Some private boat launches actually prohibit 2 WD as all the tire spinning causes ruts. Even with 4 WD I always use 4 L. Agree with racermo, nothing like the smell of burned clutch all the way home to cement memories of the fish.
Do as you see fit. I prefer to rely on my years of experience negotiating rough country, not on "Old sayings." In heavy snow, I also chained-up BEFORE I needed chains, preferring instead to pick a desirable spot to do so as opposed to in deep snow on a hillside for example . . .Old saying, "2wd in, 4wd out".
Front wheel drive is pretty much the wrong configuration for towing, especially on a hill.AWD or 4WD should be the rule, but if all you have is 2WD, front is much better. I've pulled a super light (maybe about 700lb.) Livingston, including the trailer, up a lot of ramps with my 2WD Tacoma, but on the steep ones, it's always been a clutch-burning, butt-clinching prayer session. I've pretty much decided she ain't a tow rig at this point....