Rocky River was named one of the ?��150 Best Places to fish in America?�� in the June 2007 issue of Field and Stream magazine.
The Rocky River is currently on the low and clear side, and based on the forecast this will continue to be the situation through the weekend. Anglers can check the latest river flow and temperature trends at the following link: <river flow gage data>
Lake-run smallmouth bass currently offer the highlight fishery in the river. Many of these fish are of quality size at 2-4 pounds, with a few even larger trophy bass available. These fish are the backbone of a popular and naturally sustaining fishery, so anglers are strongly encouraged to release them unharmed. Smallmouth bass are mostly in deeper holes with the steelhead currently and bite well on 3-4?�� olive or dark brown tube jigs (which look like a goby) or rubber crayfish bumped along the bottom, live bait (minnows, crayfish, leeches), weighted flies in the same colors and sizes as reference for jigs (woolly buggers and sculpin/goby patterns work well).
For all intents and purposes, the steelhead run in the Rocky River has reached its end for the season. A few stragglers will likely continue to be around for the next week or two, but their numbers have declined sharply with the warmer temperatures. As veteran angler Ken Harper put it so well recently, in reference to our steelhead run this past season, ?��The Rocky River doesn?�+t owe anybody a thing this year?��. I think a lot of anglers would agree with Ken?�+s statement.
Reports of lake-run channel catfish and carp in the northern river reaches (the few miles closes to Lake Erie) have been very good this week. A healthy number of these fish will reach, and even exceed, the 10 pound size class. Anglers targeting catfish are focusing on deeper holes with shrimp or chicken liver fished near the bottom, and carp anglers are using corn and doughbaits in holes and runs. For an angler wishing to hook either of these rod bending species, as well as smallmouth bass, a nightcrawler or crayfish drifted near the river bottom are both good choices.
The last regularly scheduled stocking of rainbow trout occurred on April 30, with 650 pounds of larger trout going into Wallace Lake. Trout have also been recently stocked in Hinckley and Shadow lakes (by ODNR) and in Wallace Lake, Ledge Lake, and the East Branch Rocky River in recent weeks (more on that branch of the river in a moment). Trout stocked by Cleveland Metroaparks are larger than the ones ODNR has been stocking, but the smaller ones are great for kids or for a fresh trout dinner. Trout have been biting on PowerBait fished near the bottom, small spinners, jigs tipped with a few maggots suspended under a small bobber, and spawn sacks.
As a reminder, the limits on trout (including steelhead) in Cleveland Metroparks are as follows. Five trout/day per angler, no size limit, at Hinckley and Shadow lakes and the Ohio & Erie Canal fishing areas. Three trout/day, no size limit, in Wallace, Ledge, Ranger, and Judges lakes. As of May 16, the trout limit in the river increased to 5 trout/day (which is a seasonal change in trout regulations that will go back down to 2 trout/day on September 1, 2012). Please remember that you may continue fishing to catch and release after keeping your limit, but you cannot keep or give away any trout beyond that.
Panfish (bluegill, other sunfish, and crappie) and largemouth bass fishing has been heating up in Cleveland Metroparks lakes and ponds lately. The democratic angler wishing to catch just about anything that swims in these areas can dunk a worm about 2 feet under a medium size bobber. This is a great plan for the family with kids who wants to enjoy some fishing during a family picnic to a place like Wallace or Hinckley lakes. Bait is available for purchase at the newly renovated boathouse at HinckleyLake, which is as of recently under Cleveland Metroparks management (instead of a lessee).
Spring Children?�+s Fishing Derbies May 19 & 20. Our highly popular annual kid?�+s fishing derbies are coming up on Saturday May 19 at the Ohio and Erie Canal fishing area and Sunday May 20 at Wallace Lake. The event is free, and fishing gear and bait will be provided for those in need at no cost. For more information, you can check the following link: <Spring Children?�+s Fishing Derbies info> Photos from the 2011 event can be viewed at the following link: <2011 Fishing Derby photos>.
Please Note: Temporary Fishing Area Closures. The Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area and the northern half of Wallace Lake will be clearly posted as closed to public fishing from Thursday (5/17) morning through the end of the children?�+s fishing derbies this weekend. This is done annually before the event to give the young anglers, many of them fishing for the first time, the best chance at hooking a freshly stocked catfish or trout. Please respect this temporary closure for the sake of our younger generation of anglers. Thank you.
If you have a photo that you would like to contribute to the fishing report, or if you have any further questions regarding fishing in the Cleveland Metroparks, you may contact Aquatic Biologist Mike Durkalec at (440) 331-8017 or email@example.com .
Vanessa and Kevin have been catching lots of very nice size Rocky River smallmouth this week (photos courtesy of Kevin Bunch).
Jeff has been catching some bruiser channel catfish in deeper holes with some woody cover in the northern river this week (photos courtesy of Jeff Abbott).
The sunfish are all decked out in spawning colors, as evidenced by this bluegill (top) and pumpkinseed sunfish (bottom).
Steve was pleasantly surprised to hook into this 24" northern pike while casthing jigs for smallmouth bass in the Rocky this week (photo courtesy of Steve Sizemore).
Nathaniel caught this trophy smallmouth bass on a topwater popper in the Rock (photo courtesy of Nathaniel Watkins).
Bob has had lots of rod bending carp action in the Rocky River again this week (photos courtesy of Bob Brunner).
Aaron and James, respectively, caught a big crappie and northern pike along the Cleveland lakefront this week. Momentum is building for Cleveland Metroparks to take over management of a number of parks along the Lake Erie shoreline of the city (photos courtesy of Aaron Lalonde).
Pat caught this large trout in Cleveland Metroparks this week (photo courtesy of Pat Thauvette).
Now that the steelhead are all but gone, Ken has been shifting his focus to catching some tackle testing lake-run smallmouth bass in the river (photo courtesy of Ken Harper).
John Hartman is assisting our Natural Resources Division with various projects as part of his high school senior project. As regular blog readers may recall, John recently constructed four fish attraction structures for deployment in a Cleveland Metroparks lake for his Eagle Scout project.
The Rocky River Fishing Report is updated weekly (typically on Thursday afternoons) between September and May and monthy between June and August.
2012 Cleveland Metroparks Registered Fishing Guides (name, company, contact)
#12-001 Monte Casey, The Steelhead Guide, www.steelheadguide.com
#12-002 Jeffery Liskay, Silver Fury Guide Service & Schools, firstname.lastname@example.org (440) 781-7536
#12-003 Owen Murphy, Ohio Steelhead Drifters, www.ohiosteelheaddrifters.com
#12-004 Ryan Buddie, Ohio Steelhead Drifters, www.ohiosteelheaddrifters.com
#12-005 Brett McCrae, Chagrin River Outfitters/Steelhead Alley Outfitters, email@example.com (216) 780-9209
#12-006 Robert McClintock, RSM Fly Fishing Services, www.rsmflyfishing.com
#12-007 Nathan Miller, Chagrin River Outfitters/Steelhead Alley Outfitters,firstname.lastname@example.org (440) 796-6105
#12-008 James Chamberlin, Fish With Jim Outfitters, http://fishwithjimoutfitters.com
#12-009 Duncan Golder, Golder?�+s Guide Service, email@example.com (440) 654-1785
More information on Cleveland Metroparks Fishing Guide Permit requirments, including a copy of the permit application, you may check the following link: <Fishing Guide Permit Program>
Cleveland Metroparks Fishing Fund
Cleveland Metroparks Fishing Fund helps provide a rewarding fishing experience to Northeast Ohio anglers through the stocking of rainbow trout, channel catfish, largemouth bass, and other sport fish. The Fund also supports children's fishing derbies and creation and restoration of essential habitat in the ponds, lakes, and rivers within Cleveland Metroparks.
For more information or to make a gift to Cleveland Metroparks Fishing Fund, including a web donation option, please visit: <Fishing Fund Donations Online>
Note: The fishing report is updated monthly in June, July, and August and weekly every other month
2019 Cleveland Metroparks Registered Fishing Guides
(name, company, contact)
- #19-001 Jim Lampros, floodplainsmag.com, firstname.lastname@example.org (216) 513-6011
- #19-002 Joseph Beno, On The Swing, Joseph93935@hotmail.com (440) 667-2278
- #19-003 Daniel Bennett, Steelhead Alley Outfitters, www.steelheadalleyoutfitters.com (888) 453-5899
- #19-004 Monte Casey, The Steelhead Guide, email@example.com www.steelheadguide.com
- #19-005 Jeffery Liskay, Silver Fury Guide Service & Schools, firstname.lastname@example.org (440) 781-7536
- #19-006 Mario Chance, Chagrin River Outfitters, email@example.com (330) 984-3086
More information on Cleveland Metroparks Fishing Guide Permit requirements, including the permit application, you may check the following link: <Fishing Guide Permit Program>
Learn how you can support recreation opportunities through a donation to the Cleveland Metroparks Fishing Fund.