Photo By: Justin Dobson
This year we have been blessed in select areas of the east coast with what most of us who fish find fascinating, while others may find gross. The arrival of the 17 year cicada's. These aren't the annual cicadas you hear buzzing off and on in the trees during the summer days. These turn the forest into a an echo chamber of constant buzzing. I'm not sure I've ever heard anything like it. I can only describe it as a sound which seems electric or mechanical, like the screech of a car alarm. I could see how it could drive you nuts if you had to listen to it for the 6 weeks these bugs are above ground doing "the deed".
Other than their noise pollution, these bugs look much different than their annual cousins as well. They are deep black with blood red eyes. If you are not a fan of bugs I imagine this could be an intimidating look.
What these insects lack in looks they make up for in dietary value for our finned friends. I can't help to blame some of this Springs big n' nasty foam dry fly success on the shear numbers of oversized ugly bugs slapping the surface of our local streams. I have found most fish are not passing up a bad drift or a fly stripped over the surface, where as most times small stream trout would be spooked or timid.
The time for these bug's are coming to an end, but next time you hit the water, let that foam fly drop in with a big splat and wait for that big rise.
The following is some great time lapse video showing the life cycle of these fascinating bugs: