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: Annie O’Leary

Project Past Lead Mentor: Will Barnett

Project Location: Raleigh, North Carolina

Project Founded: 2021

Mentors on the team: 16

Children mentored to date: 14

Children to mentor in 2024: 10

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

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



Join The Mayfly Project

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


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.


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.


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!


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.


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!


Durham, North Carolina

Born and raised in North Carolina, I grew up fly fishing with my grandfather and brothers. From a young age I developed a love of exploring the outdoors and have carried that passion with me throughout my life. After working in AgBiotech as an entomologist for almost 10 years, today I teach 8th grade science in Durham, NC. I’m super excited to be part of such an awesome program and can’t wait to share my knowledge with others while learning some new things myself!


Raleigh, North Carolina

Bill grew up in Southeast Texas, along the Louisiana border where the Gulf Coast marsh meets the East Texas Piney Woods. As a kid, he used cane poles and bait-casting along cypress lined banks in the wild and scenic area, known affectionately as “Cajun Lapland.” Totally hooked on everything outdoors, Bill moved to Cary, NC in 1986, and has fished all over the country. He fly fishes to unwind and relax and “send stress downriver and not think about anything else while I’m out on the river.” He loves how the fly lays motionless for the split second before it suddenly explodes in a rush of water and green mischief, engulfed by a beautiful fish, totally fooled by the fly. “I quickly get the fish in as soon as I can, so as not to tire him too much. Then a quick release back into the water for someone else to catch another day, maybe me… maybe you.” He enjoys teaching others whom he hopes will find the joy in this life-long sport as he has.


Raleigh, North Carolina

Ryan began fishing when he was 5 or 6 living on a horse and cattle farm in Iowa, and took up fly fishing when he moved to Colorado after graduating from Iowa State University. In the ensuing 30+ years, he’s had the good fortune to fish in several parts of the US, Canada, and the Caribbean. One of his favorite aspects of flyfishing is the focus on being in the moment, absorbing and appreciating nature. It is a great way to unplug and relax. Being able to mentor and help others to enjoy the sport is what drew him to the Mayfly Project. Ryan lives in Apex with his wife and their three boys. In addition to fishing, he enjoy woodworking and cooking. He has been a commercial banker in the Triangle since 2007.


Raleigh, North Carolina

Hey! I’m Steve. I was born in Transylvania County, North Carolina. I grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and remain a resident of the Triangle area. I am a graduate of Appalachian State University and currently work in Law Enforcement. I transitioned from conventional tackle to fly fishing about 11 years ago and haven’t looked back since. I went all in on the culture of fly fishing. I also found that it is a perfect form of healing for rough days at the office and other life stressors. I have been tying flies for about 10 years, as well. I never had much formal training here, but I found that catching a fish on something that I created gave me a strong sense of self-sufficiency. See you on the water, Raleigh!


Raleigh, North Carolina

Born in Detroit but spent her childhood in New Jersey, New York, and Texas, Virginia had to adjust to new towns and schools often. One constant is her enjoyment of the outdoors especially appreciating nature and all animals. In the last few years, Virginia left New York winters behind and moved to North Carolina with her husband, Joe. After spending 13 years working in the healthcare industry, she is now a full time carpenter with her husband in their home renovation business. Having been a volunteer EMT for 9 years with an ambulance corps in NY she knows the best way to embrace a community is to volunteer. You end up meeting nurturing people and hopefully make a difference. She also really enjoys fly fishing!


Raleigh, North Carolina

Having grown up exploring the Idaho wilderness with her family, Madi gained a passion for all things outdoors. From camping, hiking, fishing and more, she learned how important it is to protect, preserve, and respect nature. She enjoys sharing her outdoor activities with her husband, dog, and friends in North Carolina. New to the Triangle Area, she is excited to be joining the Raleigh project to help educate and support others. Her background in youth programs and non profit work led her to the Mayfly Project, and she looks forward to working with the participants and their families!

News & Events

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Raleigh, North Carolina Project

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