I just read recently that a brood of the 17 year cicada is to smother us this year. If it is anything like 2008 the fishing will be phenomenal.
Does anyone here tie them up? I am looking to get ahold of a half dozen or so.
Based on the map in the link below, the emergence is supposed to be mostly concentrated in the New Jersey/south eastern part of PA. The next heavy PA emergence is 8 years away. I'll probably tie up a few patterns this year just in case.
I can vividly recall two emergences. The first was when I lived in VA and my in-laws had a place at Bryce Mountian in the Shenandoh Valley. The racket was so intense that after two days of a planned week vacation we went back home to Alexandria. The second was right here in Chester County some 5 (?) years ago. It was not bad near my house but when I went to one of my favorite woodchuck spots and had to pass through Warwick Township the noise was enough to drive me nuts.
In 1986 I lived in DC, the cicadas were so thick, that vehicles slid off curves in the parks from all the ones falling out of the trees. When they hit here in York County a few years ago, I lost several blue berry bushes from them stinging the branches. Guess I better invest in some nets for the berry patch.
I remember one time, must be well over 30 years ago, when they were as thick as bees on honey in central PA. I was staying in a hotel just outside Lewistown while traveling on company business and 1000's of them were crawling along the edge of the road.
I filled a jar with them, went to a small nearby trout stream, and tossed them off the bdidge, one at a time. They didn't float too far until they were eaten by a trout.
A friend of mine lived next to another small trout stream near there, and he let his young daughter fish with live cicadas impaled on a hook. It didn't her long to catch a trophy brown trout in a place we had fished 100 times before then and never dreamed it held such a fish.
Will research them and get a few patterns ready. Ill post up some pictures and you guys can order if you would like. I may need to up the cost to $1.50 depending on what material is needed. Ill keep you posted. PM me if you need anything else.
We used to tie a pattern out of foam weather stripping for the body and clear packaging tape for wings . Caught a ton of fish on them. Bass too. They worked best by shaking your rod tip vigorously and making ripples all over the surface . You didnt have to be delicate with presentation. A cicada freshly fallen on the surface makes alot of commotion . Those are the ones that get eaten first while the dead ones drift by untouched .
I've tied up a couple of different patterns for them.
This was my most successful recipe that I came up with:
Thread: Danville's flat A black
Hook: Tiemco 2302 Size 6 (a TMC 200R works well too if you're unable to find the 2302.)
Body: Fly foam 1/8" black; cut in approx. 3/8" wide strip, about 2 inches long. Dubbing for abdomen, black then a layer of orange wrapped over top of the black creating a tiger stripe look to it.
Wing: Krystal flash (pearl), about 20 strands. Orange bucktail tied over top of it.
Legs: Rubber legs, medium, black
This was the original pattern that I came up with in 2004 made mostly out of black foam and worked really well too. The fish didn't really care that the body was lacking orange. You can see just how beat up this fly is from the amount of trout that had it in their mouth.
Does anyone remember fishing this cicada emergence 17 years ago? If so, how was it?
The listing includes Potter County. If anybody has any info on where they appear there, and if it's heavy enough to create good fishing, ummm, send me a PM!
Some of these broods have a lot more bugs than others, and cover a lot more area. I fished the 2008 emergence (next time will be 2025) and also fished it back in 1991. That brood produces a LOT of bugs, and over a wide area, so on lots of streams. If you hit it right, the fishing is really good.
But I've tried to hit some of the other broods and it can be frustrating finding a place where there enough cicadas near a decent stream to create decent fishing. Often there will be patches where you hear and see lots of cicadas, but they will in upland areas, not near the streams. The distribution is patchy. They don't just blanket the whole area. Apparently it has to do with certain types of vegetation and soils etc.
Even on one stream, there are places that are just swarming with cicadas, and other stretches where there a few to none.
Also, the timing is important. Early in the emergence there aren't many falling on the streams, so the fish aren't really keyed in on them.
Then a little later they start getting more active and flying around, and more of them start falling in the water. Then it's game on.
Also, the time of day is important. Often early in the morning when it's cool, they are inactive. Then as the sun warms things up, they start buzzing and flying around, and start falling into the water.
I have been fortunate enough to fish it two times in Franklin County, I believe the last time it was around 2004. Trout were just gorging themself on it. I know it was around this time frame, as I had just started to tie my own flies and I tied up a pattern of my own. It was the only fly you needed to use, they took them readily like a bass taking a top water plug.
The way I had it figured it would be somewhere around 2021 before I would see it again. Just may have to travel to one of the nearby counties to give it a whirl. Dry fly fishing at it's finest
They last about 40 days in any one location. The latter half of that period is when the fishing is best, not when they first emerge. They start flying around more and falling into the water more after they've been here awhile.