This was the best day I’ve ever had in my life!

Foster Child

The Mayfly Project

Bozeman, Montana Project

Lead Mentors: Paula Nielsen

Project location: Bozeman, Montana

Year project founded: 2020

Mentors on this team: 13

Children mentored to date: 0

Children to be mentored in 2020:7-8

Local foster care partners: CASA

Local companies that support this project: Currently looking for sponsors and support for 2020!

Apply to mentor here.

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Bozeman, Montana Project

“Having worked with foster children in the past, I know how difficult and chaotic their life is on an on-going basis. An outdoor activity like fly fishing helps them deal with their everyday challenges, calms their mind, and gives them a sense of accomplishment.  The Mayfly Project gives them the training and tools to enjoy nature and have fun throughout their lives.”

Paula Nielsen

Mentor, Bozeman, Montana Project

Project Mentors

PAULA NIELSEN, LEAD MENTOR

Bozeman, Montana

Paula moved to Bozeman in 2004 to enjoy all the outdoor activities that Montana offers. She is passionate about fly fishing because it surrounds her with nature and is a wonderful form of meditation, as well as the excitement of having a fish on the line. She was a CASA in the past and feels strong that fly fishing offers children a way of coping with the challenges of everyday life. She is excited about her role as lead mentor and looks forward to touching the lives of foster children through fly fishing.

JAMIE VAN DYKE, MENTOR

Bozeman, Montana

Jamie is a third generation Montanan and lives in Bozeman. When she is not out enjoying time on a river, playing the mountains or traveling somewhere new you can find her selling real estate. Jamie has a passion the outdoors and is looking forward to settling into her role as lead mentor for the Bozeman Montana Mayfly Project!

MARY BLACK, MENTOR

Bozeman, Montana

A Memphis, Tennessee native, Mary grew up fly fishing with her father in the rivers of Arkansas, and then as a teenager started spending every summer fly fishing with her family in Montana. After dreaming of living in Montana, Mary moved to Bozeman in 2019 and now enjoys getting to fly fish and explore the outdoors with her family. She works as a Clinical Psychologist, and has an immense appreciation and passion for the mental health benefits of outdoor adventures, especially within fly fishing. Fly fishing encourages you to stay curious, challenge yourself, quiet your mind, and soak in the exhilaration of a fish on the end of your line. She can’t wait to share her passion for fly fishing within The MayFly Project!

LINDSEY KOCKA, MENTOR

Bozeman, Montana

Born and raised in the Midwestern “land of 10,000 lakes”, Lindsay was introduced to the world of fishing at her grandparents summertime cabin dock as a kid. While always upholding a passion for exploring the outdoors, she was introduced to fly fishing in 2015, and has since fallen in the love with the beauty and excitement of the sport, along with the breathtaking locales that fly fishing takes her. Splitting her time between the driftless region of Minnesota and the mountainous streams in Montana, she has an eagerness for showing new anglers the basics, while keeping things simple and fun. In becoming a mentor with The Mayfly Project, Lindsay hopes to be a source of support for those from all walks of life who are curious about what fly fishing is about.

KYLE WHEELER, MENTOR

Bozeman, Montana

An Illinois native, Kyle spent 24 years exploring the world thanks to the United States Army. Following retirement in September 2019, Kyle and his wife decided to live where they vacationed the most and landed in Livingston, MT. An avid outdoors-man, Kyle is also a Fly Fishing Guide in Southwest Montana. This project allows him to continue to be a servant leader by helping children.

News & Events

From Foster Care to Fly Fishing, Meet Mentor, Breezy Johnston

From Foster Care to Fly Fishing, Meet Mentor, Breezy Johnston

Breezy Johnston, mentor for Pikes Peak, CO project, talks about life in foster care and how fly fishing has become her home-base. We are thrilled to have Breezy joining our team and are so thankful for her willingness to share. We are inspired by folks who have been through the trenches and have found their niche in the world!

TMP’s COVID-19 Response and Fundraiser

The COVID-19 pandemic is creating unprecedented challenges globally, for our country and for our TMP and foster care communities. We are a nonprofit that values action, and we have been passionately working non-stop to continue to support the most vulnerable in our...

The Mayfly Project Mentee Curriculum Development

The Mayfly Project Mentee Curriculum Development

Last year we rolled out our new curriculum with the help of our fly fishing family and TMP partners! The impact of this curriculum has surpassed our expectations--the foster children we work with are able to use the curriculum with their mentors and then keep it to...

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Bozeman, Montana Project

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