July 2024| View Upcoming Events

Hello Alan,

July 2024 Newsletter


Happy Independence Day; a time for hot dogs, baseball, ice cream, and fireworks (although not in our National Forests, and open spaces, please … it’s just too dry!).


Welcome to the July Zane Grey Newsletter.

Your chapter has been very busy this past month. Many of us helped with the AZTU-Grand Canyon Council, BSA (GCC) Fish Camp, two-weeks beginning June 9 through June 21. Over two-dozen campers attended these two camps. Fourteen volunteers, contributed over 3000-combined volunteer-hours. The camps included lots of fun, excitement, fishing and conservation opportunities for the campers. And some campers were so enthusiastic, they went fishing or tied flies during their free-time (getting up @4AM), despite a 14-hour day. See the pictures and story later in the newsletter.


Jim Walker is going to the Hall of Fame

As reported last month, Jim Walker is going into the Arizona Outdoor Hall of Fame. The Arizona Council of Trout Unlimited is helping sponsor this event. Please come out and join us Saturday, August 24, 2024, at the Wigwam Resort in Litchfield Park. We expect to have a couple of tables honoring Jim and hope you can join us. More details later in the newsletter, but you may signup by clicking here


Save the Date -- Troutfest Arizona is coming to Chase Field February 22, 2025. TroutFest Arizona 2025 is coming February 22, 2025. To get some ideas and see how Colorado TU runs their TroutFest, several of us went to Denver and visited Colorado TU's TroutFest. It was impressive. Joining me in Denver were Alec and Stephanie Young, and Doyle and Gail Gaines. The accompanying pictures help tell the story. More info coming and below...


We hope you can join us, or better yet volunteer to help with these many and varied activities. 


Until then, 

Tight Lines. 

 

Alan Davis

By Woody Wilson, Editor

As I’ve said before, perhaps the crowning perk of membership in Trout Unlimited is its excellent quarterly publication, Trout. Yes, conservation advocacy is our mission, but when it comes to judging organizations by their public outreach, TU stands out with Trout. It’s serious journalism; informative, well-written and superbly edited by Kirk Deeter. 


Take the most recent issue and its tribute to fishing guides. Arizona’s Terry Gunn, photographer, author, renowned angler and co-founder of Lee’s Ferry Anglers, has written an excellent essay entitled On Great Fishing Guides. At last, someone of credible authority as both angler and outfitter offers a simple and categorical insight into what makes for a positive angling experience for both client and guide. 


But what does it take to be a great client? It helps to understand that all the knowledge a guide possesses came from someone else over many years. The art and science of fly fishing is taught and passed down through respect for experience and tradition. For most of us it’s a humbling, life-long learning curve. A great client is one who has an honest assessment of his/her skills and wants to learn from someone who actually lives to teach you. Period.


“What is it that a customer wants from a guide trip?” asks Gunn when it comes to meeting expectations. “Learning new skills? A better cast? Lots of fish? Tips to become a better angler? A great guide will know the answers to those questions within the first hour of the trip.” 


And Trout editor Kirk Deeter’s column entitled Gatekeepers in the same issue says it all. As angler initiates we learn much more than fishing from great guides. We learn humility, a love of the natural world and a profound respect for lessons learned. 


NOT LEWIS & CLARK— Speaking of lessons learned, my friend and veteran Lee’s Ferry Anglers guide, Jeff English, came to visit me in Helena, Montana last week and hauled his drift boat up from Arizona. We spent most of the week floating the Missouri River, pitching dry flies and catching rainbows. It was epic. And, I learned the fundamentals of rowing a drift boat in fast current. The boat survived and I gave the crowd at Stickney’s Creek pullout something to tell their grandchildren…twice. But Jeff says I’m getting the hang of it. Another attribute for a great fishing guide is forgiveness. Thanks, Jeff, it was an awesome week. 


CHILÉ IS COMING TO ARIZONA — Our good friend, Steve Berry of Destinations Fly Fish, took us to Patagonia, Chile earlier this year and we had a blast. Our hosts in Chile were Poncho Vilches and his wife Karina, owners of Chilé Trout lodge on Lago Frío just outside Coyhaique. The lodge, the staff, the guides, the food, even the dogs were all splendid. And the brown trout fishing was beyond epic. 


It’s now winter in Patagonia and Poncho and Karina are coming to the USA for a visit to sign up clients for next season. They have arranged two presentations in Arizona this month for anglers who might be interested in the bucket list trout trip of a lifetime. 


The first presentation is Thursday, July 11, 6:30 p.m. at Dry Creek Outfitters, 5655 E River Rd, Tucson. Free pizza and beer will be served. 


The second presentation will be on Friday, July 12, 6 p.m. at Pheasant Tail Fly Fishing, 4041 E. Thomas Road in Phoenix. Pizza and beer will be also be served. For more specific information call Steve at 480.223.3117. 


NO TROUT…DON’T HARP, GO CARPOrvis Carp School starts on July 11. This FREE two-part Carp Fly Fishing Seminar will include an in-store discussion on strategy, rigging, equipment, and local access. The on-water segment will focus on fishing techniques and how to apply them on the water. 


On the water dates are July 13th, 27th, and 28th from 6-8 a.m. You may only attend one on the water clinic. Please Note: equipment will not be provided for this class. We’ll cover everything you need to have during our in-store seminar. A valid AZ fishing license is also required to participate.


Class location: The Orvis Store, 2011 E Camelback Road, Suite C-10, Phoenix, AZ

Date and time: Thursday, Jul 11, 2024 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM 

Organizer: Harrison Holub, (602) 626-7558, retail-phoenixstr699@orvis.com


Coming up in Zane Grey Land


Arizona Fly Casters' monthly meeting is Cancelled!


Desert Fly Casters' monthly meeting will be on Wednesday, July 10 at the Elks Club, 1775 W. Chandler Blvd, Chandler. Meeting starts at 7 p.m. Speaker is Kyle Tulisiak, AZGFD's Eastern Region Hatcheries Supervisor where he oversees the operations of three of the six state hatcheries. Please join us for our July meeting where Kyle will update us on how AZGFD is improving and expanding the hatcheries.


And, if you need to renew your TU membership you can do it here easily. This link should take you directly to the renewal page.


Jim Walker is going to the Hall of Fame

Zane Grey Chapter Past President, Arizona Native and Wild Trout Conference co-founder, and Trout in the Classroom champion Jim Walker is going into the Arizona Outdoor Hall of Fame. The Arizona Council of Trout Unlimited is helping sponsor this event and is sending registration information soon. We expect to have a couple of tables honoring Jim and hope you can join us. Tickets for the event are $125 and includes your choice of Meat or Vegetarian. You can reserve your spot now by clicking this link and paying online. Be sure and let us know your meal preference.

AZTU-GCC Fish Camp 2024, A Great Success!

Fish Camp logo w Rkr

Arizona Council Trout Unlimited volunteers conducted the Fifth Annual Fish Camp with the Grand Canyon Council BSA. This year, Arthur Greenway, directed the camp, and did an extraordinary job.


The camp consisted of two one-week sessions in June, held at the R-C Scout Ranch in the cool Ponderosa Pine Forest 20 miles east of Payson Arizona. Over two-dozen teenagers from Arizona, Alaska, and Texas earned fly fishing and fishing merit badges, and a lifetime of memories. Each camper received some sweet SWAG, including a sling pack loaded with a box of flies, nippers, forceps, leader, and tippet. Each youth received a Trout Unlimited membership, an AZGFD annual Hunt-Fish Combo license, along with a hat, a shirt, and a unique Fish Camp patch. The patch design, pictured above, includes rockers for various trout species caught. This year we awarded rockers for Gila and Rainbow trout.


Plus, this year each camper can earn a free Reddington 8ft 6in 5wt rod and reel upon completion of follow-up fishing related activities within their own community. 

FishCamp24-2
FishCamp24-3

Follow the links for more camp photos Session 2, and more camp photos Session 3 Highlights included keynote addresses by Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) Commission Commissioner James Goughnour giving the campers insight into the Arizona Game and Fish Department's role in managing over 800 species and giving credibility to the Camp by setting the stage for the week-long program.


But the campers didn't sit around in class all-day listening to speeches; they learned fishing basics of equipment, knots and casting techniques, fly tying, fish anatomy, dissection and pathology, entomology, including using a seine to capture aquatic invertebrates, aquatic invasive, nuisance species, water and soil conservation, including 'leave no trace' philosophy, daily excursions to other streams and mountain lakes, an introduction and understanding of AZGFD rules and regulations for fishing and taking of aquatic species, How to properly catch, clean, and cook a fish, part of the Fishing and Fly-Fishing merit badge requirements. The overwhelming response from all was they planned to tell others about the wonderful time they had in Fish Camp! The volunteers also shared these feelings.


Thanks to our Sponsors: This camp would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors, including: Arizona Game and Fish Department, Arizona Sportsmen for Wildlife Conservation, AZ Fly Shop, Orvis, Arizona Council of Trout Unlimited, Old Pueblo Chapter Trout Unlimited, Zane Grey Chapter Trout Unlimited, BSA Grand Canyon Council. Additional recognition to a generous donation from Destination Fly Fish and Pheasant Tail Fly Fishing.

But the most important contribution came from our volunteers; without which we could not have run a successful camp. These volunteers devoted their time, energy, expertise and enthusiasm, and made the camp a success. Those volunteering on-site included: Steve Berry, Rod Buchanan, Marco Cecala, Alan Davis, Arthur Greenway, Tom Knight, Bill Laudenschlager, David Mayl, Neal Repogle Mark Rosin, Ron Stearns, Kim Tillery, and Alec Young. Kara Jensen, of Be Outdoors Arizona, came up for the day taking pictures and video, interviewing campers, and just getting the Fish Camp vibe. Thanks also to our Grand Canyon Council partners, and particularly to Greg Harmon, Director of Program Services, who helped us run the camp, and to John Goode, who served as camper wrangler and liaisons with Grand Canyon Council. A special shout out to CEO Andy Price, who helped make this program a reality.

Save the Date - Trout fest Arizona is coming to Chase Field February 22, 2025

To get some ideas and see how Colorado TU runs their TroutFest, several of us went to Denver and visited Colorado TU's TroutFest. It was impressive. Joining me in Denver were Alec and Stephanie Young, and Doyle and Gail Gaines. The accompanying pictures help tell the story.


June Meeting Summary


The AZ Trout Unlimited Public Policy Committee (AZTU-PPC) held its normal monthly meeting on Thursday, June 13, 2024 at 7:00 pm. Jim Strogen, a member of the AZTU-PPC, gave a presentation on the issues at the Lee's Ferry fish hatchery, the Glen Canyon Adaptive Management Program, the Adaptive Management Work Group (AMWG) which Jim Strogen and Rod Buchanan are members of, the Technical Work Group, and Jim discussed the AMWG response to the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement on Lake Powell and the Colorado River.


Legislative Update


The State of Arizona passed a Budget Bill!


Here's an update on the bills we have been tracking.


Bills Summary:


HB2376: Sponsored by AZ Representative Lupe Diaz and Co-Sponsor Laurin Hendrix

This bill, the federal government; land acquisition; consent bill, mandates approval by the state legislature for any private land sale to the U.S. Government. This bill has completely passed the House and Senate, but was vetoed by the governor.


HB2377:This bill has passed the House and the Senate. It is currently being held awaiting Concurrence or Conference.


HCM2006:This bill has completely passed the House and Senate.


HCM2005:This bill has completely passed the House and Senate.


HCM2007:This bill has completely passed the House and Senate.


HCM2008:This bill has completely passed the House and Senate.


Groundwater News in Arizona

Tom Osterday - Past Chair AZTU PPC


Correction: In the April Newsletter, I stated that, "the AZ legislature passed SB1221, which was then vetoed by Governor Hobbs." I misinterpreted an article in which Governor Hobbs was quoted as saying that she WOULD veto the bill if it came to her desk.


What I said about the bill is correct: Shepherded by Sen. Sine Kerr and Rep. Gail Griffin, this legislation is their attempt to block any future legislation that would actually empower local communities to protect their groundwater. The Bill is characterized as a "sheep in wolf's clothing" piece of legislation. It purports to provide protections, but the process is so convoluted that it would make it virtually impossible for local rural communities to protect their water in the future.


A competing piece of legislation that we supported in the House, HB 2857, was blocked from receiving a hearing in the Natural Resources, Energy & Water Committee by its chair, Rep Gail Griffin.


Now, with the Senate passing SB1221 and the Governor declaring her intent to veto it, the Republican leadership of the Natural Resources, Energy & Water committees in the Senate and the House, Sen. Sine Kerr and Rep Gail Griffin are meeting with the Democratic leaders on the Committee, Sen. Priya Sundareshan and Rep. Christopher Mathis to negotiate a mutually agreeable bill. SB1221 died in the Legislature.


In the mean time, The Rural Groundwater Working Group is actively advocating for legislation to actually empower local communities to protect their groundwater.


The fight continues!


Background: Groundwater regulation is a hot topic in this legislative session. The Rural Groundwater Working Group continues to promote the message that local control of groundwater in rural communities is critical to their livelihoods. Twenty percent of Arizona's groundwater became managed in 1980 with the "Groundwater Management of 1980". But the other 80% of groundwater in Arizona still has no protection. Landowners can pump as much water as they want, without measurement, reporting or limit. The group working with the Arizona Department of Water Resources is looking to find an executable protocol for managing water outside of the Active Management Areas (AMA) of Phoenix, Prescott, Pinal County, Tucson, and Santa Cruz which were established by legislation in 1980. The Douglas AMA was established in 2022. The Group is advocating for legislation that would empower local, rural communities to create Rural Groundwater Management Areas if the groundwater in their rural community becomes threatened.


Upcoming Public Policy Events


There will be a meeting of the AZTU-PPC on Thursday, July 11, 2024. The speaker will be Michael Cravens with Arizona Wildlife Federation who will provide a summary of the 2024 Legislative activity, and the AZTU-PPC members will review the AZTU-PPC accomplishments to date this fiscal year.


The AZTU-Public Policy Committee hosts a virtual meeting on the second Thursday of the month at 7:00 until 8:00 PM. If you are interested, please contact Ron Stearns at PublicPolicyChair@az-tu.org.

Preparations Are Beginning for the Fall


While schools and students have a summer break, volunteers are already preparing for the beginning of school in the fall with several additional schools approved to join the TIC program. 


Positive comments continue to come in for the program from the students and teachers – and volunteers.

 

Promotion of the TIC program was done at the Annual Arizona PTA Convention on June 21 – 22 held in Chandler. Over 200+ chapter and state PTA board members and officers became aware of the program. Several schools expressed a plan to quickly apply.


Please refer any school interested in participating to submit an application by July 15th or to volunteer at signup.


Information about the Arizona program can be found at www.aztic.org or by sending questions to info@aztic.org.



REMEMBER:
Your Conservation License Plate Supports Our Programs

The Arizona Sportsmen for Wildlife Conservation (AZSFWC) license plate fund is derived from the sale of wildlife conservation license plates and member organizations as well as non-member organizations are eligible to apply for those funds. 


The Arizona TU Council and Chapters have received funds over the past twelve years to support the Annual Native and Wild Trout Conferences, Fish Camp, Trout in the Classroom programs and conservation projects.

 

The next time your registration comes up for renewal, choose the conservation license plate option at registration to show your support for conservation and our projects. 

Social Media: 
Check out the Instagram page for
Arizona of Trout Unlimited: @Trout_Unlimited_Arizona
If you're more traditional, try signing up for the private Facebook group: Arizona Women of Trout Unlimited.
Looking for a Fishing Opportunity?
Below is a list of fishing organizations in Arizona. Feel free to join, explore, visit their websites or attend a meeting to find out more information:

Organization

Arizona Flycasters Club
@ The Arizona American Italian Club
7509 N 12th St
Phoenix, AZ 85020

Link To Website


Fly-Fishing Social Event night - 2nd Tuesday of each month. Great speaker and awesome raffle. Donations support our Community outreach partners from Veterans to Youth activities.
Contact
Join Online
Check Specific Schedule
Desert Fly Casters Club
@ Chandler Elks Club
General meeting 2nd Wednesday of each month. Social Event 6-7 Meeting @ 7PM Great speakers; check website for details.
Contact Us
Sun City Grand Fishing Club
Contact Us
Sun Lakes Fly Fishing Club
Contact Us
Payson Fly Casters
Contact Us
White Mountains Fly Fishing Club
Contact Us
White Mountains Lake Foundation
Contact Us

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Protecting, Connecting and Restoring Arizona's watersheds and fisheries.
Combined Calendar 
AZ Trout Unlimited & Chapters, Arizona Flycasters Club and several other area fishing and conservation calendars

You may access our calendar here

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