The Rocky River is exhibiting very good vwater conditions, with moderate flow and stain. The ground is saturated from melting snow which is allowing for a stable base flow. Looking at the forecast things should more or less remain this way through the weekend contingent on how much rain the area recieves on Sunday. Anglers can check the latest river flow and temperature trends at the following link: <Rocky River flow gage data>
Steelhead fishing was typical for mid-winter on the Rocky and Chagrin rivers this week, with anglers having to be a bit persistent and work for their fish in the cold water. But some quality fish were the reward for those who perservered. Float anglers 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 (pink is always a safe bet). Fly fishers are still taking fish dead drifting egg and nymph patterns, although swinging big streamers on light spey and switch rods is a method gaining in popularity on our streams.
Most steelhead this week have been caught in deep, slow pools...a classic winter holding area. But anglers should not discount making a few drifts in faster water holding areas, as well, since the Little Manistee strain fish that Ohio uses come from hardy northern stock. Some anglers have reported ripe hen steelhead dropping eggs this week, so expect some fish to hit the gravel to spawn very soon. Steelhead are well distributed throughout the Rocky and Chagrin watersheds at this time, and anglers who cover the most water are often the most successful.
Conditions are not safe for ice fishing on Metroparks lakes and ponds at this time and, in fact, are offering open water angling in many spots. Anglers at lakes like Wallace, Ledge, Shadow and Judges reported modest catches of rainbow trout and panfish this week. Small jigs and ice flies tipped with a few maggots or waxworms, PowerBait and salmon or trout egg sacks have all been catching their share of trout, as well. Both winter stockings of trout in Metroparks waters have been completed, and the first stocking of the East Branch Rocky River will be scheduled soon (keep posted to the fishing blog for details).
At least it was better than last year! It was another disappointing ice fishing season but, trying to be positive, at least we had more opportunities than last year's non-existent hard water season. Both were a far cry from most seasons past that offered weeks, if not months, of ice fishing on our smaller lakes. Well, as a life-long Clevelander I can say with hope "there is always next year"!
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Father and son Mitch and Dave found some small stream steelies when the rivers were still too muddy to fish last week (photos courtesy of David Coe).
Tim landed these 27" and 30.5" steelies just before dark on Tuesday. He also relays "A man and his two little girls watched me catch the hen from a distance. When they realized I had hooked another shortly thereafter, they came over. The father, who was obviously a fisherman as well, asked if he could help net it for me which I appreciated. He did a fine job of netting the fish. He also took the picture for me and after letting the girls touch the fish we released it. It was good to see this gentleman enjoying the park with his children and I was happy to share this moment with them" (photos courtesy of Tim Fischer).
Randy caught this bonus brown trout on the northern Rock this week. I cannot remember another year where we recieved so many stray brownies from PA and NY waters (photo courtesy of Brian Pavick).
Fabio swung up this Chagrin river beauty on a fly pattern called a Prom Dress (photo courtesy of Yuri).
Matthew perservered the past few weeks, hooking 5 and landing 3 steelies on a tandem rig consisting of a nymph and light egg pattern. The specimen in the photo was brought to the bank on Monday (photo courtesy of Matthew Fehrmann).
Veteran steelheader Mike Spanulo displays a fine chrome hen just prior to its release back to the Rocky River (photo courtesy of Sisqo By).
Tony (top) and Corey show-off a couple of bruiser steelies they caught in their "secret spot" on the upper Rock (photos courtesy of Tony LoShiavo).
Jeff displays a beautiful 31" buck steelie taken in the Chagrin River on Sunday (photo courtesy of Jeff Abbott).
There is plenty of open water to fish at Wallace Lake right now (photos courtesy of Mark Fascione).
Note: The fishing report is updated monthly in June, July, and August and weekly every other month
2018 Cleveland Metroparks Registered Fishing Guides (name, company, contact)
#18-001 Monte Casey, The Steelhead Guide, firstname.lastname@example.org www.steelheadguide.com
#18-002 Jeffery Liskay, Silver Fury Guide Service & Schools, email@example.com (440) 781-7536
#18-003 Josh Trammell, Steelhead Alley Outfitters, www.steelheadalleyoutfitters.com (888) 453-5899
#18-004 Joseph Beno, On The Swing, Joseph93935@hotmail.com (440) 667-2278
#18-005 Daniel Bennett, Steelhead Alley Outfitters, www.steelheadalleyoutfitters.com (888) 453-5899
#18-006 Brad Dunkle, Wildwood Anglers LLC, firstname.lastname@example.org (419) 540-8585
#18-007 Nathan Miller, Steelhead Alley Outfitters, www.steelheadalleyoutfitters.com (888) 453-5899
#18-008 Justin Pribanic, Chagrin River Outfitters, email@example.com (724) 799-5011
#18-009 Patrick Robinson, Steelhead Alley Outfitters, www.steelheadalleyoutfitters.com (888) 453-5899
#18-010 Travis Larson, Hatch Run Fly Fishing, firstname.lastname@example.org (814) 706-1958
#18-011 Mario Chance, Chagrin River Outfitters, email@example.com (330) 984-3086
#18-012 Don Mathews, Steelhead School, www.steelheadschool.com (330) 565-5457
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>