March Casting Class March 12, 2016

ron-robinsonMarch 12 9:00 AM

Steele Indian School Park

Ron Robinson, Education Chair


Our casting class will offer basic instruction as well as some more advanced techniques.  The club will have equipment for those in need, so make your plans to attend and enjoy a morning of casting instruction.  The class will be held on March 12 from 9:00 to 11:00 AM at Steele Indian School Park.  We will meet at the end of the parking lot off 3rd Street and Indian School Road.  If you have questions, give Ron Robinson a call at 602-867-8820.

AFC and Yogurtini NAU Scholarship Fundraiser

yogurtini-1100x400NAU Scholarship Fundraiser
March 14 6:00 PM

Yogurtini at 59th Avenue and Thunderbird Road

It is time for our next Yogurtini fundraiser!  Your purchase benefits our NAU Scholarship Fund.

The camaraderie with fellow AFC members and delicious yogurt will be worth the trip. Join us on Monday, March 14, from 6:00 to 9:00 PM, at Yogurtini in Glendale, on the northwest corner of  59th Avenue and Thunderbird Road, next to Smashburger.  See you there!


April 22-24 Club Outing Fool Hollow Lake State Park

fools hollowby Phil Koda, Outings Chair

The club will venture north to Fool Hollow just outside Show Low.  Fool Hollow affords the opportunity to catch a variety of species, including largemouth and smallmouth bass, crappie, walleye, northern pike, and of course rainbow trout.  As a home base, Fool Hollow also affords the opportunity to fish the nearby waters of the White Mountains.  The lake is best fished from a float tube or boat, but with that said, with help from our club and others, AZG&F has installed fishing docks and fish structures throughout the lake, making it very fishable from shore. The lake has a beautiful campground located at 6,300 feet in elevation and impeccably maintained.  Members have made reservations in Mallard/Red Head Campgrounds, and  sites are still available!  If you decide to join us at a late date, do not discount Cinnamon Teal Camp- ground, which is within shouting distance. Reservations can be made at, Fool Hollow Lake.  For those who like the nicer things in life, there are many fine accommodations within minutes of the park!  The nights will be crisp, the days warm with the scent of pine in the air, relaxing around the campfire with friends, it doesn’t get any better!  Please join us!

Winner of Membership Renewal Raffle

Thanks to everyone who renewed their membership for 2016.  Our club is shown some growth from this time last year and the membership attrition rate is much less than years past.  Our membership due, while one of the great bargain in the fly fishing industry, affords our club to get involved with many community and conservation activities around Arizona.

craig-mernitzThose of you who took advantage of the Renewal Raffle contest were eligible for the digital raffle drawing at the February general meeting. The luck winner to receive the $50 gift Certificate was long time member Craig Mernitz.

Thanks again for renewing and look forward to several new features the club will be offering in the  2016 including the great Wyoming Fishing Extravaganza in May, see John Doss or Phil Koda for details.

9-foot, 12-weight, 2-piece Fenwick graphite

with removable fighting Guides are double wrapped.  Has sock and case. Built for large, tough fish. Used in Alaska once.  $300.

Always wanted a bamboo rod? This 9-foot, 3-piece, with 2 tips has been It is in excellent condition. Tips are the correct length.  Agate stripping guide. Handles a 5–weight WF or 6-weight DT line.  $225.


If interested, call Jim Schultz at 623-399-6844.


Cast N’ Blast

Jorge Canaca of AZGFD is finalizing details for a “Cast & Blast” event for Monday February 29th from 4:00 – 7:0p.m.

Jorge has indicated that he and Tony Guiles (Legislative Director) expect the Biscuit Tank to be arrival location and the BBQ dinner facility.   Also, he has the logos of the four organizations which will be added to his draft 2016 flyer (see attachment) as was done in 2015 (see attachment).

A total of 12 volunteers (collectively from Arizona Flycasters, Desert Fly Casters, Trout Unlimited and White Mountain Lakes Foundation)is being organized to conduct the “Cast” portion of the event.    Since many of the volunteers wear the hat of each of these organizations it is expected to not be a problem to have each organization represented.   As done at prior events, AFC has provided the fishing rods for the attendees and the volunteers bring their selection of flies for the event.   In addition to getting a free BBQ dinner and to meet some of the elected officials, IF there is a low turnout (as has been in the past) the volunteers can personally fish at Biscuit Tank.

Volunteers will meet at 4:00pm at the Biscuit Tank which is located near the AZGFD headquarters at 5000 W. Carefree Highway, Phoenix and the Ben Avery Target Center (see attached map).  The fly casting and fishing session is expected to last until 6:00p.m.   Additional volunteer information will be sent over the coming weekend.  Any materials for the legislator’s packets promoting each organization or programs are being provided and coordinated by John Doss (AFC), Joe Miller (DFC), Glen Knight (WMLF), and Jim Walker (TU).

All volunteers are invited to stay and attend the BBQ with the legislators and AZGFD staff. This is a great opportunity to spend quality time to talk with the legislators and the AZGFD staff about our organizations, water, fishing and conservation issues.

Please let Ben Alteneder and I know by Tuesday at 5p.m. if you would be able to volunteer.

This will be the third year that conservation organizations are involved in this annual event with the AZGFD Community & Congressional Relations staff for legislative friends at the State Capitol.  The “Arizona Legislators for Wildlife” caucus will be in attendance and will be recruiting legislators to join the caucus.  This bi-partisan caucus serves as a medium for sportsmen and conservation groups to engage legislators who have an interest in fishing, hunting, wildlife watching and outdoor recreation.  Attendance at the event will include about 30+ legislators and their staff.  It is expected 15 legislative guests will want to experience an opportunity to be taught fly casting and a chance to fish with representatives of Arizona Flycasters, Desert Fly Casters, Trout Unlimited and White Mountain Lakes Foundation.

We will provide volunteers updated details as they are received.

Don’t hesitate to call or email if you have any questions.


Jim Walker

International Fly Fishing Fair

ifff-188x150August 2-6
Livingston, MT

The International Federation of Fly Fishers will hold the 2016 Fly Fishing Fair in Livingston, Montana from August 2 though 6. Classes, both paid and free, will be held on those days, and the Exhibit Hall will be open August 4 through 6. Classes include all types and levels of casting and fly tying, and some not so related to fly fishing. The Exhibit Hall features fly tiers and vendors, all very willing to share their time and knowledge. Check the website for more details.
A note from last year’s trip: Lodging in Livingston sold out in the weeks leading up to the event. Norm Johnson and I stayed in Bozeman, about 30 minutes away.
Greg Stock, IFFF Chair 

2009 Net Building Class

You probably recognize a few faces.  Hard to see but Ron Robinson is hiding in the back, I see Ron Rosenlof and our current President Jim Rondoni kneeling in the front row.  Hey there is Connie Sullivan and Paulette Roth.

How many folks can you name?

Net Building

Courtesy of Jon Wallace
This was held at Apollo High School with Ron Rosenlof as our host.  It may have been one of the first classes.  We had 12 members at a time for 3 nights.  We had a good group of volunteers to help with each task and also assigned to members to walk them through the process.
  • Night 1, the members laminated 5 strips of thin wood, ( already cut to size by Ron Ronselof ) to jigs using rubber bands to clamp the strips together to form the hoop.
  • Night 2, removed and cleaned up the hoop, cut the handles to shape and size, then glued the 2 parts together.
  • Night 3, the handles were sanded and then routed with a round over bit.  A “v” groove is cut in the outside of the hoop, then measurements made to drill holes to attached the net.  At the end of the third night, members had a finished raw net.  They had to lacquer the wood, and then were provided net material to sew in.
There were many variations on handles, some brought wood from trees in their yards, others used exotic materials such as Cocobolo and Purple Heart.
Great time for all involved.

Griffith’s Gnat – Fly of the Month

  • Hook: Standard dry fly Mustad 94840 or equivalent
  • Sizes: 12 to 22
  • Thread: Black 8/0 or 6/0
  • Ribbing: Gold wire
  • Body: Peacock herl
  • Hackle: Grizzly
1. This is a very simple and quick fly to tie. First start the thread about mid-shank and wrap back to the bend of the hook. Tie in a strand of gold wire.

2. Next tie in 3 to 5 strands of peacock herl (depending on hook size). Wrap thread around this, forming a “rope.” Wrap forward to just behind the eye of the hook and tie off, leaving room for the grizzly hackle in the next step.

3. Tie in the grizzly hackle at the point where the peacock herl ended. Wrap the hackle to the back of the hook palmer style. At this point secure the hackle with the gold wire. Counter-wrap the gold wire forward through the hackle to help secure it, tie it off, make a few securing wraps, and whip finish. That’s all there is.


jack-miller-350-225x300as remembered by Dr. Jack Miller, DVM and Dario Travaini

Arizona Flycasters Club (AFC) began with an organizing meeting on January 12, 1962. It is not known just who was the spark that initiated the idea of organizing an informal group of 26 anglers interested in fly fishing. This group met only in the off season and membership at that time was by invitation only. We do know who the first group of officers was. Elected as President was C.W. (Doc) Jones, John Sandige was elected as Vice-President, Fred Weiler (at that time Director of AZ Game and Fish) was elected as Secretary/Treasurer and Art Tayler was elected as Chief Fly Caster, a title given to the officer responsible for club programs.

Prior to this first meeting an effort was made to survey several prominent fly fishing clubs to determine how they were organized and how they conducted their functions. Three organizations contacted were: Golden Gate Flycasters in northern California, Empire Flycasters in Washington State and Harvard Flycasters in Illinois. There were 24 attendees at this first meeting. We only know the names of eleven of these men.

Over the years the club has grown to over 200+ family memberships.

It may surprise you to know that the original membership premise was for  “Men Only”. AFC was started as an exclusive, men’s fly-fishing club and applicants had to be approved by the Executive Committee prior to being accepted. This restriction was removed in the early 1980’s. In 1984 after serving two terms as Club Secretary, Jo Watson was elected as Club Vice-President under the enlightened leadership of President Jack Miller, DVM. Jo was an avid fly-fisher and would stay out on the San Juan longer than most club participants. One year as it grew dark, she almost missed the last bus back on the last day of the outing because she lost track of time up-river. A search party was dispatched and when found she said, “No excuse. I was catching fish and thanks for thinking of me.”

In the 1990’s a few women came and went and the woman membership was sparse and remained static. In the spring of 2000, then President Dario Travaini made a concerted effort to increase membership and to encourage women applicants. Dario made several appearances at the Desert Flycasters Club and Dame Juliana Anglers meetings and offered to welcome their members to join AFC and participate in the club’s broad menu of educational, conservation and fishing activities. AFC female membership has steadily increased as a result of this outreach, and the club’s participation in related efforts such as support of “Casting for Recovery” instituted by the Board in 2002 and supported by subsequent presidents.

Financially, the club has gone from an organization where the members donated $1.00 so a newsletter could be sent out to today’s status where the club has been able to endow a $10,000 scholarship program.

AFC has been a very active club throughout its life. It was one of the first fly fishing clubs to host a national Federation of Fly Fishers conclave in 1968. Twenty four members of the club went to Jackson Lake Lodge in Moran, WY and produced an excellent conclave that not only made expenses, but also made a profit. The “Limit Your Kill – Don’t Kill Your Limit” program was started and passed to Jack Miller. AFC carried on the program and many thousand patches, signs and decals were sold and shipped worldwide. A second FFF conclave was hosted by the AFC in 1971 in Aspen, CO.

In 1965 the club gave its first public casting class with 96 students. Since that time numerous other classes have been offered in fly tying, rod wrapping, landing net making, lanyards, personal flotation devises (PFD’s), wading and float tube safety.

In 1972, “Operation Antifreeze” was initiated. This project involved soliciting funds from concerned sportsmen, including AFC and FFF grants, and governmental and tribal funding partners. These efforts resulted in the purchase of ‘Pond Masters’, wind driven devices to keep water open and prevent winter-kill. The devices were used at Crescent Lake and later at Seneca Lake.

AFC has taken on many other conservation projects such as assisting the Forest Service and AZGF in renovation of a dam at the Lee Valley head-water to allow only native trout propagation, and the building of a Gabion dam on Mineral creek with the help of the Desert Flycasters Club. AFC has purchased aquacide and donated it to AZ Game and Fish for stream renovation, worked on fin-clipping at Page Spring Hatchery and on numerous projects to improve Canyon Creek. The crayfish and noxious weed eradication projects are on-going programs.

Club outings have been a significant part of club activities. Many members have improved their fishing techniques by attending monthly outings. Novice fly fishers learned from senior members who were happy to mentor less skilled attendees in the valuable skills acquired through their years of experience. AFC has sponsored outings ranging from the White Mountains to local bass lakes. Although the club now carpools to the San Juan River, bus outings to the San Juan River have been a success since the 1980’s. Participants stay at Abe’s motel. Fishing is done by either wading or floating in the upper reaches of the San Juan River below Navajo Dam.

The highlight of each year has been the annual banquet, which began in 1970. For many years AFC had some of the best and well-known authorities in fly fishing as guest speakers. Notables included Dave Whitlock, Lefty Kreh, Charlie Brooks, Doug Swisher, Carl Richards, Dave Hughes, Rick Hafele, Leon Martuch, Leon Chandler, Polly Rosborough, Tom Nixon, Darwin Atkins, Virginia Busek, Maggie Marriman, Michel Fong, Ed Schroeder, John Shewey, Mel Kreiger, Jim Teeny, Jay Buckner, Gary Borger, Bob Krum, Lee and Joan Wulff, Dan Blanton and Craig Mathews. These names represent the “who’s who” in flyfishing and many were legends in their own time. In addition, the Club invited Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor to become a life member of AFC. She wholeheartedly accepted and graciously attended our Annual Banquet in February 2006 to accept the honor.

In 1987 the Club celebrated its 25th anniversary with a full day meeting open to the public at Turf Paradise racetrack. This facility was made available to the Club through the generosity of owner, Herb Owens an AFC member/Fly Fisherman. Guest speakers/presenters included Dave Whitlock, Tom Nix, Dan Blanton, Gary Borger and Doctor Dick Nelson. An outstanding raffle was held with a special raffle for a fishing boat, outboard motor and sonar fish finder donated to the club by a former member. Doctor Jack Miller’s daughter, Cynthia, presented a fashion show for the ladies. The models were wives of members. The celebration was concluded by a catered barbeque.

It is clear that AFC is evolving and changes it’s focus from time to time. A few may argue that some of these changes are causes for concern, however this is hard to argue in light of AFC’s continued success. One thing that we all can be certain of is that if one looks back on the history of AFC, we can all be proud to be part of this active organization – well known in the western states as a club consisting of a great bunch of folks!