Cicada Invasion

It's Getting Buggy Up In Here

cicada fly
A face only a mother could love
If you've ever been lucky enough to hit a strong cicada hatch around a body of water where fish are keying on these crunchy meat bombs, you can probably appreciate the style of fishing that ensues. We're talking hard-slapping, big-bug-throwing and ferocious fly inhalation takes. So it's good to get a handle on a few patterns that will seal the deal for you.

Each year we hit a few lakes (yes lakes) and streams, including Utah's famous Green River, for our Cicada fix. I'd venture to say there are Cicadas around a lot of streams and lakes you probably already fish, so be on the lookout. I have a couple of my favorite Cicada patterns, including the Sickada and the Unsinkabeetle (in black) and some other crazier patterns that we've also found to be very effective (more about that later).

cicada fly patterns

So one of our favorite areas to fish Cicada patterns features three or four streams with a few smallish ponds, giving us a wide variety of fishing. The numbers of Cicadas in these areas is staggering and the fish definitely take note. The bugs consistently fall from the trees and bushes and join the floating buffet presented to the fish below.

If you look at the Sickada entry from last year, you'll notice more of an orange tint to the Cicadas. The shots here were taken only a couple of miles away on another stream in this same watershed and most bugs were a lot less orange looking with more of a yellow tinge. Not sure if that's due to maturity of the bugs or time of day or whatever, but I found the yellow color to be a better fly choice for the fish that would hit my offerings in the area we've been fishing lately. Either way, pay attention to the colors on the bugs if you want to dial down any imitations.

Hungry Brown that took a yellow Sickada
Regardless of the pattern you use, you'll realize these bugs are thick and relatively heavy. They don't land like a mayfly on the surface of the water. We opt for heavier, slappier (read: foam) patterns that garner more attention. In fact, the fish to the left hit my offering after I'd thrown four or five casts into the same seam and it wasn't until Cheech screams at me from me downstream to slap the water harder that I regained focus on my casting, threw a huge splashy cast and fish on.

So go find some Cicada water, get some good patterns and start slapping the water.