“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.”
Lead Mentor: Eileen Petralia
Project location: Seattle, Washington
Year project founded: 2017
Mentors on this team: 13
Children mentored to date: 27
Children to be mentored in 2023: 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, Washington Fly Fishing Club, Alipine Lakes Lodge.
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Seattle, Washington Project
EILEEN PETRALIA, LEAD MENTOR
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, MENTOR
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, MENTOR
Cle Elum, 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 fly fishing about 5 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!
CARYN RODMAN, MENTOR
Cle Elum, Washington
I started fly fishing about 7 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.
CORY GEOHAGAN, MENTOR
I was born and raised in Alabama, and grew up fishing small ponds and saltwater while visiting family in Florida. After college, I decided to pick up a fly rod on whim and haven’t looked back since. While living in Washington state, I fish small mountain streams, alpine lakes, large tailwaters, and cold rocky beaches for salmon and my beloved sea run cutthroat trout. I am currently a stay at home dad, and when away from my family, I spend my time chasing anything that will take a fly, exploring new fisheries, and teaching fly fishing with The Mayfly Project.
JAKE WILLIAMS, MENTOR
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 Adventures 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!
CHRIS CHANG, MENTOR
A native Washingtonian, I have always loved being outside but it wasn’t until the last several years that I started fly fishing. It’s quickly become one of my primary passions, from exploring blue lines in the mountains with a 3wt to fishing for Sea Run Cutthroat on Puget Sound beaches, I love all types of fly fishing. I also tie my own flies. Professionally, I work as a consultant supporting foundations and non-profits to think strategically about their work and how to measure impact. I find huge comfort and joy when I’m fishing, and I look forward to sharing that with kids as a Mayfly Mentor.
JEN ELIUK, MENTOR
I’m originally from Calgary, Alberta and have lived in British Columbia, Washington and Colorado… all beautiful places that beckon you into the wilderness for fun and adventure. I love being outside, connected to nature and in a “flow state” when I’m fly fishing. It’s an honour to share this with our mentees and see them learning to cast, having fun, catching fish and gaining confidence. In my non-fishing time I enjoy knitting, camping and hiking, and work as a plans examiner reviewing building permits.
KRISTIN MACY, MENTOR
I started fly fishing back in 1995 after a friend taught me how to cast in the backyard. I took a trip to Alaska and was fortunate enough to catch my first fish after one cast! After that, I was hooked! In 2013 I took a fly tying class at a local fly shop and began tying flies on my own. I now teach fly tying and look forward to passing on that knowledge to the Mayfly Project participants.
ALEXANDER GEORGE, MENTOR
Port Orchard, Washington
Born and raised in Western Washington, I didn’t begin fly fishing until I was in college, where I graduated with a biology degree from Central Washington University. The rivers I primarily fish are the Yakima where I learned the art of fly fishing, as well as the South Fork Snoqualmie, where I discovered a love of lightweight glass rods. Being on the water has taught me something every trip and introduced me to some incredible people. I hope to see everybody out there!
ALEX KUYPER, MENTOR
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.
ZOE FERNYHOUGH, MENTOR
I grew up here in Washington and the beautiful mountains keep bringing me back to this amazing state. I lived in San Francisco for 3 years and that’s when I picked up a fly rod for the first time. Casting to striped bass from the shore with the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance was such a dream and I’ve been hooked ever since. I have since taken up trout fishing in the rivers and high alpine lakes of central Washington and do a little bit of steelhead fishing in the winter as well. I practice dentistry in Auburn but on my days off I am likely finding water tor hiking around the cascades with my 2 dogs. Fly fishing has become an integral part of my life and I love sharing it with friends and family alike!
WHITNY HART, MENTOR
Des Moines, Washington
Growing up in southern Utah I was an avid outdoorswoman. I had always admired fly fishing from afar but didn’t have any close by rivers to learn on. After moving to northern Utah and returning to college I decided to take a course for beginning fly fishing and fly tying. I was hooked after that and started exploring on my own. In 2019 I moved to Washington where I connected with a group of women fly anglers who have all taught me so much! The outdoors has always been the place I feel most alive, and fly fishing is one of my favorite ways to be outside and connected to nature. I’m always forced to be in the present, focus on my cast, and forget about whatever else is going on. I look forward to sharing that with the mentees.
JORDAN YOUNG-TREADWAY, MENTOR
Sedro Woolley, Washington
Born and raised in the great PNW, I have a great passion for fishing and the outdoors. I feel everyone needs that time outdoors to disconnect from the regular everyday life whether it’s good or bad. That’s where I found fishing it let me disconnect from what was currently going on in my life. Fly fishing has changed my life for the better in all aspects from loving my family to the rivers or to the fish, it all connects because once when you love something you want to make sure it grows and thrive. My mission is to pass the passion and love that I have for these fish and for the outdoors, not only to my children but to as many kids that I can!
PAUL WATTS, MENTOR
My dad introduced me to flyfishing when I was 12 years old. Baseball was my first love at that time, and until I was about 22-23 years old. Several years later, I moved back to California and lived about 5 mins from the river. I was reacquainted with my love of flyfishing and introduced to spey fly fishing. I fell in love with it all over again and now that’s what I do in my free time now! I love giving back and look forward to mentoring with The Mayfly Project!
News & Events
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