Jay Blair

Cicada Bite

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I believe 2021 is the year for Brood X the biggest of the East Coast 17 year cicada hatches. These cicada hatches can be big fish time with surface lures and this hatch centers around the Mid-Atlantic and PA areas. The Bite is usually the end of May or beginning of June, so have your surface lures ready. Big bass and trout love the big bugs. Don't be surprise if a huge carp beats the bass to the lure toward the end of the bite.

Edited by Jay Blair

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11 hours ago, Jay Blair said:

I believe 2021 is the year for Brood X the biggest of the East Coast 17 year cicada hatches. These cicada hatches can be big fish time with surface lures and this hatch centers around the Mid-Atlantic and PA areas. The Bite is usually the end of May or beginning of June, so have your surface lures ready. Big bass and trout love the big bugs. Don't be surprise if a huge carp beats the bass to the lure toward the end of the bite.

Wow Jay, that sure sounds like fun.

Thanks for the heads up.

What lures do you throw to imitate a cicada?

10 hours ago, ByronPA said:

My story;

 

It was early June, I was in my mid teens, my Mother had dropped me off at the Clarks Creek (PA) fly fishing only area. Graphite was a new rod material and I had a brand new fenwick HMG  8ft, 4wt... I remember the rod because I was a poor kid from a poor family, I had worked hard to buy that rod.

 

Back then, fly fishing wasn't so popular and I pretty much had miles of the creek to myself. The plan was to throw ants and inchworms, fishing upstream, and that's what I was doing when I heard it...

 

A chainsaw, to the SE of me, up on the mountain. A vast wilderness area where no one should have been running a chainsaw..  And then, someone else with a chainsaw to the NE .. And then another one, closer this time, to my close right, and then to my close left..And, well, all around me....

 

I know it sounds silly. But imagine being a kid, miles from anywhere, standing knee deep in a stream, with a group of chainsaw murderers moving in on you. I really was terrified, I mean really, I was scared.... And then it happened.    

 

The sky turned black. Literally, it got dark at ten in the morning. Thousands, hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, maybe more, of bugs the size of a quarter started crash landing into everything. 

Like I said, they were crashing into everything. I was covered in them, they were tangled in my hair, my arms and face were covered with these huge disgusting bugs. They were bombing into trees and the ground and everything, the sound was horrendous, a thousand chainsaws coming at me from all directions..... And, most importantly for this story, they were crashing into the water... 

 

I was totally unprepared. Depending how you looked at it, it was something out of a horror movie, or a wet dream.. Every single trout in the creek was going nuts, gorging of the huge bugs. Water that had been void of fish a moment ago looked like the raceway at the local hatchery.. I cast my ant, there was no interest.. It took me a moment or two to figure out what was happening..

 

Back then, Daredevil, the spoon/lure company, made some bass bugs, big awkward flies that sort of resembled a mouse. I had two of them buried in one of my vest pockets.  I remember standing there in the stream, the deafening noise, covered in bugs, cutting my 7X leader way back, tying one on and trying to cast on my little 4 wt.....   

 

It didn't matter. My casting ability meant nothing. As long as it hit the water, somewhere, anywhere, it was getting hit... Short cast, long cast, it didn't matter, as long as that bug made a loud splat and landed in the water it was getting hit... 

 

I don't know how many trout I caught that day, a couple hundred? But for two hours, I honestly don't think I made a single cast that didn't result in a hook up. Bugs the size of a golfball (maybe not really that big) crawling over my face, down my waders, everywhere...If I could splat it down on the water, multiple underwater missiles would streak towards it..

 

And then it ended. Like someone had hit a lightswitch. It was dead quite, almost scary all over again.....  The area around the creek was ankle deep in crunchy dead bugs, my pockets were filled with the same dead bugs, not another person seen and the trout no longer cared at all about my fly....

 

In the 42 years since that day I've fished from Maine to Florida, from California to France, every State in our Country, most of Europe..... And I've never had a day like the Cicadas gave me way back then.....

 

I hope you too can enjoy them..

 

Fun story,

thanks for sharing.

I've never experienced anything like that.

Good memories.

JD

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Wow Jay, that sure sounds like fun.

Thanks for the heads up.

What lures do you throw to imitate a cicada?

 

We mostly used surface prop baits like the Heddon Torpedo.  The spinning propellers do a decent job of imitating a cicada struggling on the surface.

 

They Japanese make surface lures that actually look like a cicada, but I have never used one of them.

 

 

Heddon Teeny Torpedo

 

 

Edited by Jay Blair

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15 mins ago, Jay Blair said:

Wow Jay, that sure sounds like fun.

Thanks for the heads up.

What lures do you throw to imitate a cicada?

 

We mostly use surface prop baits like the Heddon Torpedo.  The spinning propellers do a decent jog of imitating a cicada struggling on the surface.

 

They Japanese make lures that actually look like a cicada, but I have never used one of them.

 

 

 

Cool, thanks bud!

JD

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Byron that’s an awesome story, lol!! I’ve been up there in Clark’s valley and can totally picture that all happening! So great... :D

 

I got couple of the new, smallest size whopper ploppers, hoping they do the trick for this upcoming bite. 

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When I was young I started my career as a salesman and I used the opportunity to occasionally stop into the tackle shops when I had time to kill between appointments. One particularly old tackle shop in Beltsville Maryland had some old faded photos of the owner and his buds holding up a stringer of 20 bass that looked to be about 24 inches long. The photo was from the Mid-50's and when I asked the owner about it he smiled and told be about the cicada bite.

 

I have been tracking brood X ever since then.

 

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a #4 2x long hook ,wrap it w/ thread,cut 1 1/2" of 3/8" popper foam (at fly shops) and run a hot needle through the lower 1/4 of the foam(to keep from blocking hook) to put your hook in,coat thread wrapped hook w/ CA and quickly slide the body on in one smooth motion or it'll stick,now let it set a minute,meanwhile get yourself a darning needle and run a loop of tying thread through it and use it to pull 7-10 strands of krystal flash into the needle eye,now push the needle through where you think wings should be and pull through,finish off w/ tiny dab of CA at wing/body juncture,orange trim wrap optional and eyes are fabric paint,probably don't need those either

 

these bugs bring everything to the top,even huge catfish and carp,best to be ready for some amazing fishing,I'm looking fwd to it and have been since the last time 17 yrs ago,crazy fun trying to land a 20lb fish that spends it's life at the bottom of the stream trying 4-5x to try and grab my fly and then try to land the dang thing on a flyrod

20210215_125955cicada.jpg

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I believe it was 1996, 2013 and the next really major hatch will be 2030...   That from my personal experience in NY. 

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I was collecting fossils in the '60s near Scientists Cliffs in MD for a hatch. Sound was deafening. They were washed up like seaweed on the beach and completely covered the clay cliffs. Red eyes. 

No fishing rod- but a thrill because I also collected insects. 

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Anyone use a top water frog for cicada hatches? I only have a 5 weight fly rod for an occasional trout trip, probably not the best tool for the big cicada fly I see posted here. 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Any large black foam or deer hair bass bug should work, but you probably need a 6 weight to cast the bulky flies effectively.

Edited by Jay Blair

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