Kaitlin Barnhart, Project Coordinator, Writer
Coeur'd Alene, Idaho
Kaitlin joined TMP in April, 2016 and has helped develop the program in several foundational areas. With a BA in Psychology, and over 15 years working in the mental health field with children in foster care, she understands the needs of this population, as well as the benefits of taking foster children fly fishing. As a project coordinator, Kaitlin connects mentors with their local Department of Child Services, supports start-up projects and provides program management and training along with the Westbrooks. Kaitlin is also a freelance writer, blogger, and a mother to three wonderful children. Check out her personal blog to read about some of the crazy things she is up to, balancing her fly fishing addiction and parenting: www.mammaflybox.wordpress.com
I love anything that is active and outdoors but fishing has always held my heart the most. Coming from an underprivileged home, fishing became my escape at a young age and has continued to fuel an unexplainable passion. Helping kids in need is also something I hold dear to my heart as I know without the help of my community around me I would not be the person I am today. I hope to be able to give as many kids as possible an escape in the way of fishing and show them they don't have to have the same hobbies and follow the path of those around them.
An Idaho Native, Cody grew up fishing Eastern Idaho rivers and lakes with his grandpa. His passion for fishing and the outdoors began when he was 3 years old, went on a fishing trip with his family and pulled a brown out of the stream with his hands. After that he was hooked. He made the transition to fly fishing after moving back to Idaho from Florida and settling down in Shelley, ID. He has been fly fishing for 8 years now, and has always wanted to teach kids about fishing and conservation. He is looking forward to starting his journey as the lead mentor for Southern Idaho!
An Idaho native I guess you could say that I was born into fly-fishing. At the age of 6, I remember sitting on the banks of the Clark's Fork of the Yellowstone in beautiful Belfry, Montana, Vivid pictures are painted in my mind of standing behind my great grandfather as he would cast a fly so effortlessly using the old bamboo rod. His enormous Italian hands swallowing the entire seat of the rod as he would cast, what to a 6 year old, seem like a mile. He would then hand the rod to me and it would be whip and snap. I think I may have lost at least a dozen flies but he would stay with me patiently showing me, telling me to slow down. Those were the kind of memories I was born with and memories I will carry until I die. While growing up I was blessed with an entire family of fly-fisherman. My brother being a biologist has granted me the knowledge of what happens behind the scenes with learning things from the life cycles of the bugs, to the habits of fish in certain water, and what not to do when handling a fish and why. It was ingrained in me; ingrained in my soul. When my children were old enough to stand in the river, I put a fly-rod in their hands. My son Hunter at the ripe age of 4 was catching little trout on our camping trips. My little Chase would soon follow in his brother's footsteps. Now 13 and 15 they are my fishing buddies. Slowly gaining their independence on the river and developing their own passion for the sport. I’m excited to share my passion with these amazing kiddos here in Idaho.
Sylvan and Shayne Rathfon
Sylvan and Shayne started their lives together in the mountains, chasing mountain cutthroats and enjoying all the splendor East Idaho has to offer. Every summer you can find them backpacking, hiking, and camping close to a new river or stream. Sylvan grew up in a small town in Southern Indiana while Shayne was born and raised in Southeast Idaho. They met during the summer of 2015 where they realized they each had a love for the outdoors and a growing love for fly fishing. Both are always looking to share their love of fly fishing with others who are willing and able to learn. Shayne is currently a kindergarten teacher and loves to work with kids every day. Sylvan is finishing up his Bachelors of Science in Agribusiness and planning on seeking employment in Agricultural Marketing. Each shares a love for kids and know how important the future generation is in shaping the world we live in and are mentors for the Southeast Idaho Project.
I grew up spin fishing on the banks of the Henry's Fork in Island Park, Idaho. Fishing was something I did to pass the time and it never really held my interest. That all changed the moment I cast my first fly rod. Since then, it's become my passion. If I'm not on the water, I'm thinking about the next time I will be. I often wish I had the opportunity to start when I was younger, so at five years old, I gave my son his first fly rod. At 7, it barely holds his interest for longer than 10 minutes, but I'm so grateful to share a hobby with him that will last a lifetime.