May 2024| View Upcoming Events

Hello Alan,

May 2024 Newsletter

May is the unofficial beginning of summer; we certainly experience summer like temperatures in Arizona during May. But May is also when most folks increase their outdoor activity.

Here in Arizona the wildflowers are spectacular; get out and enjoy this special display from our very wet winter and spring showers. Also the fishing isn’t too bad either with many of the high mountain lakes and streams opening up. During May we also honor mothers on Mother’s Day and honor our veterans on Memorial Day. 

We had a busy late March and April with Arizona Game & Fish Department (AZGFD) Outdoor Expo March 23 & 24; a special Salt River Saturday April 6; the Native and Wild Trout Conference April 11, and a Fishing and Fly Fishing Merit badge clinic April 13, with the Grand Fishing Club in Surprise.

The special Salt River Saturday, April 6, was co-hosted by ZGTU, Desert Fly Casters Club, Arizona Game and Fish Department both recreational fishing and the District 6 Aquatics biologists, and Scottsdale Boys and Girls Club. See separate article with pictures and more detail further in newsletter. There were great crowds at all of these events.

Also, more about the Native and Wild Trout Conference can be found here and later in the newsletter.

  • Have a teenage kid or grandkid you want to teach to fish? You can send them to camp by clicking here. 2024 Fish Camp has three sessions: June 2 – 7, June 9 – 14; & June 16 – 21. Also, if you know of someone who may be interested in Fish Camp, please let us know. There are a number of camperships (scholarships) available. 

We encourage you to join us for these many activities. Click here and our webpage to see the various events we have scheduled. We’ll continue to update these events, so check back frequently. 

Finally, we thank all our volunteers and supporters for their continued dedication to Trout Unlimited and our mission. We could not do what we do without your support, and we are grateful for each and every one of you. Look for a revised volunteer and member survey coming soon.

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

I don’t subscribe to many outdoor periodicals these days. Over the years lots of glossies have come and gone but only three have survived; Shooting Sportsman, Fly Fisherman, and my personal favorite, Gray’s Sporting Journal

As devoted GSP readers know, April is the annual fly fishing edition. It’s the international bucket list roundup of everything you’ve ever lusted after if you hit the lottery; exotic locations, sexy new gear, grand slams and high living. But, it’s rare to see Southwest fly fishing destinations profiled in any national publication because, well…we’re short on rivers and long on desert. 

So, imagine my surprise while flipping through my first read of the April GSP and landing on Nick Roberts’s story about drifting the San Juan River for the first time in the dead of winter. To be clear, it was his first time fishing the San Juan ever. He got to fish that water and have the mandatory Texas Hole experience with virtually nobody else on the river. That’s because it was frostbite, “bone chilling” (Nick’s words, not mine) cold. Even the story photos are cold to the touch. He needs to come back in season for the Texas Hole rodeo.

AZ Fly Shop’s next trip to the San Juan is October 16-19 at the Soaring Eagle Lodge. Great time to go! Info and booking here .

It’s thawing out in the high country and the lakes and streams are becoming accessible. Uber guide Cinda Howard has the inside dope on what’s happening and her report is in our Fishing section this month. She’s running a trip up north in June and I can’t think of a better way to get the low-down from an expert on what we have to offer in the northern latitudes

Cinda says Becker Lake is “on fire”. If you’ve been to Becker Lake and would like to spend a lot of time there, and I mean a lot of time, there’s a volunteer opportunity to become a “host” at Becker Lake. 

According to Ryan Follmuth at AZG&F, “Almost every year the Department tries to recruit a lake host at Becker Lake to help educate the public on the rules and regulations of Becker Lake and give fishing tips to help them be more successful during their day fishing. We (AZG&F) have struggled the last few years to recruit individuals that are both passionate and experienced with fishing at Becker Lake, but that are also kind to the public. This opportunity includes access to a full hook-up concrete pad right at the lake for the host to park their RV or travel trailer.” Maybe wi-fi would be an incentive.

If you’re looking to drop out for the summer, meet new people, commune with the raccoons and fish to your heart’s content, here's the link to AZG&F’s volunteer website.

Speaking of volunteering, last week my fishing pal, Terry Abbott, and I went out to the Salt River early on a Monday to see if we could ambush the stocking truck at Phon Sutton. It was a scheduled stocking and we're not proud. We had it completely dialed-in and were rigged and ready to roll out on the river just after dawn. But...

What we didn't expect to see were hundreds of volunteers lined up at sunrise in the parking lot with trash bags to clean up the Salt River shore and recreation area. They were from a non-profit organization called Natural Restorations and did a fantastic job picking up trash and pulling invasive plants. I've never seen Phon Sutton so tidy. Hats off to Natural Restorations and their army of volunteers.

Sadly, we never saw the stocking truck so we retired to the lake for lunch and suds.

Coming up in Zane Grey Land

Arizona Fly Casters' monthly meeting is on Tuesday, May 14 at the Arizona Italian American Club, 7509 E 12th St., Phoenix. Meeting starts at 6 p.m. Speaker is Steve Dawson - Circle Valley Anglers - Southern Utah

Desert Fly Casters' monthly meeting will be on Wednesday, April 8 at the Elks Club, 1775 W. Chandler Blvd, Chandler. Meeting starts at 7 p.m. Speaker is Tyler Vanosdell, Mission Bay Fly Fishing.

If you need to renew your TU membership you can do it here easily. This link should take you directly to the renewal page. I know because I did it.

April Meeting Summary

The AZ Trout Unlimited Public Policy Committee (AZTU-PPC) did not hold its normal meeting on April 11, 2024. The April meeting was canceled so that the AZTU-PPC members could attend the Native and Wild Trout Conference on April 11, 2024 at the AZGFD offices located at the Ben Avery Shooting facility.

Legislative Update

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

Bills Summary:


HB2377: Primarily Sponsored by AZ Representatives Diaz, Hendrix, and McGarr

This bill mandates that the state auditor general shall conduct and complete a cost study of the annual price to manage all federal land in this state. The study assumes that all federal land (except for lands managed by the Department of Defense or the Bureau of Reclamation) is given to the state at no cost. This bill has passed the House, Senate Natural Resource Committee and is headed to the Senate floor for a vote.

HCM2006: Primarily Sponsored by AZ Representative Griffin

Calls for Congress to enact legislation that requires the express authorization of Congress, the state, and each county affected before any additional federal land may be declared in Arizona.

HB2376, HB2377, and HCM2006 ignore the economic benefits of public lands and view them only through the myopic lens of property taxes. Arizona’s public lands support a 12-billion-dollar outdoor recreation economy and provide over 106,000 direct jobs. Scroll down to see examples where small transfers of private land to the Federal Government provided access to tens of thousands of acres of public lands for outdoor recreation. This bill has passed the House, Senate Natural Resource Committee and is headed to the Senate floor for a vote.

HCM2005: Primarily Sponsored by AZ Representative Smith

This resolution urges Congress and the President to pass and sign legislation transferring 30% of federally protected public lands to their respective states by 2030. 

HCM2005 is a misguided rebuttal to the 30X30 Initiative. The 30X30 initiative is no threat to Arizona’s private land owners and is not an attempt to obtain more federal lands in our state. It’s rather an initiative that aims to conserve 30% of our nation’s wild places. An attempt to transfer 30% of our lands — the same lands that we hunt and fish on — to the state that is mandated to profit from them can only be seen as an outright attack on, and complete disregard for, Arizona’s hunting and angling community. This bill has completely passed the House and Senate.

HCM2007: Primarily Sponsored by AZ Representative Biasiucci

Urges the President to repeal the recent designation of the Grand Canyon Footprints National Monument in Northern Arizona and oppose any such designation in the state of Arizona in the future. This bill has completely passed the House and Senate.

HCM2008: Primarily Sponsored by AZ Representative Gillette

Calls for the Antiquities Act of 1906 to be repealed or amended to reaffirm that entire landscapes, animate life, such as birds and mammals, and common plants and vegetation are not considered “landmarks, structures, or objects” under federal law. In 1950, Congress amended the Antiquities Act to provide an exemption for the state of Wyoming, which requires the “express authorization of Congress” to declare any additional national monuments in that state. HCM 2008 calls on Congress and the President to extend the exemption to all Western States.

HCM2007 and HCM2008 call to repeal the newly designated Grand Canyon Footprints National Monument (which explicitly calls out hunting and angling as activities to be protected) and the Antiquities Act that was used to create it. If these resolutions were to come to fruition, it would leave Arizona’s greatest wilderness and one of the world’s finest mule deer herds without protection from the consequences and habitat fragmentation of uranium mining and energy development like solar and wind farms. Further, repealing the Antiquities Act, which has been used by eighteen past presidents (nine Republicans and nine Democrats) would leave us without a powerful tool in the effort to conserve our wildlife and habitat for future generations. This bill has completely passed the House and Senate.

Groundwater News in Arizona

Tom Osterday - Past Chair AZTU PPC

Correction: In last month's 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. We will continue to monitor this very important piece of legislation.

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, May 9, 2024. Emily Olsen with Trout Unlimited will be our guest speaker at the May 9, 2024 AZTU-PPC meeting and she will discuss Priority Waters identified by Trout Unlimited.

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

Zane Grey Chapter hosts Boys and Girls Club event for conservation and AZ Game and Fish Department careers spotlight

by Fernando Reyes

Zane Grey Chapter of TU recently had the pleasure of hosting youth from the local Boys and Girls Club for Salt River Saturday cleanup on April 6 at Blue Point Bridge, In partnership with the Boys and Girls Club and the AZ Game and Fish Department, the Youth, Diversity and Inclusion committee and Sr. board members planned a four-hour event designed to provide youth participants with not only a conservation opportunity, but also an AZ Game and Fish Department careers spotlight with the goal of teaching kids about careers in the outdoors. 

A total of ten youth and club volunteers enjoyed a presentation on public service and community in the outdoors with the purpose of implanting a conservation mindset on today’s youth. Board members had the opportunity to speak to the youths and encourage them to make their voices heard. “Connecting with the outdoors and caring for recreational areas helps build a foundation for a strong service-minded character among kids” said Fernando Reyes, chair of the chapter’s Youth, Diversity and Inclusion committee. He and employees of the AZ Game and Fish Department discussed their passion for nature and a calling to public service through the sharing of their experiences.

The highlight of the event included Game and Fish Biologist and Recruitment coordinator career spotlights. The youth had an opportunity to learn about each career field and ask questions directly to these experts. Members of the community and the Game and Fish Department provided lunch to the youth catered by Traeger grills. The youth enjoyed beverages and BBQ as a treat for their time spent cleaning up the Blue Point recreation areas and shoreline.

The Youth, Diversity and Inclusion committee thoroughly enjoyed planning and executing the event and wish to thank the Game and Fish Department for providing their staff at this event as well as representatives of Traeger grills for the excellent lunch. We know the kids enjoyed it, the Hartley and Ruth Barker branch Youth Development lead praised the event and indicated the kids can’t wait for the next conservation related field trip! A big thank you to all who participated! 

More pictures may be found here

Fishing and Fly Fishing Merit Badge Clinic:

at Grand Fishing Club

On Saturday April 13, approximately 40 volunteers and scouts took part in a Fishing and Fly Fishing Merit Badge clinic conducted by ZGTU and Grand Fishing Club fka Sun City Grand Fishing Club in Surprise. All scouts participating earned the Fishing and Fly Fishing Merit Badge. Zane Grey Chapter volunteers included: Tom Knight, Nat Newberg, Mark Rosin, Kim Tillery, and Alan Davis

Additional pictures from the event may be found here.

Annual Native and Wild Trout Conference - April 11th

The 15th Annual Native and Wild Trout Conference was held with over 100 attendees.

Distinguished Service Awards for Conservation were once again presented.


The Apache Trout Conservation Award was presented to the Mora National Fish Hatchery Team. The award recognizes organizations for supporting a wide range of efforts to protect and restore native and wild trout


Tim Gatewood, with the White Mountain Apache Tribe Game & Fish, was honored with the Gila Trout Conservation Award. The award recognizes an individual who has shown remarkable leadership and commitment to conserve and restore ecosystems focusing on water, trout, wildlife and their habitats.

Don't miss the 10-minute video with Chris Wood, TU’s CEO and President, where he talks and offers praise for the “amazing work” and “partnerships” of TU members in Arizona for the restoration of Apache and Gila trout.


A recording of the presentations can be found at AZTU Conservation.

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 eleven years in support of 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. 

White Mountains Fishing Report

by Cinda Howard, Fly Fish Arizona and Beyond

Most things are now accessible in the White Mountains. There's a lot of mud around, so be careful when you're out and about and please don't destroy the roads.

All of the lakes in the high country are finally ice free and accessible. Big lake has turned on and is fishing well. Use dark leeches, small flashback pheasant tails, and midges. 

Becker has been on fire and the water temperature has reached about 51°. We are seeing a lot of bug activity. Fishing leeches and midges under an indicator has been very successful. 

The streams are starting to recede and there is a lot of fishable water, right now. Water is still running somewhat high but is clearing up. You'll need to fish heavy flies to get down but this is the time we see big fish.

Try the East Fork of the Black, the North Fork of the White and the Black River. If you're looking for a stream that is a lot less challenging try the Little Colorado River where it goes through the X Diamond Ranch. 

Things are going to keep changing rather quickly, so it is time to hit the high country.

If you're looking for a fun high country trip, I'm hosting one through AZ Fly Shop and you can find info or sign up here. Or call 480.217.5089

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:


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.
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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Committed to 
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

Zane Grey Trout Unlimited

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