- Guiding fly fishing is a profession and our Seattle fly fishing guide staff take this seriously. We work exceptionally hard to ensure our staff are heralded as respectful, knowledgeable and courteous pro’s by our industry colleagues. Our goal is to provide the highest caliber of service mixed with an unparalleled level of expertise to help you enjoy your time on the water with us to the fullest.
- Our staff boasts experience in both guiding and fly fishing all over the planet for nearly any species of fish you can conjure up. Collectively we pool these experiences, bringing up the level of knowledge among our staff enabling us to teach you the craft of fly fishing from nearly any perspective. The application of these experiences on our waters translate into you learning more about this sport and enabling you to take your new found skills and better use them on your home water. Our Seattle fly fishing guide staff and their experience will ensure you leave us a vastly improved fly angler.
- All of our guides also teach all of our fly fishing classes from casting to in depth immersion schools. We feel this is important to allow us to help novice to expert anglers alike learn as much from us during the day as possible. This isn’t just rowing a boat down the middle of the river. It is discussing equipment, tactics and approach, flies and skill sets for small creeks, tropical saltwater, tail-water trout and two handed casting for anadromous species. We guide more types of water in Washington than anyone. The knowledge demanded to successfully do so means you are in as capable of hands as you will find.
- The staff at EWA are constantly proving to be legitimate professionals within the industry. Among our staff we have several FFI Certified Casting Instructors, hold a variety of Ambassador/Advisory/Pro Staff positions from highly respected equipment manufacturers such as Thomas & Thomas, Winston, Scott, Patagonia, Costa, Airflo, Echo, Bauer, Rajeff Sports and Fisknat, 7 are widely published photographers as well 5 of them are published authors. We are all CPR/First Aid Certified, licensed and insured.
Dave McCoy — My dad introduced me to fishing as well as experiencing and enjoying life in the outdoors. Growing up in the Eugene area, my stomping grounds were and remain legendary namesakes; Crane Prairie and Hosmer Lakes, the Deschutes, McKenzie and Umpqua Rivers to name a few. I quickly discovered the thrill of having a fish on, but was always in awe of my surroundings. I have now been in the fly fishing industry in one form or another for 21 years now professionally and am relentlessly striving to surpass expectations everywhere I can. I am nothing in my pursuits without my wife Natalie and daughter Nessa who constantly remind me why I am so inspired, without saying a word. Patagonia, Thomas and Thomas, Nautilus, Costa and AMFF Ambassador, Rajeff Sports Pro Staff Member, Keepemwet Fishing Ambassador and FFI Certified Casting Instructor, Swiftwater Rescue Technician, Photographer
Speaking Points – Global Travel, Retail, PNW Conservation, Spey Casting, Washington/Oregon Fly Fishing
Jason Rolfe — I can still remember the visceral jolt of adrenaline that shot through my body the first time I ever hooked a salmon. It was on the Nisqually river in South Puget Sound near where I grew up, and though I lost the fish at the bank that thrill never left me. After a long hiatus from fishing, I took up fly fishing soon after college and began the long journey from dabbler to obsessive. I borrowed my girlfriend’s car to go fishing in the Cascades for rainbows and coastal Cutthroats, and rode my bike to the beaches of Seattle to chase sea-runs. When I moved to eastern Europe for a couple of years, I brought my rod and reel with me and managed to fly fish in Ukraine, Romania, Croatia, and Bosnia/Herzegovina. After several years spent working in the education field, I finally decided it was time to take a break from the non-profit grind. These days, I swing for steelhead and chase sea-run cutties every chance I get; Editor of The Flyfish Journal and promote other fly fishing writers and artists I admire through Syzygy Fly Fishing.
Capt. Caldwell “Rohr” Rohrbach — Fly fishing, although I did not always know it, has been in my blood and is my true calling. I grew up with a rod in my hand, exploring the salt or rivers with several generations of men in my family. However, in the recent past, lacrosse was my obsession which opened doors to college and beyond. Even so, the water was calling and I found myself drawn to any species I could find at my current locale. I have fished the waters from coast to coast but always knew that Washington’s plethora of species, techniques, and environments created a unique opportunity. I find most joy, standing knee deep on a rocky beach with the tide pushing cool water through my legs, looking out to passing whales, seals, and osprey, while targeting SRC and salmon. I am an avid fly tier and celebrate the success in cracking the code of a new beach, river, or species. Beyond the waters in Washington, I feel just as at home on the warm salt water flats and find the pressure addictive! If I am not targeting fish, you will find me kite-boarding local beaches, surfing the Strait, or paddle boarding local lakes. By developing my photography skills, I also find pleasure watching others experience the joys of the outdoors through the lens of my camera. As a former college lacrosse coach, teaching is my passion whether that means tweaking your cast, or helping you approach a new body of water confidently, I am here to help in whatever way possible. Swiftwater Rescue Technician, GLoomis Pro Staff
Zach Rhoades — Originally from the Central Coast of California, I spent most of my free time chasing waves up and down the coast. When I moved to Washington, my attentions were quickly focused to the wilds of the North Cascades, Mt. Rainier, and the Olympic Peninsula. On countless trips to ski, climb, backpack and surf, I began paying more attention to the beautiful creeks and big rivers I passed along the way. Unwilling to drive or hike past these familiar waters anymore, I picked up a fly rod, and never looked back. Fly-fishing for me is a simply a pure, artistic, and beautiful way to interact with nature; the awe-inspiring wild. I love getting to those “hard to reach” places both on guided trips and my own days on the water. Whether it’s by horseback, drift boat, or good ol’ felt soles, let’s get out!
Cole Leishman — I grew up knee deep on a Cascade blue line with fly rod in hand. Like many Western Washington natives, I spent most of my childhood near the water whether it was targeting salmon off the beaches of Whidbey Island or fishing the local lakes and streams for trout. I have always been enamored with fish of all kinds and the curiosity of what lies beneath the surface has always been part of my life. It wasn’t until college that I fully realized my passion for the sport and that I wanted to make it a lifestyle. Skipping class and social events became a regular occurrence for the sake of hitting that fabled salmonfly hatch, exploring new stillwaters, or swinging flies for steelhead on the Olympic Peninsula. One thing that I have learned about fly fishing in Washington is that you have to be flexible. Each season brings a new challenge, requiring a different set of skills, gear, and a tank full of gas. It is with these diverse fisheries that we become better anglers, finely tuning ourselves to chase any fish on the planet. I’m excited to help new and experienced fly fishers explore all that our wonderful state has to offer, west and east of the Cascades. Winston and Bauer Pro Staff
Matthew Dahl — From about the age of two I was holding a fishing rod in my hand. My parents raised both my brother and I fishing all around Minnesota and southern Ontario for walleye, pike and everything in-between. During the winters when we wanted a break from ice fishing, we would head down to Florida to fish off the keys. Although, when I was younger I think I spent more time in the bait tank swimming around with the bait… I ended up in Washington after Joining the Military after High School and was stationed at Ft. Lewis near Lakewood, WA. In 2010 I deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, training local Afghan Military and Police around the district of Kandahar. Towards the end of the deployment I was injured during a walking patrol from an IED. I was awarded the Purple Heart for the injuries I sustained. After returning, I was stationed in South Korea where I fell down the deep, dark hole known as fly fishing. My first serious experience fly fishing was when I got the chance to fish the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) on the border of North and South Korea. After my time in the service I returned to Washington. I then partnered with Soul River Inc. out of Portland, OR where I was a board member and volunteer/guide for their program taking inner city youth and Veterans on environmentally focused expeditions around the United States and the Arctic Circle. I stepped down after about 3 years to start a family with my wife. When I am not busy being a dad, you can find me on the water teaching others what this great state has to offer!
Dale Booher — I was raised outside. Growing up on a farm in Ohio taught me many things, but most importantly to love and respect the environment we live in. Fishing for bass in our lake was a way to bond with my dad, but my mom was the first person to introduce me to fly fishing. When that happened, it was game over for everything else. Transitioning from a serious tennis career, the fly rod replaced the racquet as an extension of my arm. It became an obsession, an outlet, and a passion. For me fly fishing is the holy grail of experiencing the outdoors. Standing in moving water and using our knowledge to find (or be bested) by some of the most pure and important species in the world is the most progressive, satisfying thing I can find to do. Being able to experience the same feeling with like-minded anglers on the water, coupled with a camera, lightens my being. A student of the sport, I am constantly learning and keen to the nuances of water and fish behavior. It might be the best feeling in the world thinking “I know there’s a fish right there and I know its going to take this fly…” and actually being right! Having fun on the water and learning comes first, no matter where it takes me. Most of the time I get lost, literally, but I always come back with stories! Washington presents constant challenges and ever-changing fisheries, but that is the best part, it builds character. We must remember that it is an honor to be able to connect with fish on the fly, and that they do for us much more than we do for them. My favorite days are spent exploring new water with my partner Hannah and our two Catahoula Leopard Dogs, Lupin and Cae-Du.
Nolan Myers – Born and raised in Puyallup WA with a fishing pole in my hand, my father can definitely be blamed for my fishing obsession. We spent my childhood chasing the Chinook and Silver Salmon that run though the rivers of our amazing state. 3am alarms clocks, driving on empty freeways in total darkness, a quick stop for a breakfast sandwich, stomachs growling because someone didn’t pack the lunch cooler, dad finally reeling up his line well past last light. From dawn til’ dusk we would fish with relentless patience. Some of my favorite early memories were from the banks of a river. Fast forward to today, obsession and patience still pumping through my veins, you will find me spey rod in hand, swinging for steelhead up north and west on the peninsula. Tradition at my core, I love tying classic steelhead flies and taunting fish with them. I am passionate about sharing my experience through guiding, casting instruction, and cultivating a love for fly fishing and conservation in others. Along with fly fishing, I love spending time with my wife, backpacking, traveling, and advocating for clean water and fish habitat.
Kristen Bufe — Hey all! I’m the self plroclaimed dry-fly-diva of the Midwest, and I joined Emerald Water Anglers to build the women’s fly fishing community through guided trips, retreats, classes, and schools. With 10 years of experience on the water, I enjoy exploring Washington’s fisheries, tying flies, learning to row, and meeting new fishing pals. Come say hello!
Kiki Contreras — A fifth-generation Pacific Northwesterner and fourth-generation fly angler, I grew up waist-deep in the cold, swift waters of Cascade Mountain creeks. It’s telling that my earliest fly fishing memories are not of fish caught, but of encounters with silent, watchful beavers and nests of frenetic American dipper hatchlings, of hands stained by riverside snacks of wild blackberries and thimbleberries, of tracing the lazy descent of sun-lit cottonwood leaves, and of the unyielding rush of water against my hole-in-the-knee blue jeans. For me, fly fishing is a window into a wilder, simpler world where I’m just a guest, an observer. I’m grateful for every opportunity I get to visit. Introducing others, particularly women and children, to that world has brought me great joy over the last several years.
Jeff Crosetto — My dad introduced me to rivers and fishing at the tender age of four loading me into a drift boat on the Klickitat in the pursuit of steelhead. I was introduced to fly fishing at the age of nineteen when a friend took me to Silver Creek Idaho and put a fly rod in my hand. That was the beginning of the obsession and since then I have have roamed the world chasing any species of fish that will chase a fly. Fly Fishing has become more to me than just hooking a fish, it’s about spending time with friends both new and old, visiting new destinations around the world, and getting off the beaten path so see the beautiful places that many people miss. When I’m not on the water you can find me spending time with my fiancé Karen and our two dogs Marcel and George.
Johnny Kellogg — I grew up on the Salish Sea, spending my time between Seattle and the Gulf Islands in British Columbia. Raised with a fly rod in hand, I’ve spent my entire life fly fishing and adventuring around the Pacific Northwest’s mountains, rivers and beaches. As early as I can remember my dad would load me up in our 18ft center console and we would hunt Puget Sound in search of Sea Run Cutthroat and Coho Salmon. I spent high school summers studying flats ecology on Eleuthera in the Bahamas, specifically the effects of light pollution on Bonefish in Exuma Sound, where I fell in love with the pursuit of saltwater game fish. After graduating high school, I traded the ocean for the mountains to attend Colorado College where I am currently a sophomore. I am living the dream in Colorado, chasing trout and powder while exploring the Rocky Mountains.
Kayla Lockhart – I now call Portland, OR home but, am native Midwesterner from the land of 10,000 lakes, MN. I am the Second oldest of 7 girls (yes, that’s right SEVEN!). My Father introduced all of us to the outdoors but it was clear to him that I was taking it a bit more seriously than my sisters and he jumped on the opportunity to have a little fishing and hunting buddy. Being in the outdoors is something that I learned at a young age on how it can be a resource for both, healing and excitement. I found my love for fly fishing in 2014, and jumped with both feet into it! Signed myself up for every class available and never looked back! Since then I have caught over 40 species on the fly and live for the places that fly fishing brings me too. The travel to me is one of the most exciting things involved with fly fishing. I have now Fished waters all over the US, Mexico and the Bahamas and my bucket list keeps on growing! When I do find time to pull myself off the water you can find me playing music (ukulele, banjo, fiddle), painting/drawing, embroidery, and riding the PNW trails on my dirt bike!
Bill Marts – My adult business and hobby-life of 50+ years has revolved around fly fishing and not much else. It has included teaching – fly tying, fly casting, fly fishing ( three years as the head of Sage Fly Fishing Schools), and rod building. I have owned 2 flyshops and worked for two others. My last job was as the Saltwater Travel Expert at The Fly Shop in California, which fished me all over the world but mostly saltwater flats. I have managed to catch, on a fly, everything from catfish to billfish and steelhead to bones and GTs. What has this got to do with Carp guiding? My love for sight fishing in skinny waters is what makes me appreciate carp fishing in the shallow waters of Eastern and Central Washington. I fish for carp the exact way I fish for bonefish: I sight fish for them. Spot the fish. Stalk the fish. Cast to the fish. Hook the fish!!!! I look forward to guiding again for these special fish.
Mark Freda — I was born and raised in Barrington, IL and have fished since I could hold a rod, but was not exposed to the gentle art of fly-fishing until the age of fifteen. The Midwest does not offer many opportunities to fly-fish for cold water species so I was introduced to Colorado waters by my father. My first experience fly-fishing for trout was a three day float down the Gunnison River in Colorado…this was all I needed! From that trip forward I vowed to spend my life learning everything fly-fishing could offer. Over the past 19 years I have traveled from Colorado to Alaska, Oregon to Mexico and literally everywhere in between in search of new rivers, new people and new experiences. It has never really been about catching fish though that is nice as well. Now residing in Seattle, WA, this state of mind drives why I guide, to share all I know about this amazing sport with hopes I can help other appreciate it as well.