The Rocky River is dropping into shape and looks to offer good fishing conditions as we approach the weekend. Rain is forecasted late in the weekend, though, which could reverse this trend. Friday and Saturday will likely offer good steelhead fishing conditions. Anglers can check the latest river flow and temperature trends at the following link: <Rocky River flow gage data>
Despite officially being "spring", steelhead anglers this week were greeted to winter fishing conditions on the Rocky and Chagrin rivers. Steelhead anglers this week scored with tube jigs (white 3-4" have been good), 1/64-1/32 marabou or hair jigs tipped with a few maggots or a waxworm, live minnows, and dime to nickel size spawn sacks in various colors.. Fly fishers are taking fish dead drifting egg and nymph patterns, although swinging big streamers on light spey and switch rods is a method rapidly gaining in popularity on our streams.
Steelhead this week have been interspersed between deep, slow pools and faster water holding areas. The wintery weather appears to have kept most fish off the shallow gravel this week as I recieved few observations of spawning fish this week, although this will certainly change with the next warmer rain. Steelhead are well distributed throughout all watersheds at this time, which allows anglers to spread out and find a stretch of water for themselves.
Lake-run white suckers are also available in the Rocky and Chagrin rivers. These fish are a lot of fun on light tackle, especially for children and less experienced anglers. Although many suckers are hooked inadvertantly by anglers seeking steelhead on offerings like jigs tipped with maggots and nymph flies, they can effetively be targeted by fishing a worm on the river bottom with a sinker and modest tackle. At this time most suckers will be in deep, slow holes from Morley Ford (just north of the Lorain Road bridge) to the marina.
For the second week in a row the East Branch Rocky River was stocked with 600 pounds of trout between Route 82 (Royalton Road) in Strongsville and the river ford (crossing) just south of Wallace Lake in Berea. Anglers at Wallace, Ledge, Shadow and Judges lakes also reported various catches of rainbow trout this week, as well.. Small jigs and ice flies tipped with a few maggots or waxworms, PowerBait, small spinners, and salmon or trout egg sacks have all take their share of trout.
Suckers: An Underutilized Resource. In some areas of northern Wisconsin and Minnesota folks have a spring tradition of catching and eating suckers. They are reported to make fine table fare when taken from cold water, when their flesh is firm and mild. Since suckers are bony, the most popular way to prepare them is to run the filets through a meat grinder or food processor and utilize them in fish patties (also called fish cakes or croquettes). Although a number of sucker patty recipes are available online, any fish patty recipe calling for salmon or tuna can use sucker as a substitute. I challenge open minded anglers who like to eat fish to give sucker patties a try this spring. I would also love to hear back from you if you do for your opinions, and would welcome photos of the finished product to include in an upcoming report.
If you have a photo that you would like to contribute to the fishing report, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Congratulations to Jayce on catching his first steelhead on the northern Rocky River this week (photo courtesy of Jim Kukral).
Allen's father reports that "he's learning the trade" (photo courtesy of Allen's father).
Rachel and Bob shared some quality father-daughter time together fishing in the Barbie Rod Fishing Derby this past Saturdayon the Rock. Even though they didn't land a steelhead she reports they "had a blast" (photos courtesy of Rachel Brunner).
DeAngelo landed this fine buck steelie on the Rock yesterday (photo courtesy of DeAngelo Williams).
Congratulations to Travis Males on taking top honors in the Barbie Rod Fishing Derby in a field of over 30 competitors with his 24" hen steelhead (photos courtesy of Joyce Smith).
Pat reports "Just want to share the excitement of catch and release with some of these beautiful steelhead trouts that we are all fortunate to enjoy in the Rocky River Metropark" (photos courtesy of Pat Cramer).
Dane caught this 26.5" steelhead, and eight suckers, in the Rock this past Saturday. All the fish bit a pink and chartreuse Mr. Crappie tube jig tipped with white Gulp maggots (photo courtesy of Dane Seikel).
Chris and friend caught this steelhead/smallmouth bass doubleheader on the Rock this week. It marks the first smallie that I've heard of from the river this year (photo courtesy of Christopher Dietrich).
Vickie and Scott drove up from the Columbus area to participate in the Barbie Rod Fishing Derby this past Saturday, and although they didn't land any steelies they did score some white suckers as a consolation prize (photos courtesy of Scott Heidrich).
Congratulations to Joyce on her 2nd place finish in the derby this past weekend with this 22" steelie. She also caught a handful of suckers (photos courtesy of Rich Good),
Matt shows off a few trophy steelies over 30" taken from the northern Rocky Rver this week (photos courtesy of Jake and Chuck).
Mark landed 6 of 9 steelies hooked in the Rock on a recent trip, topped by this chrome beauty (photo courtesy of Mark Cox).
John caught this chromer on the northern Rocky River on Sunday. The fish bit a Fay's White Lightning jig (photo courtesy of John Fay).
Pat caught this plump trout in the East Branch Rocky River near Route 82 on Saturday. The feisty fish ate sherbert colored Power Bait (photo courtesy of Pat Thauvette).
Simon caught this 28" steelie on a green jig tipped with a waxworm (photo courtesy of Simon Freeman).
Note: The fishing report is updated monthly in June, July, and August and weekly every other month
2017 Cleveland Metroparks Registered Fishing Guides (name, company, contact)
17-001 Mario Chance, Chagrin River Outfitters, email@example.com, (330) 984-3086
17-002 Justin Pribanic, Chagrin River Outfitters, firstname.lastname@example.org, (724) 799-5011
17-003 Joseph Beno, On The Swing, email@example.com, (440) 667-2278
17-004 Jeffery Liskay, Silver Fury Guide Service & Schools, firstname.lastname@example.org, (440) 781-7536
17-005 Monte Casey, The Steelhead Guide, http://steelheadguide.com
17-006 Nathan Miller, Steelhead Alley Outfitters, http://steelheadalleyoutfitters.com
17-007 Patrick Robinson, Steelhead Alley Outfitters, http://steelheadalleyoutfitters.com
17-008 Justin Shillaci, Steelhead Alley Outfitters, http://steelheadalleyoutfitters.com
17-009 Daniel Bennett, email@example.com, (440) 417-3062
More information on Cleveland Metroparks Fishing Guide Permit requirements, including 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>