Angler 1: "What are you going to use? I'm thinking of trying this purple egg-sucking leech. You see, the steelhead see this leech eating one of their eggs, and they get mad, and strike the fly out of anger. Even makes 'em fight harder."
Angler 2: "Yeah, I know that. Everybody knows that. But I think I'm going to try this orange egg pattern. Check it out."
Angler 1: "What's with the stringy stuff around it?"
Angler 2: "That's the yolk leaking out, dumbass. You see, the steelhead see this egg coming down the run and they notice the yolk oozing out. This way, they know the egg's already been punctured and won't survive, so they might as well eat it."
Angler 1: "Oh. Yeah. That makes sense. Well, how's about you try that fly and I'll try my leech, and we'll see what works."
Meanwhile, under the water...
Steelhead 1: "You hungry?"
Steelhead 2: "I dunno. I guess. Hey, you see that thing coming down the run? That purple thing?"
Steelhead 1: "Yeah. What is it?"
Steelhead 2: "No idea. Should I eat it?"
Steelhead 1: "I guess. What's the worst that could happen?"
Steelhead 2: "Don't you remember what happened last time you ate one of them things?"
Steelhead 1: "No. What happened?"
Steelhead 2: "You know, I can't remember either. That was two days ago. Don't matter though; the thing's gone now."
Steelhead 1: "Hey, here comes something else. Orange thing. What is it?"
Steelhead 2: "I dunno. You gonna eat it?"
Steelhead 1: "I guess."
And back on dry ground...
Angler 2: "Whoa!!! Fish on !!!!"
Angler 1: "Damn! What'd he take?"
Angler 2: "Orange yolk-leaking egg, size 10. Better put one on now, Dude!"
Angler 1: "Well, I've got an orange egg pattern, but it doesn't have the leaking yolk."
Angler 2: "Shit, man. I think you're screwed. Hey!! Fish on !!!!!!"
[This piece was published in a slightly different form in the Fall 2013 issue of "The Drake" magazine. Thanks to Tom Bie and "The Drake" for putting it out there.]