Shayne Miller suggested a side view of the cicada might clear up the confusion on tying this one.
Hope this helps. The black foam strip gets tied down along the hook shank (leaving lots of room at the hook eye). The rest of the strip extends back over the bend and is folded forward after adding the legs and dubbing to the tied down foam area.
The strip is folded forward and gets tied down behind the front legs with the strip now extending past the hook eye. Tie in the wing material at this tie down point and fold the strip back again over the wing and towards the bend. Tie it down at the same place as the wing.
Trim it short or leave it long as in photo. The longer strip adds some additional flotation for fishing fast, shallow waters.
Overall fly length is dependent on the size of your naturals. This one is an upscale size to mimic (roughly) the much larger eastern cicada. Downsize everything if you are out west.
Leg length is extreme on this version. I usually tie them 1/2 the length shown for flies I’m sending out west.
I’m unsure as to what the fly is taken for, guessing possibly a cicada here in East, but maybe a cricket? Well, who cares? As long as they eat it, right? LOL
Don’t usually tie these with the really long legs Michael. My usually tie has legs about half as long. I thought about these longer legs because I’d been tying crickets and hoppers with long legs. My rationale here was simply, the fish get into the doldrums when we are hit with the kind of high temps we are experiencing right not. Thought the extra wiggle/movement might help elicit reaction strikes. Simple truth here is that if they ignore the long legs, I carry a line cutter to make streamside adjustments. 🤫
Wanted to add that the longer legs do make a difference to the smallmouth. They seem to like the extra wiggle. Another hope for me is that the longer legs might give the impression of a larger meal. Still guessing on most of this stuff.
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