September 2023 | View Upcoming Events
September 2023

It is back to school and end of Summer for most. Fall is in the air, or will be soon, and in the Phoenix valley, we are celebrating finally getting our monsoon. As the days shorten and the nights get cooler, the mountain lakes will begin to turn-over creating fantastic fishing opportunities.

Speaking of back to school, the Arizona Trout In the Classroom (TIC) program is gearing up for the 2023-24 School year. We just learned the eggs will arrive early November, and Trout in the Classroom is looking for egg-delivery volunteers . Also, there is a TIC Workshop on October 7. More about TIC later in the newsletter.

Some of the August notable events include:
  • The August 10, 2023, U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s Apache Trout formal announcement and Apache trout delisting celebration held at the USFWS Williams Creek Hatchery in Whiteriver, AZ. Several of us attended this event. See more here and in the newsletter.
  • Grand Canyon National Monument created and dedicated August 7. Nate Rees worked tirelessly on this monument and attended the formal event. More about this event here.

In addition to our active August, we look forward to a busy autumn with several upcoming activities.
  • First, we have a “rock-rolling” activity at R-C Scout Ranch, this Saturday September 9. Our conservation chair Rod Buchanan is leading this event; sign up and more information here.
  • I'll be speaking at the Arizona Flycasters Club monthly meeting next week, 7:00PM Tuesday September 12, at the Arizona American Italian Club, 7509 N 12th St, Phoenix, AZ 85020. Come join us!
  • AZ Fly Shop is holding a film festival, Sunday September 24, 2023, 4-8PM. Tickets and more information here. AZ Fly Shop is supporting AZTU with a portion of the funds from this event.

We’re headed to the Trout Unlimited Conference in Spokane at the end of the month. Look for a special announcement from this event.

Your ZGTU board asks that as you read this newsletter, and please think about how you would like to join in and help promote fishing, conservation, education, and love of nature. You may contact me or any board member to let us know about your ideas.

Until then, 
Tight Lines. 
Alan Davis
By Woody Wilson
It’s Labor Day at this writing and a sublime summer of fly fishing some of our great western rivers and streams is sadly over. My dog, Elsa, and I left Arizona on June 30 and returned on August 15. We covered nearly 5000 miles in Utah, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana. We took the back roads whenever possible and never regretted a mile. The people we met along way; the waitresses, the pet-friendly hotels staff, the river and museum guides (yep, we do culture, too), park rangers and fellow anglers were without exception, kind and helpful. It is truly and spectacularly America the Beautiful out there and I can’t wait to do it again.

But, fishing was tough. Between the smoke from forest fires in Canada and the low, warm water on many of our western rivers, fishing conditions in Montana and Wyoming were less than ideal. On smaller rivers and streams the trout were stressed and holed up in deeper, inaccessible water. Some rivers were closed to anglers because the trout simply wouldn’t live through the fight. Some blame climate change for the warmer waters. Others blame mismanagement of the early snow pack melt as it drained into regional reservoirs like Flathead Lake and Hungry Horse. Regardless, Trout Unlimited plays a major role in helping to shape the future of trout habitat in the West and judging from what I saw this summer we have our work cut out for us. 

SO, THERE WERE DAYS on our journey when I just wanted to take a break for reading, research, touring the town or surfing fly fishing social media. Call it mindless intelligence gathering. And, if you’re a fly angler, you’ve probably been targeted by these groups. Some are for collectors, some are promoting trips, others are selling flies and gear, or they’re just braggarts. 

Let’s start with Trout Porn. If you’re hip to Trout Porn, you know it’s nothing salacious. It is, however, tasteful photos of mostly attractive female anglers holding ginormous trout. They even sell a calendar. As an equal opportunity angler, I give it a hands down thumbs up. 

Inveterate (read addict) collectors of vintage fly fishing kit will love the group Classic Fly Fishing Tackle Anglers. You can’t just join this group, you have to be vetted. Seriously. If you’re a collector of cane rods and older, classic gear, this is your site. Bob Wagner is the admin and does a good job of keeping it interesting and educational. 

And, there are many other social media platforms that provide interesting fly fishing content. There’s Fly Fishing USA not to be confused with USA Fly Fishing. Fly Fishing Addicts is a favorite of mine. And so is Fly Fishing in Arizona. 

Once you add these platforms to your feed, you’ll get other solicitations to join groups. Pick and choose but remember, you can spend hours immersing yourself in fly fishing stuff from all over the planet. I know, I did it this summer. 

Thanks to ZGTU member Thomas Webb who took me up on my offer to publish our members' summer fish photos. On the right is Tom’s Makenzie River (Oregon) rainbow. Like me, Tom extended his stay up north to “stay out of the Arizona HEAT”. Thanks, Tom! Great photo! 

If you’re a TU member, send me your fish photos and I’ll publish them here.
ON SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Arizona Flycasters Club invites you to their annual “Angler’s Attic” sale at the Arizona American Italian Club, 7509 N. 12th St., Phoenix, 85022. The event will be held in the banquet room. According to the promotional flyer, “there is a strong presence of fly tying materials as well as thousands of flies starting at 3 for $1.00. Fly tiers will find a wealth of useful items.” For more info, visit

SAN JUAN SWEEPSTAKES! The Arizona Council of Trout Unlimited is presenting the Durangler’s Sweepstakes, which includes a certificate for a two-day trip of guided float or wade fishing for two anglers with Durangler’s owner Tom Knopick. Package will also include a $600 lodging allowance. Not included are transportation, food and drink, license fees and guide tips. Dates for this trip are subject to prior bookings but are otherwise unrestricted. The certificate will expire at the end of September, 2024. Ticket sales end at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, October 3. The winning ticket will be drawn at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, October 8. Entries are 10 for $25; 25 for $50; 50 for $75 and 80 for $100. You can Enter Here. 

AZFlyShop is presenting the Fly Fish Film Tour on Sunday, September 24, 5 p.m. at Moon Valley Country Club, 151 W Moon Valley Dr, Phoenix, AZ. The 2023 show will feature locations from Cuba to Patagonia, Mexico to Australia, Alaska, Wyoming, the Deep South, Massachusetts and beyond. Tickets are $22-$30 and can be purchased here. Your ZGTU team will be there!

JUST A REMINDER: If your TU membership has lapsed, please take a moment and renew. Our Zane Grey TU team is doing great 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.

Here's a link to an interesting story from Alaska about one of the numerous award winning projects TU is responsible for around the nation. Trout Unlimited in Alaska.
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Let's Meet In Spokane!
CX3 (TU's Annual Meeting) September 27 - October 1

CX3 is TU's biggest family-and-friends focused gathering of the year. Connect with fellow coldwater conservation enthusiasts and take part in conservation-focused events all around Spokane, Washington. There are lots of activities for everyone: site tours, fishing excursions, kids' activities, discussion panels, networking, happy hours...

You can attend the whole shebang or a la carte events. Spokane is a beautiful destination where there's always outdoor adventures awaiting. If you are traveling with kiddos or significant others, CX3 has you covered with entertainment for all ages and interests.
International Women's Fly Fishing Day
September 12

Started by Maddy Kelly and Pamela Caldwell Dunlap, these two women who have been sharing their passion for fishing and the outdoors with other women. And, it turns out that fishing has multiple benefits--for EVERYONE.

Research Proves That Women Who Fish Are Happier And Healthier

According to a study conducted by Take Me Fishing, a subsidiary brand of the non-profit Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation, women who fish have significantly more self-confidence, self-esteem and self-perseverance than those who don't.
August Meeting Summary

The AZTU-PPC meeting held in August 2023 included a presentation from Rebecca Davidson with the National Forest Foundation (NFF) and shared with the AZTU-PPC members the goals of the NFF and the projects that the NFF has been involved with in Arizona. We concluded that AZTU-PPC and NFF have a lot of common goals.

Legislative Update

The state legislature is very quiet right now, they passed their budget on May 12th and there is no activity on bills. The only items taking place are confirmation hearings. TU will continue to monitor these hearings and continue building relationships with lawmakers over the Summer and into Fall so we can be productive in the upcoming 2024 session.

Groundwater News in AZ

Groundwater continues to be a hot topic in AZ! Here are 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 September 2023 AZTU-PPC Meeting will be held Thursday, September 14, 2023 at 7:00 PM. This meeting will have a presentation from Jennifer Yachnin with E&E News by Politico. She writes about Western water and drought policies. We are anxious to hear from her on her observations.

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 .
Trout in the Classroom Update
The return of students to school also means preparations are underway for another year of Trout in the Classroom in Arizona.
A day-long workshop for teachers and volunteers is scheduled for October 7th

Arizona Game and Fish Department has tentatively planned for eggs to be available in early November for delivery to an estimated 40 schools statewide.
Volunteers are needed in many different roles and the amount of time is very minimal over the school year but very rewarding. Drivers are needed on delivery day in November. If you have up to 3 hours available to deliver a bag of 100 rainbow trout eggs to a school near you, please volunteer at Delivery Day. 

Don’t miss the must-see video providing an overview of the Arizona program with testimonials from the students and teachers on the positive benefits they receive from the program. The video can be seen at at the bottom of the page.
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. 
Win a Ford F150 Truck!

Over the past seven years the Arizona Sportsman For Wildlife Conservation has supported our conservation and youth programs.

Please support their fundraiser.

Remember, it only takes one ticket to win!

See details at "Win a Ford F150 Truck"

AZSFWC Vehicle Raffle 2023
A Grander Canyon: Newest national monument designated this week in Arizona
Aug 10, 2023
President Biden designates Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni – Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument to protect nearly one million acres of this idyllic landscape from future mining.
For over a decade, TU has been working to protect the greater Grand Canyon region from future uranium mining. Earlier this week, President Biden announced the creation of Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni – Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument, which was a culmination of effort over the years by local Tribal Nations, conservation groups and a majority of Arizonans.  Read the rest of the Article here.
AZTU & TU Celebrates Apache Trout Delisting
ACD talks to USFWS
TU & Tim Gateway
Emily Olsen w Apache
Four members of a joint Arizona Council and Trout Unlimited Rocky Mountain Region attended a U.S. Fish and Wildlife led Apache Trout Delisting announcement August 10, 2023. USFWS proposed the delisting last year, and officially announced the proposed delisting in the Federal Register. This announcement opens the public comment period. The USFWS announcement is here. There are also a link allowing one to comment.

This announcement is the culmination of over 50-years of collaborative work by U.S. Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Forest Service, White Mountain Apache Tribe Game and Fish Department, Arizona Game and Fish Department, Arizona Council of Trout Unlimited, and Trout Unlimited National Organization. An excellent Arizona Republic article about the Apache trout is here, and there is a great Trout article here

Trout Unlimited in Arizona has a long history of involvement with the Apache Trout restoration. The Old Pueblo Chapter, Tucson, has worked on Apache Trout restoration for over 30-years. Among some of the accomplishments are:
  • Thompson meadow stream restoration project, installing temperature loggers, serving as stakeholder on 4FRI planning committee (helped developed the aquatics restoration flexible toolbox), formal comments on the Black River EA, formal comments on the Apache Sitgreaves NF travel management plan, etc. 
  • TU’s senior science staff have developed an Apache trout monitoring plan that has been used by AZGFD and USFWS.
  • AZTU and TU signed a cooperative management plan with AZGFD, USFS, USFWS and WMAT.
  • TU has co-produced an article on Apache trout and their resiliency in the face of our warming climate with AZGFD, USFWS and WMAT.
  • TU national has include the Apache trout historic range into its Priority Waters strategy.
  • TU has increased its staff capacity in Arizona to focus on Apache trout stream restoration projects. 

We’re thrilled with the delisting announcement. But our work is far from over. Delisting simply means we’ve reached a significant milestone, but our journey continues. We hope you’ll help with our continued conservation efforts for this Arizona treasure. 
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.
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.
Sun City Grand Fishing Club
Sun Lakes Fly Fishing Club
Payson Fly Casters
White Mountains Fly Fishing Club
White Mountains Lake Foundation
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
Protect. Reconnect. Restore. Sustain. Conserving coldwater habitat in the desert southwest.