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If E. grandis were a family man, he might be upset or even vengeful that those trout had already slurped up hundreds of his brothers and sisters. But he can't be provoked because he isn't a family man, he's a slut. All he cares about is getting some action. It's sad to see a creature put so much effort into such a short adulthood, lasting less than a day, often only a few hours. Especially something so beautiful-his upright wings and long, muscular thorax, flying in dramatic loops and circles above the riffle, trying to catch the eye of a female. Sensitive, innocent, his eyes the color of a mountain lake. He is indeed a fine catch.

"All creatures are, in a way, sex fiends."

Not that he was always a stud. His adulthood was proceeded by a long period of scumming, perusing the bottom of rocks for gooey green slime and other delights. It wasn't a pretty sight but what did he care, he was the fly equivalent of a male second grader, and impressing females ranked somewhere below kickball and crayons. At that point, he was like the fish-he was just hungry.

Then one day, in the middle of a meal, he suddenly ceased being hungry. So he dropped his goo and swam skyward to have a look around. Upon surfacing, his young skin split down his back- he was powerless to stop it. It was as if some large hand was removing his winter jacket to let his naked body feel the pleasant air of spring. Shedding the lifeless skin, he noticed his wings, his ability to breath air, his long beautiful tail, and he climbed up into the grasses next to the river to get some rest before his final hour.

It took him a while to find his true love. She was like the ones he'd always heard about: the stories trickling down about fair-winged duns on the Henry's Fork in June or slender-bodied beauties on the Yellowstone in July or sexy, curvy spinners hovering above the Frying Pan in August. Ah yes, there she was. And after performing their aerial magic, she too would drop to the surface, to lay her eggs before dying. But the male E. grandis, he would just die-softly, quietly and with a smile on his face.

--Matt Hansen recently gave up his job as a reporter to pursue a real career as a river guide.

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