Fly fishing today was the most fun I’ve ever had!
Columbus, Ohio Project
Project Lead Mentor: Pam Allen
Project Co-Lead Mentor: Tyler Wright
Project location: Columbus, OH
Year project founded: 2021, by Andy Scott
Mentors on this team: 20, currently adding mentors to the team for 2024
Children mentored to date: 12
Children to be mentored in 2024: 10
Local foster care partners: Various foster care agencies
Local companies that support this project: Nocterra Brewing, Public Lands, Frog Water Tree Farms, Cabela’s, Mama Mimis TakeNBake Pizza, Mad River Outfitters. Continuously searching for local partners and community support.
Apply to Mentor Here!
For more questions about this project, contact Pam Allen: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Columbus, Ohio Project
I believe there is such value in getting kids outside. There is a healing power in being surrounded by creation. I’ve always thought that the word “recreation” gets cheapened a little if we only think of it as play. I think that being out on the water, feeling it run around you, and engaging with creation on a personal level can have an effect on our souls and can be used to truly “re-create” us. If we can use this tool to help some kids who are in a tough spot, sign me up!
PAM ALLEN, LEAD MENTOR
Lewis Center, Ohio
I was born in Louisiana and raised in northwest Ohio. My family always camped and enjoyed the outdoors, but neither of my parents fished. I caught my first fish at a family reunion and was hooked. That year I asked Santa for a fishing pole. I fished used that spinning rod on our family camping trips and at our annual trip to Lake Erie. When we were first married, my husband and I fished the river behind our house often. He introduced me to fly fishing and after some initial growing pains I’ve grown to love it!! Just standing in the river and becoming immersed in nature heals my soul. I’ve fished all over the US in both freshwater and salt. I’m a member of Trout Unlimited, Ohio Women on the Fly, Central Ohio Fly Fishers and Buckeye United Fly Fishers. I was a Girl Scout leader for my daughter’s troop and am currently a volunteer with Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing (veterans fishing) with the Columbus chapter. I look forward to continuing to share my flyfishing passion with the Mayfly Project youth.
SAM HANNA, CO-LEAD MENTOR
Raised in Northeast Ohio, Sam relocated to Arizona in 1974 for post graduate study at Northern Arizona University. Outdoor recreation occupied his free time since childhood appreciating countless fishing and hunting experiences in areas of the Great Lakes, Southwest Deserts, Rocky Mountains, Northern Michigan, Alaska, and Canada. Central Ohio became the family home in 2003. Now retired after an eclectic career that started with youth work, he is seeking pastimes that support a passion for fly fishing and the type of service that was performed fifty years ago. Sam recently launched an online directory of fly fishing guides and is looking forward to participating with Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, and The Mayfly Project in Columbus.
DEREK NOLL, MENTOR
I’m a Midwest born Occupational Therapist with a heart for service, a deep appreciation of wild places, and an interest in cultivating the same in the next generation. Time outside is a blessing that everyone deserves to experience.
THERESA CASEY-FAUVER, MENTOR
Born and raised in central Ohio, I fished lakes over the years, so when my three children were old enough, we started fishing the river behind our house! Great fun and the kids were better at it than me! Then I was introduced to fly fishing and absolutely loved standing in the river absorbing the natural beauty! I’ve waded rivers big and small in Tennessee, North Carolina, Colorado, Michigan and of course Ohio! Retired now, outings with the Ohio Woman on the Fly, Buckeye United Fly Fishers and Trout Unlimited (TU) have given me memorable learning experiences. Along with leadership roles in 4-H, Girl Scouts and Project Healing Waters (veteran fishing), I see the Mayfly youth with a few fish tales of their own along with many smiles!
CHUCK STATLER, MENTOR
Mount Vernon, Ohio
At an early age, I realized my passion for fly fishing and the outdoors, coupled with a sharing heart was a blessing from above. I’ve utilized the sport, and the incredible places it takes us, in my personal, academic, and professional life for over five decades. Fly fishing to me is an avenue to teach a life skill, helping someone make that first cast, sharing the relaxing rhythm of a casting stroke, the peace that comes from listening to the running river as it moves around you or the lapping of the waves on the shore, the rush of a rising trout or salmon, the excitement of a rod jolting strike, the thrill of bringing a fly caught trophy to the net or hand, swapping stories, sharing techniques, seeing beautiful places, making friends, reconnecting with family and sharing my faith. My goal has always been to pass on my passion for fly fishing and wild places, help individuals gain knowledge and understanding to add to their lifelong adventure of fly fishing memories and hopefully open an avenue for fly fishing to bring positive benefits to their life.
ZACH SWISHER MENTOR
Zach grew up fishing in the lakes, rivers and streams of Ohio and Northern Ontario. He learned to fish from his father, grandfather and uncles and gravitated towards fly fishing over the last thirty-five years. Zach is an attorney who started his legal career working with high-risk juveniles in the criminal justice system. He enjoys sharing his love of fly fishing and the respite it provides with others and looks forward to his ongoing role as a mentor with The Mayfly Project.
LANDER ZOOK, MENTOR
Grandview Heights, Ohio
I grew up in Southeastern Ohio spending most of the time outdoors, fishing and wading the Hocking and Scioto rivers. Most of my summers were spent with my little brother fishing throughout Florida and the Carolina’s, praying for a bull redfish or snook to hit our lines
After college at Ohio University, I moved to Columbus to work in data and machine learning. As I got older I realized those memories of catching endless pinfish or bluegill were quite a gift to have. I hope to help others find their passion in fishing and the outdoors.
GARY JOHNSON, MENTOR
I have been fishing since I was a small boy, having transitioned (permanently) to fly fishing after my retirement from the Fire Department in 2012. I currently work as a Program Director/Professor at a two-year college and spend as much free time as I can spare enjoying this sport. I served many years as an adult advisor in Scouting and Venturing as well as a Special Olympics coach and enjoy working with youth. I particularly enjoy fishing for not only trout, but especially bass and northern pike, the latter up in Northern Ontario. Any time on the water and outdoors is time well spent.
JESSIE BURAN, MENTOR
Growing up & early into my career – I was in a constantly moving, I have now been an Ohio resident for 11 years & am happy to call it home. My husband introduced me to flyfishing about 8 years ago & I was hooked. We go on several trips a year traveling all over the country & world to experience different types of fishing & cultures (Montana, Idaho, Canada, Uruguay, New Zealand, Bolivia, Argentina… the list is ever growing). It has become a true passion & there is not a better to cure for the soul than being outside in the fresh air & fishing, whether you are catching or not! I am always looking for new experiences & adventures in the flyfishing world & can’t wait to share my passion with this amazing team & group of kids!
ADAM BUNNELL, MENTOR
I have three kids, one of who also likes fishing. I have been fishing my whole life, these days it’s mostly on the fly, but I’m happy to fish any technique. If you know a good ice fishing contact with a warm shelter, let me know – that’s one I wanna try.
Outside of dad time I also volunteer with Scouts. Lots of camping, hiking cooking and adventuring.
We live in Hilliard and try to hang with friends and neighbors that will have us.
TYLER WRIGHT, MENTOR
I grew up in middle Tennessee, and although I spent a lot of my time outdoors, it wasn’t until college that I first picked up a fly rod. I had fished with traditional tackle before, but never took to it quite like I did with the fly rod. This lead me to sneak away any chance I got to get out on the water with my new hobby. After finishing up graduate school, I relocated to Columbus for work. I am excited to be a part of such a wonderful organization, and I hope to pass on a passion for fly fishing to all our mentees.
SARA ROBINSON, MENTOR
Growing up wild and wonderful in West Virginia, I made my way through Tennessee and back up to settle in Ohio for work as an Architect. I picked up a fly rod for the first time in 2021 after winning a full outfit in a fundraising raffle for Project Healing Waters. After learning how to cast and catching my very first little bluegill I knew that this wasn’t just another hobby, it was a new passion. Two years later I’m excited to share this love of the water, fly fishing, and adventure as a mentor with the Mayfly Project.
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Columbus, Ohio Project