Gray skies, coupled with a forecast high of 36 degrees, lured me to a small spring creek in the hope that bass had been drawn there. The spring emits 54-degree water year round, and that warmth would raise the fish’s metabolism and increase their need to feed. An upstream trek from the point where the spring branch entered the river consisted of carefully sneaking along the brushy bank and delivering short roll casts, often from a kneeling position. Each miniature pool was thoroughly explored with a size-12 brown Bully Spider. The second encountered pool had a sluggish eddy that quickly surrendered 4 Rock Bass, and the tailout gave up an acrobatic 11-inch Smallmouth. A rocky stretch of pocket water invited a fly change to a size-8 jointed Hellgrammite. A slow dead-drift presentation induced a missed strike, then 3 Smallmouths. Another upstream relocation brought me to the spring’s mouth. A size-12 soft hackle fly was knotted to the tippet and lowly stripped through the pool before allowing it to drift back toward a gnarled tree root. The location gave me 3 more Rock Bass before the setting sun demanded my retreat. In our part of the world, winter has gifts for dedicated flyfishers like me, like my cold but satisfying afternoon on the water.