Just wanted to say THANK YOU again for spending the day building relationships with our kids! It was so wonderful for them to get to learn and decompress for a little bit!! We appreciate you and your team so much!

Arkansas Department of Children and Family Services

Little Rock, Arkansas, Second Chance Ranch Project

Lead Mentor: Jess Westbrook 

Project location: Bryant, Arkansas 

Year project founded: 2016

Mentors on this team: 15

Children mentored to date: 117

Children to be mentored in 2021: 30

Local foster care partners: Second Chance Ranch, Project Zero, Department of Children and Family Services

Local companies that support this project: J.A. Riggs, B.R. McGinty, Riggs Outdoor, River Valley Horticulture, Krystina Bullard Photography

Support The Mayfly Project

Little Rock, Arkansas, Second Chance Ranch Project

For foster children, it does not matter how old you are, where you live or what you parents did that required the state to remove you from your home – chaos is all around you. Even when things appear to be ok – there are still questions, there is still abandonment, there is still hurt. With chaos comes hope and with hope comes longing. Longing for friends, Longing for family, Longing for someone to care. The Mayfly Project meets foster children where they are at – does not judge, does not discriminate, does not ask questions. When you get a foster child in the middle of a river fly fishing some pretty special things happen!

Jess Westbrook

Lead Mentor, Little Rock, Arkansas, Second Chance Ranch Project

Project Mentors

JESS WESTBROOK, LEAD MENTOR, TMP FOUNDER

Benton, Arkansas

The Mayfly Project was founded in 2015 by Jess. Jess is a life-long outdoorsman and avid fly fisherman. In 2008, Jess had the opportunity to work as a fishing guide in Alaska. While away from his family and everything he knew he realized how important time in on the river was to him, and how it could always be his home away from home. Later, after graduating college, he travel across the country with work. Again, even when he was away from home, he always felt comforted and “at home” if he had his fly rod with him.

LAURA WESTBROOK, CO-LEAD MENTOR

Benton, Arkansas

Laura has been fly fishing for over 12 years. With a lifetime goal to catch a fish on a fly rod in every state she has knocked 11 states off the list. Laura’s favorite way to chase trout is throwing gnarly streamers for big browns!

CULLEN BULLARD, MENTOR

Benton, Arkansas

MIKE WESTBROOK, MENTOR

Benton, Arkansas

Mike is a huge asset to foundation of TMP. Mike has over 30 years of fly fishing experience. He is an expert on swinging and tying soft hackles. Though most of his fishing is done on small streams his favorite fish to chase with a fly rod is Coho Salmon.

GREG LUNDSFORD, MENTOR

Benton, Arkansas

An Arkansas native and have been fishing from a very young age. I myself was in the foster system here in Arkansas so I can relate with the children we mentor. My hobbies are anything outdoors hiking, camping both tents and hammocks, fishing, hunting and many other things. Trout fishing is what I have been doing the most lately. It is incredible to be able to help give kids the opportunity to learn the love of being out in nature in the beautiful state of Arkansas.

CODY GRIFFIN, MENTOR

Forest, City, Arkansas

Born and raised in the Arkansas delta, Cody grew up fishing the many waterways the delta had to offer including the Mississippi, White, & St. Francis Rivers. Being raised on a farm, Cody has become a passionate outdoorsman and conservationist. Now an agronomist & youth educator for the U of A Extension Service he tries to instill his passion for the outdoors into today’s youth. In Cody’s free time he is chasing big browns on the Little Red River with his wife Megan and two labs Moose and Waylon or tying flies for fisherman all over the country. In 2018 Cody started Fin and Feather Flies and enjoys teaching other how to tie and fly fish.

MARSHALL DICKEY, MENTOR

Benton, Arkansas

Marshall was raised in the great state of Arkansas, growing up fishing with his Dad with traditional tackle (the Darkside) until discovering fly fishing in 2013 and with that fly tying and teaching others about the great sport. With a passion for everything outside, Marshall graduated with a degree in Outdoor Recreation and is a Recreational Therapist for the city of Little Rock working with persons with special needs which makes it an easy transition to caring and mentoring youth in foster care. He is married to his wonderful wife Lauren and they have a daughter named Gwyneth.

JARROD RUGGLES, MENTOR

Benton, Arkansas

I’m Jarrod and I’m an Arkansas native. I became obsessed with fly fishing and tying almost 20yrs ago at the prime age of 10. I still to this day fish a rod I built when I was an early teen that we call the green monster 😉
… (the name is appropriate) …
We spend almost all of our free time chasing trout on the various tailwaters here in AR and MO.

I’m super excited to be a part of TMP and share a passion that’s been so influential in my life with all of The Mayfly Project family!! I very much look forward to seeing young smiles light up the river as kids are making memories they will never forget.

WALTER MAHONE, MENTOR

Alexander, Arkansas

Growing up in Arkansas and spending most summers in Gunnison, Colorado, Walter has been fly fishing since the age of 7. From rowing his drift boat down the Gunnison River in Colorado, to catching bass in Arkansas, he loves every aspect of fly fishing! Understanding how important fly fishing and conversation is to the planet, he can’t wait to share his passion with others to ensure it is passed on. Being in law enforcement in Arkansas and Colorado since 2013, and specializing in crimes against children, Walter knows how important it is to take care of our youth. He knows that kids need the outdoors and the outdoors need kids. Apart from fly fishing, Walter spends 30-40 days a year hunting birds and training his crazy Boykin Spaniel, Jim.

DAN SHAW, MENTOR

Benton, Arkansas

A native of Georgia, Dan grew up bait and spin cast fishing with his father in the lakes and rivers of Georgia and Alabama. A busy corporate career and the activities of a growing family limited his fishing time for many years; however, a few years back Dan discovered the joys of fly fishing and since retirement spends as much time as possible on the water. A second home on the Little Red River in Arkansas provides plenty of opportunities to test his skills. Dan has been a CASA volunteer for 8 years and has seen the positive influence caring adults can have on children caught up in the foster care system. He looks forward to expanding his work with foster children by sharing the joys of fly fishing through the Mayfly project.

News & Events

Podcast with April Vokey, Anchored Outdoors

Podcast with April Vokey, Anchored Outdoors

We were thrilled to be on Anchored Outdoors Podcast, with the talented, April Vokey! Please check this podcast out and find out more about the founders, their vision, and how TMP is supporting foster children across the country here: Anchored Podcast Ep. 177: Jess...

The Gift of Fly Fishing, Fort Collins, CO

"Hello Bryan and Chelsea, I just wanted to share this great picture of Alicia catching a beautiful rainbow trout (I think) while we camped along the North Fork of the Gunnison River in Paonia. She really enjoyed fly fishing while out there and you can tell by the look...

Wet Fly Swing Podcast

Wet Fly Swing Podcast

TMP Founder, Jess Westbrook, is honored to speak with Dave Steward of Wet Fly Swing Podcast recently! Jess Westbrook shares the amazing stories behind the Mayfly Project that he created to help foster kids change their lives with fly fishing. Today, we find out what...

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Little Rock, Arkansas, Second Chance Ranch Project

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