Fly fishing saved Mario's life. At least that's what he'll be quick to tell you when you first meet him. Mario truly believes that it's his calling. He grew up in San Jose, CA. Mostly fishing for largemouth bass on conventional gear in the local reservoirs. As he grew older and the city grew larger, he felt it was the mountains that were his salvation from the city's hustle and bustle. Intrigued by fly fishing since he was a child, he decided to go on a fly fishing trip for steelhead in the winter of 2013. Ten minutes into fishing, and not having any idea what he was doing, his line pulled tight and at the end of it was a fiery California Steelhead. It was as if the river knew it needed to show him how powerful fly fishing was. His life changed from that day forward, for the better. He truly believes that fly fishing can save lives and is very excited to share his love for the water, the fish, the outdoors, and fly fishing with others.
Ryan Thoni is a fishermen, educator, scientist, and wildness enthusiast. When he's not teaching Environmental Science or Wildlife/Fish Biology at Feather River College, or Watershed Science for 6th graders, or exploring the world pursuing his research on Himalayan fish, you will likely find him wetting a line in one of the countless rivers, lakes and streams of the Sierra Nevadas, where he calls home. In addition to his fishing and teaching experience, Thoni also leads wilderness therapy outings for at-risk teens in his community. Combining elements from his passion for fishing, teaching, exploration, and working with youth, Thoni found himself a perfect niche mentoring for the Mayfly Project!