Just about to emerge from this season's first heat wave, much of the Eastern United States saw soaring air temperatures this week, which in turn led to significant increases in soil temperatures. As a result, emergences of the periodical cicada (or magicada) which emerges when soil temperatures stabilize at 64 degrees, are being more commonly seen across much of the east coast.
The web site magicicada.org allows individuals to report sightings of these long-awaited bugs and plots the 500 most recent of these sightings on a map. In constrast to previous weeks, virtually all of the currently plotted sightings are from user reports over the last few days. Sightings are numerous throughout northern and central Virginia, central Pennsylvania and southern Connecticut, with particularly high numbers of sightings around Washington D.C., northern New Jersey and New York City.
In fact, a recent article featured in the NY Post describes New York City as being "taken over" by cicadas, despite mistakenly (perhaps intentionally) calling them locusts.
This should serve as music to the ears of eastern fly fishermen, who are eagerly awaiting the opportunity to pursue willing fish on their local streams with large cicada flies. Given that popular wisdom indicates that the fish usually take a week or two to key in on the often never-before-seen cicadas as the bountiful food source they represent, this shouldn't be far away for many easterners.
For helpful info on finding the cicadas, fly fishing the cicada hatch, cicada fly patterns and more, be sure to read our feature from a few weeks ago, Fly Fishing the Eastern Cicada Hatch.