March 2024| View Upcoming Events

Hello Alan,

March 2024 Newsletter

It’s March; it’s Spring; and it’s time for Spring Training Baseball. Like major league baseball, it’s time to get your gear in order and yourself in shape for your upcoming fishing trips. March also is the time that nearly everything seems to happen at once. This year is no exception.

Welcome to the Zane Grey Chapter March 2024 newsletter. March celebrates the beginning of Spring, March Madness, Mardi Gras, Pi-Day, and it is when activities really start churning. It's a wonderful time of the year in Arizona. In addition to Spring Training baseball, we have every conceivable festival, event, and outreach event possible.

It is also an opportunity for you to volunteer and help!

Our upcoming activities are varied, and we need volunteers for all these activities. Among the activities are:

  • Salt River Saturday, tomorrow, March 2, with Chris Rich of AZ Fly Shop. Come out and join ZGTU Education Chair Arthur Greenway as he hosts this Saturday.
  • AZ Fly Shop Spring Fling AZTU-ZGTU host a table – March 9
  • Salt River Saturday, March 16.
  • Bass Pro & Cabela’s Weekend, AZTU-ZGTU host a table – March 16 & 17,
  • AZGFD Outdoor Expo – March 23-24 with AFC, DFC, AZ Fly Shop, we’ll have our casting games as well as some swell SWAG. Come out and see us.
  • Chandler Nature @ Night, Chandler Nature Center 6-9Pm Saturday March 23
  • Native and Wild Trout Conference, AZGFD HQ, 9-4, April 11, 2024
  • Salt River Saturday, April 6, co-hosted by ZGTU VP Tom Goodwin and board member Fernando Reyes, along with the AZGFD R3 representatives Alec Young and Chase Newlon as we host kids from the Scottsdale Boys and Girls Club. We need volunteers for this event. More about the specifics of this event in next month’s newsletter.
  • BSA Sun City Grand Merit Badge Clinic April 13 – help kids fish, cast, and tie. 
  • 2024 Fish Camp three sessions: June 2-7, June 9-14 and June 16-21. Volunteers needed for a variety of duties. We’ll send more details separately.
  • Christopher Creek Restoration, TBD Spring 2024 

We encourage you to join us for these many activities. Volunteer by completing our volunteer sign-up here. Click here to see our events calendar and what we have scheduled. We’ll continue to update these events, so check back frequently.

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

Some sensible people might think it extreme to spend large bucks to fly for nearly 28 hours, connecting though multiple congested airports, enduring the indignity of endless security lines and fitful sleep just to catch bruiser brown trout on a big bug dry fly. Of course they would be wrong. Extreme is always in the eye of the beholder. 

But we’re talking about Brown Trout Nirvana in the shadows of the Chilean Andes; craggy, snowcapped peaks and broad, aggressive fish in gin clear water in the middle of nowhere. Aside from the occasional gaucho on a horse no other humans are in sight, only cows and sheep. Your eyes often drift up from the water to the mist-enshrouded, snow-encrusted mountains…and you miss the hook set. This makes the guides crazy. 

A bunch of us just got back from Patagonia, Chilé after a week at the remote Chile Trout Lodge on the shores of Lago Frio, an ancient lake about 45 minutes from Coyhaique at the southern end of Chilé. It is summertime in Chilé; warm, windy, and challenging. Not for the faint of heart. Long, dusty rides on endlessly bumpy roads followed by a hike to get to where the big browns lurk. But when you get there, it’s obvious that you’ve reached the promised land. 

Our friend Steve Berry of Destinations Fly Fish organized our trip early last summer and it lived up to every expectation. Great lodge, hospitable staff, wonderful food and understanding guides. But, if you decide to take the fly-fishing trip of a lifetime, there are a few things to ponder. So, I’ve asked Steve to give us a few tips on international travel and fly fishing. His insightful observations are included below in this month’s Fishing section. 

Last Saturday, February 24, the Arizona Council of Trout Unlimited’s Public Policy group, headed by Ron Stearns, held an informative strategic planning seminar at the Audubon Society headquarters in Phoenix. As a valued member of TU you should know we are very engaged in public policy when it comes to water rights and usage in Arizona. Now that the legislature is gearing up to deal with the scores of bills being proposed, our team is focused on the biggest issue facing Arizona’s future…water. 

If you’re interested in such things (and you should be) read Nate Rees' report on what’s happening at the legislature and the bills going forward. Nate is our Arizona Lead at the legislature. If you are even remotely intrigued by the political issues surrounding water in Arizona, you need to read through our Public Policy section every month. It will put you in the know. 

Need an excuse to head down Tucson way for a couple days? Alec Young, our intrepid shared staffer with AZ Game and Fish, has been working on a cool outing with our Old Pueblo chapter of TU. It’s called the Old Pueblo Summit at Mount Lemmon April 12-13. There’s a nice dinner on Friday night at Mount Lemmon Lodge and a fishing derby at Rose Lake on Saturday. Anyone who wants to come down and stay at the lodge gets a ten percent discount for Friday night. Trout Unlimited has also paid for use of a campground at Lizard Rock Campsite near Rose Lake that will accommodate 150 campers for Friday night through 7 p.m., Saturday. Free camping! 

And there’s a fishing derby on Saturday at Rose Lake, which will be specially stocked for the derby. Dry Creek Outfitters in Tucson is providing gear for the derby plus prizes for the winners. You can register for everything here.

Again, your membership in TU is important. As a fly angler you are already a conservationist. And TU is in the forefront of water conservation on both the local, regional and national levels. Our national magazine, TROUT, just profiled the work we have been doing for years to help with saving the Apache trout. The magazine is remarkably well-written and researched and worth the price of a membership alone.

And TU is in the documentary film business and had produced a film on the Apache trout that released yesterday, February 29.  

Resilience - The Rise of the Apache Trout showcases how the Apache trout has made a remarkable recovery due in large part to the White Mountain Apache Tribe, US Forest Service, AZGFD, USFWS, and AZTU over the course of more than 50 years in northern Arizona. Josh Duplechian and Tom Reed lead the development of this film, and over the past few years, TU has worked on several blogs, stories, and with media outlets to convey this success story as well:

TROUT: Resilience

TU Blog/TROUT: In a Native Place

TU Blog: Second Coming of the Apache Trout

Arizona Republic: How an Arizona tribe and wildlife biologists rescued the Apache trout from near extinction

Arizona Republic: Here's what to know about a proposal to remove the Apache trout from the threatened list

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Press Release: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announces recovery of Arizona’s ESA-protected state fish, prompting delisting proposal

If you need to renew your TU membership you can do it here easily. We've had some issues with access to the site and this link should take you directly to the renewal page. I know because I did it.

Coming up in Zane Grey Land:

Arizona Fly Casters' monthly meeting is on Tuesday, March 12 at the Arizona Italian American Club, 7509 E 12th St., Phoenix. Meeting starts at 6 p.m.

Desert Fly Casters' monthly meeting will be on Wednesday, March 13 at the Elks Club, 1775 W. Chandler Blvd, Chandler. Meeting starts at 7 p.m.

February Meeting Summary

The AZ Trout Unlimited-Public Policy Committee (AZTU-PPC) did not hold its normal meeting on February 8, 2024, but held its Annual Strategic Planning Summit at the Audubon facility on Saturday, February 24, 2024 from 8:00 am to noon.

The AZTU-PPC recognized Tom Osterday for his service and leadership of AZTU-PPC. Tom founded the committee in early 2018 and served as its chair through September 30, 2022. His leadership created the foundation for the ongoing activities of the AZTU-PPC.

The members also broke into two groups, Conservation Policy and Government Affairs, and developed our action plans for the 2023/2024 fiscal year. The key-note speaker was Trent Blomberg, the Council Coordinator/Assistant Legislative Liaison with the Arizona Department of Water Resources. His presentation covered the five recommendations from the Governor's Water Policy Council. Click here for his presentation: Governor's Water Policy Council Report . He spoke about a proposed bill, HB2857, that would establish Rural Groundwater Management Areas, giving local control to groundwater in rural Arizona.This is a bill that we strongly support but, unfortunately, it did not get a hearing in the Natural Resources, Energy & Water Committee. A competing bill, SB1221 would make it more difficult to provide meaningful local management of groundwater. Trent is hopeful that SB1221 might be modified to incorporate some of the components of HB2857. Here is a summary of why we oppose SB1221 as currently written: SB1221 - Why We Oppose. For more on this topic, see the Groundwater News in Arizona section below.

Legislative Update

The state legislature is in full swing.

The good news, I am happy to report that of the bills that we’ve been tracking, three died a quiet death (HB2021, HB2022, HB2376) and didn’t make it to the House Floor. The reason that this happens is never made public but it usually means that the bills did not have enough votes to pass and therefore are left out of a floor vote. With that, I want to give a giant THANK YOU to all of you who contacted your representatives, voiced your opposition to these bills, and helped kill them.

The bad news, one bad public lands bill and five memorials are still alive and well and headed to the Senate. A note on memorials. The five memorials in question here are not actionable items, they are official statements to the White House and to our congressional leaders. I’ll ask you; do you want a fringe group of our state legislators sending a message to the administration that Arizonans don’t value our public lands and would prefer that they be taken away from us? Me neither! Further, with every one of these memorials, a stronger and stronger case for the privatization of our public lands is being made. At this time, the best thing the sporting and outdoor recreation community (that’s you) can do is call your Senator and tell them that, as a sportsman, camper, birder, Arizona public lands owner, … the bills and memorials below are misguided and do not represent you or the rest of Arizona’s outdoor community. It’s so easy and, if you’d rather not call and talk to a live person, you can just call after hours and leave a message.

Don’t know who your Senator is? Find them here:

As these bills progress, I will continue to provide updates on the most effective ways to voice your opposition.



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.

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.

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.

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. 

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

Groundwater News in Arizona

Groundwater regulation is a hot topic in this legislative session. The Ad-hoc Committee in Arizona 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 draft legislation would empower local and rural communities to create Rural Groundwater Management Areas if the groundwater in their rural community became threatened.

Update: The Governor's Water Policy Committee has provided recommendations to the Governor. The key recommendations for Rural Groundwater Management are:

  • Allow local communities to take action when the data shows that a basin is being over drafted (more water being taken out than going in)
  • In the event that a basin is being over drafted, a Council, made up of local leaders would be formed to ascertain the specific needs of the community and to propose an action plan to address the issues.
  • The Arizona Department of Water Resources would provide the science-based data to lead the corrective action.
  • The designation of a Rural Groundwater Management Area periodically to determine if the need continued.

You can access the complete Report from the Council at:

The Committee is currently meeting with legislators, educating them on the challenges and advocating for Rural Groundwater Management Areas legislation.

We encourage you to be alert for calls to support the Rural Groundwater Stewardship Areas legislation in the current legislative session!

Upcoming Public Policy Events

There will be an AZTU-PPC Meeting on Thursday, March 14, 2024. Jim Strogen, a TU member with the Gila Chapter, will be the guest speaker and will provide an update on the Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program as well as a recent SEIS issued in connection with the smallmouth bass invasion into the Lees Ferry fishery and the impact on the rainbow and brown trout population.

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

Annual Native and Wild Trout Conference - April 11th

Another year has gone by and time for the 15th Annual Native and Wild Trout Conference on April 11th from 8:30a.m. - 3:00p.m. at the AZGFD headquarters.


This year the conference returns again to an in-person event. In April 2023, more than 115 individuals from over 50 agencies and organizations attended to hear many wide-ranging topics and presenters. 


Don’t miss this highly informative networking event to hear the latest on native and wild trout restoration work in Arizona and New Mexico.


Details on registration (due by April 4th) and topics can be found at Attendees will receive a free lunch.


If interested in helping contact Alec Young or Jim Walker to volunteer.

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. 

You want to go Where??

by Steve Berry

In the world of fly fishing, we all like to look at the amazing places to fish, either online or in the magazines. We picture ourselves in exotic locations fly fishing for the fish of your dreams so we can take a picture and put it back. If we are lucky enough to have connectivity, within minutes, we have shared the pic on social media and sent it to 96 of our closest friends.

Ok, so back to reality. You just got home from fishing a canal close to the house and broke off your best fly on a shopping cart while trying to catch a carp. Oh well, back to the internet and dreaming of a trip. Here are a few quick thoughts on actually making that trip happen.

  • Have realistic goals on where you want to go. I, like many others, look at some places to fish and picture myself there. For some it’s having the time to go, for others it’s having the budget to go. There are plenty of great trips out there that probably fit your situation. Do a little homework and make it happen.
  • “I am the most awesome fisherman ever,” now go back to being realistic. There are trips for beginners up to expert anglers. If you know you don’t have the skill to make the 60 foot cast in the wind, with a guide barking over your shoulder, you might want to choose something with the opportunity for more success and work up to the bigger trip.
  • Planning, Planning, Planning. The trip research and plans are crucial to having a great experience. If you are going to spend your time and money on a trip, be sure you ask the right questions before you go. Airfare, ground transportation, equipment etc.…. these are just some of the things that can make or break a trip. It never hurts to consult someone in the fly fishing travel business. If someone else has done the homework, take advantage of their experience.
  • Finally, manage your expectations. The picture you saw on the internet of the amazing brown trout may be extra amazing. It may have also taken the angler three days of hard fishing to catch that fish. They usually forget to mention that in the posting. Fishing is still fishing. Even with the best planning, sometimes the weather comes in and sometimes the fishing is just tough. I would tell anyone to go into a trip excited that you are headed out with friends or family on a great adventure. Relax, have a great time and the rest will usually take care of itself. I have caught some of my best fish when I was least expecting it.

So, there you have it. The quick version of how to get started or continue your fly fishing travel journey. I can’t wait to see you on the water.

Steve Berry

Steve Berry is the Owner/Operator of Destinations Fly Fish, Steve continues to push fly-fishing travel to the next level. Clients always at the front of mind, Steve remains on the hunt for that next great trip location. When he is not hosting trips, you’ll find him teaching fly-fishing classes, doing speaking engagements, or helping at the local club or fly shop events. Taking the time to help teach fly fishing at AZTU-GCC Fish Camp every summer is a priority.

Book Your Ultimate Fishing Trip Today (

Social Media: 
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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

Join Trout Unlimited Today!

Not a member yet? Looking for a gift idea?  Join today at Trout Unlimited!

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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Protect. Reconnect. Restore. Sustain. Conserving coldwater habitat in the desert southwest.