Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Great Cicada hatch

Every 13 years there is a cicada hatch, maybe you've heard them, especially if you live in Piedmont North Carolina. The last time this happened, we were fishing the Roanoke, helping Joe Albae film a show for Carolina Outdoor Journal and the noise was so loud, they couldn't film.

After living for 13 years as grubs in the ground, the cicadas emerge from the soil, hatch from their shells, dry much as a butterfly does, then fly to the canopy where they breed. At the base of trees, their "husks" can be several inches thick.

Two cicada hatches ago, I never knew how good I had it. Wet feet and dirty hands. I was a teenager, fishing on the Cowpasture River in Virginia. The topwater fishing that summer was incredible. As the cicadas fell from trees, they are quickly devoured by fish of all sorts, taking advantage from this mana from heaven.

These pics were passed along to me by Joe Josie. He and his father (87) have been taking advantage of the 13 year cicada hatch on the Roanoke River all of their lives. For his father, that would be only 5 or 6 times. They are sight casting to large carp cruising the surface and munching on cicadas with popping bugs and fly rods.

In Joe's words:
"they saw alot but Danny was trying to get Dad close enough to make a cast. At 87 Dad has a bit of trouble making long casts to spooky fish. More later in the week"
These are some pics from later in the week:

Thanks for passing this along Joe. I hope that I get a chance to experience it this year and that I'm paddling you around in 13 years.