Fly fishing today was the most fun I’ve ever had!


The Mayfly Project

Cleveland, Ohio Project

Project Lead Mentor: Brian Bruening

Project location: Cleveland, OH

Year project founded: 2022

Mentors on this team: 9

Children mentored to date: 8

Children to be mentored in 2024: 6-8

Local foster care partners: Currently networking for partners.

Local companies that support this project: Currently searching for local partners and community support.

Apply to Mentor Here!

For more questions about this project, contact Brian Bruening:


Support The Mayfly Project

Cleveland, Ohio Project

The Cleveland Chapter of the Mayfly Project is thrilled to be the next stop for fantastic mentorship program teaching children the excitement that is fly fishing and the value of conservation. The Mayfly Project provides mentorship to for foster children to develop angling skills and knowledge that mentees can apply for years to come. Besides learning the technical side of the sport, the Mayfly Project will welcome foster children into the community that comes along with fly fishing.

Brian Bruening

Lead Mentor, Cleveland, Ohio Project

Project Mentors


Lakewood, Ohio

A Cleveland native, Brian began fly fishing in 2014, targeting Steelhead in the Northeast Ohio water system from the Vermillion River to the Conneaut River.  Brian has gone on to fish and explore the surrounding fisheries including Pennsylvania, Maryland, Michigan and West Virginia.  Any free time not spent with his wife, Lindsay, and daughter, Brian will be out exploring a new river system or learning something new about the sport.  As lead mentor for the Cleveland Mayfly Project, he hopes to share and instill his passion for the fly fishing and the outdoors with the next generation of anglers.


Cleveland, Ohio

An Akron native, Tony began Fly fishing when gifted a starter kit at 14th birthday and never looked back. Tony has gone on to fish and explore the surrounding river systems including Pennsylvania, Colorado, Montana, Michigan and West Virginia.
Any free time not spent on the water, Tony can be found learning more about the sport and sharing the passion for the outdoors.


Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Chris grew up chasing fish in Western Pennsylvania. Grad school took him to Northeast Ohio where he met his wife and has called home for over 40 years. When he bought his first fly rod in the early 90’s, his life changed forever. With steelhead alley as his home waters, he ventures far and wide to find fish. He has fished in 15 countries and 22 states. He most enjoys saltwater fly fishing due to its visual nature. He is a co-instructor for “The Ethos and Practice of Fly Fishing”, a class taught at Hiram College where he and his partner have introduced fly fishing, conservation, and fly tying to students for the past nine years. He works as a management psychologist and is on the board of a nonprofit community mental health organization.


Rocky River, Ohio

A Native of Michigan, Jim grew up fishing the rivers of Northern Michigan with his dad. He was introduced to fly fishing through Boy Scouts and eventually took up fly tying in middle school. After High School he joined the US Coast Guard and became a helicopter pilot. He was lucky to serve all over the US from Florida to Alaska and fed his fishing hobby whenever not on duty. He is an avid spey fisherman for steelhead but loves fly-fishing in any form. He has an instructional background enjoyed teaching many friends and coworkers how to fly fish over the years. He is excited to share his passion for venturing into the outdoors and Fly Fishing, especially the respite they provide from the stresses of daily life.


Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Born and raised in PA, Josh grew up chasing trout on his local streams with his dad. They could often be seen making a few casts before school . . . elementary school. Josh made his way to Cleveland in 2015 “for work” – at least that’s what he told his wife. Everyone knows it was for the steelhead. He, his wife, and kids now call Chagrin Falls home. Josh started fly fishing over 20 years ago and spin-fished before that. While Steelhead Alley is nearest to his heart, Josh also enjoys chasing trout all over the country as well as Alaskan salmon. He believes the best way to see the world is with family and a fly rod in hand. He developed a passion for teaching the sport as he recalls all those who volunteered their time to teach him.


Hudson, Ohio

An Ohio native, Leslie grew up walleye fishing Lake Erie with her grandpa and going on fishing trips to Canada with her family. She picked up a fly rod in high school, which ingrained what she knew would be a lifelong journey. She has grown to really appreciate Ohio for its amazing fisheries, landscapes, and ecosystems. She majored in Zoology from Miami University and continued her passion for the environment and conservation through her career as a high school science teacher. She recently started a fly fishing club at Mentor High School and in her free time you can find her on the river or in the woods. She really enjoys sharing everything she appreciates with the youth and watching them grow as environmentalists themselves!


Cleveland, Ohio

I was raised in Lakewood, Ohio and grew up fishing the Rocky River. I moved to San Francisco when I was 20 years old and spent the following decade cooking professionally in the bay area, as well as in Europe. I hung up my chef whites and went to guide school in Colorado, and subsequently left the restaurant industry to become a professional firefighter. I couldn’t be more excited to lend some of my life knowledge to new fishers.


Lakewood, Ohio

Cody grew up in a town east of Pittsburgh, PA and at the age of 12 began fly fishing with his Uncle . They would fish the small blue line streams of PA for trout after school and on weekends. At the age of 14 Cody’s parents were going through a divorce and this is when Fly fishing quickly became a healthy obsession and a way to truly relax while enjoying nature. He currently lives in Lakewood, OH, married and a father of two daughters. Cody and His wife Kelsey are licensed foster care providers in the county the reside in. When Cody learned about the Mayfly project he immediately wanted to join in hopes to introduce more people to the sport of fly fishing and the benefits it has brought him over the years.

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