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Assynt / Coigach - current midge status

Assynt / Coigach - current midge status


Postby denfinella » Mon Sep 13, 2021 11:31 pm

We're introducing family to the Highlands this week and might have an opportunity to go across to Ullapool / Assynt for a day. Probably somewhere accessible from the A835.

I've heard a few horror stories about midges over the last couple of weeks - are they actually unusually bad or is it mostly just early mornings / evenings as is usually the case (which won't affect us as we're not camping). They haven't experienced midges before, so it would be nice to ease them in gently, or otherwise wait for another trip!

General forecast is cloudy and light winds.
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Re: Assynt / Coigach - current midge status

Postby Tringa » Tue Sep 14, 2021 8:52 am

I have no personal current knowledge but cloudy and light winds is just about the best weather for midges. Early morning and evening can be worse but anytime where the conditions are right for midges there is a good chance of them appearing.

Really it is very difficult to say with even the slightest accuracy what anywhere will be like - the smallest amount of shade or still air anywhere can be a hot spot for them.

Just go prepared. My current favourite repellent is Smidge. I my opinion it is just about as good as DEET based repellents but does not have the unfortunate side effects of DEET(stinging eyes, numb lips and the melting of some plastics).

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Re: Assynt / Coigach - current midge status

Postby Caberfeidh » Tue Sep 14, 2021 9:07 am

Tringa wrote:I my opinion it is just about as good as DEET based repellents but does not have the unfortunate side effects of DEET(stinging eyes, numb lips and the melting of some plastics).


Also "...convulsions and death..." :shock:
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Re: Assynt / Coigach - current midge status

Postby PerthAlly » Tue Sep 14, 2021 9:36 am

I parked up in Kinlochewe 10 days ago and the midges were horrendous. But I was parked in trees and the air was still.
As soon as I started on my way I didn't have any issues. Arrived back to my car mid afternoon and they were gone.
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Re: Assynt / Coigach - current midge status

Postby Sunset tripper » Tue Sep 14, 2021 12:46 pm

I've been out camping a lot the last couple of weeks. There was none in perthshire, none in Oban in perfectly still weather. A few in the Ullapool area but I think they are on the way out just now. You may well not encounter any.

Go for it......
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Re: Assynt / Coigach - current midge status

Postby LobeyD » Tue Sep 14, 2021 1:57 pm

Slightly anecdotal :wink:, but my impression this summer is that it's been more locally variable than usual. A lot of the Highlands has dried out to a degree I've rarely seen in mid summer, so well away from lochs and major rivers/streams, it's been pretty decent even when calm. Near to more permanent water sources, still below average but much less so.
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Re: Assynt / Coigach - current midge status

Postby Tringa » Tue Sep 14, 2021 7:28 pm

LobeyD wrote:Slightly anecdotal :wink:, but my impression this summer is that it's been more locally variable than usual. A lot of the Highlands has dried out to a degree I've rarely seen in mid summer, so well away from lochs and major rivers/streams, it's been pretty decent even when calm. Near to more permanent water sources, still below average but much less so.


I agree about the summer just gone(if we can say the summer has gone now).

I was in and around Kinlochewe and Gairloch in May and there weren't too many, but that was early season for them.

I was back in July for a couple of weeks and it was almost midge free all day long and into the evening too, but it was the warmest, driest two weeks(we ate outside every evening bar one) I have seen in the NW for many years.

Since then the NW has had some more dry weather but also a fair bit of rain. I expect I won't be as lucky on my next visit.

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Re: Assynt / Coigach - current midge status

Postby kaye.cantlay » Wed Sep 15, 2021 8:04 pm

I parked up overnight in the Quinag car park (Assynt) 5 days ago and the midges were HORRIFIC.
I was fine walking round Quinag as I was on the move, but as I arrived back at the van my OH, who had been waiting for me, was already driving out screaming at me to get in the ****van.
The van was full of the buggers.
He'd driven up and down the road a few times with the windows open - to no avail - and he was literally desperate for me to return so we could leave.
We drove almost non stop to Thurso with the windows open.
We arrived in Thurso thinking there were midges there too - but there weren't - they were still in the *** van and flying round us.
We STILL had hoards lying dying on the dashboard over 24h later....
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Re: Assynt / Coigach - current midge status

Postby denfinella » Thu Sep 16, 2021 6:22 pm

Thanks all - some useful advice and also some amusing anecdotes!

We went across today - sunny, light winds and negligible midges (Rogie Falls, Ullapool, Knockan Crag, Cassley Falls). All good :)
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Re: Assynt / Coigach - current midge status

Postby Mal Grey » Sun Sep 19, 2021 9:31 pm

Too late for the original query, but they had their moments on Loch Maree (Sun to Thurs) and Loch Lurgainn (Thurs to Sat). Normally, as a paddler, no wind is good! Mostly just mornings and evenings, but if it died during the day, in some areas they were still bad. I'd put them at about a 7 on my personal 1-10 Midge experience. Smidge and headnets did the job, but sitting around on the loch shore in the evenings wasn't as pleasant as it should be, until the sun went down.
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