***Wednesday December 17 morning update: The rivers are elevated and muddy from rain, but appear to be cresting this morning. It will likely be a few days before fishing conditions are ideal again.***
As we move into winter, highlight species targeted by anglers in Cleveland Metroparks include steelhead trout, stocked trout, walleye, and panfish. Area rivers are in great shape for steelhead anglers, and should remain so into the weekend. Anglers can check the latest river flows and temperature at the following links before heading out this weekend: <Rocky River flow gage data> <Chagrin River flow gage data>. A total of 2,000 pounds of rainbow trout were stocked in five Metroparks lakes early this week, as well. Lake Erie is kicked up and muddy on the morning of this update.
The Rocky River and other area streams continued to offer some of the best steelhead fishing yet this season over the past week. Nickel size spawn sacks (salmon or trout eggs) took the most fish when the water was stained, but the fish are now hitting diverse offerings in the clearing flows and increased fishing pressure. Changing up between several offerings is a good plan under our current conditions, with minnows (live or salted), small jigs tipped with maggots, white tube jigs, salmon egg mimicking beads, and various fly patterns (small eggs, streamers, and nymphs) all producing a share of the fish. Wobbling Flatfish style plugs can also be worth a try. Steelhead are well distributed throughout the watershed at this time, with the freshest fish concentrated in the river north of Morley Ford/Lorain Road bridge. There is a mix of skippers (smaller 15-18" steelhead) and adult steelhead in the river at this time, and stray brown trout (from PA and NY programs) have been turning up on a weekly basis.
A total of 2,000 pounds of rainbow trout were released into Metroparks waters on Monday and Tuesday. The following lakes received trout: Wallace Lake (900 lbs), Shadow Lake (450 lbs), Ledge Lake (450 lbs), Ranger Lake (100 lbs), and Judge's Lake (100 lbs). Daily trout limit is 3/day in these waters, with the exception of Shadow Lake which is 5/day. The rainbow trout averages between 3/4 pound and 2 pounds, with a handful of bonus golden rainbows and brown trout also released in Wallace. Trout are biting well on rainbow colored Power Bait about the size of a marble near the lake bottom with a small sinker. The lakes have had a mix of open water and skim of ice this week. The second (and final) winter trout stocking will not be around early February.
The shoreline fishing at E55th and E72nd accesses offer steelhead and walleye prospects when the lake is calm, although waves were kicked up at the time of this writing. Edgewater and Wildwood parks are also spots worth a look this time of year. Small jigs tipped with emerald shiner minnows and a few maggots 2-4 feet under a bobber accounted for many of the steelhead caught along the lakefront this fall, although a spawn sack, minnow (on a small hook, not a jig), or nightcrawler dangled a few feet under a bobber can also be productive. Spoons can also be worth trying when the fish are aggressive The night walleye bite casting from shore at E72nd and Edgewater Park remains good, with Husky Jerks, Rattlin' Rogues/Perfect Tens, and rattle type shad crankbaits being among the top producers. Wise anglers bring a long handed net when fishing these sites, and be very careful on those slippery shoreline rocks.
History of the Great Lakes Salmon Program. I thought folks might be interested in an online story about Fisheries Biologist (and WWII veteran) Howard Tanner and his initiation of the Great Lakes salmon fishery: <A Salmon Fishery is Born>.
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 .
Scott caught this beautiful hen steelie in the Chagrin River this week (photo courtesy of Scott Deere).
Andy landed this 29" chromer by the Rocky River boat ramps this week (photo courtesy of Andy Young).
Pat and his friends did well in the Rockcliff Springs area on the Rock on Friday (photos courtesy of Pat Cramer).
Tuan and a friend had a great night casting off the rocks at Edgewater Park on Sunday night, landing 8 fine walleyes on 4.75" silver Husky Jerk lures (photos courtesy of Tuan Truong).
Lenny and three friends had a banner day on the Chagrin River this week, with Lenney hooking his most fish ever in a day as well as his largest steelhead at 29" and 10 pounds. He reports they bit everything they threw at them (photos courtesy of Lenney S.).
I stopped by the marina after a meeting this morning and folks were hooking into some fresh steelhead there.
On Monday and Tuesday we stocked 2,000 pounds of trout in five Metroparks waters. Some bonus golden rainbow and brown trout were in the mix. See the report above for details.
Yuriy hit Wallace Lake this past weekend while the steelhead rivers were muddy, and the bass did not disappoint (photos courtesy of Yuriy Chen).
Mike has been catching the steelhead very well in the northern Rock trolling spoons from a canoe rigged for fishing (photos courtesy of Mike Iglewski).
"Wild Bill" has been catching some nice Wallace Lake rainbow trout on PowerBait this week (photos courtesy of Mark Fascione).
This angler and a friend caught 3 steelhead by the Nature Center in the muddy water on Tuesday.
Brad shows off a fine buck steelie caught for a School of the Wilds offering this past Sunday.
Andy was surprised to see two antlered bucks by the marina so tolerant of one another during the rut (photo courtesy of Andy Young).
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
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>