The goal of this trip was to bike pack through the San Juan Mountains in southwestern Colorado and fish as many alpine lakes and creeks as possible. Sam Simmons, Justin Reiter, Dylan Stucki and I started in Telluride and made a big loop through the San Juans that lasted 10 days. We suffered through relentless rain and pushed over rugged passes but eventually got into some fish.
Mountain bikes are one of the most underutilized tools for anglers looking to find wild wish in remote locations. Here are 4 reasons why bike packing and fly fishing go hand in hand:
4Mountain bikes are fun as hell. The thrill of railing a berm or shredding sinuous single track is very similar to the adrenaline rush you get when you hook into a fat trout. Combining the two sports is euphoric.
3Bike packing allows you to get deep. In my experience, the best fisheries are hard to get to but when you take to utilize the mechanical advantage of the bicycle, you can get remote faster. This results in more time on the water and more fish in the net. Double win.
2Fewer people. When you bike pack, you leave the crowds behind. I would much rather ride for an hour and catch hungry Cutties as opposed to battling for position to catch hatchery pigs at some overcrowded tailwater.
1Exercise. Let’s get real. Fly fishing isn’t particularly strenuous. Your shoulder might get sore but it is rare that you get a nice aerobic workout when you go fishing. If you have to work a bit to get to your fishing zone, the overall experience is more fulfilling.
Ben Kraushaar is a passionate mountain biker and fly fisherman out of Colorado. Check him out on Instagram @benjamin_kraushaar!