In May of this year we sent out a survey to all members as a review of our club-sponsored activities. We are grateful to the over 100 members who took the time to complete the survey, and to the many members who also provided helpful comments.
Following are a few of the highlights from the survey. A complete report of the anonymous responses to all the questions on the survey is available by sending a request to: SURVEY@AZFLYCASTERS.COM
First, were some general questions about our membership:
- About half of our members have been in the club for four years or less; but there are a few “old-timers” (about 4%) who have been in the club for more than 20 years.
- Most members (80%) live in the Phoenix area full-time.
- Less than half of the members attended half or more of the monthly meetings (back before COVID-19 when we had in-person meetings).
- Clearly the most important factor that influenced the decision to attend a meeting was the subject of the planned presentation.
- Over 75% of members who joined the club had an educational objective: Either to improve their (fly) fishing skills or to learn about fishing in Arizona, while socializing accounted for only 14% of the reasons.
- However, these results were reversed when members indicated why they remained in the club. The major single reason for remaining in the club (30%) was to socialize with others with similar interests, while learning objectives each accounted for about half that much (15%).
Next, we asked what our members are doing:
- There is a wide variance in their fishing activities. About 40% of members go fishing 5 or fewer days per year, while about the same proportion go fishing 11 or more days per year.
- Likewise, there is a wide variance in their participation in club-sponsored outings. The most frequent response to the question of how often they go on club-sponsored outings was: NONE. At best, about 30% of members participated in local fishing outings, such as the Salt River.
- Overall participation in educational activities was also quite low. At most, about 10-20% percent of members reported participating in fly tying and casing classes. This may reflect the earlier finding that although education is a strong driver for initial membership, it is a much weaker driver for remaining in the club.
- Participation in other club-sponsored activities (conservation, youth fly fishing support, fishing expositions, and veterans fly fishing support) was also very low, with at most 10% of members participating in one of those activities.
We asked how the members viewed the club and what they would like to see in the future:
- About 80 to 85% of members reported that they were Very Satisfied or Satisfied with their overall club membership, communications (the Newsletter), and the content of the monthly meetings.
- Activities in which members reported low participation (such as community outreach or conservation activities) generally received mildly positive or neutral ratings.
- Future presentations at the monthly meetings on fishing streams in Arizona was rated as most desirable, followed closely by technical presentations and presentations on fishing for specific species. About 80-90% of members rated those subjects as Very Desirable or Desirable.
Finally, we invited members to offer comments, and over half of the survey respondents did so.
Comments ranged from general expressions of satisfaction with the club, to fairly specific suggestions for improvements. For example, these included:
- Have the individuals giving reports at the monthly meeting all gather at the front of the room
- Include more outings aimed at bass fishing.
- Increase outings in Arizona.
- Provide information on fishing in the White Mountains.
These results have given the board much better insight into the issues the membership considers important, and we are considering a range of possible changes to our programs, outings, and educational activities to address these issues. Some of these changes must wait until the Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted, but in the meantime we are attempting to fill the gap through, for example, the weekly Zoom meetings.
Again, thank you for participating in the survey.