January 2024| View Upcoming Events

Hello Alan,

Happy New Year!

Welcome to the Zane Grey Chapter January 2024 newsletter. We wish you the very best for the new year and hope you’ve had a joyous holiday season and had an opportunity to spend time with friends and family.

While much of the U.S. is suffering severe weather, we are certainly blessed in Arizona; we can fish year-round. If Santa brought you new fishing gear you are dying to try, there are plenty of opportunities. While the mountain creeks may be chilly and low, there are still many opportunities for fishing here in the valley. One of several opportunities are our fortnightly Salt River Saturdays; the next one is next Saturday, January 6, 2024, where we will again co-host a Salt River Saturday event with Arizona Game and Fish Department. More information is below and here. The Salt River Saturdays are as follows:

  • December 2, 2023
  • January 6, 2024
  • January 20, 2024
  • February 3, 2024
  • February 17, 2024
  • March 2, 2024
  • March 16, 2024
  • April 6, 2024

The Arizona Trout In the Classroom (TIC) program distributed eggs to 36-Arizona schools for the 2023-24 school year in November. The program continues to grow and Trout In the Classroom is looking for new schools for future enrollments, and always looking for additional volunteers.

We continue this season of giving and we hope you can find it in your heart to help our annual fundraising drive. We continue our quest to get both the Apache Trout and the Gila Trout off the Endangered Species List and continue our efforts to sustain and improve the Apache Trout habitat. If you overlooked your letter, or still wish to contribute, you may see the letter here, or simply click here

We’ve had a busy year – we had a number of activities, and here is a sample of the things we accomplished:

  • Co-hosted eight Salt River Saturdays and trash clean-ups with Arizona Game and Fish Department R3 program, Arizona Flycasters Club, and Desert Fly Casters Club.
  • Participated in Yuma Valley Rod and Gun Club Kids Fishing Day
  • Hosted table at various events in the valley
  • Had table at the AZ Fly Shop Film Festival (and received a $5000 donation for Arizona Council activities)
  • Hosted a youth conservation and trash clean-up day with the Scottsdale Boys & Girls Club.
  • As part of the AZTU Council team, held three-weeks of fish camp at Camp R-C near Payson with 26 campers and 13-volunteers. Thanks again to the volunteers!
  • A Zane Grey Chapter work party cleared brush, prepared the site, and completed other necessary work for our spring box and pipeline contractor to finish his work.

Scroll to the Public Policy section to see the 2023 Public Policy Committee accomplishments. 

Until then, 

Tight Lines. 


Alan Davis

By Woody Wilson

Happy New Year! If you were fortunate enough for Santa to drop a new fly rod under your tree this Christmas (like moi), I'm here to help you with a few New Year ideas on how to break it in. I'm taking mine to Chile next month. More on that in March.

We are fortunate in metro Phoenix to have active fly-fishing clubs and outfitters that are booking trips far and wide in 2024. Here are a few to get you thinking on how you might put that new rod to work.

ZGTU Board member Arthur Greenway snooking it up in Belize last year.

Grace Rich at AZ Fly Shop gave us some 2024 destinations and dates that are literally all over the map. AZ Fly Shop will have more trips coming on-line in the weeks to come. And, if you have a special place you would like fish anywhere in the world give them a call and see if they can make it happen for you.

San Juan River

April 21-24, 2024 and October 16-19, 2024


Missoula, Montana 

June 23-27, 2024 and June 30-July 4, 2024

LINK: https://www.azflyshop.com/missoula-montana/?v=e748b7c8fd06

Puerto Rico

August 18-24, 2024


Amazon, Brazil

December 1-7, 2024


Magdalena Bay (Mexico)

Likely in March/April and Sept/October


Grace says they are still locking in dates for Costa Rica and Argentina this year. They will also be doing five White Mountain trips from June to October. Those dates are TBD. https://www.azflyshop.com/white-mountains-trip/?v=e748b7c8fd06

Our good friend Steve Berry has a new company, Destinations Fly Fish, and he has a great looking schedule for 2024.

Pyramid Lake, March 21-25

San Juan River, NM, April 18-21 -- Soaring Eagle Lodge

Big Horn River, MT, May 30-June 2 -- Big Horn River Lodge


Boliva, Golden Dorado, July 18-27

Belize, El Pescador, October 24-29


More information on Steve and his new company click here. Or, call 480-223-3117.

Coming up in Zane Grey Land:

Arizona Fly Casters' monthly meeting is on Tuesday, Jan. 9 at the Arizona Italian American Club, 7509 E 12th St., Phoenix. This month's speaker is Montana's Jim Klug from Yellowdog Fly Fishing Adventures. Meeting starts at 6 p.m.

Desert Fly Casters' monthly meeting will be on Wed., Jan. 10 at the Elks Club, 1775 W. Chandler Blvd, Chandler. This month's speaker is Jim Klug, who seems to making the rounds in warmer Arizona this month. Meeting starts at 6:30 p.m.

If your TU membership has lapsed, please take a moment and renew. Our Zane Gray TU team is doing exceptional work, and we need you! And after you've re-upped, tell a friend to join us. New members get an introductory half-price membership here. Pass it on. Here's the renewal membership link. Click here to renew.

December Meeting Summary

The AZTU-PPC meeting held on December 14, 2023, was primarily devoted to discussing the strategy session to be held on Saturday, February 24, 2024 from 8:00 am to noon, a legislative update and the culvert status on Deep Creek on the White Mountain Apache Tribe land from Nate Rees, a Rural Groundwater Working Group update from Tom Osterday, and the members discussed participation of the conservation committee with the public policy committee.

Legislative Update

The state legislature is somewhat quiet right now, they passed their budget on May 12, 2023. There are confirmation hearings taking place and bills are being drafted. TU will continue to monitor these hearings and continue building relationships with lawmakers until year end, so we can be productive in the upcoming 2024 session which starts on January 8, 2024.

Groundwater News in Arizona

Groundwater continues to be a hot topic in Arizona! 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 of Phoenix, Prescott, Pinal County, Tucson, and Santa Cruz which were established by the legislation in 1980. The draft legislation would empower local and rural communities to create Rural Groundwater Stewardship Areas if the groundwater in their rural community became threatened.

The Governor's Water Policy Committee has provided recommendations to the Governor.

The Committee is currently hosting county-based dialogue sessions to engage local residents in the issues. One was held in Flagstaff for Coconino County on October 25th and had an attendance of local community members of approximately 70 people. Coconino County Supervisor Patrice Horstman, the water manager for Flagstaff, the mayor of Tucson, a hydrology professor from NAU, and our AZTU-PPC Past Chairman, Tom Osterday, were panelists. Additional meetings/events are being planned.

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

Two articles published in the Arizona Republic recently:

Arizona won't explain why it has paused leases on some state-owned farmland.

Is the Arizona State Land Department taking steps to reverse a handful of unpopular leases? Or, more widely rethinking water use on state trust land?

Check out the story here:

Water shortfall could halt growth.

Check out the story: here

Upcoming Events

The January 2024 AZTU-PPC Meeting will be held Thursday, January 11, 2024, at 7:00 PM. The meeting will have a video presentation from Dr. Caroline Nash, a principal at CK Blueshift, LLC, on the planning phase status of the Thompson Meadow Restoration Project, and the remaining half of the meeting will be devoted to updates on initiatives from members of the Public Policy Committee related to the upcoming legislative session, rural ground water, and further discussion of the upcoming strategy session to be held on Saturday, February 24, 2024.

The AZTU-Public Policy Committee (AZTU-PPC) 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.

AZGFD Video of the Month - Trout in the Classroom (TIC)

Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) showcased in its monthly e-news the Arizona TIC program that offers students hands-on experience in raising trout in a classroom setting.

See the 4-minute video at video.

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. 

Zane Grey Chapter and AZGFD's Arizona FishAZ Network are co-sponsoring

Salt River Saturday Conservation and Fishing event,

January 6 - Sign-up below!

Saturday, January 6, 9:00AM

Zane Grey Chapter is joining with Arizona FishAZ Network and presenting Salt River Saturdays this Saturday.

We are continuing our conservation efforts by asking everyone to collect a net full of trash.


Who: {First Name}, you are invited

What: Conservation and Fishing Day

When: Saturday, January 6, 9-11

Where: Blue Point Bridge

Look for the TU Signs and Banners.

What to bring: rod, waders, net* and flies (Green Weenie's, small black zebra midges, pheasant tails, green, black and yellow woolly worms and woolly buggers).

Can we count on you?


Blue Point Recreation Area, Bush Hwy


01/06/24 9:00am - 01/06/24 11:00am US/Arizona
Salt River Saturday and trash pickup along the Salt River - We're back at the Blue Point Bridge
I'll Be There!
I Can't Make It

You may also register with the Arizona FishAZ Network here.

Don’t forget you need a Tonto parking pass

Assistance available for beginners: At 9:30 am

We'll have Coffee and Donuts, and trash grabbers!

Questions: call,

ZGTU Host for this Saturday,

Alan Davis

(925) 785-5583


PS: Tonto National Forest Pass or a National Park Pass required to visit the Salt River 

Visit Arizona FishAZ Network and register

The January Fishing Report courtesy of Pheasant Tail Fly Fishing.

Lee’s Ferry - Hot

As colder weather sets in across the state, now is a great time to fish our premier tailwater. Be on the lookout for the spawning season to begin. Pre-spawn rainbows will start moving into the shallows, offering fun sight fishing opportunities. 

Nymphing will typically produce the most fish at the Ferry. Check out our Oros Strike Indicators for the best drifts!

Best Bets:

#18 Tungsten Zebra Midge 

#14 Gray Scud

#14 Gummy Worm

#8 Sculpzilla

#16 Glo-Bug

Rim Creeks - Excellent

Anglers often stumble into their largest Rim fish of the year in January. Recovered from the spawn and enjoying cooler water temps, large brown trout can be found under cut banks and boulders. 

On warmer afternoons, don't be afraid to tie on a dry dropper, especially if the water clarity is decent. When the water is higher and stained, target soft pockets and edges, no matter how small. 

Best Bets:

#16 caddis larva

#16 Tungsten Jig Hares Ear

#14 Bead Head Simi Seal Leech

#16 Green Back Pheasant Tail

#16 Faulkin Caddis

Salt River - Good

Trout stocking continues. Freshly stocked fish will likely eat any fly as they try to determine what constitutes “food” in their new system. By the time they've been in there for a few weeks, they can be really picky and difficult to catch. Target trout by drifting bead head nymphs through riffles and swinging nymphs and soft hackles through runs.

Sucker and carp seasons are in full swing on the Salt! If you're looking to challenge yourself, find a good vantage point and practice sight fishing to the Sonora Sucker you'll see cruising the river.

The Salt River has a lot of fish activity and has very clear water. Pro tip: observe the fish and water for at least 10 minutes before rigging up and fishing. 

Best Bets:

#12 Bead Head Simi Seal Leech

#16 Tungsten Midge 

#16 Bead Head Hare's Ear

#12 Gummy Worm

#10 Beldar Bugger

Read the rest of the Arizona 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!

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.