Dan Blanton is a
master angler with an analytic mind and a deeply creative streak.
His work in promoting West Coast saltwater fisheries is so ingrained into
the sport as it's practiced today that it might be considered part of the
very core Blanton is also an avid sweetwater guy, and he's no
stranger to bass fishing. The Fatal Attraction is one of his most
effective patterns. Says Blanton; "I guess you might say that my
Fatal Attraction series is my answer to a hardware angler's spinner, the
likes of a Rooster Tail or a Martin Panther, which are deadly on all
manner of finny critters when in the hands of a talented spin-fisher.
Trout and bass are drawn from great distances by the tantalizing,
flashing, humming blades of these spinners; and the first thing any lure
must do before a fish will eat it, is to get the critter's attention. The
second thing the moniker must do, is to dupe the fish into perceiving it
as the genuine item - meal time! The Fatal Attraction fills both of these
requirements, and then some!"
The Fatal Attraction was
originally tied as a fry imitation for an Alaskan outing. The fly
itself was inspired by the Comet, a fly that was first tied for Northern
California steelhead and salmon waters by Virgil Sullivan. Blanton
tells the story of the Fatal Attraction on the
Outdoors Network web page, and the fly was featured in the premiere
issue of Fly Tyer
magazine back in 1995. Blanton ties the fly in nine different color
variations, including two that are designed to mimic small bluegill
sunfish, a favored food of big bass. I first came upon the Baby
Sunfish version of the Fatal Attraction on Ward Bean's website,
Warm Water Fly Tyer. For me it was a case of love at first
I fish the Fatal Attraction in
several of Blanton's color combinations, including Firetiger, Baby
Sunfish, and Natural. Of these, the Baby Pumpkinseed is my favorite.
From late June or early July, when a solid summer pattern sets in and the
water warms to the mid 70's, until late September when autumn's cooling
weather patterns dial water levels and color back up, this is a super
effective choice. From time to time I'll see small pods of
smallmouth cruising in the tails of pools or along the bank. When I
see that behavior I like to throw a Fatal Attraction 2 or 3 feet in front
of the pod and fish it with short, sharp strips of 4 to 8-inches,
mimicking the way a sunfish might swim. The result is typically
immediate and violent.
Fish the Fatal Attraction on
an intermediate fly line with a fluorocarbon leader to enhance it's sink
rate. This isn't a fly I fish on the bottom, but I definitely want the
presentation to be 2 to 3-feet deep if the water allows. And under
the clear water conditions of summer, bass can be as spooky as brown
trout. An intermediate line eliminates the shadows cast by the
turbulence of a floating fly line on the surface. In particular I
like a ghost tip or clear intermediate fly line.
And don't discount this
pattern for lakes and ponds. Largemouth bass, pickerel and pike all
dine on sunfish on something like a regular basis. In fact, big bull
bluegills will often smack a Fatal Attraction during and immediately after
the spawn. I believe the take the fly to be an intruder and try to
kill it or drive it off. I can't be sure why an 8" bluegill would
strike a 2" fly, but they do and this is the pattern that angers them
Hook: Mustad 9672 or similar 3xl
streamer hook, size 4, 6 and 8.
Thread: Olive, green or peacock Danville 140 denier, 6/0.
Tail: Flashabou color
Body: Continuation of the tail material
Light greenish olive hen hackle followed by orange hen hackle
Wing: Layered with pearl Crystal flash
on bottom, green bucktail, peacock Crystal flash and topped with 8 peacock
The correct color for
the Flashabou is Holographic 6943 and it's called "Firetiger".
Evidently the stamping on my package was incomplete and I read the partial
"3" as a "7" - mea culpa. This is a new color from
Hedron and it is available through
most dealers. Sorry about the confusion!