This was the funnest day I’ve ever had in my life!

Foster Child

The Mayfly Project Mentee

St. Paul, Minnesota Project

Lead Mentor: Evan Griggs

Co-Lead Mentor: Rhea Hawkins

Project Location: St. Paul, MN

Year Project Founded: 2020

Mentor on Team: 10-12

Number of Kids Mentored: 2021, 8

Local Foster Care Partners: Currently looking for connections.

Local Community Partners/Sponsors: Bob Mitchells Fly Shop

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St. Paul, Minnesota Project

Fishing has always been a part of my life, through good times and bad times its been a constant teacher and escape. I have had many mentors throughout my life to get me to where I am today, and its my mission in life to continue to share my passion with as many people as possible- especially those who don’t have the access to the opportunities to get outdoors like I had.

Evan Griggs

Lead Mentor, St. Paul, Minnesota Project

Project Mentors

EVAN GRIGGS, LEAD MENTOR

St. Paul, Minnesota

I have been fishing in Minneapolis and the Driftless area since before I could walk. When I was ten years old, I remember watching my dad fly fishing on a trout stream and suddenly realizing, “I’ve been watching you do this for years, and he’s never caught a fish!” At that point I was determined to catch a trout on a fly. I taught myself how to cast in my front yard, cut my teeth catching sunfish on city lakes, and practiced reading water on my neighborhood creek. It took three years, but I finally caught my first trout on a dry fly on the same creek where I watched my father. From that moment on, fly fishing quickly became my passion.
When I was 13, I made up my mind that my passion was someday going to be my profession. I’m so excited to be going on my 10th+ year of guiding! Right after my high school graduation, I became a trout bum and went to work on the Bighorn River in Montana at Cottonwood Campground. I worked in the fly shop, mowed the campground, and ran guide trips for two seasons. I completed my bachelor’s degree in Outdoor Education from Black Hills State University. Other places I’ve guided are western North Carolina and the Black Hills of South Dakota. I’ve been guiding and instructing for Bob Mitchell’s Fly Shop in St. Paul, MN since 2016. I’ve also taught thousands of people over the years a myriad of outdoor skills and environmental science lessons across the nation working for various government agencies and nonprofits. Today I’m also the environmental education specialist for Minnesota Trout Unlimited working with their Trout in the Classroom program. Sharing my passion for the outdoors with the next generation is near and dear to my heart. When I was a special education teacher, I always made a point to get my students outdoors and to show them that nature is a great place to recreate, relax, and reflect. Who doesn’t need that reminder once in a while? I’m very excited to work with TMP and continue to get youth outdoors!

RHEA HAWKINS, CO-LEAD MENTOR

St. Paul, Minnesota

The majority of my life has been defined by flukes. I transferred colleges because someone told me the other one was “in a house and the bathrooms had bathtubs.” I accepted a job I don’t remember applying for and that job took me to Montana for “ONE” winter (I ended up staying for almost 10 years). An impromptu drink with a friend led me to meeting my husband. A random chat with a friend of a friend lead to us moving across the country and buying a business that we’d never stepped foot into.

I am a graphic designer by trade, but spent 50% of my days helping people get out on the water. As the owner of a fly shop, I definitely have traded a lot of my fishing time for talking about fishing time. But seeing customers come back in after catching their first fish makes it a fair trade.

I like my asymmetry balanced, socks new and the word fruition. It’s like fruit, but not.

ROBERT HAWKINS,  MENTOR

St. Paul, Minnesota

I was lucky enough to have been born in Bozeman Montana, arguably the fly fishing capital of the world. I was also fortunate to have parents that spent their spare time on the rivers of southwest Montana. My passion for fly fishing was born from these two facts. By a young age, I had logged a considerable number of days in a drift boat and was proficient on the oars by age 15. My dad didn’t mind, more fishing for him. 

After college and a few summers of being a dirtbag fisherman and snowboard shop employee, an ad in the back of the paper caught my eye. It said, “Land the dream job of a lifetime” and had a photo of a guy holding a monster rainbow trout. Make money doing what I loved? I was sold. Sweetwater Travel, in Livingston MT, had a guide school to mold young punks like me into respectable guides. I began my first job as an official fly fishing guide in Alaska that summer. I guided in Alaska for the next 7 summers. The grind was starting to wear on me and as luck would have it, a lodge back in Big Timber, Montana needed a head guide. They also were looking for an instructor for the same guide schools I had attended all those years before. For the next 6 years I guided throughout the area: the Yellowstone, Boulder, Stillwater, and Bighorn rivers and teaching guide school.

A chance opportunity led us to move to St. Paul, MN (home for my now wife) and we bought a fly shop. We’ve been running that for the last 7 years. Spending my days in the shop sharing my passion for fishing and helping people get out on the water has replaced my days sweating it out on the oars. But teaching people to fish will always have a special place in my heart.

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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St. Paul, Minnesota Project

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