In October 2021, a group of friends in southern Utah set out on a 58-mile bike tour with plans to fish several alpine lakes along the way. But as so often happens with plans, they went awry. The weather had its own ideas, and by the time they reached the trailhead—at around 11,000 feet—the snow showed no signs of letting up. For the most part, bikes and snow don’t mix.
What does go well with mountain bikes and fly rods, on the other hand, are small desert streams and dusty trails with a sprinkling of sandstone slabs for good measure. When nature throws a wrench into the gears, sometimes you just have to shift them.