I love fly fishing! Thank you for your help!

Mentee

The Mayfly Project

Idaho Falls, Idaho Project

Project Lead Mentor: Celeste Cusack

Project location: Idaho Falls, Idaho

Year project founded: 2017, by Cody Nolan

Mentors on this team: 10 (currently adding mentors)

Children mentored to date: 14 children

Children to be mentored in 2022: 8-10

Local foster care partners: Gustafson House

Local companies that support this project:  Currently searching for community partners for 2022!

Apply to Mentor Here!

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Idaho Falls, Idaho Project

Every child tied their own wooly bugger and then went and caught fish on the fly they tied! They all had a blast and it was a day to remember, for sure. The smile on a kids face at the end of a project makes it all worth it!

Cody Nolan

Previous Lead Mentor, Idaho Falls, Idaho Project

Project Mentors

CELESTE CUSACK, LEAD MENTOR

Idaho Falls, Idaho

Celeste grew up in Montana but has established her home in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Celeste enjoys being involved in the community and is a volunteer EMT for Bonneville County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue. Celeste loves spending time with her son and teaching him the ends and outs of nature. Though she is fairly new to fly fishing, Celeste believes the mission of The Mayfly Project. What a joy it is to her to teach and help others, especially when it involves fishing. Her dream is to catch a giant brown trout but sardines are great too.

LESLIE SODERQUIST, CONSERVATION MENTOR

Idaho Falls, Idaho

A longtime resident of Idaho Falls, Idaho, Leslie has been fishing most of her life. She vividly remembers catching her first trout on a fly rod on a western Wyoming creek with her grandfather. Now retired, Leslie has more time to volunteer on conservation related projects as an Idaho Master Naturalist and with the South Fork Initiative. She loves to help others learn to fly fish and provides instruction for Casting for Recovery participants. Leslie is looking forward to helping youngsters learn to fly fish with The Mayfly Project. Her favorite fishing adventures are those found in the backcountry of Idaho and Wyoming.

ANDREW BOSWORTH, MENTOR

Idaho Falls, Idaho

I have been fishing all my life. My earliest memories fishing are with my grandmother on a small pond from a boat for blue-gills and with the old man across the street who taught me how to catch bass and catfish. I would get up in the morning and wait out in front of his house for him to say whether we were going or not. It wasn’t just the fishing but the time he and his wife shared with me. My life has been blessed with mentors who helped me become the person I am now, and I strive to project that same positive influence for others. For the last 20 years, I have been a high school science educator, focused on getting kids to feel confident and excited about science. Now I can share my passion for fishing with kids via the Mayfly Project. Life is good.

GRAHAM SODERQUIST, MENTOR

Rigby, Idaho

Graham Soderquist grew up in southeastern Idaho fishing on the Henry’s Fork and Southfork of the Snake River. He moved to northern Idaho where he attended the University of Idaho, then Washington State University where he received a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine degree. He then moved to northwest Montana where he practiced veterinary medicine and spent his free time fly fishing and exploring the Flathead River system. He returned to his childhood stomping grounds in 2018 and has enjoyed being back. When he’s not working with our four-legged friends, Graham enjoys fly fishing, hunting, hiking, horseback riding, and spending time with his dogs, Slim Pickens and Maggie Mae.

DAN SMITH, MENTOR

Rigby, Idaho

I started fly fishing in my early teens. My father was a bait fisherman and we fished together all the time, but I would get bored or distracted waiting. I saw some guys fly fishing for salmon at the mouth of the Saranac River on Lake Champlain in NY and I knew that was how I wanted to fish.

MORGAN AGUILAR, MENTOR

Picabo, Idaho

Morgan Aguilar grew up in New Jersey and graduated from Georgian Court University with degrees in English and Education. Morgan spent two years traveling, and fishing everything possible, while visiting 30 national parks, and 34 states. The Wood River Valley is where that road trip ended in 2017, after being drawn to the waters and the mountains of central Idaho. Morgan enjoys the teaching aspect of fly fishing as well as continuing her education and learning more about the always evolving sport. Morgan now lives in Picabo, Idaho, and is the fly shop manager at Picabo Angler.

DOUG KINNEY, MENTOR

Idaho Falls, Idaho

I grew up in the Sandhills of Nebraska. Growing up my father taught my brothers and I how to fish for Bass and Walleye from a very young age. On the weekends we fished out of a little 16’ aluminum boat chasing largemouth bass on the numerous gravel ponds along I-80. In 2006 I moved to Idaho to pursue my career as a flight nurse and enjoy Yellowstone country in the Intermountain West.  After moving, I picked up a fly rod and have been pursuing trout and steelhead ever since. I enjoy tying flies as much as fly fishing and learning the history behind each pattern and the tyers that invented them. I also enjoy teaching others how to tie flies. When I’m not working as a flight nurse you can find me making pizzas in a small little pizzeria I co-own in downtown Idaho Falls. I have a wife and 2 rescue dogs I enjoy spending time with camping and floating the rivers in my area.

NATE BURNHAM, MENTOR

Rexburg, Idaho

I grew up in northwest Montana. That is where I learned to love fly fishing. I am currently in college studying Biomedical Sciences. My plan is to graduate in December 2023 and apply to medical school the next year. My wife and I were married in September of 2020. She is studying elementary education. We both really enjoy being outside. We especially love hiking and fishing together. 

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Idaho Falls, Idaho Project

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