Give some more directions
Did you follow the turnoff from the road thru Houston Valley (hwy 107) to the campground? Did you go downstream from there? That road is actually paved. I'm wondering if you crossed Paint Mountain on a gravel road and came in on the lower end of the creek, and then fished upstream? I'm not sure where you are talking about when you say that the stream split.
It is always cold down in that deep gorge and if you found any fish feeding with snow on the ground you are lucky. Congratulations on a decent day.