I think the healing powers of fly fishing and the one-on-one attention from a mentor will build self-confidence and be fun for the kids. 

Janet Mason, Mentor

Grand Rapids, Michigan Project

Grand Rapids, Michigan Project

Lead Mentor: Bob Lett

Project location: West Michigan – Grand Rapids, MI

Year project founded: 2020

Mentors on this team: 12

Children mentored to date: Starting 2021

Children to be mentored in 2021: 10

Local foster care partners: Wellspring Lutheran Services

Local companies that support this project: Nomad Anglers, Orvis Grand Rapids, WACS Adventure.

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Grand Rapids, Michigan Project

“West Michigan has a culture of fishing and a culture of giving; this project marries the two perfectly. We cannot wait to teach this hobby to our local youth”. 

Caitlin Korchnak

Lead Mentor, Grand Rapids, Michigan Project

Project Mentors

BOB LETT, LEAD MENTOR

Rockford, Michigan

“A PA Native I was fortunate enough to grow up among many Class A trout streams. Although I did not start out fly fishing, I grew up on the water as a spin fisherman. It wasn’t until I was in college that I met some new fishing buddies who showed me the world renowned streams throughout Pennsylvania and expanded my horizons to larger fish in the Salmon River in NY. I moved to Michigan in 2017 and have been exploring the beautiful landscape, lakes, streams and rivers that this state has to offer. Growing up, I was a Boy Scout which started my journey into coaching and leadership. I was also a ski instructor and race coach in PA and NH. Outside of fishing and my long list of hobbies, I am a Husband and Father of 3 children that I enjoy exploring the outdoors with. I look forward to sharing my passion of fishing and the outdoors with The Mayfly Project.”

ANN MILLER, MENTOR

Benton Harbor, Michigan

Ann Miller has been fishing her entire life, and can now say that she has been exclusively fly fishing for more than half that time. A life member of Fly Fishers International and Trout Unlimited, she decided to become more active in the Great Lakes Council of the FFI over 20 years ago, becoming editor of the now defunct newsletter, The Leader. Editing quickly lead to writing, and before long she was penning essays for other publications.

While teaching beginning and intermediate fly fishing schools, she became frustrated with the lack of comprehensive Midwest information on insect hatches, taxonomy, behavior, and flies to match them. An aquatic biologist, she decided to tackle the world of bugs head on, and the result is the Hatch Guide for Upper Midwest Streams. The field guide was published in January, 2012 by Frank Amato Publications.

In addition to writing, Ann is a founder and current president of Flygirls, an organization whose purpose is to help women become involved in fly fishing. The club was founded in 1996 and continues in its purpose to teach women to fly fish as well as provide fly fishing and fly tying outings in Michigan and beyond. More information on Flygirls can be found at http://flygirls.ws.

LINDY IHRMAN, MENTOR

West Olive, Michigan

I have loved the outdoors and fishing my entire life. While I fist learned to fly fish earlier in my life I have recently come to feel very passionate about the sport. There is nothing like standing in a stream teaming with life and surrounded by natural beauty to feel you are a part of something bigger than yourself and to feel it’s healing properties my soul longs for.

Before joining The Mayfly Project I am an active member of Flygirls of Michigan who help women get more involved in fly fishing as well as volunteer as a casting instructor for Trout Unlimited’s Stream Girls which teaches young girls the benefits of fly fishing. I am truly excited to be a mentor for the West Michigan Chapter of the Mayfly Project and working with our local foster care kids on the healing powers of fly fishing.

MARCUS DEJA, MENTOR

Ada, Michigan

Marcus has always had a passion for the outdoors. As a child he grew up camping, backpacking and hiking with his family. These early experiences rooted in the outdoors have developed over time to include a recognition of the importance of conservation. By participating in an introductory fly-fishing course at a local fly shop in 2013, Marcus was able to find a channel for conservation. He later joined the Coldwater River Action Group (CRAG) to bring these ideas to life. He is still a member of CRAG where he and his colleagues actively look to improve the quality of the Coldwater River and bring community members closer to this resource. As an educator, Marcus has served students in Kent County since 2009. Through the Mayfly Project he is able to bring the joys of nature to children in foster care.

JAMIE VAUGHAN, MENTOR

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Jamie Vaughan is the Project Manager for Trout Unlimited’s Rogue River Home Rivers Initiative. Through her work, Jamie’s had great success using fly fishing as a tool for hands on environmental education. She is passionate about getting youth outdoors to explore Michigan’s cold-water streams through citizen science and recreation. Jamie strongly believes in the power of outdoor recreation to improve social health and wellness. She looks forward to mentoring foster children using her background as an environmental scientist and her passion for fly fishing and outdoor adventure. Through a love of fly fishing, Jamie believes that children develop a relationship with the natural world that helps them become empowered environmental stewards through adulthood.

KIM SEARS, MENTOR

Rockford, Michigan

As a Michigan native, I grew up on the Thornapple River fishing for panfish and bass.  I was handed down my first fly rod at the age of 10 and fell in love.  I got away from fly fishing in my 20s when I tried the bass tournament scene for a few years.  When the tournament fishing became work, I lost a lot of the interest that got me into it, so I went back to fly fishing and tying my flies. My fly-casting experience ranges from trout on delicate 4-weight and micro-spey trout rods to bass and steelhead on heavy 9-weight two-handed and full Spey rods, yes, even Tenkara.  I enjoy tying simple flies that only take a couple of materials and can be tied in just a few minutes. Losing them doesn’t hurt so bad. Sometimes when I’m fly fishing I will just stop to listen to the river and the birds, and just take in nature while I look for rising fish. I am one of the few male members of Fly girls of Michigan and as the father of three daughters, I am excited to see more women on the water enjoying this beautiful sport. Outside of fly fishing – I am a designer in the tool and die trade, a volunteer guide for West Michigan Kayaking and Paddle Club, and a member of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary. I look forward to sharing my fly-casting and fly-tying knowledge with The Mayfly Project mentees.

News & Events

Giving Tuesday Success, 2021!

Giving Tuesday Success, 2021!

WOW!! Thank you to our Fly Fishing Family! We have reached $37,000 on our Facebook fundraiser after Giving Tuesday! We had so many generous donors yesterday and people sharing our fundraiser! TMP's Giving Tuesday Fundraiser There were 55 individual Facebook...

Giving Tuesday, 2021!

Giving Tuesday, 2021!

November 30th, 2021 is Giving Tuesday, an important day for TMP where we work together to raise funds for 2022 Projects! Check out our new projects we're adding to our map next year. More Exciting News:We have donors that will match us on Giving Tuesday up to...

The Big Event, Arkansas

The Big Event, Arkansas

The Big Event, Arkansas When you hear, "This was the most-normal I have felt in a long time," from a child in foster care, you know the time you spent with them was important. A few weekends ago in Arkansas, we had 4 projects travel to fish at Dry Run near Mountain...

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Grand Rapids, Michigan Project

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