In spring highlight species targeted by anglers in Cleveland Metroparks include steelhead trout, stocked trout, panfish, as well as largemouth and smallmouth bass. The steelhead fishing this past week has been very good in the Rocky and Chagrin rivers and other area streams. Stocked trout in the East Branch Rocky River and Wallace, Hinckley, and Shadow lakes have also been biting. Anglers can monitor the latest river flows and temperature at the following links: <Rocky River flow gage data> <Chagrin River flow gage data>.
The Rocky River is currently exhibiting good fishing conditions, and lots of steelhead have been reported caught this week. A good number of steelhead are still spawning in shallow, gravelly areas this week, although plenty of dropback (already spawned) and fresh (not yet spawned) steelhead can be found in deeper water downstream. The quality of the fish has also been very good, with some of the largest steelies of the year caught this week. There are more fresh fish than typical for this late in the season, which is not surprising given the late winter and slow onset of spring. I would expect decent steelhead fishing opportunities to extend well into May this year as long as weather doesn't get too warm. Anglers reported hooking steelhead on a variety of offerings, including dime size spawn sacks, small marabou jigs tipped with a few maggots, live minnows, spinners (Vibrax and RoosterTail are good), and egg and streamer fly patterns. Lake-run smallmouth bass fishing was excellent this week, with a 3-4" dark brown or olive tube jig being a very effective offering much of the time. A spinner, jig, live minnow, or baitfish crankbait can catch smallmouth and steelhead-- often from the same hole.
Trout fishing at several lakes has been good this week, with good numbers of stocked trout remaining at Wallace Lake, Hinckley Lake, and Shadow Lake. Ledge and Judge's lakes both still have some trout remaining, as well. Please take note that the daily trout limit is 3/day in these waters, with the exception of Shadow Lake which is 5/day. Trout often bite on small jigs tipped with bait (maggots, waxworm, minnow, corn) suspended under a float, spawn sacks, small to medium size spinners (RoosterTail spinners are good), and Power Bait (rainbow and other bright colors have been best) about the size of a marble near the lake bottom with a small sinker. As an added bonus, just shy of 1,500 quality size bluegill, largemouth bass, and white crappie were stocked in Wallace and Shadow lakes earlier this month, as well.
The spring trout stocking of the East Branch Rocky River concluded last week with 500 pounds of rainbow trout released between Royalton Road (Rt. 82) and the ford crossing just south of Wallace Lake. This stretch of river was been stocked for five weeks in a row, and plenty of trout remain and are well distributed along that entire stretch at this point. Trout have been biting well on PowerBait, small jigs tipped with maggots, salmon eggs, and small spinners. NOTE: the limit on any trout in the river, whether stocked catchable size or steelhead, is only two per day/angler with a 12" minimum size limit and our Rangers and the state Wildlife Officer are out enforcing this.
Anglers fishing the Cleveland shoreline of Lake Erie shoreline are pursuing walleye, steelhead, crappie, largemouth bass, northern pike and a menagerie of panfish species. Many fish can be found prowling the marinas and other nearshore areas. The post-spawn walleye night bite is heating up along the Cleveland shoreline, with Edgewater Park, E55th/E72nd (Gordon Park), and Wildwood Park all worth a look. Anglers are primarily casting Husky Jerk, Rattlin Rogue, and Perfect 10 crankbaits for walleye from the shoreline rocks. Be sure to bring a long handled landing net and a headlamp. The Ohio Division of Wildlife Lake Erie fishing report may be viewed <here>.
Juvenile Steelhead Were Stocked This Week. Please note, juvenile steelhead (smolts) were stocked by ODNR Division of Wildlife at the Rocky River marina on Monday and Tuesday this week. It is best to avoid fishing this area with small hooks and bait for the next week or so and, if you do catch any, please handle these sub-legal size fish gently and release them quickly. They are, after all, the future of the run!
The Great Steelhead Rescue. I like to re-run this great story from Jeff Opperman, a The Nature Conservancy Senior Freshwater Scientist, in spring since it happened about this time of year on a tributary of the Chagrin River. Steelhead may not be native to our region, but Jeff makes some great observations about the importance they play in connecting many folks to the wonder of the natural world. Read the story here: <The Great Steelhead Rescue>.
Slight Delay in Installation of Rocky River Marina Courtesy Docks. Installation of the courtesy docks at the Rocky River marina has been delayed due to a conflict with a dredging project. We will get them in as soon as we reasonably can. We are sorry for the inconvenience. On the other hand, the courtesy docks at Edgewater and Gordon park boat launches were installed last week.
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 .
Nathaniel shares "My little sister Lydia, 10yrs old, caught her first steelhead with a minnow on Saturday. The 30 inch trout was her first experience with something other than bluegill." (photo courtesy of Nathaniel Watkins).
Kevin caught this 29" steelie drifting a white marabou jig under a float on the Rocky (photo courtesy of Kevin Naim).
Mike reports "My cousin Roger Day and I with our walleye catch from Edgewater Park Sunday night. We caught them using Husky Jerks perch colored and black and gold color from shore right off the long wall next to the boat launch or behind the water treatment building. They all measured 26 to 30 inches. I also caught a 29 inch pike from the boat dock at Edgewater" (photos courtesy of Mike Saddler).
Corey made his first trip for Rocky steelhead in over a year, and was rewarded! (photo courtesy of Corey Butram).
"Sticks" has been spreading good karma on the river and relayed "No matter what you hear, it?�+s been a great season. What's almost better is helping people on the river to be better fisherman and score some really good fish. It?�+s amazing when you pass things along and you watch that person?�+s face when they score a beauty. In all was a wonderful spring on the Rocky. I enclosed some pictures and to me it?�+s not about size, it?�+s about the action and the people and this year I've met plenty and sharing made it all that much better. Even my 5yr old grandson got into the action, what a blast! And yes all these fish went back to the river. Loving the Rocky River." (photos courtesy of Allen, aka "Sticks").
Julio caught this super fat lake-run smallmouth bass in the northern Rock this week (photos courtesy of Julio Dejesus).
The Stefan family (Bethany, Brett, Nathan, and Joshua) caught a bunch of trout on PowerBait and lures this week (photo courtesy of Dorel Stefan).
David caught some bruiser steelies between 28-33" from the Rocky and Chagrin rivers this spring (photos courtesy of David DiYanni).
Mike and his buddy Steve have been catching some beautiful steelies on the Chagrin River on white wooley buggers (photos courtesy of Mike Karns).
Registered fishing guide Monte Casey is having a successful spring leading clients to quality fish on the Rocky River. Pictured top to bottom are Adam Helmer (Columbus, OH), Don Alger (2 photos, St. Louis, MO), Herb Ramerman of OCBS, and Stuart Math (2 photos with 30" and 32" steelhead, Manhattan, NY) (photos courtesy of Monte Casey).
Tim was casting spoons along the lakefront and scored 20" and 18.5" smallmouth bass (photos courtesy of Tim Watkins).
Pat caught some fresh beauties at Rockcliff Springs on the Rocky River last week (photos courtesy of Pat Cramer).
Charlie got his cousin John and friend Ryan hooked on fly fishing for steelhead (photos courtesy of Charlie Seibolt).
Russ caught some fine Rocky River steelies on spinners this week (photos courtesy of Russ Ring).
In this installment of Know Your Fish, can you name the species of the colorful little fellow in this image collected in the Rocky during a recent school outing? Please submit your guesses in the comments section (photo courtesy of Bill Britt).
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>