This was the funnest day I’ve ever had in my life!
Los Angeles, California Project
Lead Mentor: Jane Miller
Co-Lead Mentor: David Gins
Project Location: Southern California – Los Angeles County (possible adjacent counties depending on mentors and foster candidates)
Project Founded: 2022
Mentors on the team: 12
Children to mentor in 2023: 8
Local foster care partners: Olive Crest, Department of Health and Welfare
Local sponsors/company partners: RFO Holdings Ltd., Fontamillas family.
Support The Mayfly Project
Los Angeles, California Project
“The more we do, the more we realize what we’re capable of.” This quote by Millie Anna Prelogar in response to Amanda Gorman’s poem, ” The Hill We Climb,” embodies the goal of our team. We strive to create a safe, fun, engaging experience where children in foster care can learn something new in the great outdoors. With our mentors as the guide on the side, our children take part in the simple act of fly fishing that showcases and strengthens their skills of perseverance, consistency, conservation and grace. This takes on new purpose and each outing the possibility of a new adventure.
JANE MILLER, LEAD MENTOR
With over 27 years as an educator, Jane enjoys mentoring in her free time and is now the lead mentor for TMP Los Angeles after mentoring in TMP Seattle since 2017. In her day job, she partners with districts across the US to create equitable learning experiences and decrease the digital divide. When it comes to fly fishing, she is no stranger. Since 2004, Jane has enjoyed wading the rivers and oceans to refine her fly-fishing skills. The Mayfly Project opportunity brings together her love of children and her hobby of fly fishing. Sharing and supporting children in foster care through fly fishing offers the opportunity to explore conservation and the great outdoors that will make a lasting impression on both the children and Jane herself.
DAVID GINS, CO-LEAD MENTOR
Huntington Beach, California
David, a transplant from the Washington DC area, has been living in Huntington Beach for the past 14 years. He is the epitome of a waterman, he lives by, works with, and plays in the water daily. Weather it’s fly fishing, surfing, paddle boarding or scuba diving, he enjoys it all. But it’s fly fishing that changed his life. When he started in 2000 with his father, their relationship was broken and nonexistent. And it was definitely a rocky start learning about the sport and each other. But 20+ years later they became inseparable, traveling the country, talking about fish, and chasing them together on the fly. And when he’s not chasing fish, David is typically out sharing the stoke with others. On most weekends you can find him doing surf therapy sessions with veterans, children, and adaptive athletes. He also gives back to his community as he serves as a commissioner on his city’s Public Works Commission. Sharing his love for fly fishing will be natural for David and he will be an amazing fit with The Mayfly Project community.
MIKE MILLER, MENTOR
Mike grew up in Southern California where he enjoyed fishing, surfing, and year-round sports. Growing up and during college, he worked as a deckhand on a sport fishing boat out of Seal Beach CA. The sport of fishing has been a long-time passion but moving to Washington in 2003 began his love of fly fish. It has become such a passion that after visiting Belize, he dreams weekly of hitting the flats in search of stalking Bones, Tarpon and Permit. Over the past 20 years in his everyday life, Mike is a counselor that has had the opportunity to work with foster youth in high schools, community colleges, and universities. His professional mission is helping students to become what they want while managing the obstacles that life throws at them.
VIVIAN DAMO, MENTOR
She may be new to fly fishing, but growing up in Hawaii has instilled a love for nature and water. Some of her fondest memories as a child come from fishing for tilapia with a bamboo pole to diving for sea urchin in the ocean with her family. She loves traveling the world, learning about other cultures, photography and animals, especially her labradoodle Kai and springerdoodle Kasey. She feels that these wonderful life experiences have contributed to her positive and optimistic outlook on life and would love to share that with the kids involved in the Los Angeles Mayfly Project.
ROBB MOODY, MENTOR
Redondo Beach, California
A born and raised Los Angelino, I started fishing when I was 6 years old while camping with the family on the Kern River and have enjoyed it ever since. I’ve been primarily a spin fisher and have a yearly trip or two to get my deep-sea fix. It has been a while since I did much fly fishing with any regularity, but I’m excited to be getting back into the water. I’ve spent some time mentoring kids and young adults in foster care to be self-sufficient in the wild during extended backpacking trips. I’m excited to continue sharing my time in nature with kids that may learn to love it as much as I do. Robb and his spouse along with son (7) live in the South Bay, Los Angeles.
ANALIZA DEL ROSARIO, MENTOR
I’ve been fly fishing for over 9 years and I’m not only a member of a few SoCal Fly Fishing Clubs, but I have been the Women’s Director and Social Media Director for the SWCFFI, Media Chair for SSFF Club, Newsletter Publisher for Pasadena Casting Club, and Instructor for Celine’s Fly Gal Weekend since 2017. I have taken many fly gals on outings at LA River, San Gabriel River, Echo Park Lake, San Diego Bay, and many more. I have taught kids fishing the LA River with Trout Unlimited. Fly fishing is a great tool for mentoring because it’s a lot like life. Learning the hard lessons will help you maneuver through life better.
I received a business degree from Pepperdine University. I’m the founder of Social Bella Fly Foundation, a non-profit that empowers alopecia children to be confident in their new skin and lead the efforts in preventing bullying. Although, I’ve never worked with foster kids, I have worked with the Boy Scouts Troop #486 which might have similar guidelines.
JIM WILCOX, MENTOR
La Habra, California
Jim was born in Iowa and started fly fishing at the age of five with his father and grandfather on French, Glover, and Otter Creeks. He moved to La Mirada, CA when he was thirteen and fished all forks of the San Gabriel River. He has fished the Smokey Mountains, the Blue Ridge Mountains, Ohio Steelhead streams, Minnesota’s lakes, Georgia’s Chattahoochee River, the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Montana, and Yellowstone National Park.
Jim is retired after a forty-year career as a public-school teacher, having taught both middle and high school. He has spent his retirement refining his fly-tying, casting, and rod building skills, teaching all eight grandkids how tie flies. Jim is looking forward to volunteering with the Mayfly Project.
LINO JUBILADO, MENTOR
I am an experienced Southern California fly angler and an avid fly tyer who lives, eats, and breathes all things fly fishing. As an accomplished competitive angler, I have multiple bass tournament victories, big fish awards, and an American Bass Association, Angler of the Year title.
I love sharing my knowledge and experience with others and have been the featured speaker at many fly fishing events and also featured in the Los Angeles Times and Vice Media’s “Munchies”- Eating Sewer Salmon from the LA River, America Outdoors with Baratunde Thurston, and featured on River of Angels, a documentary about the LA River.
Professionally, I am currently a school nurse, and my education includes a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Social Work from USC.
Although I am not a guide, I have been very fortunate to have the opportunity to mentor and coach many great people to catch their first bass, carp, corbina, and many other species on the fly. Whether it be someone’s first or largest fish on the fly, I love watching the smiles and joy fly fishing brings to our youth more than anything.
DOUG ROHRER, MENTOR
While I’m native to Los Angeles, I grew up in rural New Jersey with the Rockaway River running through my backyard which provided a great opportunity for my dad and grandfather to introduce me to bait and fly fishing early on. Over the years fly fishing has provided many moments of bringing family and friends together and creating new enduring friendships with others who enjoy the outdoors, conservation of our waterways and holding something other than a mobile device for a few moments. The Mayfly Project presents a unique program to provide this same opportunity to children in need that otherwise may not be afforded the time, attention and access to fly fishing that so many of us are fortunate to enjoy. Doug and spouse Mary have a son (5) and daughter (9) and live in Lake Hollywood area of Los Angeles.
ALAN ROSS, MENTOR
Alan grew up in southern California and occasionally went fishing in the Sierras and on family vacations to Colorado, Oregon, Utah, and Montana. About 25 years ago he was having lunch with a business friend who suggested he come up to Hot Creek Ranch near Mammoth Lakes to give fly fishing a try. Soon thereafter, he joined the Fly Fishing Club of Orange County and has been taking trips ever since all over the west including Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, and Montana trying to catch that elusive 25″ brown trout. Over the past 15 years he has also been tutoring children after school.
ANNA YOO, MENTOR
Temescal Valley, California
Hi! I’m Anna Yoo and I live in Temescal Valley, CA. I am married to my high school sweetheart and we have two kids and two cats.
Being outdoors and exploring new places are a couple of my favorite things to do. I learned to fly fish at Southern Sierra Fly Fisher Club’s Celine’s Fly Gal Weekend in 2019. I have loved all the places it’s taken me and all the amazing people I’ve met along the way.
I am constantly learning and practicing to improve my skills and appreciate all the people who have invested their time and shared their knowledge to help me grow. I am excited to be a part of the Los Angeles Mayfly Project and to help introduce my favorite sport to these kids!!
DONALD SHAUL, MENTOR
Don grew up fishing with his father and grandfather in Northern California. Years later, he moved to Southern California and became a passionate flyfisher. As a recently retired (mostly) pediatric surgeon, he is spending more time on the water and at the vise tying freshwater and saltwater flies. He hopes to share his love and knowledge of fly fishing with children and knows that this will be inspirational for him and inspiring for the mentees. He will be involved with the Los Angeles Project of The Mayfly Project.
NED WEIDNER, MENTOR
When I was a kid exploring the hills and creeks of southern Ohio, my mom used to tell me to follow the river. ¨If you get lost, follow the river, and it will lead you home,” she would remind me anytime I went exploring. I have headed those words my entire life, and they have taken me to some pretty cool places and got me out of a lot of trouble. Now a college professor and writer, I call both Claremont, California and the Eastern Sierra home. Most of the time, you will find me either waist deep in one of my favorite streams or scaling a granite crag in the high desert. I look forward to sharing the lessons I have learned on the water and off with kids in the Mayfly Project.
BRETT BERKOWITZ, MENTOR
Los Angeles, California
I started fishing when I was 5 years old and have been fly fishing over 20 years. I’ve been fishing all over the world, but my favorite place is the Missouri River in Craig, Mt. It’s been an annual trip for over 10 years, and I look forward to it every year. Looking forward to getting out and helping to introduce younger people to the joys of fly fishing. Brett, spouse Linda and son (8) are residents of Los Angeles.
LILY SHEPHERD, MENTOR
My name is Lily Blake-Shepherd and I live in Pasadena, California. I love exploring new places trying to find native trout. I mostly fish with a nymph rig, although I hope to learn more ways to throw flies as I continue my fly-fishing journey. My favorite fishing story is when a mink swam straight between my legs as I was wading one day! Being still in nature is what keeps me coming back to the water. Can’t wait to fish together soon!
SAMUEL BOVARNICK, MENTOR
Los Angeles, California
Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, Sam grew up hiking and camping all over Mt. Hood. In 2017, he happened upon his dad’s old fly gear, took it backpacking and never fully recovered! When he’s not teaching high school English, Sam is thinking about fishing, tying flies, looking for new spots on Google Earth, or wetting line out on the water. Sam is passionate about stewardship of his community and his region’s natural spaces and is excited to combine those passions as a mentor with the Mayfly Project
RYAN STANLEY, MENTOR
Newbury Park, California
Ryan is a Los Angeles native whose passion for nature was fostered in the local mountains of Southern California. The local mountains gave way to the Sierra Nevada mountains, where his appreciation for the natural world became permanent. In 2013, he was given hand-me-down fly fishing gear, which set the stage for his love of fly fishing. Ryan cannot escape the world of fish. When he’s not trying to catch a fish for fun, he does it at work as a freshwater Fisheries Biologist, where he strives to turn his passion into action. He is looking forward to helping new adventurers explore the world of fish, spark their curiosities, and maybe even catch a fish!
JASON FORMAN, MENTOR
Los Angeles, California
Passionate about fishing and the great outdoors since childhood, I’ve cultivated a deep connection with nature. As a motion designer at FOX Ent for over a decade, I’ve crafted captivating visual experiences. From catching my first wild brook trout during a recovery journey to rescuing a swan entangled in fishing line, fishing has shaped my resilience and appreciation for life. Recently, I co-created an Emmy-eligible main title. In my spare time, I’m writing, designing, and animating a children’s book that aims to ignite young readers’ curiosity for fly fishing and the wonders of nature. Through fishing, I’ve learned adaptability, problem-solving, and the art of collaboration, enriching both my personal growth and creative endeavors.
TIM THATCHER, MENTOR
Los Angeles, California
Tim was born and raised in Southern California. He has been fishing his entire life all over California from the Trinity River to SoCal beaches, and everything in between. In recent years, he’s focused solely on fly fishing after watching his first large brown sip a dry fly. He is passionate about the outdoors as well as sharing his love of fly fishing with friends and family. He now lives in Los Angeles with his wife and their cat.
ANISSA ISEDA, MENTOR
Seal Beach, California
Anissa Iseda grew up in a small beach town in Southern California. Vacations were always to the Eastern Sierra growing up where her father introduced her to bait fishing early in life. Later her dad took up fly fishing and attempted to teach Anissa. It was until 2021 that she embraced fly fishing as a primary hobby and healing mechanism after the sudden loss of her father. Wanting to be able to share and teach children how fishing can serve as a transferable life skill/hobby Anissa is thrilled to be a part of Mayfly Project.
When not fishing, she can be found on the baseball field watching her son play and when she has to go to work, she can be found in the classroom working with students with mild/moderate learning disabilities. A lover of the outdoors. She has never met a sunset she didn’t like whether at the beach or the mountains.
EDITH FIGUEROA, MENTOR
I’m someone who loves interacting with kids and teaching. I’m excited for this opportunity to share a fairly newish hobby to me with kids. Though I’m not a “pro” at fly fishing (yet), I hope that spending time and sharing a skill with be impactful some someone’s life.
STEVEN HUNTLEY, MENTOR
50 years went by fast. That is how long I have been fly fishing. I started in the Air Force, and learned by just doing it. I have read, and watched videos, and tried all different techniques. I have been lucky enough to fish on multiple continents, and with mentoring guides. I have never been fishing, where I did not learn something. Recently, I have been teaching to the Boy Scouts, and members of my family.
News & Events
One month left to purchase your tickets to our 2nd Annual Mending the Line Fundraiser!!!! When – 6pm to 8:30pm – October 12th, 2023 Where – Chenal Event Center – 21 Rahling Circle, Little Rock, AR Guest Speaker – Hank Patterson Expect to enjoy an evening of TMP...
“But you live in McCall, 4 hours from our local project?” I remember asking Brian Oakland, of Got Fishing, when he first reached out to us and told us he was going to not only raise funds for our Idaho Projects, but he wanted to join our project in Coeur’d Alene. He...
2023 Fly Fishing Extravaganza in Butler, PA!! Join us for our 3rd annual day of instructional fly fishing on private property!! This will be a day of fly fishing, food, raffles, contests and FUN!! Details of the event are as follows: Date: August 19, 2023 Time: 9:00...
Support The Mayfly Project
Los Angeles, California Project
Questions or Need to Connect?
Stay in the loop with news, events, and updates from The Mayfly Project