April 2024| View Upcoming Events

Hello Alan,

April 2024 Newsletter

It’s official, Spring is here!

How do we know, well, certainly not by the weather this past weekend, but …

a)   wildflowers now blossom along our rural roads and highways;

b)   you started reorganizing your fly boxes;

c)   Baseball Season begun;

d) The NCAA basketball Final Four is concluding, right here in Arizona; and,

e)   we have activities nearly every weekend in multiple locations.

Additionally, we wish you a belated happy Easter and later, a Happy Passover to celebrate along with Earth Day, Arbor Day, and Tax Day. Although the only ones I know celebrating tax-day are the IRS and accountants.

Welcome to the Zane Grey Chapter April newsletter. Our March was busy with lots of activities. A special shout-out to Mark Rosin and Kim Tillery who did extraordinary job collecting and scheduling the many volunteers needed for our various activities. Among those activities were:

  • we hosted a table at the AZ Fly Shop’s 3rd Annual Spring Fling March 9;
  • we hosted a table Saturday and Sunday March 16 &17 at Bass Pro Shop, Mesa;
  • we jointly hosted a Tent and casting area with AZ Fly Shop, Desert Fly Casters Club, and Arizona Flycasters Club with a fly-casting area, fly tying demonstration; at the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Outdoor Expo, March 23 & 24. The two-day event had thousands enjoying the many activities, and we frequently had long lines of people wanting to cast a fly line and win a prize. See video courtesy of DFC;
  • Hosted a table and scavenger hunt at Chandler Nature Center's Nature at Night, March 23.

Some of our upcoming activities include:

  • Along with Arizona Game and Fish Department, Desert Fly Casters Club, we are hosting about two-dozen youth from the Scottsdale Boys and Girls Club for a Salt River Saturday Clean-up this Saturday, April 6, 2024. Register here;
  • The 15th Annual Native and Wild Trout Conference, April 11, it’s not too late to register, but act quick registration closes Thursday, April 4;
  • We are co-hosting a Fishing and Fly-fishing Merit Badge Clinic; with the Grand Fishing Club, fka Sun City Grand Fishing Club, April 13, 2024;
  • R-C Pond and Christopher Creek area conservation projects various dates TBD early May – Look for our announcements we’ll send soon.
  • 2024 Fish Camp three sessions: June 2 – 7, June 9 – 14; & June 16 – 21. Volunteers needed for a variety of duties. Have a teenage kid or grandkid you want to teach to fish, you can send them to camp by clicking here.

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. Volunteer by completing our volunteer sign-up here.

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

The recent re-release on Netflix last month of the 2022 award-winning film, Mending the Line, has received a lot of attention in past weeks. And rightfully so. The fictional storyline about a severely wounded young Marine dealing with the physical and emotional aftermath of combat in Afghanistan is compelling. That he struggles to find peace with his past through fly fishing and the tough love mentoring of an aging Marine warrior is at times painful to watch. 

After seeing all the advance promotion from veterans groups and the fly fishing community I was eager to watch the film on Netflix on March 23, the day it was released. I enjoyed it. It’s a gritty, awkward, and revealing journey of pathos and hope. It has all the elements of explosive drama. But I was also intrigued about how a project like this comes about. 

The screenplay was written by Montana-based creative writer Stephen Camelio. The director was Joshua Caldwell. The able core cast of Brian Cox, Sinqua Walls, Perry Hattfeld, Patricia Heaton and Wes Studi do a great job bringing Camelio’s script to life. 

When Mending the Line was first released to theaters in June of 2023 it grossed less than $380,000 for the run. Not exactly box office gold. The US Marine Corps and the Department of Defense were investors in the project and the message it conveyed. So, the initial theatrical box office didn’t really matter; that was more of a test run than anything else. This movie was made to stream. 

From the time Mending the Line premiered at the Woodstock Film Festival in September 2022 to its theatrical release was just a few months. But because of the exposure the film has received from the conservation, veterans and fly fishing communities in the run up to the Netflix debut, it’s safe to say the movie has been seen by bazillions more eyeballs last week than in all the theaters last summer. It’s in the Top Ten movies on Netflix this week. It’s also available to stream on YouTube, Google Play, Prime Video and Apple TV for $3.99. It gets positive reviews on every platform. 

So, if you haven’t seen Mending the Line, give it a try. The fly fishing scenes are nearly flawless. They got it right. But, it’s ultimately a story about hurt, healing and the power of the natural world. Sometimes we need to be reminded. 

ONE OF THE BEST WAYS TO LEARN about the outdoors in any state is to subscribe to its wildlife protection agency’s periodical. If you fish western states’ rivers and buy those licenses the magazine is offered. And they’re generally cheap and very good. Arizona Wildlife Views, published by Arizona Game & Fish, is one of the best in MHO.  

Much has been written lately about the very successful rebound of Arizona’s state fish, the Apache Trout. In the spring edition of Arizona Wildlife Views is a great story on the reintroduction of the Apache Trout into Conklin Creek on the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest. Written by Zach Beard, Arizona’s Native Aquatics Program manager, the story details the hard work and how difficult this process has been over the years. It has been trial and error in controlling not only invasive species but in habitat management after the Wallow Fire burned through the Conklin Creek watershed in 2011. 

According to Beard’s story, the recent stocking of Conklin Creek “was the culmination of over 18 years of conservation efforts.” Because of the work AZG&F, Trout Unlimited and the White Mountain Apache tribe has done to save the Apache Trout, the US Fish and Wildlife Service has recommended the Apache Trout be delisted from the Endangered Species list. 

THERE'S MORE BIG NEWS from the Arizona Council of Trout Unlimited. TroutFest is coming to Arizona on Saturday, February 22, 2025, 11 a.m to 5 p.m. at Chase Field. That’s right, the baseball stadium! This is an all-ages family event that will feature exciting exhibitors, music, great food, fly casting clinics, fly tying and much, much more. Cost is $5 and youths under 18 are free.

This a big deal and we will need volunteers for crowd control, guides and greeters. If you would like be a sponsor or volunteer, please drop a line to our Angler Recruitment guru, Alex Young at alec.young@TU.org. You heard it first here. 

Coming up in Zane Grey Land

Arizona Fly Casters' monthly meeting is on Tuesday, April 9 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, April 10 at the Elks Club, 1775 W. Chandler Blvd, Chandler. Meeting starts at 7 p.m.

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.

March Meeting Summary

The AZ Trout Unlimited-Public Policy Committee (AZTU-PPC) held its normal meeting on March 14, 2024. Jim Strogen, a member with the TU Gila Chapter, was the guest speaker and provided 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 populations. He stated that AZTU would provide a response to the SEIS by March 22, 2024.

On February 24, 2024 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.

Legislative Update

As the bills below progress, I will continue to provide updates on the most effective ways to voice your opposition. Thank you!

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 and Senate Natural Resource Committee.

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 and Senate Natural Resource Committee.

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 passed the House and Senate Natural Resource Committee.

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 passed the House and Senate Natural Resource Committee.

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 passed the House and Senate Natural Resource Committee.

Groundwater News in Arizona

This past month, the AZ legislature passed SB1221, which was then vetoed by Governor Hobbs. Shepherded by Sen. Sine Kerr and Rep. Gail Griffin, this legislation was their attempt to block any future legislation that would actually empower local communities to protect their groundwater. It was characterized as a "sheep in wolves' clothing" piece of legislation. It purported to provide protections, but the process was 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 was blocked from receiving a hearing in the Natural Resources, Energy & Water Committee by its chair, Rep Gail Griffin.

The fight continues!

Background: 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.

Upcoming Public Policy Events

There will not be a normal meeting of the AZTU-PPC on Thursday, April 11, 2024. The meeting has been canceled so that members can attend the annual AZ Game & Fish Department Native and Wild Trout Conference to be held on April 11, 2024 at the AZGFD offices located at the Ben Avery Shooting facility which starts at 8:30 am till 3:00 pm.

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

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.

Zane Grey Chapter Youth

Equity & Inclusion Committee

By Fernando Reyes

Trout Unlimited’s ability to remain effective in the future will hinge, in part, on our ability to bring more women, people of color, and younger members into the organization. This is not a nod to political correctness. The simple fact is that the more our members and supporters resemble the broader fly- fishing demographic – if not the nation itself – the more resonant our messages and calls to action. In addition, as with every other conservation organization, we want to grow the overall number of TU members and supporters. Why, more members and supporters translate to more clout for trout (and salmon and steelhead).

Friday March 8, 2024, was a big step forward for the Zane Grey Chapter in working towards uncovering new opportunities to deepen and grow diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) throughout our ranks and chapter membership. Thanks to the Kerri Russell Equity Fund managed by TU National, Zane Grey Chapter board members were able to host a four-hour seminar on “connection and community” in the outdoors. Our chapter recruited the help of Orvis’s Inclusion and Engagement Business Partner, Sav Sankaran who moderated the event and provided valuable information regarding the changing demographics in the outdoors and conservation spaces.

The seminar discussed some of the barriers in attempting to create a more diverse membership profile and allowed participants to brainstorm potential solutions our chapter can consider when recruiting new members. It also reminded us of activities and communications we can use to maintain healthy retention levels. A highlight of the seminar was an open conversation surrounding our chapter’s values and guiding principles and using this methodology to demonstrate to other groups that we wish to partner with them. Focusing on intentional action towards conservation without forgetting to “listen to and understand” our partner organizations, prospective members, and current members is key.

The participation in this seminar by various board members allows the Zane Grey chapter to have an opportunity to apply for further funding via the Kerri Russell Equity fund. “We basically checked off a pre-requisite for future funding, and we now have a framework to use when reaching out to like-minded individuals and groups” said Fernando Reyes, the chapter’s Youth, Diversity and Inclusion Committee Chair. The grant program is set to provide us funding for a broad array of outreach and membership recruitment activities. We are excited to bring the entire board together and discuss our next steps in planning future outreach events. 

Annual Native and Wild Trout Conference - April 11th

The 15th Annual Native and Wild Trout Conference is April 11th from 8:30a.m. - 3:00p.m. at the Arizona Game and Fish Department headquarters.

Details to register (by April 4th) and topics can be found at


Don’t miss this highly informative networking event and hear the latest on native and wild trout restoration work in Arizona and New Mexico. Attendees will receive a free lunch.


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

Nature At Night Event  & Chandler Nature Center

On March 23rd, TU was an exhibitor at the annual Nature At Night event at the Chandler Nature Center.  Exhibitors promoted the message of environmental conservation and wildlife protection. A record 700+ participants attended the event.

TU provided a scavenger hunt for 125+ youth in the Nature Center with a focus on the Trout in the Classroom and Fish Camp opportunities. All completed the answers correctly and received an Apache trout bookmark.

On April 27th Alec Young, TU Angling Recruitment Partnership Coordinator, will provide a presentation on the history of the Apache trout which has been recently delisted from the endangered species list. Alec and AZGFD invite you to learn more about the incredible fish that continues to defy all odds.

For more information and events available see Chandler Nature Center.

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. 

April Fishing Report

Lee’s Ferry - Excellent

If you want to avoid spring mountain runoff, try fishing Arizona's best tailwater this April. Rainbows in this section of the Colorado River feast on a steady diet of midges and scuds.

As the weather warms up, be on the lookout for plentiful spring hatches. BWOs and midges should be active throughout the day and can offer fun dry-fly fishing. Try targeting riffles and faster moving water. In the early morning, focus on nymphing the deeper runs. San Juan worms and egg patterns will catch plenty of fish.

Best Bets:

#18 Tungsten Zebra Midge

#14 Gray Scud

#14 Gummy Worm

#8 Sculpzilla

#16 Glo-Bug

#18 Bead Head Biot Midge Emerger

Rim Creeks - Excellent

April is a great month to get up into Rim country. Consistent sunny days and warm weather should trigger the start of dry fly season on many of these creeks.

As the runoff recedes, stealth and presentation become imperative. Take your time to assess each pool and make your first cast count! As the water clarity increases and levels drop, fish will cling tight to structure like cut banks and rocks.

Dry droppers are a Rim favorite this time of year. Try prospecting with a general dry pattern like an elk hair caddis or stimulator. Towards the later part of April, try tying on a terrestrial or two.

Best Bets:

#16 Caddis Larva

#16 Tugsten Jig Hares Ear

#14 Bead Head Simi Seal Leech

#16 Green Back Pheasant Tail

#16 Faulkin Caddis

#14 Stimulator Rubber Legs

Oak Creek - Good

Arizona Game and Fish has resumed its rainbow stocking schedule on Oak Creek, which will continue through the summer. There are still plenty of wild browns prowling the pools and runs as well.

Similar to the Rim creeks, Oak Creek flows should drop in April and dry droppers will be effective. Keep an eye out for midges and BWOs coming off the water.

When fishing the runs, smaller bead head nymphs will produce fish on Oak Creek. If fish are being picky, try adding a leech or an egg to your rig.

Best Bets:

#4 Sculpzilla

#6 Beldar Bugger

#18 Bead Head Hare's Ear

#16 Tungsten Jig Czech Princess

The Complete Fishing Report Here

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

Join Trout Unlimited Today!

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