***Saturday September 8 morning update: Due to overnight rain the river is elevated and muddy this morning and will remain stained through at least the weekend. The good news is that when the river drops and clears there should be a few fresh steelhead trout available for anglers.***
As we transition into early fall, highlight species targeted by anglers along the Rocky River watershed are smallmouth bass, panfish, and a chance at an early steelhead trout. Overall, the river has been low in level for much of the summer and has finally experienced a few bumps in flow over the past two weeks. The river is stained, but fishable, today and will continue to drop and clear into the weekend if we don't get much more rain. To monitor the most recent river water level and temperature you can check the following link: <river flow gage data>
A handful of steelhead have arrived earlier than usual this year, with the first one reported the first week of August. That one was found dead in the river and likely expired due to high water temperature since they are a coldwater fish doing best in waters below 75 deg F. On the afternoon of August 17, while electrofishing by the marina on the northern Rocky River, we turned up about a dozen and a half steelhead between the boat ramps and the ?��Black Wall?�� (darker wet spot on the valley wall just south of the ramps). See some photos of those fish below. Since then, a few anglers chomping at the bit have caught a few steelies in the river, especially in the mornings and evenings. The fish reported caught so far have been on spoons (Little Cleo spoons being a good choice) and spawn sacks. And just this morning we turned up a few steelies by the Nature Center ford while out with a Baldwin Wallace biology class (photo below). These early fish offer a bonus opportunity to catch a steelhead in August and early September, as the run really won?�+t begin to gain steam until later this month, and especially into fall. As an early reminder for those wishing to learn the ropes of steelhead angling, the annual free Steelhead Expo will be at the Rocky River Nature Center on Saturday October 6 from 9:00am-5:00pm.
Smallmouth bass fishing in the river has been fair to good lately. A dark olive or brown tube jig of about 4?�� length is one of the best producers of bass in the river. ?��Smallies?�� also bite well on live bait (ie: minnow, crayfish, and leeches), lures (ie: spinners and minnow plugs), and flies (ie: crayfish patterns, Clouser minnows, dark brown or olive sculpin or muddler minnow patterns). There are abundant small to medium sized bass in the river along with a few resident trophy fish up to (and over) 20 inches in length. Anglers are always encouraged to release the larger bass so that these fine gamefish can be enjoyed again.
Lake Erie boaters out of the Emerald Necklace marina have been making excellent catches of yellow perch this week fishing near the lake bottom with perch speaders and live or salted emerald shiners in 47-53 FOW off the Cleveland shoreline. Details can be found in the ODNR Lake Erie fishing report available at the <ODNR Lake Erie fishing report>.
Generous Donation to Cleveland Metroparks Fisheries Program. Our staff are always looking for new ways to enhance our fisheries program, and such an opportunity arose on August 31. The Kriwinsky family allowed us to collect and remove a total of 382 fish from their private lake to be transferred to a Metroparks public fishing lake. These included 67 largemouth bass, 296 bluegill sunfish, and 19 crappie. Per the going rate of an Ohio fish producer, the fish were valued at $1,709.70. We are not specifically naming the lake they were released in, as is usually the case in such scenarios, to allow the fish to establish to their new home and hopefully spawn this spring to further enhance our fishery. As if that was not generous enough, the family also donated a check for $500 to our Fishing Fund! Thank you very much to the Kriwinsky family for their generous donation which will benefit our local angling community.
?��The Great Steelhead Rescue?��. Jeff Opperman, Senior Freshwater Scientist at The Nature Conservancy, happens to live on a tributary of the upper Chagrin River upstream of the former Gates Mills Dam (which broke apart during a flood two years ago) and he penned a neat account of an experience his family had with steelhead in that creek this past spring. Here is a link to the whole<story> which ran in Outside magazine and is definitely worth the time to read. Here is an excerpt:
"Native or not, these steelhead are ambassadors of wonder that can connect all of us to what persists: lakes and rivers that have been roughed up over the years but still remain the sources of incredible value to the people of the region. They remind us of our responsibilities, both for past losses and for the future. The anthropocene may mean we?�+ve left our mark nearly everywhere, but it doesn?�+t mean that nature has been banished. We still depend on it, whether for clean drinking water or for the adrenaline rush of magnificent, fighting fish that link us to a primal past and shake us to be present in the present."
Wallace Lake Re-opened to Fishing but not Boating. Wallace Lake was closed to fishing and boating through most of August while our staff treated a new non-native aquatic weed found in the lake (hyrdilla). On August 28 the lake re-opened to fishing, but boating is banned until a yet to be determined time. This will not affect our plans to stock the lake with trout this winter.
Kevin Feenstra at Chagrin River Outfitters this Saturday. Dan at <CRO> wanted to let folks know that there will be a free talk about fall steelhead and salmon techniques and fly tying from noted Michigan guide Kevin Feenstra at 10:00am on Saturday September 8th. Kevin is an expert on swinging big sculpin patterns and the like for crushing takes from aggressive steelhead. You typically won?�+t tally the kind of numbers possible dead drifting egg patterns, but it is among the most exciting way to hook these fish.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org .
A Baldwin Wallace biology class, led by instructor Tyler Lawson (holding the fish), came out to sample fish by the Rocky River Nature Center this morning and we even turned up a few steelhead trout.
Bernie reports: "Had a great day yesterday in about four hours on my Kayak at Hinckley. Landed 6 of 8 including this one. Most were 11" to13". This one was close to 18" and at least a couple of pounds - wish I had a scale as it was my biggest bass ever caught! "
(photos courtesy of Berni Lozar).
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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, email@example.com (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, firstname.lastname@example.org www.steelheadguide.com
- #19-005 Jeffery Liskay, Silver Fury Guide Service & Schools, email@example.com (440) 781-7536
- #19-006 Mario Chance, Chagrin River Outfitters, firstname.lastname@example.org (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.