This was the funnest day I’ve ever had in my life!

Foster Child

The Mayfly Project Mentee

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: 27

Children to mentor in 2024: 8

Local foster care partners:  Olive Crest, Department of Health and Welfare

Local sponsors/company partners: RFO Holdings Ltd., Fontamillas family.

Local Articles:

Western Outdoors News

www.pnwflyfishing.com 

Southern Sierra Fly Fishers Newsletter

 

Mentor Application

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 and David Gins

Lead and Co-Lead Mentor, Los Angeles, California Project

Project Mentors

JANE MILLER, LEAD MENTOR

Camarillo, California

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.

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

Azusa, California 

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

Anaheim, California

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

Pasadena, California

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

Born and raised in Seal Beach, California. Anissa grew up fishing and skiing in Mammoth Mountain and June Lake. It wasn’t until 2021 when she inherited a large amount of fly fishing gear that she ventured over to the fly fishing side. During the day she spends her time in the classroom teaching special education students. When she isn’t out fishing, she can be found watching her son play baseball. With a combination for the love of the outdoors, fly fishing, and giving back to children Anissa is looking forward to sharing her enthusiasm with the kids and being a mentor with Mayfly Project

EDITH FIGUEROA, MENTOR

Menifee, California

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

Pasadena, California

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.

JEFF APREGAN, MENTOR

Westlake Village, California

Growing up in Central California, our family spent a lot of time in Yosemite and my brother and I were introduced to fishing at a young age. An uncle of ours was instrumental in sparking our interest and after all these years, my brother and I still spend time together fly fishing.
Now retired, I am fortunate to have even more time to spend outdoors. My wife and I live on a residential lake filled with fish and we spend lots of time in Mammoth Lakes, where we hike, fish and ski. My greatest joy is spending time with family and friends in the mountains.

Fly fishing has provided me with the most fulfilling adventures. I am excited to share my experience and to be mentoring for The MayFly Project.

MARK VAHRADIAN, MENTOR

Los Angeles, California

I remember vividly my early days of spin casting with a rooster tail for rainbow trout in Twin Lakes California, an hour north of Mammoth. In the past twenty years I have been fly fishing all over the western states like Montana, Colorado and Idaho. I have waded and floated the Blackfoot, Bitterroot, Rock Creek, the Elk River, the Frying Pan, the Missouri, the Roaring Fork and many more rivers and streams in search of Rainbows, Bull Trout, Brownie, Brookie and cut throat trout. Fishing has brought me lifelong long friendships and a great appreciation for nature. In real life, I am a film producer at Paramount Pictures. My favorite film is of course A River Runs Through It. For decades, I have been a mentor to Duke University Alumni seeking to enter the media business and also as a member of the Motion Picture Academy.

CHELSEA VAHRADIAN, MENTOR

Los Angeles, California

My husband first introduced me to fly fishing about 20 years ago. And it was love at first bite. Actually, I caught about 20 fish on the Blackfoot River that day. Serious beginner’s luck! I have been fly fishing for many years ever since thanks to my two boys, Wes(16) and James(14), who are HOOKED on fly fishing. They catch a lot more fish than me now! Even though we live in urban Los Angeles we still manage to get our rods out and fish locally as well as out of state. I am forever grateful that I learned to fly fish and can’t wait to hear those words “Fish On” with the kiddos of The Mayfly Project.

WES VAHRADIAN, MENTOR

Los Angeles, California

Hi. My name is Wes and I’m a high school student at Campbell Hall. I’ve been fishing for over 10 years mostly in Montana, but also in England, Idaho, Canada and California. My father introduced me to this incredible sport when I was a toddler and I have never stopped working to improve my fishing skills. Most recently, I’ve been working with various Los Angeles organizations in their attempt to restore the largely unknown LA River to its natural state. I’ve always had a passion for adventure and fishing and am looking forward to sharing my angling knowledge and expanding the fishing community in Los Angeles.

JAMES VAHRADIAN, MENTOR

Los Angeles, California

Fly fishing is a huge part of my life and I have been doing it for over 10 years. Hello, my name is James and I am 14 years old. I’ve lived in Los Angeles my entire life and have been fly fishing in Montana for just as long. I am so excited to teach kids how to fish as I love teamwork and fishing is my passion. My favorite part of fly fishing has to be being out in nature with my friends and reeling in fish all day long. I look forward to working with the Mayfly Project and hope to pass on my knowledge to many others.

CHRIS WILLIAMS, MENTOR

Los Angeles, California

I have been fly fishing for over 20 years of mylife. In the past few years I have picked up fly tying. As an avid fly angler I live for all things fly fishing. One of my dream careers is to be a guide. I love sharing my knowledge and experience with others. Watching people who have never even picked up a fly rod grow into awesome anglers is very rewarding. I think sharing this great sport with the youth will show them a way to unlock hidden potential in themselves and the world. It is a great way to see new places and meet new people.

DENNIS, E MCCARTY, MENTOR

Los Angeles, California

I was born in Redding California, and had an interest in fly fishing and fly tying since I was eight years old, which continues today. I’ve been fly fishing and fly tying over 65 years, mostly in the western united states, the exceptions being Cape Cod Mass and the state of Virginia. I had my own fly fishing business in the early 70’s and 80’s until the economy took a nose dive, thus, my business as well. I also did freelance writing for Angler Magazine and the Feather River Magazine. I one of the founding members of the Ventura County Sespe Fly Fishing club back in 1971 and I’m currently the Fly Tying Director for the Club. I look forward to mentoring and do what I can to help the Los Angeles May Fly Project.

CHAD BOURGET, MENTOR

Ventura, California

I’m a Southern California native now living in Ventura. I Jeep, hike, fish, adventure all over the Sierra Nevada and local mountains with my son. My passion has turned to high alpine lakes and golden trout, but I will fish all kinds. I am a spin/gear catch and release guy who is transitioning to fly fishing, please be patient.
I’ve taught, coached, mentored in some fashion throughout my adult life from youth sports to the Ventura County Criminal Justice Training Center. In my twenty-five-year career as a public servant, I’ve had many experiences with foster children and believe projects like Mayfly can bring hope, knowledge and growth to all involved. My family consists of my wife, son, six dogs, two cats, horse and Macaw.

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