weekend. Was going to go to the Black River, but that is another story of my 'did not happen" life. Used waders and a brand new pair of Simms felt boots with steel studs. Even though the water was at a temp that the waders were not needed, it sure was nice to get back to the truck with dry feet. The steel studs made walking on slippery rock a piece of cake. Did not slip one time. Don't think I'll ever wet wade again.
 

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Went fishing on the White Mountain Apache Reservation this weekend. Was going to go to the Black River, but that is another story of my 'did not happen" life. Used waders and a brand new pair of Simms felt boots with steel studs. Even though the water was at a temp that the waders were not needed, it sure was nice to get back to the truck with dry feet. The steel studs made walking on slippery rock a piece of cake. Did not slip one time. Don't think I'll ever wet wade again.
RICH, PICs of Studded wading shoes Please, We waded the eddys on the Snake River last summer, swift current, slippery rocks were not for the faint hearted or off balance person. Painter was up to you know where in Dang Cold Ice melt water, slipping around, I was not as brave, 18 in deep was my limit.

Pics of fish and surrounding areas also. Or it may have been a dream, HAHA !!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I miss my old felt soled wading boots. The steel studs work, except on large flat submerged moss/slime covered rocks where they sometimes become ice skates. Same thing when navigating flat sloped rocks out of water. But they are also noisy underwater and will spook the fish more than the felt soled boots. But with those darn quagga mussels that seem to be invading everywhere, I don't think you can even find felt boots anymore.
 

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Here you go Bear; I used Kold Kutter traction screws. They are used on motorcycles that race on ice, and by an old man that fishes in streams with slippery rocks. Simply screwed them into the felt by hand until tight. If they come out, the bag had 50 screws in it, so I have enough. I was truly surprise how well these things helped.

In terms of aquatic hitchhikers, I never go to two different streams in a short period of time. Also make sure I wash boots off at home and dry in the sun. If anything can withstand the Arizona sun. I can not do anything to kill them anyways.

Can not remember what I paid for the screws, but it was worth it!

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