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One simple question – what do you look for in a fly fishing kayak?
Recently, Ben Duchesney, who some may know from his work with Kayak Angler Magazine, Kayak Fish, Field and Stream, and Post Flybox, among others, published a book titled “Kayak Fly Fishing”. The 190-page offering discusses the ins and outs of paddling, choosing the right boat and gear, and fly fishing for various species in all sorts of situations and environments. Notably, the book features three members of the Wilderness Systems kayak fishing pro staff: Chris LeMessurier, Juan Veruete, and Drew Haerer.
Given their extensive knowledge on the subject, we caught up with these three to ask them one simple question – what do you look for in a fly fishing kayak? Specifically, with all the talk of kayaks specifically designed for fly fishing, we wanted their input regarding their favorite Wilderness Systems kayak to fling flies from. Here is what they had to say.
“Rather than owning a dedicated fly fishing kayak, I prefer a kayak that is a versatile design and various features. The ATAK 140 has many features that make it an awesome fly fishing platform that paddles well and can be used from wide-open lakes to rivers to skinny saltwater flats.”
“To be most effective as a fly angler, you have to be able to stand. Stand up stability is at the top of my list when selecting a kayak to use as a fly fishing platform. I choose the Wilderness Systems ATAK 120 for fly fishing all the way. It has rock solid stand up stability, is compact in size, has a big open deck plan and is versatile across many different types of waters.”
“I am minimalist on the water, so above all, I appreciate a big open-concept deck that I can customize. Because of that, I do a lot of fly fishing out of the ATAK 140. Don’t get me wrong, you can fly fish out of any kayak, but a boat with a nice seat, plenty of stability, and open space is perfect for me, and the ATAK series checks all those boxes.”