Fishy Tails

Eye of the Cicada… Unlocking the Secrets of Cicada Fly Fishing: A Review of 'Cicada Madness' by Dave Zielinski

Eye of the Cicada… Unlocking the Secrets of Cicada Fly Fishing: A Review of 'Cicada Madness' by Dave Zielinski

As I delved into the pages of "Cicada Madness" by Dave Zielinski, I found myself in a world where the art of fly fishing intersects with the fascinating world of cicadas. Zielinski, a passionate angler with a penchant for cicada fly fishing, offers a wealth of knowledge and practical tips in his book. From scouting locations to selecting the right gear, Zielinski's insights promise to enhance the angling experience for enthusiasts eager to capitalize on this natural phenomenon. I found it a must read while sipping on my favorite morning coffee and evening whiskey :) It also made me want to try my hand at tying a big-foamy bug. 

Cicada Madness, written by Dave Zielinkski. book cover features drift boats, cicada flies and big fish.

Unlocking the Mysteries of Cicada Emergences:
Personally, as an avid fisherman who's experienced mostly failures in the past cicada emergences, I found "Cicada Madness" to be an invaluable resource for self-reflection. Having whiffed on opportunities during the last cicada emergence, I eagerly turned to Zielinski's book to understand where I went wrong. Zielinski's insights into cicadas, from timing to location scouting, resonated deeply with me. Through his guidance, I've gained a newfound confidence that this time around, I won't miss out on the action. If you're eager to learn, just buy "Cicada Madness" on Amazon.

Navigating the World of Cicada Fly Fishing Gear:
As I gear up for the upcoming cicada emergence, selecting the right equipment is paramount to my success, thankfully running Steffen Brothers has its advantages in this space ;). But, Zielinski's book offers a personalized approach to gear selection that aligns to different fishing styles, species and situations for anglers who are determined not to miss out this time around. His recommendations for fly rods suited to tackling bass, carp, and large trout during cicada emergences are explained in detail. Personally, I've found that the Steffen Bros 6/7wt S2 Glass and the 7wt IM6 Modern Classic from Steffen Brothers are perfect choices for this year's emergence, with our Modern Classic 6wt fly rod being a perfect trout cicada rod for future-soon to come emergences. Ofcourse, I may be a bit biased in recommending them! Zielinski's book also covers other wonderful gear recommendations that will only continue to fuel the age-old glass vs graphite debate, adding an extra layer of enjoyment to your angling pursuits. If you're interested in exploring Zielinski's insights and recommendations, "Cicada Madness" can be found on Amazon.


Cicada fly being tied in a fly vice.

Regional Variations and Fly Tying Tips:
My past failures with cicada emergences have taught me the importance of adaptability and attention to detail. Zielinski's exploration of regional variations and fly tying tips in "Cicada Madness" resonates deeply with me, as I strive to refine my approach and enhance my chances of success. From scouting to delving into the distinct characteristics of various cicada broods and their corresponding fly patterns, Zielinski empowers anglers to tailor their tactics to the specific conditions they might encounter. Armed with this knowledge, I'm now better prepared to make the most of this rare angling opportunity.

As I reached the final pages of "Cicada Madness," I couldn't help but feel inspired by Zielinski's passion for cicada fly fishing and his dedication to sharing his expertise with fellow anglers. With its wealth of practical advice, this book is sure to become a must-read for anyone eager to unlock the secrets of cicadas. Just read it, and follow this invaluable guide.

P.S. Special Announcement:
I gotta sell you something — Snag a once in 221YEAR custom cicada fly rod!

Limited edition custom cicada fly rods coming soon – only 4 units left! Each 8'8" 7wt glass rod crafted for cicada season. Pre-order includes "Cicada Madness" book, 3 flies, leather rod tubes, and stickers. Act fast, these rods will go quick. Get your deposit in LINK


Steffen S2 glass for new tip over configuration

The specs: 

8'8 7wt-4pc glass cicada chucking machine. 

Reserve yours today. Delivers between May 10-12th, 2024


Why it's different, and awesome:

  • The first Steffen glass applied in a tip-over configuration for a 4-pc packability
  • Designed with input from Dave Zielinski and other cicada fishing fiends
  • Wonderful cicada, bass popper, mouse'n and streamer stick to complete your arsenal
  • LIMITED, Here today. Gone for 200YRS... 

Design specs:

  • S2 uni proprietary Steffen glass
  • Eye of the cicada - Red agate stripping guide
  • Black lemke hardware, with orange/black flame sealed wood reel seat insert
  • Granger Victory Jaspar Wraps
  • Snake guides
  • Pure cork - full wells grip with 1” fight butt


  • Signed copy of Cicada Madness
  • 3x D.Zielinski tied flies
  • Leather rod tube
  • Sticker pack

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