“I enjoyed the laughing and spunk we get to see in our mentees during circle up time, when we share about the day and they light up to shout out the answers to what we learned that day or about the fish they caught or a silly things that happened.”

Mentor

Seattle Project 2019

Seattle, Washington

Lead Mentor: Eileen Petralia

Project location: Seattle, Washington

Year project founded: 2017

Mentors on this team: 15

Children mentored to date: 13

Children to be mentored in 2020: 8-10

Local foster care partners: year 1- Olivecrest, year 2- Seattle ymca, year 3- Friends of Youth (2020)

Local companies that support this project: Avid Angler fly shop, Flycaster Brewing Company, The Lyman Group

 

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Seattle, Washington Project

One of my favorite moments was during our final outing–my mentee received all of his own gear to keep. He was so excited and said he couldn’t wait to use his new gear to teach his cousin how to fly fish. 

Eileen Petralia

Lead Mentor, Seattle, Washington Project

Project Mentors

EILEEN PETRALIA, LEAD MENTOR

Seattle, Washington

​Hello. I was raised on the beaches of Florida’s east coast but wasn’t introduced to fly fishing until moving to Seattle in 2010. Fly fishing came to me during a time when I needed some peace within and has been my place of refuge ever since. When I am outside and on the water I find my calm place and am able to clear my head of all my worries. I’d love for everyone to have that ability to find comfort outdoors while being stewards of our waters and fish.

I retired from a hectic and stressful career as a Family Nurse Practitioner in 2019 and now enjoy working in my garden, raising my daughter and fishing every chance I get!

LEIGH FRANCISCO

Seattle, Washington

I grew up fishing the lakes of Minnesota, and when I lost my close link to water during my college and early career years as a research scientist in TX, I felt like a piece of me was missing. We moved to WA in 1994, and when my two daughters (now teenagers) were toddlers, I picked up fly fishing as a way to connect with the outdoors of the beautiful Pacific Northwest, and I never looked back! Wandering the shores or paddling the waters of Washington’s rivers, lakes and inland seas with a fly rod never fails to bring a smile to my face and a sense of calm to my soul.

SHEILA MORRIS

Seattle, Washington

My name is Sheila Morris. I was Born in Albuquerque New Mexico, raised in Washington State. I have always enjoyed the outdoors and have been fishing since I was a kid. Mostly on the Puget Sound and local area lakes. I got introduced to flyfishing about 3 years ago and I’m hooked for good! I can truly say that although I love the fishing, It’s about so much more. I’m currently planning my bucket list of fishing destinations & I hope to see you on the river!

ALLISON BELLER

Seattle, Washington

Allison was born and raised in the Kansas, and spent summers in her youth swimming and fishing for bluegills in the Ozarks. After taking a break from fishing while living in Europe during high school, Allison moved to the Pacific Northwest for college and fell in love with the mountains, lakes and rivers. She discovered fly fishing in 2015 and spends as much time as possible on Cascade mountain creeks. Allison is excited to share her enthusiasm for fly fishing!

y name is Sheila Morris. I was Born in Albuquerque New Mexico, raised in Washington State. I have always enjoyed the outdoors and have been fishing since I was a kid. Mostly on the Puget Sound and local area lakes. I got introduced to fly fishing about 3 years ago and I’m hooked for good! I can truly say that although I love the fishing, It’s about so much more. I’m currently planning my bucket list of fishing destinations & I hope to see you on the river!

RUTH SIMMS

Seattle, Washington

Born and raised in Seattle Ruth has always loved and called the PNW home. At the same time her roots and heart lie in Monument Valley, UT where her mother is from. She is Navajo from my mother’s side and Oglala Sioux from her father’s. She has always felt the most comfortable being outside and discovering new lands, people and cultures.

Her father was a fishermen and taught her sisters and her how to fish as soon as we could walk. However, she discovered fly fishing while in Graduate school in the fall of 2014 and fell absolutely in love with it. For her it’s the time she has with herself. It’s a time to think, reflect and pray. Each cast, mend and drift allows the perfect opportunity to be patient and at peace. Fishing has become her escape from all the busyness of life, from worries and problems and given here praise and confidence which inevitably are healing necessities. “It gives me something to look forward to, something that can completely take me away in thought when I need life to let me breathe and reground again.”

As a foster mom to her eldest nephew she has seen first hand how fly-fishing can change a young persons life. She has the hope of being able to pass this type of happiness on to other children who could benefit from something stable and healthy in their lives, they way that fly-fishing does for her and her nephew.

 

CARYN RODMAN

Cle Elum, Washington

I started fly fishing about 5 years ago and fell in love with it. I have tried to get out on the river as much as I can ever since then. I took up fly tying and have enjoyed learning the patterns and techniques of different flies used on our local rivers. I own a small construction company specializing in finish carpentry. I’ve always had an interest in how things work and enjoy learning new skills.

MERYL SCHENKER

West Seattle, Washington

Meryl is a professional photographer who previously worked as a newspaper photojournalist and now has her own photography business. She didn’t start fly fishing until 30, has been fishing now for about 20 years and is absolutely in love with the sport. Her happy place is any river.

A few fun facts about Meryl: She’s been to all 7 continents, and has driven across the United States a couple of times. She grew up on Long Island, New York, were she spent a lot of time at the beach, moved to San Francisco after college, where she lived for 8 years,
and has lived the past 21 years in Seattle.

CORY GEOHAGAN

Seattle, WA

Born in raised in Alabama, Cory spent hot summer days fishing small ponds and saltwater while visiting family in Florida. After college, he decided to pick up a fly rod on whim and hasn’t looked back since. While living in Washington state, Cory fishes small mountain streams, alpine lakes, large tailwaters, and cold rocky beaches for salmon and his beloved sea run cutthroat trout. After moving to North Carolina and becoming a full time Stay at home Dad, things came full circle to fishing for warm water species and the Florida salt. Cory considers himself an equal opportunity fly fisher by chasing anything that will take a fly, and is always looking for an opportunity to explore a new fishery. The Mayfly Project is his perfect opportunity focus and share this passion to others!

JANE MILLER

Sumner, Washington

For the past 23+ years, Jane has built her professional toolkit in teaching, coaching, professional development, and is a school district Director of Instructional Technology with a focus on project-based learning, blended learning, STEAM education, and the integration of technology within learning.

When not advocating for equitable 21st learning environments for students and learning along with her teachers and administrators, Jane is known to mentor classes in fly fishing as they learn about conservation during the Trout in the Classroom project or taking time with the high school scholar she mentors as he learns to fly fish or refine his coding skills. In her free time with her husband, Jane enjoys wading the rivers and oceans as she refines her fly fishing skills. She can even be seen lounging in the woods in her reclining camping chair with her e-reader.

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.

To explore Jane’s other passion, check out her culturally relevant book group website to learn more about her passion for culture and literature. www.2ndtues.com

MIKE MILLER

Sumner, Washington

Mike grew up in Southern California where he enjoyed fishing, surfing, and year-round sports. Between graduating from a community college and transferring to the University of La Verne, where he met his wife Jane and graduated with a degree in Philosophy, 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 it was not until he moved to Washington in 2003 when he began to learn to fly fish. It has become such a passion that after visiting Belize, where he and Jane first learned to saltwater fly, he dreams weekly of hitting the flats in search of stalking Bones, Tarpon and Permit.

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 all of us from time to time. Professionally, his sweet spot is working with students transitioning from high school to community college and then on to universities. He spent the last five years as a community college counselor at Spokane Community College, prior to moving to the Seattle area.

JAKE WILLIAMS

Seattle, Washington

I was born and raised in Willow, Alaska. I moved to Seattle about 2 years ago where I now have my own chiropractic practice. Before my chiropractic journey began I was a fly fishing guide in my home town of Willow, AK where my brother and I started Reel Fly Adventurez back in 2009. I have a deep rooted passion for the outdoors and I absolutely love helping others have the time of their life on the water. See you out there!

CASEY WATSON

Seattle, Washington

A native of Florida, but calling the Seattle, WA area her home since 2017, Casey has been fishing since she was old enough to hold a rod. Her earliest memories involve the outdoors and learning to fish on the waters of Florida with her family. Her favorite memory is of her grandfather practicing his casting accuracy in the backyard, using a tea cup for a target. Casey has found peace and healing in the outdoors and recently in fly fishing. She is passionate about introducing others to the outdoors, breaking the barriers down, and taking the intimidation away. She is excited to be a part of the Seattle Mayfly Project!

TOM BRIESKE

Seattle, Washington

I grew up on the rivers and lakes of the PNW guided by my father and friends. Rafting the Rogue River in the summer and early morning floats on coastal streams in search of steelhead and salmon were defining memories of my childhood. After college, I rediscovered my passion for fishing but this time with a fly rod in my hand. As my post college life began to pick up pace, the solace and peace I experienced while fly fishing became an important rhythm of self-care, healing, and connection. Fly fishing has also created a shared experience with others that deepened already rewarding friendships as well as built new ones. Fly fishing has enriched my life and I am excited to help others discover what casting a fly rod has to offer them. 

ALEX KUYPER

Seattle, Washington

I grew up in West Michigan before making my way to Seattle for college in 2008. Except for a short stint in Iowa while my wife was in Vet School, I have been in Seattle ever since. During the school year, I work as a 9th/10th grade high school counselor. Having summers off allows me to spend time guiding on the Cedar and Yakima rivers. The Mayfly Project is confluence of two of my passions: serving youth and fly fishing. I love the opportunity of sharing the happiness and joy that I get from fly fishing. It is one of the greatest forms of self-care.

News & Events

From Foster Care to Fly Fishing, Meet Mentor, Breezy Johnston

From Foster Care to Fly Fishing, Meet Mentor, Breezy Johnston

Breezy Johnston, mentor for Pikes Peak, CO project, talks about life in foster care and how fly fishing has become her home-base. We are thrilled to have Breezy joining our team and are so thankful for her willingness to share. We are inspired by folks who have been through the trenches and have found their niche in the world!

TMP’s COVID-19 Response and Fundraiser

The COVID-19 pandemic is creating unprecedented challenges globally, for our country and for our TMP and foster care communities. We are a nonprofit that values action, and we have been passionately working non-stop to continue to support the most vulnerable in our...

The Mayfly Project Mentee Curriculum Development

The Mayfly Project Mentee Curriculum Development

Last year we rolled out our new curriculum with the help of our fly fishing family and TMP partners! The impact of this curriculum has surpassed our expectations--the foster children we work with are able to use the curriculum with their mentors and then keep it to...

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Seattle, Washington Project

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