***Tuesday November 25 morning update: The Rocky River is still muddy and elevated, but the flow is dropping. If this trend continues the river can be expected to offer good fishing conditions into the Thanksgiving holiday. Anglers would be wise to keep an eye on the flow gage.***
***Monday November 24 morning update: The Rocky River is currently ice free and flowing strongly with a good stain. The river flow does appear to be on the verge of cresting and the snow has all melted, so additional rain will be the factor that determines what conditions will be in the coming days. Anglers should keep an eye on the flow gage, with a dropping flow in the coming days indicating progressively better steelhead fishing prospects. The Chagrin River is more elevated than the Rocky and will require at least a few days until it could offer decent fishing conditions.***
As we move into late fall, highlight species targeted by anglers in Cleveland Metroparks include steelhead trout, walleye, and yellow perch. Local streams are icy following the early winter blast this week, but it looks like a reprieve of warmer temperatures is expected to arrive into the weekend. The river could go from icy to flowing strong and muddy with a rapid warm-up and rain, though. Anglers can check the latest river flows and temperature at the following links: <Rocky River flow gage data> <Chagrin River flow gage data>. Note: ice is currently interfering with the flow gage readings although a thaw would remedy the issue. The bite at E55th and E72nd breakwalls has been good this week for steelhead and night walleye.
Over the past nine years of updating this fishing blog this is the first time I can recall talking about river ice and slush in November! The good news is that the ice should disappear into the weekend with the warm-up, although coupled with rain that could quickly muddy the waters. Despite the cold this week, a number of anglers experienced good fishing over the weekend. Leaves have decreased in the rivers, as well. As has been the case in recent weeks, fresher steelhead were being taken in the northern river reaches, such as around the marina and river mouth, although this area has had the most ice in recent days. Pods of steelhead are present throughout the system, primarily in deeper holes given the current conditions. There is a healthy mix of skippers (smaller 15-18" steelhead) and adult steelhead in the river at this time, and a few stray brown trout (from PA and NY programs) are turning up on a weekly basis. Small eggs sacks, live minnows, small jigs tipped with maggots, white tube jigs, and various fly patterns (small eggs, streamers, and nymphs) have all accounted for a share of the steelhead recently.
The shoreline fishing at E55th and E72nd accesses has been good this week. Anglers have been catching steelhead and walleye, but there are always other species to be had at these spots. Small jigs tipped with emerald shiner minnows and a few maggots 2-4 feet under a bobber account for many of the steelhead caught there this time of year, although the surprise hot bait on Saturday afternoon was a whole nightcrawler dangled a few feet under a bobber, so don't be afraid to try different offerings. The night walleye bite casting from shore at E72nd has been very good, with Husky Jerks, Rattlin' Rogues/Perfect Tens, and rattle type shad crankbaits being among the top producers. Similar opportunities are also present off the rocks at Edgewater and Wildwood parks. Wise anglers bring a long handed net when fishing these sites, and be very careful on those slippery shoreline rocks!
In early October 600 pounds of farm raised channel catfish and 1,000 pounds of rainbow trout were stocked at Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area and a fair share of these fish remain to be caught. 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 mid-December. Stay tuned to the fishing report for updates on that.
As the lake permits, boating anglers are still chasing night walleye. Walleye have been found in 10-30' off Cleveland, especially along the city breakwall after dark. Boaters are doing best most nights from 6:00-11:00pm trolling Husky Jerk and Perfect Ten stickbaits around E72nd. The ODNR Division of Wildlife weekly Lake Erie fishing report can be viewed <here>. Anglers/boaters can view current lake conditions off Cleveland at the following link: <City Of Cleveland Water Intake Crib Cam>.
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 .
Matt and his buddy Tim hooked five steelhead and this bonus brown trout on the Rock Saturday morning from 7:00-noon. The brown hit an olive muddler minnow fly dropper behind an egg sack, and their steelies hit Chinook salmon egg sacks and egg flies (photos courtesy of Matt Dixon).
Congratulations to Lavell, who caught this 11.6 pound monster walleye casting off the rocks at E72nd Saturday night. The fish is currently in second place in the popular Fall Brawl walleye tournament. Great job Lavell! (photo courtesy of Lanell McKinney).
Ken caught this gorgeous 31" buck steelie by the marina on Saturday morning on an egg sack (photo courtesy of Ken Harper).
John caught this 26" buck steel on the northern Rock while drifting a jig beneath a float on Sunday (photo courtesy of Jeff Sutliff).
Despite the wintery weather, the steelhead at E55th have been biting. Jim, the gentleman in the bottom photo, caught more steelhead than anyone else there on Saturday afternoon fishing a whole nightcrawler about 4 feet below a bobber.
Jim also shared this rare catch (and release) he made at E55th a few weeks back. The fish bit a jig and minnow as he was reeling in. Can you name the species for this week's Know Your Fish challenge? (photo courtesy of Jim).
Buddies John and Jake hooked a few Rocky River beauties despite the frigid weather this week (photos courtesy of John Lusnek).
Desmond hooked some fine walleye while casting a blue/silver Husky Jerk stickbait from the shoreline rocks at E72nd this week, including the 29", 10.5 lb trophy fish in the top image (photos courtesy od Desmond Prince).
Buddies Randy and Kevin have been enjoying the late fall bounty around Cleveland, catching steelhead by the marina on the Rocky during daylight and E72nd walleye after dark (photos courtesy of Randy Zimmerman).
Chris caught this surprise brown trout in the Rock on Sunday afternoon on a white streamer fly. This is one of several stray brown trout reported from the river the past few weeks (photo courtesy of Chris Herbruck).
Sean braved the cold this week and was rewarded with a pair of plump Rocky River hen steelhead that bit live minnows. He also took a photo of an angler fishing in a "crowded" hole (photos courtesy of Sean Fenton).
My ugly (but warm) hat didn't keep Jeff and I from catching some walleye inside the city breakwall just west of E72nd on Saturday night. The trip was the last of the season before Jeff winterized his vessel. Fire tiger color Husky Jerk was the hot lure of the evening.
Nick and Matt made a pilgrimage to the waters from whence our strain of steelhead was refined (Big and Little Manistee rivers, Michigan) this week, and although they didn't hook any steelhead they caught lots of trout, including the two nice browns pictured above. Speaking of Browns, way to represent in your Cleveland hat in Michigan, Nick! (photos courtesy of Nick LoPiccolo).
Oh, geez, it's WAY too early for this! Nate stands on the ice in shallow area on the river this week. The good news is that the ice should disappear into the weekend with the warm-up (photo courtesy of Nate Adams).
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
#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, email@example.com (419) 540-8585
#18-007 Nathan Miller, Steelhead Alley Outfitters, www.steelheadalleyoutfitters.com (888) 453-5899
#18-008 Justin Pribanic, Chagrin River Outfitters, firstname.lastname@example.org (724) 799-5011
#18-009 Patrick Robinson, Steelhead Alley Outfitters, www.steelheadalleyoutfitters.com (888) 453-5899
#18-010 Travis Larson, Hatch Run Fly Fishing, email@example.com (814) 706-1958
#18-011 Mario Chance, Chagrin River Outfitters, firstname.lastname@example.org (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>