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Fly Fishing & West Nile Virus

Friday, August 31, 2012

Why do we love fly fishing? Trout live in beautiful places, that’s why.  It’s been written by writers of prose that we go fly fishing when we need to stand in a stream or river to exclude the outer world.   Moving water helps most of us find our core.
Many of my Friday Pearl physician readers share my love of fishing.  This has been a particularly fun year since I’m lucky enough to have met a delightful Class A Orvis fishing guide neighbor who understands water and the wily and beguiling nature of trout.   I’ve definitely upped my weekend time on rivers, streams and high altitude mountain lakes.
As all catch and release folks know, the most productive fly fishing times are dawn and dusk; also the time when mosquitos love to feast heavily on a few of us more than other, and science has never explained why.  This is more of a concern than normal since the 2012 West Nile Virus outbreak is the largest in U.S. history, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As of August 21, 38 states have reported human infection in 1,118 people, including 41 deaths.  Eight cases have been confirmed here in Colorado.  Luckily, no Colorado deaths so far.
The Good News

Most mosquitoes do not carry West Nile and most folks bit by West Nile mosquitoes do not get sick. The virus seems to adversely affect people over the age of 50 far more than younger people.
A large number of fly fishers are over the age of 50, so this column and advice is directed at my people.  Please seek medical care immediately if you develop severe headaches or confusion after mosquito bites.  Early treatment dramatically lessens the risk of severe illness or death from West Nile Virus.
Extra precautions may also be necessary to lower the risk of West Nile related illness :

1. Use mosquito repellent in August and September, and until the first frost.  Caution, with DEET, since adverse effects have been reported, particularly when used in combination with other repellents including Permethrin.   Save it for times when mosquitos are particularly vicious and use both sparingly. 

2. Dress in long pants, long sleeves and keep a bandana for head and neck in your vest, even when it’s hot. 
3. Be especially careful at dusk and dawn – fly fisher’s favorite hours.
4. Drain any standing water, including bird fountains and kiddie pools around your house.  This is breeding ground for mosquitoes. 

. . . . . . . . . .

If you do get a few or a lot of bites, I recommend keeping a tube of Benadryl cream (histamine blocking itch relief) in your fishing vest.  It makes the itching stop almost immediately and for those of you who are particularly susceptible to being bitten, taking a Benadryl capsule immediately after can also lessen the reaction.  I always recommend trying the capsules before you need it to see if it makes you drowsy, particularly too drowsy to drive. 
EpiCor From Biosyntrx for Fishers

Although no clinical studies have specifically been done on EpiCor and West Nile virus, it makes biological sense to me that having ones immune system properly balanced or modulated would lessen a reaction to the virus, should we be bitten by a mosquito infected with West Nile.
My Personal Science-Based Reasoning: 

EpiCpor has been proven in a number of studies to activate Natural Killer (NK) cells to help ward of foreign invaders.  If  invaders get past this first line of defense, research also shows that EpiCor works further down the  line where the adaptive immune system kicks in and activates B cells, which support antibody production specific to the invading pathogen.
EpiCor is also a powerful antioxidant that further supports a healthy body by scavenging dangerous free radicals and possesses significant anti-inflammatory activity.
Early EpiCor research indicated that it may take up to 2 to 4 weeks for the full benefits of EpiCor to take effect.  However, a more recent in-vitro clinical trial found activation of Natural Killer cells and an increase of serum antioxidant level within two hours of consumption of EpiCor. 

The results of this new study convinced me that taking 500 mg of pure EpiCor daily, plus an extra 500 mg an hour or two before dusk or dawn fly fishing should  lessen my chance of having a severe inflammatory reaction to a West Nile Virus mosquito bite.  
You decide for yourself. 

Ellen Troyer, MT MA
Biosyntrx CEO / Chief Research Officer. 


"They say we forget our troubles on a trout stream, but that's not quite it. What happens is that we begin to see where our troubles fit into the grand scheme of things, and suddenly they're just not such a big deal anymore" John Gierach. 

"Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. I am haunted by waters."  Norman Maclean. 

Nothing makes a fish bigger than almost being caught.”  Author Unknown 

Biosyntrx also highly recommends daily Epicor for people of all ages to help prevent or lessen the effects of flu and colds, as well as spring and autumn pollen allergies. 


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