I’m going to be the best fly fisher ever when I grow up!

Foster Child

The Mayfly Project Mentee

Raleigh, North Carolina Project

Lead Mentor: Will Barnett

Project Location: Raleigh, North Carolina

Project Founded: 2021

Mentors on the team: 11

Children mentored to date: 14

Children to mentor in 2023: 8

Local foster care partners:  Currently searching for partners for this project.

Local sponsors/company partners: Currently searching for local sponsors and partners.

Contact: Will Barnett

Mentor Application

 

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Raleigh, North Carolina Project

The opportunity to mentor with the Mayfly Project is an honor. It’s a special program that I’m proud to be a small part of. I can’t wait to get started sharing my experiences with mentors, mentees, and everyone involved in the program.

Will Barnett

Lead Mentor, Raleigh, North Carolina Project

Project Mentors

Will Barnett, Lead Mentor

Raleigh, North Carolina

My fly-fishing story started on the Davidson River about 8 years ago. Since then, I’ve fished everywhere from saltwater flats to warm water lakes to tiny headwaters. More importantly, I’ve come to understand and embrace the wellness benefits of fly fishing. There’s nothing more calming to me than being in the river.

At home, I live in Raleigh, NC with my wife, Beth. In my free time that’s not spent fishing, I like to cook and play my guitar (poorly). At work, I manage business and strategy in the healthcare IT industry.

The opportunity to lead mentor with the Mayfly Project is an honor. It’s a special program that I’m proud to be a small part of. I’m looking forward to sharing experiences that have a positive and long lasting impact on all involved.

JOEY HESTER, MENTOR

Raleigh, North Carolina

Joey grew up fishing small creeks in eastern North Carolina and later discovered fly fishing thanks to his wife, Kennan.  What began as a hobby for small farm ponds eventually found him chasing redfish, mountain trout, largemouth bass, and false albacore throughout the year.  He currently works for the NC Department of Environmental Quality developing policies and regulations to protect water quality and serves as our Conservation Mentor.  An avid fly tyer, Joey is also the Conservation Committee Chair for Triangle Fly Fishers, the Triangle chapter of Trout Unlimited.  

FELIPE LOPES, MENTOR

Cary, North Carolina

Born in Brazil, Orlando raised Felipe grew up chasing Bass in Florida’s many sand bottom lakes. He began to pursue fly fishing after moving to North Carolina with his wife Clara, and pup Samson. Felipe works as a strength and conditioning coach at NC State University where he leads the performance programs for Track, Softball, and Swim. If a species swims, Felipe will throw a fly at it!

ANNIE O’LEARY, MENTOR

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Annie O’Leary has fly fished in Wisconsin, North Carolina and Colorado, mostly in trout streams, over the last ten years.  The whole process is fun for her: planning the outing, preparing the gear, choosing (not always correctly) which fly to use, and catching fish!  She also loves the serenity and confidence it gives her, the solitude for thinking, the silent competition with the fish, and the stunningly beautiful places where we go fishing.  She can’t wait to share that with other people.

Outside of fishing, Annie raises funds for an international NGO. Hobbies outside of fishing include hiking, camping and gardening—anything that keeps her outdoors.

JENNIFER STUBBS, MENTOR

Franklinton, North Carolina

Jennifer is a mother of three young adults, a dental hygienist and a cancer survivor. Thanks to a free retreat with Casting Carolinas, for women with a cancer diagnosis, she learned she had a true love of fly fishing and the healing effects of being on the water. She now volunteers for Casting Carolina’s as a retreat leader and alumnae coordinator and is currently a board member and Education chair for the local Trout Unlimited Chapter, Triangle Fly Fishers.

TIM SUTTLES, MENTOR

Raleigh, North Carolina

Tim grew up in the mountains of North Carolina. Growing up he and his father fished for anything and everything that would bite a hook. Tim is now an avid fly fisherman but still remains happy to catch any fish that will bite a hook across saltwater and freshwater. Tim is also a pilot and works with children in the Civil Air Patrol as one of their glider pilots. Tim is excited to take you fishing and teach you all about conservation and how to enjoy this vast resource.

ANDREW LITCHFORD, MENTOR

Durham, North Carolina

A Florida native and lifelong angler, Andrew grew up fishing with his father for warm water, fresh and saltwater species. He spent 12 years in Colorado, and while there, developed a passion fly-fishing for trout. He currently works as an engineer for a local biopharmaceutical manufacturer and recently joined the board of Triangle Fly Fishers, the Triangle chapter of Trout Unlimited. He looks forward to continuing to share his passion for the outdoors and deepening connection to mother nature with the local community!

CY GURNEY, MENTOR

Durham, North Carolina

Cy lived in Texas, Okinawa, Florida, and Germany and has traveled in many other countries before calling NC home for the last 38 years. She started fishing with her family as a high schooler in Florida. It wasn’t until she picked up a fly rod that she became fascinated with fly fishing about 15 years ago in the mountains of NC. She states, “While it is undeniably a treat to hook and net trout, that is a small part of the overall experience of sharing space with the insects, the trees, the plants, and the wildlife along the brooks and streams during different seasons of the year.”
She retired from the NC Court System, Guardian ad Litem Program advocating for children for 35 years. She is a certified Durham, NC Master Gardener.

KATIE O’KANE, MENTOR

Raleigh, North Carolina

As the mentor newest to fly fishing and also North Carolina, I’m so thrilled to be part of The Mayfly Project. I moved from Los Angeles to Raleigh in May 2022 with my husband, Clayton, and two labs, Cam and Bear. Most recently, I worked with K-5 kids as an after school program site coordinator, yoga and social emotional learning instructor.

Since Clayton convinced me to try fly fishing in 2021 we’ve been lucky to travel to some amazing places like Montana and the Amazon, as well as enjoy the rivers and streams in our own backyards. Fly fishing is an exciting adventure no matter where you are, as well as a calming way to reset your mind and connect with nature. Let’s go fishing!

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Raleigh, North Carolina Project

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