Cast a Cicada

Every 17 years cicadas are the fly of choice

Outdoor Life Online Editor

They create fear in some people, for others, they're merely a nuisance. But for big fish they cause an insatiable appetite. Cicadas, that is. With red eyes, drumming wings and seemingly infinite numbers, these springtime visitors are anything but pleasant. On the trout stream or bass pond, though, they cause a feeding bonanza. And this year fishermen casting cicada imitations have a good chance for stellar fishing.

This spring marks the 17th year since the last brood hatch in much of the East. After emerging from the ground and shedding their skin, the nymphs will live roughly four to six weeks growing to 11/2 inches in length.

"When the cicadas come, the fishing is incredible," Ernest Pribanic of Murrysville, Penn., told the Valley News Dispatch. "If the cicada lands on the water, any fish will hit it. We've even caught big carp on cicada flies."

Cicadas are reported to be popular with every species of freshwater fish. Anglers claim success with everything from rainbow trout to largemouth bass. Even during years without a major hatch, cicada lures are great for bass, mainly due to their large size. Waterways that border heavily infested areas are prime locations for casting a dry cicada fly or lure.