Bob O'Donnell, Lou Reichel, and I pulled in the Parking lot at the run below Children's Lake at Boiling Springs about 10:30 am, temps in the 30's, and clear sky. The run is fed by the lake, which is fed by the springs gushing 55 degree water year around, so the run is quite a bit warmer in winter than the main stem of the breeches.
Patrick Masler was already there and gearing up in the parking lot, and we could see the tip of a rod waving back and forth just above the bank near the foot bridge. Walking down to investigate we found Art Friedlander on the other end of it covering several nice fish that were holding just below the bridge. Asking if the fish we're biting, Art said "nope, just dispensing some humility". We all muttered something like "yup" and headed back up to the truck to suit up. Minutes later Charlie Gelso pulled in making us a group of six. Pulling back the roll top over the Truck's bed we started sorting through a pile of gear.
I joked with Bob and Lou when we loaded up the truck that morning it was a good thing we were only going for one day or we'd need another truck, the bed was stuffed tight with gear, extra clothes, coolers and cooking stuff.
I'm still gimping around in a walking boot with a broken foot, so to be able to fish, at least a little, I wrapped garbage bags around my right foot and leg above the knee all held in place with gorilla tape. With a hip boot on my left and garbage bags on my right I clomped back and forth to the more easily accessible points while the natives eyed me suspiciously. It's not a look that's going to catch on, but it worked fairly well if I kept away from the sticker bushes and fished mostly from the bank.
There was a fair number of fish in the run, and by early afternoon it had warmed up to comfortable, I'd even say to pleasant if dressed properly, somewhere in the high 30's I suppose. All the creeks on the way up were running high and muddy, but the run was clear and maybe even a smidgen low, or maybe not, hard for me to tell.
The guys were catching fish; Bob got a couple browns on sucker spawn (yellow and blue), another on a pheasant tail plus a bonus fall fish. The largest brown about 13 inches. Patrick scored two or three on midge pupae and another couple on wet flies, Charlie a couple on Cress Bugs, Art a couple on tan San Juan worm. Lou and I each hooked a fish or two but didn't get them to net, mine, a brown on a red San Juan, and I think Lou said his on a midge pupae. Anyway, everybody got into fish if only briefly.
Around 1:30 or so we set a pot of brats to boil, we've done this couple times. It not only gives us a little break from the fishing but does a lot to warm ya up on a cold winter day.
Around 4 pm the scene suddenly changed, the sun began to hang low in the sky and the temperature dropping with it. We loaded up and took the scenic drive home down through Mt Holly Springs. Winter scenery at dusk can be lonely and stark, especially without snow. The sky going to blue black and the setting sun a long streak of melted fluorescent orange slipping low behind leafless trees, everything else lost in dark shadow; lonesome, cold, and dark, but somehow very nice all at the same time.
See ya at the next outing.