I love fly fishing! Thank you for your help!

Mentee

The Mayfly Project

Huntsville, Alabama Project

Project Lead Mentor: Jeremiah Russell

Project location: Huntsville, Alabama

Year project founded: 2023

Mentors on this team: 13, Currently accepting applications to join our team!

Children to be mentored in 2024: 10

Local foster care partners: Madison County Foster and Adoptive Parent Association (https://mcfapa.life/)

Local companies that support this project:  Orvis Huntsville and Riverside Fly Shop (https://riversideflyshop.com/).

Apply to Mentor Here!

Contact Lead Mentor: jrussell@jp2falcons.org

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Huntsville, Alabama Project

“Introducing children to the art of fly fishing is not really about the fish we catch. It’s about helping them, as it helps so many of us, by providing an escape, promoting character, building relationships, and connecting us with nature.” 

Jeremiah Russell

Lead Mentor, Huntsville, Alabama Project

Project Mentors

JEREMIAH RUSSELL, LEAD MENTOR

Decatur, Alabama

A native of Knoxville, Tennessee, Jeremiah developed a love for fly fishing as a teenager, wading the streams of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. He left his East Tennessee home to pursue higher education in other states around the southeast, until he settled in Alabama with his wife and two daughters, first as an assistant professor at a regional state university and now as a private school administrator in Huntsville. You can find him on local waters about every weekend. He is honored to serve as lead mentor for the Huntsville Mayfly Project and share the wonderful gift of fly fishing to area children in foster care!

ANDRE DAVIS, MENTOR

Birmingham, Alabama

Growing up in central Missouri, I’ve been around water my whole life. From the Missouri to the Mississippi Rivers, and all the tributaries and streams that flow into and well up from our endless cave systems, a hook and line were never far away. I found fly fishing due to the kind guidance of the folks at Tochterman’s in Baltimore just over a year ago, now I teach fly casting and tying at Orvis as a volunteer! When not on the water, my wife (a 6th grade teacher) and I historically work with local housing communities and kids through volunteer work. We love being able to give back the many blessings that life has afforded us and look forward to doing exactly that alongside the wonderful team at the Huntsville Mayfly Project!

WADE BLEVINS, MENTOR

Decatur, Alabama

Wade is a native of Huntsville, AL and grew up exploring the mountains and rivers of the TN Valley. His father, Sam Blevins, introduced him to fly fishing. He quickly became an accomplished angler and fly tier. As members of the TVFF, and FFF they often attended conclaves & demonstrated tying flies. In the mid 90s, Wade managed a fly shop and taught classes on fly tying and fly fishing. With 45+ years of experience, he is carrying on his father’s legacy of tying flies and encouraging others to learn about this beloved sport. He and his wife, Cathy, live in Decatur, AL and have 4 children. He is honored to be selected as a mentor for The Mayfly Project and looking forward to working with the Huntsville project team and foster children.

PAUL TERRY, MENTOR

Hueytown, Alabama

Paul grew up fishing for trout and salmon in the great Pacific Northwest. He didn’t fly fish at all in the south until recently, when he learned that someone put trout down here. And then, when he was enlightened to the joys of fly fishing for our native midland and upland species in their native places, it was game-on! You almost can’t keep him off the water, and he’s looking forward to sharing what he’s learned with everyone he meets, including the next generations at TMP.

ANGELA TERRY, MENTOR

Hueytown, Alabama

I grew up in Alabama. My early years were spent growing up off a dirt road in the country and fishing local waters with my pawpaw. The simplicity of growing up in rural Alabama ignited my love for the beauty and peace found in nature. When I am not working I enjoy spending time with my family, kayaking, hiking, and fishing. My husband introduced me to fly fishing in 2018. Since then I have found that I really enjoy fly fishing. The serenity found on the water is unmatched. I look forward to mentoring with The Mayfly Project to help kids learn a new hobby. My hope is to help these kids create fun, positive, and lasting memories that will remain with them a lifetime.

STEVE OSTASESKI, MENTOR

Clay, Alabama

Steve grew up on Long Island in Oyster Bay, New York. He spent his formative years fishing Long Island, never anticipating arriving in Alabama fly fishing for bass. He has been a sailor, a horseman, a gambler, and a community planner. For Steve, fly fishing is a pastime, a relaxing activity, a pleasure, an exercise, and an interest to be shared. He is far from being an expert at anything but showing someone the elements of fly fishing to be enjoyed.

CONNER BAKER, MENTOR

Decatur, Alabama

Connor’s interest in fly fishing started a few years back. After finding work in North Alabama, Connor needed a fun hobby. Fly fishing was the perfect outlet, combining his enjoyment of the outdoors with his love of exploring. From a military family, Connor has lived in several different states and a few different countries. He is a member of Tennessee Valley Fly Fishers in Huntsville, having held several different positions on the board of directors. Connor does not have a favorite species to target. He enjoys cold water, warm water and salt water fishing. Connor is honored to be a part of the Mayfly Project, and excited to teach what he has learned to others.

JEFF BOWEN, MENTOR

Huntsville, Alabama

I am a native of Huntsville, AL and was fortunate enough to be introduced to fishing before being able to walk. I grew up fishing the Tennessee River lakes and as an adult have been lucky enough to flyfish all over the country in both fresh and saltwater. The best part of flyfishing for me has been sharing time on the water with my wife Susan who always catches the bigger fish. I look forward teaching the children who particpate in the Mayfly Project and also learning from them.

BRIAN MCGRATH, MENTOR

Florence, Alabama

I’m 74 years old, retired and divorced. I have raised 3 sons and taught them all to fish. I grew up in Southern CA. Beginning at 5 my dad took me fishing at local jetties, backwaters, and surf fishing. I have fished my whole life both ocean and freshwater. At 16 I discovered freshwater trout fishing in the Eastern Sierras. I’ve lived in Virginia, Central Texas, and recently moved to NW Alabama. I took up fly fishing 4 years ago along with fly tying. I am and adventurer and traveler. My purpose is to give back and make a positive impact thru fly fishing and tying. I believe it is better & easier to raise a healthy child than trying to fix them later in life. I look forward to my role as a mentor in the Huntsville, AL Mayfly Project

STEVE OSTASESKI, MENTOR

Clay, Alabama

Steve is a New York native who began his journey south nearly 50 years ago. When he arrived in Alabama he was fortunate enough to discover fly fishing. His vocation is community planning and project management, but his dedication is fly fishing. He is thrilled by the opportunity to share the joy of fly fishing with interested children. He is thankful for the opportunity to participate in the Huntsville Mayfly Project.

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