“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 2021: Undetermined

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.

 

Support The Mayfly Project

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

Issaquah, Washington

​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

Woodway, 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, 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!

RUTH SIMMS, MENTOR

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, 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

Renton, Washington

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

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 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

Shoreline, Washington

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

Seattle, Washington

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

Redmond, Washington

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

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

Giving Tuesday Success, 2021!

Giving Tuesday Success, 2021!

WOW!! Thank you to our Fly Fishing Family! We have reached $37,000 on our Facebook fundraiser after Giving Tuesday! We had so many generous donors yesterday and people sharing our fundraiser! TMP's Giving Tuesday Fundraiser There were 55 individual Facebook...

Giving Tuesday, 2021!

Giving Tuesday, 2021!

November 30th, 2021 is Giving Tuesday, an important day for TMP where we work together to raise funds for 2022 Projects! Check out our new projects we're adding to our map next year. More Exciting News:We have donors that will match us on Giving Tuesday up to...

The Big Event, Arkansas

The Big Event, Arkansas

The Big Event, Arkansas When you hear, "This was the most-normal I have felt in a long time," from a child in foster care, you know the time you spent with them was important. A few weekends ago in Arkansas, we had 4 projects travel to fish at Dry Run near Mountain...

Support The Mayfly Project

Seattle, Washington Project

Questions or Need to Connect?

Stay in the loop with news, events, and updates from The Mayfly Project