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Dave McCoy Shares His Water Story

Dave is the owner of Emerald Water Anglers and Dave McCoy Photography. He also serves in both the Patagonia and Costa Ambassador Programs and is a proud dad.

Q: What is your relationship to water?

A: I was basically raised on the water.  Growing up in Eugene, Oregon I was the son of a teacher who was led to water and the fish residing there from an early age himself.  Thus my weekends and summer were saturated with camping on or near the namesake lakes and rivers of Oregon.  Dad taught me to row his drift boat at age 7 or 8 and it was this I looked forward to more than anything.  Rowing the boat to the campsite at Davis Lake or taking the oars on the Deschutes or MacKenzie Rivers, I was in love and we always left with me wanting more.  Sadness always overcame me when we had to return home.

Through my late teenage years, there was push back on my end, I had had my fill so to speak.  However, those early years had imprinted on me and I was drawn back to water, utilizing skill sets I really had no idea I possessed until they were asked for.  Rowing boats, swimming, and eventually guiding fly fishing trips all over the western United States.

Q: How has it impacted you/what is its importance in your life?

A: In 2005, I had my daughter Nessa and through her eyes, questions, exploration, intrigue and naive curiosity, I came to realize that my life had to always involve water.  This consummation came at a price.  I couldn’t just be near it, I had to talk about, lead, and teach on it, help other endear themselves to it and ultimately protect it, in all its forms.

The single greatest achievement in my life is watching my daughter already show signs of compassion and dauntless protectionism for water and everything living in it because I know my baton has been handed off successfully.

Q: Do you have a favorite watershed?

A: The North Umpqua River owns my heart, but in Washington—the forks of the Snoqualmie River.

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