i was just a little boy, not sure what year but i definitley recall a certain and very strong alarm or rather, worysome anxiety all around me at school, with family and friends and even on the news:
“The CICADAS are Coming !!!”
we’d made it through the Bay of Pigs and the Beatles, we where getting the three daily number reports from Vietnam- US soldier death and injuries, and enemy death tolls and people where freaking out over a few goggly-eyed bugs. come on…
they did indeed arrive and it wasn’t just a few. i clearly remember hearing these things approaching something like 24 hours before they finally got to my neighbourhood. the constant droning was an equal mix of spooky-as and fascination and something that had this little boy all excited. adults had told us they where completely inoffensive, they didn’t bite, scratch or sting but you know, kids are kids and the grapevine had them depicted as blood-sucking demons that could enter your ears and nibble on your brains. even if none of that super-cool-grodey-exciting stuff ever happened, it’s enough to say that we all wore our winter hats pulled down low.
whether at school or at home we all where on ‘look up patrol’ eagerly scrutinizing the sky awaiting their arrival. the idea was that the first to spot one would phone the others of the gang to warn them of the devil’s coming but cell phones where only to be found in science fictions novels at that time and most of us didn’t even have permission to use the home phone by ourselves.
regardless, the creepy ‘cader things came. it was like sheets of big bug rain, they’d stupidly fall down the back of your shirt, splatter on windows and windshields, would slap you in the face as they zig-zagged about and where basically not so interesting after all and annoying as hell. and loud.
you couldn’t take a step with smooshing several, i can still remember the sound. throwing them at both other boys and girls to hear them squeel got old quick: “once you’ve seen a million cicadas you’ve seen them all” or so i’d thought, until i found this fantastic short by Samuel Orr that depicts a complete lifecycle of these strange and crunchy creatures.
now, this film isn’t about fly fishing but then of course it is. i haven’t had the luck/oportunity/chance to be in an area when they’ve accomplished their every 17 year come out since i’ve been a fisher but its really high up there on the wishlist and that little boy’s excitement is still there but this time it’s with a purpose; to catch big-big trout who love to eat big-big bugs.
as always when fishing i’ll have a hat of some sort on but at least i won’t have to worry so much about having my brains sucked dry. i hope you’ll enjoy Samuel’s film as much as i did.
edit- no matter what i do the video starts at 1:15… this is a first and don’t know what to do about it. please use the slider to get the beginning. sorry.