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Can fly-fishing help foster youth?

Mario Guel of Taco Fly Co. gives a presentation on the Mayfly Project linking fly-fishing mentors with foster care youth across the nation. Photo by Meg Upton

Meetings do not have to be all about paperwork and policy. During April’s 20,000 Lives meeting, Mario Guel of Taco Fly Co. gave a presentation about his passion — fly-fishing — and about how that passion can be turned into building vital relationships and trust with youth in foster care.

Guel introduced meeting attendees to the nonprofit organization The Mayfly Project, his work with them, and why he thinks the Mayfly Project is ideal for Plumas County.

The Mayfly Project seeks to  “build relationships with children in foster care through fly-fishing and introduce them to their local water ecosystems, with a hope that connecting them to a rewarding hobby will provide an opportunity for foster children to have fun, feel supported and develop a meaningful connection with the outdoors,” according to the mission statement on its website.

Guel owns the company Taco Fly Co. — a lifestyle brand company that promotes “fly fishing, fun and tacos” in Quincy — spoke of the rewarding experience teaching kids to fly-fish had on him and how teaching foster youth who might not ever have the opportunity to do such a thing could be very beneficial.

He also showed a video from the Mayfly Project, called “Crosswaters: The Mayfly Project,” which depicted two foster care youth and the impact the program had on their well-being in Arkansas.

Various county agencies with representatives at the 20,000 Lives meeting spoke of what it might take to replicate the program up here in Plumas County and the region in general.

Guel’s ideas were well received and attendees went away with the idea that this could be something to implement in Plumas.

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