The Trifecta For Fishing Solitude

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The Trifecta for Fishing Solitude. Photo By: Louis Cahill

By Kent Klewein

It seems like every year it gets harder and harder for me to find complete solitude on the river.

Solitude is not a necessity for me by any means, but when I’m blessed with it, I find it does wonders for purifying my soul and improving my fishing game. Time seems to stand still when I’m in complete solitude on the water. Every fish I land with no one there to confirm it but me, seems to add further reward and satisfaction. There’s no competition from other anglers, it’s just me and the fish. This allows me to open my mind, think clearly, and get in a zone to fish at my best ability. I don’t care what pace I’m fishing or how much water I cover while I’m out. I just take one fish at a time, like I’m challenging each of them to a game of chess. But to be frank, it’s not even about winning or losing. It’s more about taking in the big picture and understanding why I’m out there in the first place; I love to fly fish.

Over the years I’ve developed a betting strategy I call the “Trifecta for Fishing Solitude”. Although gambling never offers us sure win bets, searching out and placing these three bets in order when possible, usually pays out plenty of solitude on the water.

Bet #1. Fish off the beatin path

Being lazy and choosing to fish water that’s easily accessible generally will bring you company instead of solitude in your fishing. Hiking into difficult terrain is great but you don’t always have to go that far. Sometimes all you have to do is search out stretches of water with steep banks/canyons, thick foliage or even spots where the road moves away from the stream. Fishing off the beatin path can offer you solitude even on some of the most heavily fished waters, so don’t overlook it.

Bet #2. Fish During Weekdays

Find time in your schedule when possible to go fishing on a week day when most people are stuck in the office working. I shy away from fishing the weekends since they allow everyone time off to go fishing. You’ll find angler numbers at there lowest levels during the week and solitude will follow.

Bet #3. Choose Nasty Weather Days to go Fishing

Only the die hard fishermen are willing to brave the elements during rainy/snowy, windy, and cold weather days. Most fishermen pass on bad weather days and this will increase your chances of finding solitude on the water. My buddies and I regularly plan week long trips to blue ribbon trout water during the coldest times of the year because we know most people aren’t willing to freeze there ass off and fight off freezing gear to catch fish. I also like to fish the day after a big rainstorm. Many places get blown out but some will remain fishable and you’ll find most fishermen will write the day off and stay at home. My favorite thing about fishing nasty weather days is often you won’t even have to fish off the beatin path. Many times you’ll find the best stretches of water that hold the biggest fish, will be void of fishermen.

Be the First to Leave Foot Prints. Photo Louis Cahill

Adopt this trifecta betting style if you’re looking to search out more fly fishing solitude. It works for me.


Don’t forget, entries for the Gink and Gasoline Fly Fishing Photography Contest are due by midnight on Wednesday the 7th so stop your Christmas shopping and get in on your chance at some sweet gear!

Kent Klewein
Gink & Gasoline
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17 thoughts on “The Trifecta For Fishing Solitude

  1. I’ve got to the stage where I will not travel for fishing during school holidays. Tariffs are up to 30% cheaper and the thousands of people 50+ years younger than me are not around.

  2. Could not agree more! I just spent the last 3 weekdays doing exactly this. Rain, ice pellets, wind and near freezing temperatures plus the ten minute walk I put in meant i had the river to myself. The only other fishermen a saw were within a stones through of where they parked. Ad in a few fish and it was perfect.

  3. Great Post! Especially being Derby weekend! I find myself following your trifecta for solitude fishing. In the middle of summer here in this small rocky mtn town we are overwrought with tourists, lots of boats on the river, and wading angels on all the smaller water. I generally opt to hike someplace farther and deeper into the wilderness, or fish on rainy days. Solitude is always out there, it just takes some exploring sometimes, which is what it’s all about sometimes.

  4. All of these ring so true. I do the majority of my fishing during the week while everyone else is at work. This alone is a huge factor in being able to find solitude on my local lakes, rivers, and streams. The other one that I focus on is fishing off the beaten path. You gotta get away from the roads and main trails that access the water. I typically choose the harder route to the water and it often pays off for me on public waters. As far as the weather goes, I go fishing rain or shine anyways. You can’t be scared of a little rain!

  5. Kent:

    Jeff from OR here. You are so right on my friend. For me the ultimate benefit of fishing is “getting away from it all” – people, crowds, phones, distractions that interrupt my peace of mind, etc., etc., etc. Catching fish, and I have learned to do that effectively over time, is almost a side perk of fishing.

    To be able to enjoy these “solitude” benefits has a cost. One has to be willing to be counter to the rest of the world, i.e. not fishing on weekends or holidays, no fishing at the easily accessible spots, which means working hard to find those hard to get to / hard to fish spots that others avoid. Without having access to these type of spots one might as well be fishing in a swimming pool with life guards, screaming kids, vendors selling snow cones, etc.

    I gladly pay the price to be able to find those places of peace. If they ever disappear for some reason I’ll sadly quit fishing.


  6. I live and fish in a good sized metropolitan area that fills up with lots of fishermen during striper season. Getting on the river before daylight is another plus to getting some (relative) peace, particularly combined with Kent’s trifecta.

  7. Kent

    You nailed! Couldn’t agree more! Only problem for me is getting the time away from work. Hope all is well with you.

    Sandro (aka Sanchez)

  8. All great points Kent. I think the connection with the fish is more personal when you are alone and without an audience.

    This may be weird, but I tend to alter my behavior when there is an audience of strangers. For example, when folks are floating past at my place, I do not particularly want them to see fish I am fighting, where I am casting, or the gear I am using. Sometimes I just stop fishing until they are gone. Those observers may be totally harmless, or maybe not, but their presence always impacts my privacy. This is not an issue when I am fishing with buddies or family, just strangers and passersby.

    • I do the same thing when steelhead fishing on the Salmon River in northern New York. If I see a couple of guys working their way along the bank looking for a place to drop into the river, I’ll quit fishing and just lean on my wading staff until they’re gone. If they ask if I have had any luck, I lie and say “not much going on.”

  9. I go fishing for Reds and Snook in Tampa Bay. My son and I went on a Sunday and couldn’t find a spot not covered with boats and Fishermen. We went on Monday, not a single boat did we see until noon. We won’t fish on a weekend again.

  10. Hi, Jim from OH
    I’m with everyone on most of these, the only other thing I would add is that I don’t always fish at most opportune times. So I may not make all the best hatches or perfect time of day, but the trade off is I have less people flailing around me on the water

  11. ? for Louis: Just bought 4-wt ECHO switch after your article from years ago. Now
    I’ve seen your recommendation for a MYSTIC M-series 3-wt. Please tell me what
    you’re using for trout RIGHT NOW so I can catch up to you !

    Thank You
    Lee Albeck
    Hillsgrove, PA18619

      • I really appreciate the quick response . Will look into the 3-weight

        Loomis. Am enjoying my 4 & 5 weight ECHO SR’s (based on

        your 2015 article, especially since I also have 2 bad shoulders &

        must double spey if I want to nymph. Love the speydicators and

        the Streamer/Switch lines. Sometimes I feel like my rods are a

        little heavy, and thus will explore the 3-weight Loomis. THANK YOU

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