***Monday April 14 afternoon update: This afternoon we stocked 700 pounds of rainbow trout in the East Branch Rocky River. Although the river has a moderate stain today lots of steelhead were reported caught over the past few days, as well.***
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 had been very good in the Rocky River and other area streams until rain muddied the waters. With more rain in the forecast stream conditions this weekend are likely to remain elevated and muddy, but when the river levels drop expect the excellent steelhead fishing to continue. The same goes for stocked trout in the East Branch Rocky River. Anglers should monitor the latest river flows and temperature at the following links: <Rocky River flow gage data> <Chagrin River flow gage data>. Anglers are catching lots of stocked trout at Wallace Lake, as well as other area lakes and ponds stocked this past winter. As a bonus, several hundred bluegill, largemoth bass, and crappie were stocked at Wallace Lake yesterday, as well.
The Rocky River is currently muddy and elevated, and that will likely continue into the weekend with plenty of rain in the forecast. Earlier this week anglers reported excellent steelhead fishing throughout the river, with many spawning fish further upstream (around Cedar Point Road), and fresh fish entering the river further north. 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 are just beginning to trickle into the system, and lots of lake-run white suckers are currently in the river. A worm or small jig/flies fished near the river bottom will often catch plenty of suckers.
Trout fishing at several lakes has been excellent this week, with 350 pounds of trout stocked in Wallace Lake on Monday. Hinckley Lake (2,500 trout) and Shadow Lake (500 trout) were stocked by ODNR Division of Wildlife last Thursday and have also been giving up lots of trout, although Hinckley Lake was muddy from rain. 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, several hundred quality size bluegill, largemouth bass, and white crappie were stocked in Wallace Lake yesterday (see photos below detailing this activity).
The East Branch Rocky River was stocked with 350 pounds of rainbow trout between Royalton Road (Rt. 82) and the ford crossing just south of Wallace Lake again on Monday. This area has been stocked three weeks in a row. Trout were biting excellent in the river before it was muddied by rain, but the hot bite will continue once the river level drops. 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. River trout bite well on PowerBait, small jigs tipped with maggots, and small spinners. If the river level is not too elevated on Tuesday I plan to stock the river again (with 700 pounds in the morning), but if the river is not in good shape the stocking will likely be delayed a week. Keep posted to the report for updates.
The Cleveland area of the Lake Erie shoreline is largely ice free. Steelhead, crappie, largemouth bass, and northern pike can all be found prowling the marinas at E55th, Edgewater, and Wildwood parks and nearshore waters along the Cleveland shoreline in spring.
Barbie Rod Fundraiser Steelhead Derby was a success! The Barbie Rod Fundraiser Steelhead Derby held this past Saturday was a success despite Mother Nature's attempt to foil things! The event registration fees and raffle ticket sales netted $1,498 for the Fishing Fund, which helps us to stock more fish, host kids' fishing events, and other fisheries projects. Thank you again to Mark Warren and our many sponsors (Rodmaker's Shop, Erie Outfitters, Chagrin River Outfitters, Orvis Cleveland, Race Threads, and an anonymous private donor) for making this fun event possible. Congratulations to Nathaniel Watkins on winning the event by catching a 17" steelhead from the very muddy river despite the odds while the rest of us went to Wallace Lake to catch trout, instead! For an excellent synopsis, including several neat stories from the event, please check out this <article> from the Plain Dealer.
Free Steelhead Basics Offering tonight! For anyone interested in learning the basics of catching steelhead in the streams, ODNR Fisheries Supervisor Phil Hillman and I will be teaming efforts to offer a free <Steelhead Basics> seminar tonight (Thursday April 9) from 7-9:00pm at the Rocky River Nature Center located at 24000 Valley Parkway, North Olmsted 44070. Come join us!
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 .
A highlight this week is seeing all the kids out fishing with their families! Gary shares "Jason caught a nice sized rainbow on the East Branch of the Rocky River in Strongsville on April 6th. Megan out fished both her brother and her dad catching multiple trout." (photos courtesy of Gary Garnet).
Cory "Corndog" got out with his dad on Monday on the Rock and caught some steelhead mixed in with a pile of suckers (photos courtesy of Craig Delewski).
Roger relays "Gabriel Corrigan-Conrad, age 7. Caught this 17'' Rainbow Trout in the river at the wall at Bonnie Park in Strongsville on Sunday, April 5th 2015. Gabe was using worm and bobber on his Snoopy Zebco rod. His Grandpa helped him land it with a net." (photo courtesy of Roger Mook).
Seamus has a great week fishing the Rocky River with his father (photos courtesy of Slowater Drifters).
Doug shared "My son Jonah Czarnecki and his cousin Liberty Parks had a great time catching rainbow trout in the Metroparks this weekend. Liberty's dad Chris is also pictured. Thanks and have a great day" (photos courtesy of Doug Czarnecki).
Joyce caught some fine Rocky River steelhead this week (photos courtesy of Joyce Smith).
Kevin caught the first lake run smallmouth bass that I've observed this year. The bruiser smallie nailed a tube jig fished near the marina (photo courtesy of Travis Males).
Rob caught this beautiful steelie from the Rock on his birthday, which also happens to be Easter (photo courtesy of Kevin Naim).
Buddies Charlie and Vince instilled fear in the Rocky River steelhead this week! (photos courtesy of Charlie Seibolt).
Wallace Lake is full of trout right now! Here are a few from Monday.
"The Steel Brothers", Nate and John, with a double-header of bruiser hen steelies (photo courtesy of Nate Adams).
Greg caught this dime bright hen at the boat ramps this week (photo courtesy of Greg Young).
John went old school and caught his limit of Rocky River trout on a cane pole! (photo courtesy of John Hall).
Nick has been enjoying the bounty of the East Branch Rocky River (photos courtesy of Nick Zarzeczny).
Owen from my crew caught his first fly-caught steelie after work this week (photo courtesy of Owen Lockhart).
The Barbie Rod Derby was a big success on Saturday, offering fun event that netted $1,498 for our Fishing Fund. See the report for details.
About 2/3 of the Barbie Rod Derby participants (photo courtesy of Sean Swatsky).
Nathaniel Watkins, a recent HS graduate who rode his bike to the river, persevered to win the Barbie Rod Derby by pulling a 17" steelie from the very muddy river on Saturday. He caught a few white suckers, as well (photos courtesy of Nataniel Watkins).
Dale caught this bruiser trout from Ledge Lake last Saturday (photo courtesy of Dale Sante).
Dave and friends intercepted a fresh run of steelhead in the marina area on Sunday (photos courtesy of Dave Rankin).
Steelhead and suckers are spawning in the East Branch Rocky River just upstream of Cedar Point Road, which always attracts a crowd.
Mike caught this fine largemouth bass in a local lake this week (photo courtesy of Mike Kovalski).
Yesterday we had an opportunity to salvage almost 700 quality size bluegill, as well as several dozen nice largemouth bass and white crappie, from a pond being drained in Lake County. The rim of deep, jelly-like mud around the drawn down shoreline made the boat launch a challenge, but we solved that with a series of 8 wooden pallets laid in the mud. The one image shows the "fire-chain" of staff and volunteers transferring netfulls of fish from the boat to a tank on the truck. We were lucky to have about 6 construction crew already there and willing to lend us a hand. Thank you to Chagrin River Watershed Partners for involving us in this opportunity, which will ultimately end up with a segment of formerly dammed stream restored to a natural state.
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
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>