Alright, that may be overselling it – but now is a good time to prepare yourself for the coming cicada hype this summer. Cicadas are one of those hatches that occur infrequently but are predictable and can be quite entertaining for those who know where to be and when to be there. Cicadas hatch on a 17 year cycle and this year fly-anglers in the mid-Atlantic will be treated to the emergence of Brood X – which covers some of the best trout water in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, and West Virginia.
While this is exciting news for the interested fly angler, cicada-mania can be frustrating when the hatch is in full-swing and you’re unprepared. Interested anglers should make time to begin researching likely territory where cicada habitat and trout streams occur. Cicadas emerge when the ground temperature starts to reach 64°F – from there it is about a week until their exoskeleton hardens and they fly to the tree tops to mate for the next 2-4 weeks. During the height of cicada-mania in high probability areas it can be next to impossible to find a fly shop with any patterns left in the fly boxes. For those anglers who tie their own, winter is the time to prepare for the coming swarm. There are many cicada fly pattern “how-to” videos out on the intra-webs so feel free to browse for a pattern that you like and meets you tying capabilities. Here are just a few examples:
As you can see, cicadas are a large fly and can be quite a bit of fun to tie if you’re thinking of getting into fly tying, or getting back into fly tying, this can be a fun pattern to start with.
For folks who aren’t interested in tying – you can always purchase flies from your local fly shop ahead of the madness and now is a good time. Often times if you’re looking for a specific pattern that you don’t see out you can ask the staff if they have some in back-stock since space is always a premium in retail. As with many shops, just because you don’t see a pattern out doesn’t mean the shop doesn’t have it – ask and ye shall receive. Also don’t forget to reach out to your local fly tiers and guides right now. Many of your local industry professionals would most likely love your business over the winter months and be glad to tie you several quality flies for the coming season. Remember, the key to a successful cicada season is the prep-work you put into it now. Here’s to noisy forests and big splashes this summer!