Store Profile

This fly fishing shop is one of the coolest spots in Seattle

  • Store Profile

Emerald Water Anglers is so many amazing things packed into one—fly fishing guide service, outdoor retail shop, and community hub

Dave McCoy was introduced to fly fishing at a young age. “I grew up in Eugene, Oregon with a father who was a teacher and chose to fly fish as much of the summer as he could and I became his partner in crime,” he said. McCoy learned to row a boat at age five, started catching steelhead trout around age seven, and acquired both a detailed skill set and an awareness of life outdoors all before hitting double digits.

McCoy continued to use those skills as a fly fishing guide, and was working in Colorado for a few different services when he and his wife decided to relocate to Seattle. McCoy decided to use his skills to open up his own guide service and shop, and created Emerald Water Anglers, Seattle’s fly fishing shop that offers professional guide service, travel experts, and an outdoor retail store.

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Thinking of those days when it was still cool to be closer than 6 feet apart. Soon enough we will be able to and we have a feeling it will be appreciated in a new light after all this is over. Who else can’t wait to wet a fly line? Photo by @dalegeorgebooher

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The challenge was clear from the start, but that didn’t stop McCoy. “We came up to Seattle and I tried to drop off my guide resume at most of the existing shops at that time in the area and nearly all told me I was a fool,” said McCoy. “Nobody viewed this region as a destination for fly fishing and it would fail magnificently.”

But, McCoy was stubborn and didn’t let the negative opinions distract him from his goal—and he was right to keep pushing forward. “As the internet came about, with one of the first websites for fly fishing in Seattle and photography being a strong suit of mine, my guide service grew quite quickly.”

Emerald Water Anglers also has a retail shop, not just guides, created to balance out the seasonality of guide work. “After about 14 years of guiding and having to find guide seasonal jobs in the winter, I determined it was time to add the retail component to my business model,” said McCoy. His shop is full of a wide range of outdoor gear, with some of the best brands in the game including Patagonia, Yeti, Stanley, and more, making it a place to shop for anyone with an outdoor interest. “I am very proud to be so closely affiliated with Patagonia in particular because of their prominent and vocal position on the environment,” said McCoy. “Living in the Pacific Northwest, we have a 360-degree view of the beautiful outdoors from most parts of our city, so that standard of doing business and advocating for keeping our world green is very important to EWA and our entire staff.”

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Doin’ the rainbow lean to land this bad boy in Alaska! Photo by @dalegeorgebooher

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During regular business, the shop hosts activities including book readings, photography shows, travel presentations, and nonprofit conservation nights. “When we opened, my goal was to create a space that didn’t just sell products and services but became a hub for our community whether they fly fished or not,” said McCoy. “Our sport has so much more to offer than just catching fish, and I absolutely love exposing that to those willing to give us a moment of their time.”

Another goal of McCoy’s when he opened? Inclusion. “When we opened the store, I was determined to welcome more women into a sport,” he said. “Now, we have a women’s group on Facebook that has over 800 members and we have and are always wanting to have women among our professional staff.” The shop also works closely with Casting for Recovery, a women’s breast cancer group using fly fishing as a coping and celebrating mechanism.

Whether you’re looking to fly fish in the future or just shopping for some outdoor gear, Emerald Water Anglers has everything you need. The shop has plenty of online shopping available now, and don’t miss the exclusive Emerald Water Anglers Boxes here on Buy It In Seattle!