I love fly fishing! Thank you for your help!

Mentee

The Mayfly Project

Phoenix, Arizona Project

Project Lead Mentors: Nicholas and Averie Elias

Project Conservation Mentor: Jen Graves

Project location: Phoenix, Arizona

Year project founded: 2022

Mentors on this team: 16 (Currently taking mentor applications)

Children to be mentored in 2024: 10

Local foster care partners: Brother and Keeps Corporation, Sunaire House inc. 

Local companies that support this project:  Arizona Fly Shop.

Apply to Mentor Here!

Contact Phoenix, AZ Lead Mentor: Tmpphoenix@gmail.com

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Phoenix, Arizona Project

I believe time spent outdoors can be very therapeutic and can help us all escape reality for a while. That is why this program is so important to me. It gives kids in foster care another outlet to manage stressors in their life in a positive way. We are teaching the ethics behind catch and release, how invasive species can ruin our water ways, and to leave no trace on our favorite waterways, in hopes of inspiring a new generation of environmental stewards.

Nick Elias

Lead Mentor, Phoenix, Arizona Project

Project Mentors

NICK ELIAS, LEAD MENTOR

Flagstaff, Arizona

I’m an Arizona Native. I grew up spin fishing for bass, crappie, and sunfish with my dad and brother. I discovered fly fishing about 3 years ago and I never looked back. It’s not always about catching the biggest fish, but about creating long lasting memories on the water. My heart lies in wildlife and fisheries conservation. I volunteer with a couple different organizations in the state that run projects to educated and inspire the next generation of safe, and ethical hunters. I am excited to kick off this project with TMP to inspire our next generation of responsible anglers.

AVERIE ELIAS, LEAD MENTOR

Flagstaff, Arizona

Originally from Sweet Home Alabama but a self-proclaimed Arizonan, Averie is an avid outdoorswoman! Hunting, hiking, rock climbing, and fishing are the key to this lady’s day to day sanity. Although she had a late start to the wonders of the outdoors, she spends most of her time outside of being a nurse enjoying the beauty and fun of nature and fly fishing.

STEPHANIE SERRITELLO, FORMER LEAD MENTOR

Phoenix, Arizona

Stephanie is a native New Yorker but has been exploring the fisheries of the west and southwest for the past several years. She loves fish so much that not only does she spend her weekends chasing them; she also made them her career. As a Fisheries Biologist, she has spent a lot of time poking dead fish and snorkeling face first into rocks. When not hanging out with fish she can be found chasing her two crazy cattle dogs around and telling them not to eat whatever it is they are eating at the moment. She cannot wait to share her passion with the incredible kids of The Mayfly Project!

EMILY HIGUERA, MENTOR

Phoenix, Arizona

Emily grew up spin fishing the warm water lakes of Oklahoma before moving to Arizona in 2017. Having always loved the outdoors and conservation, she joined the Arizona Game and Fish Department to make it her full-time job and found her passion for fly fishing. When she’s not chasing the next big catch, she is likely tending to her plants/mini jungle or playing with her golden retriever, Lucy. Emily has spent time in informal education both at the Phoenix Zoo and Desert Botanical Garden and can’t wait to share fly fishing and the outdoors with the next generation of anglers!

ANDREW GRAVES, MENTOR

Peoria, Arizona

Andrew was born and raised in Michigan, home to some of the best trout waters in the country. He moved to Arizona in 2007 and has called it home ever since. Newer to the fly-fishing sport, he has spent hours upon hours researching and learning everything he can, as well as getting out as much as possible, including practicing casting in his own backyard pool. Andrew is passionate about connecting with youth. He has served with his church’s youth group and looking at ways to get kids outdoors more. Andrew and his wife are also looking to become foster parents themselves someday. “I couldn’t think of a better way to connect and understand what some kids go through, than to connect through fly fishing.”

ROBERTO LUCERO, MENTOR

Phoenix, Arizona

Roberto grew up fly fishing the high deserts or New Mexico and small mountain streams of northern Arizona. He has lived all over the southwest and currently calls Phoenix, AZ home. When he’s not designing websites at work, he’s planning his next fishing trip and working on his custom homemade camper. He has a passion for teaching people about fly fishing and the outdoors.

DAVID MORALES, MENTOR

Mesa, Arizona

David grew up spin fishing the city lakes in the Arizona Valley. A few years ago, he began fishing local rivers, creeks, and ponds which led to an interest in fly fishing. David enjoys spending as much of his free time camping, hiking, and fishing as he can. He is looking forward to settling into his role as a mentor for the Mayfly Project!

BARNABAS LEE, MENTOR

Phoenix, Arizona

Barnabas is a Seattle native, but has been in Arizona for the last 20 years. He has been outdoors since he was a kid and has yet to stop being outdoors now. He is constantly bringing his family and kids on his outdoor adventures, which conveniently revolves around fly fishing often. You can find him around our local waterways at almost any given time. When not adventuring or fishing he works in the non-profit software industry.
Barnabas has a background in education and working with children with special needs across an array of spectrums. He is excited to be a mentor and teach the next generation how to fly fish and take care of waters.

JOHN LADD, MENTOR

Scottsdale, Arizona

Dito began his fly fishing journey as a young guy in Michigan and continued until he went to college. College and his stint in the Air Force put a damper on the fishing until later in his career. Love of the sport and his appreciation of its therapeutic qualities led him to begin working with disable Vets. He’s also been active with Scouts and other youth groups. He hopes to bring some of that experience to the Mayfly Project while learning a few new tricks to help more people experience the challenges and joys of fly fishing.

KRISTOPHER BARE, MENTOR

Phoenix, Arizona

I grew up in Maryland and fishing was a big part of my life. I moved to Arizona in 2013 and fell in love with the outdoor opportunities the state had to offer. I started working in the fly fishing industry in 2020.

TOM KNIGHT, MENTOR

Phoenix, Arizona

My father put a fly rod into my hands when I was about 10 years old. My passion for fly fishing grew when my two daughters reached adulthood and started families of their own. I teach knots, fly tying, and casting to the Boy Scouts. That is where my “love of sharing what I love” grew to include the Mayfly project.

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