Mayfly Project is hosting a fly fishing graduation event for foster children


(Update: adding a comment from ODHS, Mayfly Project Mentor)

BEND, Oregon (KTVZ) – The Mayfly Project is holding a graduation ceremony for its central Oregon students tonight in Bend.

The organization has a unique opportunity to teach life skills to children in foster care; Fly fishing.

Terry Miller, a senior mentor for the Bend Group, decided a few years ago to give something back to his sport.

“I really can’t imagine what my life would be like without it,” Miller told NewChannel 21 on Tuesday.

Emily Kotaich, the Resource Family Retention and Recruitment Champion for the Oregon Department of Human Services, said, “The Mayfly Project is a nonprofit dedicated to providing mentored support to foster children through fly fishing.”

Last year the Bend project had five trips, with the last one on Tuesday. Six children between the ages of 8 and 18 completed all programs this season.

Miller said fly fishing actually has very therapeutic value for some of these children.

“One of the qualities of a successful fly fisherman is patience,” he said. “It’s an opportunity to get out and enjoy the outdoors and focus on something outside of the chaos of everyday life.”

Kotaich said the program provides what these children lack.

“You are at a point where you need a little extra guidance, and I feel like this program is enriching your life,” she said.

This was Miller’s third season with the program, and he’s hoping the fourth can get even bigger.

“We want to expand the program for next year,” he said. “This year we were able to include six children in our program and we have room for even more.”

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