***Tuesday December 9 afternoon update: This morning we stocked Wallace and Ranger lakes with a combined total of 1,000 pounds of rainbow trout. The Rocky River is stained, but fishable, today and anglers reported catching some steelhead today.***
***Monday December 8 afternoon update: This morning we stocked Shadow, Ledge, and Judge's lakes with a combined total of 1,000 pounds of rainbow trout. Tomorrow we plan to stock Wallace and Ranger lakes, weather permitting. The Rocky River is quite stained, but fishable, today and conditions will only improve in the coming days.***
As we move into December, highlight species targeted by anglers in Cleveland Metroparks include steelhead trout, walleye, and panfish. This past week has been among the best of the year for steelhead in our local streams, with plenty of the big trout caught over the extended holiday weekend. The Rocky River is currently exhibiting moderately low flow, but rain forecasted into the weekend could change that. Wise anglers will 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>. Various sites along the Cleveland Lakefront continue to offer opportunities for steelhead and night walleye.
The Rocky River and other area streams offered 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 late last week, 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. Some anglers also reported success using wobbling Flatfish style plugs this week. 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 healthy 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) continue to turn up on a weekly basis. There is rain in the forecast into the weekend, so wise anglers will check the flow gage data as the weather transitions.
The shoreline fishing at E55th and E72nd accesses are offering great prospects, with the lake very calm at the time of this writing. Anglers have been primarily targeting steelhead and walleye at these locations, as well as the rocks at Edgewater and Wildwood parks. Small jigs tipped with emerald shiner minnows and a few maggots 2-4 feet under a bobber accounted for many of the steelhead caught there recently, 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 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.
In early October at total of 1,000 pounds of rainbow trout were stocked at Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area and some of these fish still remain. The trout limit at this site is 5 fish per angler per day. The first round of winter trout stocking in Metroparks lakes and ponds is currently scheduled for early nest week at Wallace Lake. Stay tuned to the fishing report for updates on that.
School of the Wilds on Steelhead Sunday December 7. Do you want to learn the basics about steelhead history in Ohio, biology, and fishing? Then you might be interested in a free School of the Wilds offering covering these topics at the Rocky River Nature Center starting at 2:00pm on Sunday December 7. After an hour presentation we will travel outside to observe live steelhead up close and personal, so dress for the weather. More <here>.
Interested in a Fish Biology Course? Dr. Ron Oldfield at Case Western Reserve University will be offering an Ichthyology (Fish Biology) course this spring, one of the only such offerings in northern Ohio. The class will offer a number of fish collection outings with local agencies, including Cleveland Metroparks. He wanted to inform students at Cleveland State and John Carroll universities and Tri-C that they can also easily enroll in this highly rated course through the <Cross-Registration Program>. For more information you can contact Dr. Oldfield at email@example.com.
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 .
Charlie (middle photo) and his brothers caught some fine Rocky River steelhead over Thanksgiving break (photo courtesy of Charlie Seibolt).
Greg has been catching some very fresh steelhead at Edgewater Park on Lake Erie on minnows underneath a small bobber (photos courtesy of Greg Young).
Congratulations to Eric on catching his first steelie ever from the Rocky River this week (photo courtesy of Ryan Meadows).
Bob Jr. caught this gorgeous Rocky River brown trout this week. He would like to thank Lance Masarik for the salmon eggs the fish bit (photo courtesy of Bob Wohlgemuth Sr.).
Bill reports "We had some nice fishing last week. My son Andy (14 now and bigger than me) really schooled me this time, landing 9 steelhead and a nice brown trout! I was fortunate to land 4 but did lose a few others as well. Anyway here's a few pics and keep up the good work. We enjoy your website!" (photos courtesy of Bill Wahl).
Mike caught several steelies in the Rock this week, with this bruiser buck being the largest (photo courtesy of Mike Laurenzi).
John was yet another captor of a Rocky River brown trout this week. The 26" buck hit one of John's custom tied jigs. He reports being "pumped" since this is his first brown in 7 years of fishing the river. John also landed some nice steelies on jigs this week (photos courtesy of John Fay).
Kevin shared on Sunday "Caught this one this morning in the Rocky River. First steelhead on my own fly rod (caught a couple on a guided trip last year). Been fly fishing for about 5 years and have learned a lot about the sport and our excellent fishery from your blog. Thanks for all that you do!" (photo courtesy of Kevin B.).
Dorel and Kaelynn (pictured), along with Joshua, Nathan, and Bethany, caught 13 rainbow trout on corn and PowerBait. I hope to stock Wallace Lake with trout this coming Monday (photo courtesy of Dorel Stefan).
Bob caught this chromer at the marina this week (photo courtesy of Mark Fascione).
Will shared late last week "Spent the afternoon fishing the Chagrin River and thought I'd contribute a report. Conditions were pretty good on the lower river, around 16 inches of visibility, not too many fish were hooked today but the spin fisherman, including myself, did better than the fly fishers in the off colored water.I ended up landing just one n an orange spawn sack the size of a nickel" (photo courtesy of Will Ellis).
Mike was one of no less than four anglers this week that hooked into brown trout in the Rocky River. The fish stray into our streams from PA and NY, and seem fond of the Rock (photo courtesy of Chuck Mechling).
Dave caught some beautiful steelies by the boat ramps on the Rock this week (photos courtesy of DaveMcCloskey).
Yuriy and his buddy Jake had a fantastic Thanksgiving day outing on the Rocky River, hooking into a bunch of steel that ranged from fresh and silver to very nicely colored. They were mostly fishing the upper Main Branch by the Nature Center and up into the lower East Branch (photos courtesy of Yuriy Chen).
If you are fishing the Chagrin River, keep an eye out for this neat all white deer spotted near a popular fishing access in North Chagrin Reservation this week (photo courtesy of Anne).
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, email@example.com www.steelheadguide.com
#18-002 Jeffery Liskay, Silver Fury Guide Service & Schools, firstname.lastname@example.org (440) 781-7536
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>