ALLPHIN: Don’t be afraid to vacation in the heat
In May, I spent just more than a week in Trout Creek, Mont., fishing Noxon Reservoir for the B.A.S.S. Western Divisional tournament. In the mornings, I awoke to 38 degree temperatures and almost 80 percent humidity. At time,s I wore every stitch of clothing available and still was cold.
Now, a couple of weeks later, I am in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., fishing the Southwestern Divisional Tournament for TBF (The Bass Federation). In the mornings, I awake to temperatures in the high 80s and by noon, they are well past 100 degrees. Yesterday, the temperature hit 113, according to the reading in my truck, and with low single-digit humidity, it felt as if I were in a dry sauna from the time I arose until I turned in for the day.
In less than a month, I’ve gone from snow-covered mountains and wild, raging rivers around almost every bend in the road to rugged desert hills with sparse vegetation that longs for even a drop of rain. The good news is that regardless of the longitude, latitude, the cold, the heat, the humidity or the lack thereof, bass fishing is just as great here in Arizona as it was in Montana. However, learning to stay comfortable in desert heat is somewhat of an art form, so in this week’s column let’s consider how to cope with and actual enjoy a hot trip to the desert to catch fish.
Many of you may venture to Lake Powell, Sand Hollow, Lake Mead, or even Lake Havasu sometime in the next few months. Temperatures on any of the aforementioned reservoirs will reach well in the 100s on a daily basis. Having a plan to cope with the heat is not just important, it is crucial to having a fun, safe vacation. Here are a few tips and suggestions for dealing with scorching summer heat.
1. Always use sunscreen. And, by sunscreen I don’t mean the light stuff. I use Coppertone “Water Babies” 50 SPF sunscreen each and every day I’m on the water. It doesn’t sting when it gets in my eyes, it is basically water resistant and it lasts most, if not all, of one day without reapplication. I put on a generous layer early in the morning as I am on my way to the launch ramp.
2. Dress for success. People have teased me over the years for not wearing short pants and short-sleeve shirts when fishing in the heat of summer. I tell them that when it comes to staying comfortable I’ll gladly take a chapter from our friends in the Middle East, who cover themselves from head to foot to protect their bodies from the sun while in the desert. I suggest lightweight pants made from Polyester with a 100 percent Nyon lining. My shirts are 100 percent cotton with a 100 percent Polyester lining.
3. Drink plenty of water. In a normal day a person should drink eight cups of water. Double that amount when you are going to be on the water for eight hours.
4. Being shady isn’t a bad thing. Find shade as often as possible while playing in extreme heat. Many people take along a portable canopy that can be set up on shore to create some much-needed shade. Try to get out of the sun at least every 2-to-3 hours if possible.
5. Get wet. Take along your swimming suit and plan on getting wet several times each day. It is amazing how great it feels to cool off in the water for just a few minutes.
Remember that sunburns can kill, and exposure can happen in the heat as easily as from cold. Extreme heat can be managed and there is no need to avoid taking the vacation in the “off season” just because it might be hot in your vacation destination. Plan ahead and have some fun this summer.
Don Allphin can be reached at email@example.com.