Content

See them coming, swimming toward you like ducks across the sky at dawn. It's hard for a Northern Rockies trout chaser to fathom: no hatch to match, no current seam to aim for, just you and a couple dozen bonefish headed your direction. Throw it too late and you'll spook 'em. Too early and your fly sinks to the bottom. But time it right and suddenly there you are-light breeze, palm trees and a fish heading straight for Honduras.

I grew up in Detroit, a city whose belching smokestacks and clamoring auto plants preach a relentless contempt for mass transportation. Yet when I moved to Washington, D.C., I fell in love with trains—the grand stations and comforting rhythms of the ride hooked me. I eventually ditched my car completely, relying solely on bike, cab and train for transportation.

Ephemerella grandis is, like the rest of us, a sex fiend. From the moment he sheds his heavy, heinous body of youth, his thoughts are dominated by mayfly fornication-drake nookie, if you will. He can't sleep. He can't eat. He can do nothing but flutter about on the breezes of desire, looking above the river for his one true love-or, if he's lucky, a couple of them.

All creatures are, in a way, sex fiends. They must be at some point simply to keep their species in the game. But E. grandis, commonly known as the Western Green Drake, pays one hell of a price for it. He is the All Star sex fiend-for after he does the deed, he's done. His life is over, and we don't mean figuratively. No wonder he does it in midair. The poor guy has no friends when he begins his courtship, surrounded as he is by dozens of others with the same goal-sorta like guys in a ski town. Grandis boy figures, and rightly so, that his acquaintances, all just as sex-crazed, would stab him in the back before they'd help him get laid. Grab a lady and make it happen-that's the name of the game.

Flyfishing is a sexy sport. This I know because I'm in awe of good fishermen, which has left me attracted to grubby guys I normally wouldn't have noticed except maybe to offer them change. I'm not too experienced a flyfisher and I'm a terrible flirt, yet when it comes to mixing the two together I find astounding confidence. I could never ask a guy out and I can't even hold a conversation with someone I've got a crush on, but I don't hesitate to invite myself along in a stranger's drift boat. And I can walk confidently into a fly shop and strike up a conversation with any random man. Some people use beer goggles as an excuse for a momentary lapse in judgment. I think I've got fish eyes.

Springtime on the Bighorn and the midges are thick, blanketing the water, your dory, and your legs if you let them. They look like 'skeeters but aren't, and despite their huge numbers on the surface, many trout will still hold tight to the river bottom, living large on midge larva trying to worm-wiggle their way to pupa status.