Skip to main content

Massive Cicada Emergence Set for East Coast

Massive Cicada Emergence Set for East Coast
Cicadas are an important food source almost every in year in select regions of the country. Paul Weamer photo

Massive Cicada Emergence Set for East Coast. Magicicadasalso known as 17-year cicadasare expected to emerge from their underground burrows in the spring of 2013. The large insects hatch when the ground temperature reaches daytime averages of 64 degrees F., meaning the hatch will start in April in North Carolina and continue through May up into New England.

"In places where they're going to be present, it's going to be spectacular. There could be as many as 1 billion cicadas emerging per square mile," said Michael Raupp, a professor of entomology at the University of Maryland.

After living underground for 17 years, their life above ground is relatively short. They clumsily fly into trees where for a week or more they make a loud chirping sound to attract a mate. After mating they fall dead to the forest floor or into nearby streams and ponds where trout and other fish will quickly learn to recognize them as food.

East coast fly fishers should prepare their fly boxes for this unusual occurrence. Magicicadas are the are 1.5 to 2 inches long with black bodies, red eyes, and orange wings. To find more out about the insects themselves, visit or click here to see a map of exactly where the species is known to exist.

For fly patterns, there are many to choose from. My favorite for many types of cicadas is a Cathy's Super Beetle. Tie it on a size 8 heavy-wire hook, and for extra cicada realism, use oranage thread and orange Hi-Vis for the wing instead of white Hi-Vis.

Cathy Super Beetle
Cathy's Super Beetle.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

Fly Fisherman Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Fly Fisherman App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Fly Fisherman stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Fly Fisherman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now