For me, mosquitoes are mostly an “in the moment” type of plague since the after-effects of their bites don’t remain more than hour or two. And, boy, have I been “in the moment” a few times, from the Northwest Territories in Canada to the Florida Everglades. During a fishing trip to the Great Slave Lake, we actually dove into the icy water to escape. The only flaw with that plan was that the blood suckers were waiting for us to surface, an obvious certainty that we somehow overlooked when we decided to shuck our clothes and take the plunge.
I also credit mosquitoes with the most frightening moment that I’ve experienced in the woods. Close encounters with bears, wolves, and even mountain lions take a back seat to what I heard coming at us as we relaxed inside the screened porch of a cabin, following a day of fishing on a New Brunswick Lake. It began innocently enough as a soft murmur, but in seconds escalated into an ear-splitting whine as mosquitoes --- drawn by our body heat --- descended on the cabin. I swear that I saw the screens vibrating and felt the floor shaking as they tried to get in.
As much as I needed to, I did not visit the outhouse that night.
(Excerpt from an essay in my new book, Why We Fish.)