Get ready, they’re coming!

Guest Blogger: Mary S. Kuss, Life-long avid angler, licensed PA fishing guide (retired), founder of the Delaware Valley Women’s Fly Fishing Association

Who are they?  Why, Brood X of the 17-year Periodical Cicadas of course.  This is the big one, the Great Eastern Brood. Last seen in 2004 (do the math), this brood is scattered across 15 states. Of greatest interest to me, however, is the dense cluster around my home near Philadelphia. It takes in southeastern Pennsylvania, central New Jersey, and parts of Maryland and Delaware. The Periodicals typically start emerging in mid-May, and by the end of June they are gone. So if you want to experience this hatch there’s a very limited window of opportunity.

These insects are not to be confused with Annual Cicadas, also know as Dog Day Cidadas, which are present almost everywhere, every summer. Annual Cicadas have green wing veins, and their eyes are unremarkable. They are most abundant in August, which gives them their nickname. Periodical Cicadas emerge earlier in the year, are a tad smaller, and have orange wing veins and prominent, bright red eyes. They emerge in much greater densities than Annual Cicadas do.

I first learned about Periodical Cicadas in 2004, when I read an article in Fly Fisherman Magazine focused on the impending emergence of Brood X.  I was quite intrigued. They were supposed to be present in southeastern Pennsylvania, so I tied up a few flies and waited for them to show up in my yard. But they didn’t.  I heard no loud Cicada chorus, and didn’t see a single one of them in my neighborhood. Later, too late, I found out that they had been so thick in a nearby town that people were crunching them under their feet on the sidewalks.

Continue reading → Get ready, they’re coming!

Maybe Bigger Isn’t Always Better?

Guest Blogger: Joe Dellaria, Learning from the River
This article is intended to be provocative. I have found that challenging the “time tested beliefs” in any area of life can lead to new findings. It can also lead to a colossal wastes of time so it pays to challenge the “status quo” only when you have some new information suggesting it is worthwhile. I want to explore whether bigger flies always lead to bigger fish.
The mantra for many sport fish is “Bigger baits catch bigger fish.” I have paid my dues casting and retrieving heavily weighted bunnies and other large streamers for trout. There is no doubt they turn some big fish and even catch some nice ones. And, there is the thrill of the jarring strikes that nearly pulls the rod out of your hand. Casting big flies is a great way to get an adrenaline rush!

Continue reading → Maybe Bigger Isn’t Always Better?