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Cicadas on Utah's Green River

The Cicada Hatch is perhaps the most popular hatch on the Green River. Typically the cicadas start popping up out of the ground in late May or early June. The above ground part of their life cycle usually lasts for about one month. Some years there are several different broods of cicadas that emerge at the same time. In other years we may only see a handfull of these tasty trout morsels.
Cicadas are a terrestrial insect that awkwardly fly around looking for mates.  A loud buzzing sound or clicking sound indicates their presence.  Strong gusts of wind, and bad take offs equate to explosive strikes from hungry trout. Most Green River Cicadas are size #8-10, with some varieties "mondo cicadas" reaching size #2-4.

Cicada Photo Gallery


Cicada fly patterns for the Green River:
All of our Green River Guides have their own hand tied flies. The following fly patterns can be purchased at local Dutch John, Utah fly shops.

Card's cicada size # 8-10
Elvira cicada size #8-10
Chernobyl Ant black size #8-10
Tar Baby black size #8-10
PMX Cricket black size #8-10
Mondo Cicada patterns size #2-4


Green River Fly Fishing Tips - Cicadas:

The large number of trout on the Green River provide the dry fly angler with ample opportunities at fooling fish. The following big dry fly tips may help increase your chances of hooking up:

  • Trust strange pieces of water - Cicadas are flying insects and therefore might land on any part of the river. Trout will key into the splat of these large insects dive bombing the river. Be patient after your fly hits the water - there may be a nice fish charging for it.

  • Cover lots of Water - Most of the trout on the Green River are opportunistic feeders. If you present your fly 1 time to a fish without a look or a take, and you believe that you gave a near perfect presentation, Stop Casting! By waiting you allow the fish to get comfortable again. You now have 3 options. Give the fish some time before presenting your fly again, Change flies and then cast (also gives the fish time), or move to the next fish.

  • Approach with Stealth - Because of the large # of fish in the Green River, a sloppy approach will likely spook more than the fish that you can see. Trout are cautious creatures by nature. Ospreys, bald eagles, anglers, river otters, and larger fish all inhabit the Green. The fish tend to have one eye always looking for predators and the warning signs that signal predators approaching.

  • Wait to set the hook! - Cicada fly patterns are large. It takes trout a few seconds to eat your fly and close their mouths. In most scenarios it is better to wait a couple of seconds to set the hook versus being quick.

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