How to Tie: The Pinecone Cicada

In this week’s “How to Tie” video feature, Fly Fish Food gives us a great tutorial on how to tie the Pinecone Cicada.

Learn About This Fly:

Difficulty: Intermediate 

This week, we will be learning how to tie the Pinecone Cicada. A fitting fly for 2021 to say the least. This May we will be welcomed by the regions largest brood of Cicadas, an event fly-anglers and scientists drool over every 17 years. This ultra buoyant creation was dreamt up by Fly Fish Food’s very own, Cheech and has been coined the term “Brood X Killer.”

A pinecone, a beetle, and a Mormon cricket equals the Pinecone Cicada you say? The key to a good cicada imitation starts with the materials. You see the word Fettuccini and your stomach automatically rumbles. But in this case, its rumbling for a different purpose….rising trout. The use of fettuccini foam and other buoyant materials allows the pinecone cicada to ride high in the water column aka the strike zone for hungry rising trout. Structuring the foam strips in a staggered and edgy manner while mixing in flash and color presents a very life-like appeal to this winged singer. The shear volume encased in this fly will ensure buoyancy for a full day on the river.

Like most flies, there isn’t one particular way to go about this creation. This is a fly open for experimentation. Try various colors of foam, dubbing, thread, you name it. As long as it floats and looks edible, hungry trout won’t bat an eye. For your convenience, pre-cut foam strips are recommended with this tie. It will save you time and frustration in the long run. Don’t be afraid to use superglue to reinforce the strength of the foam strips, these flies WILL take a beating. As mentioned previously, 2021 is a special year in the fly fishing world with the cicada hatch. Put in time at the vise and take advantage of this periodic occurrence.


  • Hook: Firehole Sticks 618 Foam & Nymph – 4
  • Body: Ice Dub – Peacock Black
  • Body: Chicone’s Fettuccine Foam – Black
  • Legs: Life-Flex Spandex Material – Orange
  • Head: Fly Tying Foam – 2mm – Black
  • Wing: EP Trigger Point Int’l Fibers – Pale Morning Dun
  • Underwing: Ripple Ice Fiber – Pearl Green Hue
  • Thorax: Ice Dub – UV Shrimp Pink
  • Indicator: Fly Tying Foam – 2mm – Orange
  • Thread: Danville Flat Waxed Nylon Thread – 140 Denier – Black

Now you now how to tie the Pinecone Cicada Pattern.

Video and Ingredients courtesy of Fly Fish Food.

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