“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 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!

RUTH SIMMS

Seattle, Washington

Even though I was born and raised in Seattle, I have always loved and called the PNW home. At the same time, my roots and heart lie in Monument Valley, UT where my mother is from. I am Navajo from my mother’s side and Oglala Sioux from my father’s side of the family. I have always felt the most comfortable being outside and discovering new lands, people and cultures. My father was a fishermen and taught my sisters and I how to fish as soon as we could walk. However, I discovered fly fishing while in Graduate school in the fall of 2014 and fell absolutely in love with it. Fly fishing is time I have with myself, time to think, reflect and pray. As a foster mom to my eldest nephew, I have seen first hand how fly-fishing can change a young persons life. I hope to be 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 helps me and my nephew as well.

CARYN RODMAN

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

Seattle, WA

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.

JANE MILLER

Sumner, Washington

For the past 23+ years, I have built my professional toolkit in teaching, coaching, professional development, and I am 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. In my free time, I enjoy fly fishing with my husband, wading rivers, exploring the ocean, and refining my fly fishing skills. Mentoring with The Mayfly Project brings together my passion for supporting children and my hobby of fly fishing.

MIKE MILLER

Sumner, Washington

I grew up in Southern California where I enjoyed fishing, surfing, and year-round sports. Between graduating from a community college and transferring to the University of La Verne, where I met my wife Jane and graduated with a degree in Philosophy, I worked as a deckhand on a sport fishing boat out of Seal Beach CA. When I moved to Washington in 2003, I started my journey in fly fishing. Professionally, I am a community college counselor and have had the opportunity to work with foster youth and students in high schools, community colleges, and universities. My professional mission is to help students become what they want to be, while managing the obstacles in their lives. I enjoy fly fishing with my wife, fishing for many different species, and chasing bone fish and tarpon in Belize when possible.

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

I am a native of Florida, but call the Seattle, WA area my home since 2017. I have been fishing since I was old enough to hold a rod. My earliest memories involve the outdoors and learning to fish on the waters of Florida with my family. My favorite memory is of my grandfather practicing his casting accuracy in the backyard, using a tea cup for a target. I have found peace and healing in the outdoors and recently in fly fishing. I am passionate about introducing others to the outdoors, breaking down barriers, and taking the intimidation of the outdoors away. I am 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 a 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.

TODD FRIEDMAR

Seattle, Washington

I grew up in the Midwest, but spent time in New England, Montana and also the Philippines as a Peace Corps volunteer. Home is Seattle, Wa where I live with my with my wife, son and Labrador retriever. I’ve been fishing all my life but primarily spend time fly fishing in fresh water and off the Puget Sound beaches for sea run cutthroat trout and salmon. I have completed the Sweetwater Guide school and enjoy mentoring with my local fly club. I am also practicing on becoming a more proficient fly tier. I spent six years teaching and leading nordic skiing for students with disabilities. I work in IT for a large outdoor retailer and have spent over 30 years in outdoor industry. I look forward to new adventures with the Mayfly Project.

News & Events

Foster Care to Fly Fishing, with Jackie Prock

Foster Care to Fly Fishing, with Jackie Prock

“There was so much going on in my life that was out of my control, so I gravitated to the outdoors to find control. It became a place where I could go to find some peace and away from life’s confusion and uncertainties [from life in foster care],” Jackie Prock said....

4th Annual ONE FLY EVENT

4th Annual ONE FLY EVENT

We are thrilled to announce we have 14 new projects kick-starting next year across the country! Since we do not require our new projects to fund-raise, we rely on our community and national fundraisers to support these projects. Please participate in our ONE FLY...

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!

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Seattle, Washington Project

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