Fishing the world’s most rewarding trout fishing experience,the San Juan River

What is a Fishead?

    Fishead; (Fish-head) noun-title  Person or persons who spends all their time thinking about, dreaming about or in the pursuit of fish.

The San Juan River

Located in the picturesque northwest New Mexico, the world renowned San Juan River is known for providing some of the world’s most rewarding trout fishing experience. The San Juan is a constant producer of both rainbow and brown trout, averaging 16 to 18 inches and many reaching much larger lengths. Recent studies have suggested that there are more than 15,000 fish per mile in the quality waters of the San Juan!

Chris’ father introduced him to fly fishing at eleven years of age on the waters of New Hampshire.  His interest and expertise grew to the point where, during the summers of his college years, he guided clients for trout and salmon in Alaska.

After graduating from the University of New Hampshire, and not sure what avenue to peruse, he received a phone call from a friend in Telluride, CO to guide on waters local to the areas.  After guiding the San Miguel and Dolores rivers for two years he went south to the San Juan River in Northern New Mexico and started guiding on the world renowned tail-water, working as a guide for a local outfitter.

In 2000, Chris started his own guide service, Fisheads, realizing an ambition that has sat in his mind for a number of years.

After nine years in business, Fisheads of the San Juan became the premier guide service on the river servicing clients from all over the world.  The quality of the Fisheads experience was recognized on a national level when Fisheads was named by Orvis as Guide Service of the year for 2008.

In April of 2011, Chris opened Fisheads San Juan River Lodge, complete with a restaurant, “The Back Cast Café”, fly shop and lodging to complement his guide service. Fisheads is now the premiere full service Lodge and Outfitter on the San Juan River.

A presentation by Chris will certainly increase your knowledge, whet your appetite to fish the San Juan and entertain you.  It is a “not to be missed” presentation.

The presentation will be in two parts.  The first being the river restoration project underway on the San Juan.  The river is experiencing lower flows than in the past. Though it is still considered one of the top tail waters in the country, concerned fisherman and guides, along with fish and game took steps to keep it that way. There have been four separate projects completed and others in the works for the future.  The success of these projects has surpassed everyone’s expectations. The areas where work has been done now hold more fish and insects than in the past. The presentation will cover these projects from start to finish.

The second part of the presentation will focus on nymph fishing.  Fly selection, rigging and presentation will all be covered. You will look at nymph fishing with a whole new attitude.

Come see hear some fun and educational stories, see some great photo’s and learn more about the sport of fly fishing and the famous San Juan River.

AFC’s Christmas Extravaganza Post

AFC’s Christmas Extravaganza
Featuring Cinda Howard speaking on “Fly Fishing the Lakes and Streams of the White Mountains”

December 14, 2017
6:30 pm – 8:45 pm
Sunnyslope Community Center

802 East Vogel, Phoenix, AZ 85020 (click for map)

December marks the holiday season, so in that spirit AFC’s monthly meeting will follow that theme;

Fundraiser to benefit
 Trout Unlimited’s Stream Girls and the
St. Mary’s Food Bank

Speaker Cinda Howard

Cinda Howard of Fly Fish Arizona and Beyond, one of Arizona’s top guide in the White Mountains, will speak on Fly Fishing the Lakes and Streams of the White Mountains.  Cinda has been featured in several fly fishing articles and books (“Fly Fisher’s Guide to Arizona” by Will Jordan, “Arizona’s Official Fishing Guide” by Arizona Highways and Arizona Game and Fish Department) as an expert on fly fishing Arizona.READ MORE



Help feed the needy.  Bring a canned items or non-perashable food item to the December Meeting and receive a Gift Exchange Raffle ticket.




Special Raffle

Cinda is donating a 50% off a guided trip in the White Mountains and a box of flies.  Proceeds will go toward Trout Unlimited’s STREAM Girls program and the Arizona Women of Trout Unlimited.  This is a Special Raffle separate from the Gift Exchange raffle discussed below.  Special Raffle Tickets will be $5 per ticket or 5 for $20.

Bring A Buddy 

One of the major benefits of AFC Club membership is fishing with friends.

Bring a friend and you and your friend will receive a Gift Exchange Raffle ticket.


First-time visitors also will receive a Gift Exchange Raffle ticket.

Gift Exchange Raffle

Bring a wrapped gift to donate to the Gift Exchange Exchange raffle (preferably something related to fly fishing) and you will receive a ticket.

You also can buy additional Gift Exchange Raffle Tickets at $1 each, 7 for $5, or 15 for $10.

At the end of the evening, the raffle will be conducted.  Winners get to pick the item of their choice from the items that are remaining.

Come out celebrate the holiday season

Cinda Howard, Fly Fishing the Lakes and Streams of the White Mountains

Cinda Howard has been an Arizona fly fishing guide for several years. She’s spent her whole life fishing and picked up a fly rod in 1996. She worked for the Orvis Company as a Fly Fishing Manager for eight years before branching off and starting her own business in 2012. Cinda spends a considerable amount of time instructing people on the sport of fly fishing.

Cinda has been featured in several fly fishing articles and books (“Fly Fisher’s Guide to Arizona” by Will Jordan, “Arizona’s Official Fishing Guide” by Arizona Highways and Arizona Game and Fish Department) as an expert on fly fishing Arizona. She is extremely passionate not only about fly fishing but also about teaching others. She hosts trips all across the world and has taken customers fly fishing in Alaska, Belize, Oregon, Montana, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and The Bahamas. Cinda loves to fish for trout, steelhead, pike, carp, bonefish, tarpon and anything else that will eat a fly.

Don’t miss it!

Peter Stitcher is an Aquatic Biologist and Chief Fly Geek at Ascent Fly Fishing

Sunnyslope Community Center|
802 E Vogel Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85020
Phoenix, AZ
7:00 pm – 8:45 pm

1st Talk:
Entomology 101- On the Water & In Your Fly Box

Talk Description:
Join Aquatic Biologist Peter Stitcher for a journey through the life cycles of aquatic insects on the water and in your fly box.  In this talk, the participant will learn the defining characteristics of Midges, Mayflies, Caddis Flies and Stoneflies on the water, the identifying features of each life cycle, as well as the different types of fly patterns that we tie to match through the life cycles.  We will also discuss how to identify each of the major trout foods as they fly over the water just by observing their distinctive flight patterns.   After this talk, the participant will be able to quickly and easily identify the naturals on the water, and match that hatch!

2nd Talk:
How Match the Hatch in 2 Minutes & Hack Hatch Charts

 Talk Description:
Join Aquatic Biologist and Fly Fishing Geek Peter Stitcher as he guides you through the PAUSE Method of matching the hatch, highlighting the 5 areas on and around the river that the angler can quickly observe to match the day’s hatch and choose the best fly patterns. He will then teach participants how to read between the lines of the traditional hatch chart so that the angler can begin to anticipate which flies will work year round on target waters, and ensure the right files are on hand before you get to the river.

Peter Stitcher is an Aquatic Biologist and Chief Fly Geek at Ascent Fly Fishing and River Oracle. Approaching the sport of fly fishing through the lens of a biologist, Peter strives to break down the sciences of entomology, fish feeding behavior, stream dynamics, and fish habitat use in order to equip the fly angler with an insider’s knowledge and biologist-crafted fly selections to help them experience greater success on the fly.

Jack Houck, Fly Fishing the Rim Country

Jack Houck is one of the most knowledgeable fisherman in the state.  If there is mud hole with a fish in it, Jack knows about it.
Jack has been fishing the rim country for 30+ years, been employed by Orvis for 16+ years.
Grew up in Eastern Washington State; have lived/fished in Washington, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona.  He is also a Trout Unlimited volunteer and a key resource for the Trout-In-the-Classroom, as well as, a AZGFD volunteer.  
Jack has been responsible for introducing hundreds of Arizonan to the sport of fly fishing with the Orvis Fly fishing 101 classes here in the Phoenix valley, Flagstaff, Payson and Prescott.

Doug Bobb – The Art of Fly Fishing

I was a practicing orthopedic surgeon in the valley for 32yrs. and retired 2yrs ago.  I began fly fishing 10 years ago and quickly tried to learn as much as I could.  3 years ago I became a certified casting instructor with the FFF.  I’ve read, studied and fished with some of the current experts in the sport.  Fishing has taken me to Montana, California, Florida, Virginia, Wyoming, The Keys, Bahama’s, Cuba, Belize and Mexico.  I’m currently working with the AFC casters on Wednesdays, Wounded Warriors, Boy Scouts and I have been the Education Chairman for DFC this past year.

Tracy Stephens, Native Trout and Chub Coordinator, AZGFD

August 10, 2017
7:00 pm
Sunnyslope Community Center

Growing up in Wisconsin, Tracy Stephens spent her summers outside camping and fishing for walleye and crappie with her family.  Time outside and great science teachers developed her interest in field biology.  While attending college, Tracy worked seasonally in fisheries for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources before landing a summer technician job with Wyoming Game and Fish Department.  After receiving her B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Tracy spent over 15 years working for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, primarily in the Jackson Region.  As a regional fisheries biologist, Tracy was responsible for managing fisheries in the Snake River headwaters and worked with a variety of species, including Snake River Cutthroat Trout, Bluehead Sucker, and Northern Leatherside Chub.   Some of the projects she completed included a survey of alpine lakes in Grand Teton National Park, extensive drainage surveys of remote waters, and planning and implementing a chemical treatment project of a wilderness lake to remove non-native rainbow trout.  She also organized the annual Jackson Kids Fishing Day, a free community event held every June.  In March, 2017 Tracy began work with AZGFD as the Native Trout and Chub Coordinator.

Also Tracy will be speaking at the Zane Grey Trout Unlimited Meeting at Bass Pro Shop on August 3rd at 7:00 pm.

Bring a Buddy – Kayak fishing – Sponsored by Lower Gear Outdoors

Bring a Buddy!
Win a Free day rental of Pro Angler 12 Hobie
Sponsored by Lower Gear Outdoors

AZ Kayak & Motorless Anglers Presentation
by Marvin Forte and Brian Soefje
Also featuring Dallas Shewmaker, Owner, LowerGear Outdoors
Kayak fishing is on the rise, and for good reason. The cost of entry is low, and the ongoing costs are nearly nothing when compared to other watercraft. Kayak fishing is stealthy and puts the angler closer to the water and more in tune. If you have considered getting into kayak or motorless fishing, this presentation could save you tons of time and energy. Marvin and Brian will share their experience and expertise fishing with a spinning rod, bait caster or fly rod. Multiple angling kayaks and watercraft will be on display. Marvin and Brian will also cover some of the best waters to kayak fish in Arizona, as well as answering your questions.
Marvin Forte
Marvin is on Native Watercraft’s ProStaff.
He’s one the administrators of Arizona Kayak & Motorless Anglers, a fishing club and Facebook group of over 1,900 members.
As Chapter Coordinator for the Arizona chapter of Heroes on the Water, he gives back to veterans, active military and first responders, spreading the excitement and relaxation of kayak fishing.
He’s participated in over 20 kayak fishing tournaments in Arizona, placing first, second and third.
“One of the great things about kayak fishing in Arizona, is that I can get out on the water 12 months out of the year, and when summer gets too hot, I hit the mountains for some cooler temps and different species. Some guys see a fishing kayak as a stepping stone to a bass boat, but not me. I’d rather be in a kayak than a bass boat any day. Close to water, in touch with nature, authentic. That’s why I kayak fish.”
Brian Soefje
Brian is on Hobie’s Kayak Fishing Team, Cactus Wren Outdoor’s Pro Staff, and Kistler Rod’s Regional Team. He’s also the Secretary of the Arizona Chapter of Heroes on the Water.
A regular kayak tournament angler, Brian has placed first place in over eight tournaments and he is well on his way to qualifying for the 2018 Kayak Bass Fishing National Championship.
He’s a certified AZ Game & Fish Fishing Instructor, a regular speaker at Bass Pro Shops and the International Sportsman Expo in Scottsdale. He’s an active member of the AZ Kayak and Motorless Anglers club and Facebook group (1900+ members strong. He hosts his own YouTube channel under his alias, AZKayakFisherman.
“I was introduced to the new sport of kayak fishing five years ago and I caught the bug. I enjoy fishing from a bass boat but kayak fishing is incredible! You will now see me on an Arizona lake pretty much every weekend and even some weekdays. I enjoy teaching and love talking about this great sport.“

Cole Glenn San Juan Anglers

Cole Glenn was born and raised in Woodland Park Colorado before relocating to Durango to attend Fort Lewis College.  He got his first trout fishing education while growing up on a ranch with trout ponds and many gold metal rivers in the area.
Cole graduated from Fort Lewis College with a Tourism Resort Management degree and spent some years working in the hospitality and resort industries. After attending a Fly Fishing Guide School he took a guide position at the shop, but soon became the general manager at The San Juan Angler.
He likes to spend his off time exploring backcountry streams, hunting for trophy trout on the Los Pinos River, as well as testing his metal on the mighty and challenging Animas River. He has a unique knowledge of the Southwest as he has called Durango home for the past 13 years. Cole demonstrates a deep passion for the sport and enjoys sharing those experiences with others.