Periodical Cicada- by Loren Williams

featured, Fly Patterns, Step-by-Step Tutorials — By on May 18, 2011 5:45 am

The pattern described is my take on some of the more appealing cicada patterns I have seen and used. As typical, I try to make my patterns as simple as possible and still do the job. With cicadas, there are a number of triggers I feel one should try to mimic. First is the obvious stout, robust profile. Cicadas are shorter than most people think, and very broad. I do feel too much emphasis is placed on imitating the coloration of the abdomen. As you will see, I prefer to focus on the profile. Second, cicadas are cumbersome and will certainly make a disturbance when they hit the water. The pattern must be built so that it will “splat” resoundingly. Too much fluff will slow it’s descent. Third, cicadas have oversized, and very apparent wings. They need to be included. The trick then is to sum these all into a pattern that will float, catch fish, and not require an epoch at the vise. I think this pattern suits the bill.
-Loren Williams


Hook: 2XL Dry Fly Hook, #10
Thread: Black
Underbody: Black 3mm fly foam
Abdomen: Rusty Orange Antron Yarn
Over Body: Black 3mm Fly Foam
Wings: Pearl Krystal Flash
Thorax: Rusty Orange Antron Yarn
Head: Black 3 mm Fly Foam
Legs: Orange Centipede Legs

Lay a base of thread back to the rear of the shank. Then cut a slip of foam roughly equal to 1.25 to 1.5 times the hook gap. Trim the foam to a point about as long as the hook shank.

Brush on a layer of super glue over the thread base. This will secure the foam to the hook and prevent the fly from spinning around the shank

Place the foam point on the hook shank and bind it forward then back with open tight thread wraps. We are trying to protect the integrity of the foam to assist with floatation, if you bind it with too many wraps it will not float.

Select and 8-inch section of thin rusty orange antron. Secure it to the underbody, stopping the thread at about the 2/3 mark.

Wrap the antron forward to the thread…

…back to the bend…

…and forward to the thread again. Secure it with a few tight thread wraps and let it hang.

Fold the foam forward and allow it to cup around the sides as shown. Bind it down to the hook with thread wraps forward to the eye, then back again. Be sure the wraps are tight and it’s OK to add some super glue underneath for security.

Wrap the remaining antron forward…

Then back to the 2/3 mark where it is secured with thread.

Clip the excess.

Select a healthy dollop of pearl Krystal Flash. Secure the strands, with one end facing rearward, the other forward, to the far side of the thorax right at the rear edge of the antron band. 3 or 4 tight wraps will suffice.

Next, fold the forward-facing tips to the rear on the near side of the thorax. Secure them in position with several thread wraps. Clip the wings to be a good bit longer than the body.

Fold the foam to the rear, again allowing it to cup slightly around the sides.

Secure the foam with several very tight thread wraps.

Clip the excess foam short, leaving enough to be pleasing to the eye and to act to keep the wings spend.

Obtain some orange Centipede Legs.

Remove one strand and secure it to the far side of the fly as shown, directly atop the thread band used to secure the foam and wings.

Clip the legs to length.

Repeat on the near side with the remaining length of rubber.

Whip finish at the same location.

Cement the thread band well (I use the same super glue) and you have the finished product!

Bottom view showing the optional banding with a permanent marker.

Loren Williams is an accomplished fly angler with over 3-decades of angling and tying experience behind him. He is considered one of the best teaching guides in Upstate New York where he guides for salmon, trout, and using traditional fly-fishing techniques ( Loren is also a very popular public speaker, regularly presenting on topics relating to fly-fishing for salmon,  and trout.  Additionally, Loren is a successful competitive angling member of Fly Fishing Team USA.

VN:F [1.9.13_1145]
Rating: +10 (from 10 votes)
Periodical Cicada- by Loren Williams, 8.6 out of 10 based on 10 ratings


  1. Rijad says:

    very nice pattern. easy and simple. Thank you for sharing …

    VA:F [1.9.13_1145]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  2. Sayfu says:

    Tying some up now for a friend that will be fishing the Green River where it comes out of Flaming Gorge Reservoir in WY. The patterns seem to have a black body. But you know of Cicada’s that have the burnt orange body?

    VA:F [1.9.13_1145]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
  3. Joseph Hud says:

    Elegant, simple. Tied some up for this weekend, should be effective on smallmouth bass. Tied them in different colors, posted a photo of a green variant of your pattern on Flickr (with credit).
    Thanks for a nice pattern and good directions.

    VA:F [1.9.13_1145]
    Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
  4. Daflytyer says:

    Great easy pattern,look forward to more patterns!

    VA:F [1.9.13_1145]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Leave a Comment

Powered by WP Hashcash

Tags: , , ,

Related Articles

WordPress SEO