“There was so much going on in my life that was out of my control, so I gravitated to the outdoors to find control. It became a place where I could go to find some peace and away from life’s confusion and uncertainties [from life in foster care],” Jackie Prock said.
The mission of The Mayfly Project rings dear to the heart of fly fisher and fly tier, Jackie Prock, as she was sent into life in foster care at the young age of 4 years old. Her and her siblings bounced around in the foster care system as caseworkers tried to track down her biological mother, who had abandoned them. After a while, she and her sister were adopted by a local family, but they were tragically separated from her two other siblings who were adopted by another family with very little contact.
Life recovering from foster care was difficult, but Jackie eventually found some coping tools that would help her find her place in the world.
“I was thankful for my adoptive family and my adoptive Grandparents, who took care of me often. My Grandparents were the ones that introduced me to the great outdoors at a young age, which was so important for me in my childhood” Jackie said.
Her adoptive Grandpa took her fishing with a temper telescopic fishing pole, and from there on she was hooked—ditching out on the dresses for catching fish and playing in the mud outside. “I loved the opportunity to be alone and to discover new things in nature,” Jackie said.
It wasn’t until later in life that she found the art of tying flies. “I started getting into fly tying before I got into fly fishing. Fly tying was cool to me and it became my way of coming home from my stressful job and life, to decompress,” Jackie stated. Eventually, she started fly fishing after being drawn to the graceful casts and fly presentations.
Her adventures in fly tying and fly fishing led her to partnering with Bob Clouser, legendary angler and fly innovator, to create new popular flies, such as the Clouser’s JP Dazzler fly Jackie became the webmaster for their online fly shop https://clousersflyshop.com/. Fly fishing became more than a hobby to Jackie, it became her way of life.
Jackie and Bob plan to join The Mayfly Project’s efforts in Florida in 2021, as they both emerged from a troubled childhood, to find the sport of fly fishing, which changed their lives.
“I want to help with TMP because I know that spending time in nature and fly fishing is a time where you can forget about your worries and shut out the world for a little while, which is so important for foster children,” Jackie said.
Jackie also hopes to pass down an opportunity to lead others to the sport, similar to what her grandparents provided to many foster children throughout the years when they worked at a group home near their hometown. “I would go visit with the kids that would stay at their group home and to encourage them that life does get better and because I know about dealing with those feelings of abandonment and finding healthy coping mechanisms,” Jackie stated.
Thank you to Jackie, for sitting down to chat with us at TMP and for sharing your encouraging story. To find out more about The Mayfly Project in Florida, or donate to this cause, please go to this link . To shop or say hi to Jackie and Bob, please visit them here: https://clousersflyshop.com