Cicada rise at it’s peak
Cicada rise in Otago summer has suffered for last 5 – 6 years due to the colder summers and few consecutive years of droughts which harden the ground surface, and restricted the cicada to hatch out in numbers. However despite the fact we are having a drought, this year seem to has a great combination of hot dry spells followed by decent rain front passing, which softens the ground and allows the cicada larvae to crawl out of the ground easier at night, then having the heat of the day to dry their wing and fly away. Cicada is believed to live 13 years under the ground, and when they hatch out they have less than 7 days to mate and lay the eggs, then finish it’s life. I am no entomologist so can’t comment too much on their life cycles. However the great mystery is, weather those could not hatch out one year, will spend another year under the ground to hatch out or die under the ground. It seems the summer after a few bad hatching years, more numbers hatching in the following summer.
Considering their life is only 7 days above the ground, trouts only have small window of time they can get the mouth to. You could imagine cicada is like a 500gm T-borne steak coming down the sushi train (I would definitely be exited if I was the trout). Even in deeper lakes, having cicada landing on water seems to bring bigger trouts to the surface easier. This is the time to up your fly size and be a bit more adventurous with crazy fly patterns. If the tout looks at your fly and ignore it, instead of going smaller in fly size like we usually do, try casting 2 sizes too big fly for them, or even try slapping surface with big terrestrial flies, just to get the trout’s attention and see how they react to that.
This period of cicada rise is like a summer carnival for us anglers, get out to high-country, soak a bit of sun and tossing a few big bushy flies around and see if you can convince trout to eat them.
It won’t be there for long, so enjoy while it lasts.
Good lock out there.