“If I can help even one child find the kind of peace and love and respect for nature and rivers and fish that I have, even just a fraction of that, I feel I would be doing the world a great service.”

Silas Beck, Mentor

Fort Collins, Colorado Project

Lead Mentors: Chelsea and Bryan Smith

Project location: Fort Collins, Colorado

Year project founded: 2018

Mentors on this team: 8

Children mentored to date: 5

Children to be mentored in 2021: 10

Local foster care partners: Kids at Heart, with Heart of the Rockies Christian Church

Local companies that support this project: Younie Real Estate, Smith family

 

 

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Fort Collins, Colorado Project

“In today’s world, it’s so important to teach kids outlets to learn how to manage their emotions and to prioritize their mental health. For our Fort Collins project, we made it a point to always have important discussions about why fishing is not only fun, but a great way to handle the day to day stresses of school and a sometimes unpredictable home life. All the kids took this to heart and we could see them growing each session.” 

Chelsea Smith

Lead Mentor, Fort Collins, Colorado Project

Project Mentors

CHELSEA SMITH

Wellington, Colorado

Chelsea is a Colorado Native who grew up in the Foothills of Northern Colorado. She started fishing when she was a little girl with her Grandparents, and discovered her love of fly fishing over a year ago. Chelsea is a career firefighter for a department in Denver and loves serving her community. Her favorite things to do are escaping to the mountains, fishing, yoga, playing with her dog, and spending time with her husband.

BRYAN SMITH

Wellington, Colorado

Hi, my name is Bryan but most people call me Smitty. I’ve been fly fishing for about 20 years but have really been getting after it the past 10 years. Nothing makes me happier than rippin’ a streamer across a huge river. I’m native to Colorado and do most of my fishing here and in Wyoming. I went to Colorado State University and have degrees in Natural Resource Management and Forestry with a concentration in fire science. I was a wild land firefighter for 7 years and now I am a full time firefighter with the Poudre Fire Authority in Fort Collins. I live in Wellington with my my wife Chelsea, who is a Mayfly Project lead with me. Fly fishing is a huge part of my life and I’m excited to share my passion with anyone that wants to give it a try.

JAMES JAWOROWSKI

Fort Collins, Colorado

Born and raised in Fort Collins, Colorado. Grew up fishing and hunting all over amazing Colorado. I remember crossing rivers on my dad’s back as he waded across. I have been fishing all of my life and fly fishing for about 15 years. I’ve been professional wildland firefighter for 12 years now being lucky enough to work and see some of our beautiful remote areas in all of our western states. I have a wonderful wife and two amazing boys. I love helping others grow and teaching what I know. In my spare time I enjoy being with my family & friends, fly fishing new areas and backpacking in for archery bull elk! I’m beyond excited to be part of this amazing project and show and grow passion to kids about fly fishing and conservation.

SILAS BECK

Loveland, Colorado

Born and raised in Laramie Wyoming, Silas spent his early years with his father exploring the Medicine Bow National Forest along the Wyoming/Colorado border. Through the years, a passion for nature and fly fishing has been the driving factor for many a grand adventure and life in general for Silas. Being a useful and positive force in the lives of others has always been important to him as well. Helping others to a new found love, respect, and understanding of the natural world is the only thing more fulfilling than the peace and happiness he finds in it himself. His back ground in Water Quality, guiding in Wyoming and Montana, and unquenchable thirst for knowledge of “the life aquatic” have left him with an expansive knowledge of game fish and the waters they inhabit. Silas is humbled and very excited by the opportunity to begin the next grand fly fishing adventure as a mentor for the Fort Collins Mayfly Project.

DAN LECAIN

Fort Collins, Colorado

I spent my first 22 years in the outdoor wonderland of western Montana, learning to fly fish from my father who grew up in northern Idaho. I am now retired but my career life was doing research on global climate change and its affects on agriculture. I have lived in Fort Collins, Colorado for 34 years and frequently fish the nearby Cache La Poudre, Big Thompson, St. Vrain and Rocky Mountain National Park rivers. I love working with young people and have coached soccer, Odessy of the Mind and taught fly fishing to kids. I am looking forward to going fishing with some wonderful The Mayfly Project kids.

STEVE BECKER

Fort Collins, Colorado

I am a native of Colorado, but grew up on the east coast where I fished everything from farm pond to the Atlantic Ocean. When I was about 8years old I caught my first trout on a fly on opening day of fishing season. My wife and I live in Ft. Collins, CO.  We have four adult kids, and six grandchildren who variously live in Franklin, TN; Lincoln, NE and Freehold, NJ. When we visit them, we fly fish together.
I have been tying flies since I was 14 years and have shared my passion for tying and fly fishing in every way I could. Currently I teach tying to military vets during the cold months and assist them on fishing trips in the summer.
Teaching young people to fly fish has been very rewarding for me.
My thought is that there are no bad fish, and any body of water with fish can provide hours of relaxation and appreciation for the natural world around us.

KALEB BELL

Wellington, Colorado

I’m a Colorado native with a fly fishing and hunting addiction. Growing up on the western slope I found myself spending more time in the mountains than at home. I spend my falls in the back country in search of brook filled streams and my summers with screaming reels chasing carp. My father introduced me to fly fishing when I was 5 years old on the South Fork of the White River, little did he know it’d turn into the obsession it has today. It wasn’t long before I realized my home was on the water with a tight line, I can’t wait to set fire to that newfound passion for today’s youth and tomorrows future anglers with the Fort Collins Mayfly Project!

News & Events

Podcast with April Vokey, Anchored Outdoors

Podcast with April Vokey, Anchored Outdoors

We were thrilled to be on Anchored Outdoors Podcast, with the talented, April Vokey! Please check this podcast out and find out more about the founders, their vision, and how TMP is supporting foster children across the country here: Anchored Podcast Ep. 177: Jess...

The Gift of Fly Fishing, Fort Collins, CO

"Hello Bryan and Chelsea, I just wanted to share this great picture of Alicia catching a beautiful rainbow trout (I think) while we camped along the North Fork of the Gunnison River in Paonia. She really enjoyed fly fishing while out there and you can tell by the look...

Wet Fly Swing Podcast

Wet Fly Swing Podcast

TMP Founder, Jess Westbrook, is honored to speak with Dave Steward of Wet Fly Swing Podcast recently! Jess Westbrook shares the amazing stories behind the Mayfly Project that he created to help foster kids change their lives with fly fishing. Today, we find out what...

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Little Rock, Arkansas, Second Chance Ranch Project

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