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: Caitlin Korchnak

Project location: West Michigan – Grand Rapids, MI

Year project founded: 2020

Mentors on this team: 12

Children mentored to date: Starting 2020

Children to be mentored in 2020: 10

Local foster care partners: Wellspring Lutheran Services

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

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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

CAITLIN KORCHNAK

Grand Rapids, Michigan

I began fly-fishing at the age of twelve when my dad asked me to join his annual King-salmon trip on the PM. It has always been something special I share with him and the memories we have reeling in Kings will forever be cherished. We still go on the same trip, every year, and while the river around us changes and the people who used to join us can no longer make it, my dad and I, every year, make time to get in the river, drink coffee, and talk. As one of four daughters in my family, I greatly look forward to fishing Kings with my dad. As I grow to expand my passion of fly-fishing I have taken up trout-fishing, (or I’m trying at least), I have joined the FlyGirls of Michigan to share the love of the sport with fellow women fly-fishermen, and I participate in local Trout Unlimited Events. In addition to Fly-fishing I am a hobby beekeeper, baker, quilter, and Michigan nature enthusiast. I am beyond excited to grow my passion and skills of fly-fishing as I share the sport with local foster children throughout West Michigan.

ANN MILLER

Grand Rapids, 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

Grand Rapids, 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

Grand Rapids, 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

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 coldwater 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.

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2019 TMP Impact Results!

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  2019 was an extraordinary year for The Mayfly Project! With the help of all of our lead mentors, mentors, partners, sponsors, and donors, we have impacted the lives of over 250 children in foster care this year! Beyond the list of statistics below, we wish you...

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Grand Rapids, Michigan Project

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