This year billions of Cicadas, the Brood X colony, will emerge from the ground just as they did in 2004. The swarm will be very noticeable this summer, they will group up around the bottom of trees and on the ground all around the East Coast. The epicenter of their arrival is in Maryland, but most states along the coast will get to experience the migration.
The Cicadas only come up every 17 years, they all come at once to put off their predators also to lay eggs and mate. The reason they stay underground for so long is they are avoiding cold summer since they cannot survive in any temperature under 68 degrees Fahrenheit. There are many other species that show up at different times, but this specific one is trying to limit their chances of getting wiped out by a cold summer.
Cicadas are not dangerous, they cannot bite or harm someone in any way. They can make pets sick from eating too many, but are not poisonous. The only thing they damage is newer trees, any trees recently planted from spring 2020 till now are in danger to these bugs. They mainly feed on tree roots which is why you will see them around the base of trees. Once they are ready to go back into the ground for 17 more years, they burrow into the ground next to the roots.
For a lot of people the cicadas are something bothersome to deal with but for avid fly fishers, this is a huge time to go to the river.
“For some people, 13- and 17-year periodic cicada hatches are an annoyance, but for fly fishers it’s a dream come true,” says Blaine Chocklett.
The cicadas are on the surface, after falling on top of the water making them easy targets for fish. Fishers can easily mimic this and catch bass trout, carp, and muskies. They call it Cicada Mania, and since there are so many it makes for a really good fishing trip. The bugs just stay stagnant on top of the water so it is easier than flicking fly across the water. They are in many fishes diet giving the fisher a wide range of catches. The fish expect them in the later months around August and September, but since they are coming sometime around late April there will be a long period of time to get to the water. Many of the bigger fish with cicadas in their diet like to come out when it gets hot and bright. This is a gold mine for people wanting to catch something with a little bit of a fight. If you want to learn more about how to fish the Cicada Mania flyfisherman.com has a great article explaining first hand experiences fishing during this spectacle of nature, only happening every 17 years.