While the weather can be chilly and the fish tough to catch, fishing in the winter can bring the best solitude of the whole year.
Most anglers have a favorite time of year to fish, but very few will admit to preferring winter over all of the other options. That is just fine because solitude is one of the benefits of winter fishing. If everyone else realized the beauty of winter fishing, then the water would be a lot more crowded.
Long cold days are definitely the norm in winter. Cold fingers and toes are a given as well, but if you hang in there and stick to your game plan, you might just experience that flurry of activity that makes the whole day worth your while.
In my opinion, catching fish on days like this is just a bonus. From spring through fall, it is rare to be able to say that you had a piece of water to yourself. In winter that changes in a hurry. Solitude means that you can take your time without worrying that someone else might beat you to your favorite pool. Solitude means that when you do find fish, they will be unpressured and willing to eat.
Solitude means connecting with nature in a way that you cannot do when there are lots of other anglers nearby.
So next time you debate whether to go out fishing in the winter, take advantage of the opportunity for peace and quiet on the river. Enjoy the solitude.
You might even catch a fish or two!