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: Doug Rohrer

Project Location: Southern California – Los Angeles County (possible adjacent counties depending on mentors and foster candidates)

Project Founded: Kicking off in 2022

Mentors on the team: 12

Children to mentor in 2022: 6-8

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

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

Mentor Application

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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 Douglas Rohrer

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 2018. 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.

DOUG ROHRER, CO-LEAD MENTOR

Los Angeles, California

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.

MIKE MILLER, MENTOR

Camarillo, California

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.

DAVID GINS, 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.

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

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!

SETH ALLYN, MENTOR

Irvine, California

My name is Seth and I while I live in Orange County, my mind is in the wilderness of the mountain rivers. How can a place be peaceful yet exciting, frustrating yet rewarding, and unconquerable yet nurturing? I don’t know but something magical happens when you put a fishing rod in your hand, and I want to share that with everyone! One of my favorite fishing moments happen when I was teaching a friend to fly fish. He hooked into two fish at the same time on his first cast, which is something I have never done. I hope I can have the same kind of results with the Mayfly Project. See you on the water!

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.

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.

CONNER MEHL, MENTOR

Lone Pine, California

Conner grew up in the mountains of Southern California camping, backpacking, and hunting. He has dedicated his career to protecting our National Forests as a wildland firefighter and spends his free time hunting and fishing these same forests. Conner recently relocated to the Owens Valley where he has pushed himself to fish big and little water at both high and low altitudes, essentially willing to go anywhere there are fish. He is committed to conservation and learning all he can about the outdoors. Conner brings a unique perspective, with his wife having grown up in the foster care system. This has sparked an interest in providing opportunities and encouragement that his wife missed with the hopes of opening the world of fishing.

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.

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.

News & Events

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Los Angeles, California Project

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