I never heard the alarm clock go off, the dog woke me at 330Am. The coffee was hot and rich as I packed my gear into the Jeep, making one final check to see if anything important had been left behind. All packed up I hit the road for the drive to MANCHESTER Ohio and the warm water discharge. The cool morning insisted summer was long gone, frost on my windshield attesting to the sub-30 degree temps. The parking lot at Little Three Mile Creek was pitch black when I pulled in at 605AM. Mark Blauvelt of Mad River Trout Unlimited was waiting in the cold, dark lot, already in the process of gearing up. Waders came on slowly in the cold morning air, and a pair of frozen wading boots made the final suite-up a little slower than usual for me. Never-the-less we found ourselves walking the path to the water well before the sun made its first weak appearance. The water was still, steam rising from the discharge. As the morning sun turned the sky a beautiful red- then pink- our flies flew. Occassional fish broke the surface, big backs and tails porposing out of the water in a promising way. Mark and I traded tales, working the water hard and deriding the crazy folks who had obviously awoken even earlier than two hardcore fishermen in order to go to - - THE SHOPPING MALL!!!! There are times when I am justifiably concerned with the future of our species! It wasn't long before two more fishermen joined us on the banks of the Ohio proving that one silly idea can be simultaneously thought by multiple folks. The cold was refreshing, the fishing tough. The fly rods whipped the water to a froth, but only a couple half-hearted hits were what we had to show for our efforts. The fish were there, we need to find a way to present to the fast moving targets so far out in the current. Shortly after sunrise came the only action of the moring. Mark, changing lures and flies in an attemp to find the secret combination that would spell success, put on a heavy, rattling shad crankbait. A couple casts later and his rod doubled over. After a brief struggle a pretty 18" wiper was on the beach - first blood of the winter season! Our anonymous friends, having driven all the way from Dayton and Xenia respectively, hung a fine 6lb drum. Against the metal grate separating the mighty Ohio from the discharge they managed a couple small white bass and a handful of small skipjacks. I stayed waist deep, casting, casting, casting. My number would come up eventually and I settled into a rythm of long casts with my spinning rod - the fly rod temporarly retired to facilitate the coverage of miles of water. My trusty Rapala was replaced by an Acme Kastmaster and the 3/8oz metal lure flew like a rocket. A dozen casts later and my rod bucked just as the lure touched down after a particularly long cast. "I'm not getting skunked! Fish on!" I shouted. "He's a long way out, you haven't landed him yet," was Mark's reply. But the God of fishing was kind and my wiper stayed on all the way to the river's bank. The fishing was tough, the outflow a miserly 61 degrees. I've seen better days at this iconoclastic location, and I'm sure I'll see more this year. But all things considered I found myself having no problems giving thanks for the opportunity to stand in a flowing river, casting for wild, beautiful fish. Some pictures of this outing have been posted in the gallery. Tight lines! Joe C.