In early winter, highlight species targeted by anglers in Cleveland Metroparks include steelhead trout, stocked trout, and walleye. The Rocky River and other area streams are currently flowing low and clear, and fishing is stale accordingly. To monitor the most recent river water level, temperature, and clarity (turbidity) you can check the following links: <Rocky River USGS flow gage data> <Chagrin River USGS flow gage data> <Rocky River NEORSD station with turbidity>. Trout were recently stocked at Wallace, Shadow, Ledge, Judge's, and Ranger lakes and walleye and steelhead have all been biting along the Cleveland lakefront for shore and boating anglers.
The Rocky and Chagrin rivers are low and clear and fishing is stale, accordingly. Between low water in the streams and an abundance of baitfish along the Lake Erie shoreline the steelhead don't have much reason to enter the rivers quite yet. It doesn't look like much should change into the weekend, although there is a lot of rain in the extended forecast early next week that we badly need. Anglers are experiencing the most consistent success near the marina and river mouth areas. Some anglers are wading the river upstream and finding a few willing fish in the deeper holes. Overall, there has been a mix of adult steelhead (24-26") and skippers (14-18" steelhead), with few fish over 28" being reported so far this season. Under clear water, pressured conditions it behooves anglers to be versatile with their offerings, including live/salted minnows, small jigs tipped with maggots/waxworm, smaller spawn sacks in varied colors (including blue), salmon egg mimicking beads, rubber baits (white 3" tubes can be hot), and various flies (eggs, nymphs, and streamers). Medium size silvery spoons and spinners are always worth a try, as well, and require less specialized tackle for newer steelhead anglers. The Cuyahoga River and Euclid Creek also receive some stray steelhead, as do other unstocked streams.
Good numbers of steelhead continue to stage and feed on abundant emerald shiners and small gizzard shad along the Lake Erie shoreline (especially at E55th and Edgewater parks). Popular methods for targeting Lake Erie shoreline steelies include suspending a jig tipped with minnow or nightcrawler 2-5 feet below a bobber, as well as casting a spoon (ie Little Cleo or KO Wobbler) or spinner (ie Vibrax or RoosterTail). Many of these fish traditionally enter the river in greater numbers following a good rain from late fall onward.
A total of 3,000 lbs of trout were stocked in Metroparks lakes last week, as follows: Wallace Lake (1,250 lbs), Shadow Lake (700 lbs), Ledge Lake (550 lbs), Judge's Lake (250 lbs) and Ranger Lake (250 lbs). The size of the trout varies from 3/4 lb to over 3 lbs, and the fish are extra colorful as a result of our supplier changing their diet to include more beta carotene. Along with the predominantly standard rainbow trout are several dozen golden rainbow trout, a few brown trout, and even one cutthroat trout stocked at Wallace. The second (and final) round of winter trout will go into the same lakes around late January/early February 2016. Trout are also available at Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area down the hill from CanalWay Visitor Center off E49th Street. Trout bite well on PowerBait, canned corn, small spinners, and jigs tipped with a few maggots/waxworms, and nightcrawlers or shrimp fished right on the bottom. Please note the current seasonal trout regulations: Lake Erie and all streams 2/day minimum size 12" (this includes steelhead), 3/day no size limit at Wallace, Ledge, Judge's and Ranger lakes, and 5/day no size limit at Shadow Lake and Ohio & Erie Canal.
Night walleye anglers are reporting great action off Edgewater (in particular) and E72nd/Gordon parks from the shore casting and from boats trolling stickbaits, with larger Husky Jerks and Perfect 10 models being top producers. Keep in mind that this fishery can be "feast or famine", with one night producing a limit catch in short order and the next, under seemingly identical conditions, not producing a hit, so persistence pays! 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 email@example.com .
On Saturday Greyson and Clayton caught trout at Shadow Lake, on the fly rod no less! (photos courtesy of Ryan Shalashnow).
Congratulations to 9 year old Alex on catching his first walleye! He reeled in the 8 pound fish on his Zebco outfit (photo courtesy of Joe Starre).
Adam and his dad continue to have multi-species fun on the water this week (photos courtesy of Mike Flachbart).
Rusty scored a gorgeous buck brown trout in the Rocky this week (photo courtesy of Rusty Pollard).
Paul from west Virginia shares "Took a break from West Virginia deer hunting and a buddy and I headed to the Rocky for a steelhead trip. Even under low and clear water conditions had a great trip. Caught my limit one day on pink jig tipped with pink trout worm. Gotta love the Rocky." (photos courtesy of Paul Goodman).
Terry and a friend caught some nice Rocky steelies and a bonus brown trout recently (photos courtesy of Terry Ball).
Jon scored gold (walleye) and silver (steelhead) fishing off Cleveland this week (photos courtesy of Jon Brauer).
Charles shows off a limit of Wallace Lake trout (photo courtesy of Charles Weaver).
An angler displays his catch of Judge's Lake trout caught on yellow PowerBait on Wednesday afternoon.
Shorts and no sleeves in Cleveland in December? Believe it! Maximus caught a fine Shadow Lake trout on a 1/32nd oz jig and twister tail tipped with PowerBait suspended below a bobber (photo courtesy of Maximus Madden).
Joe and company have been hammering the Cleveland area shoreline walleye this week after dark, topped by a 12.5 pounder! Their most recent outing was last night (photos courtesy of Joe Starre).
Frank and Mark caught a nice fat steelhead and bonus brown trout fishing the Cleveland shoreline (photos courtesy of Mark Fascione).
Russ caught this steelie well up the West Branch of the river. What appears to be a left pectoral fin clip may indicate a Huron River, Michigan, stocked stray (photo courtesy of Russ Ring).
Kevin is among a dedicated group of local anglers bitten by the "kayak bug" (photos courtesy of Kevin Krischer).
PJ noted the attractive coloration of this Wallace Lake trout he caught from his kayak. Our trout supplier changed their diet to include beta carotene which has really made their colors pop (photo courtesy of PJ Filipowicz).
Scott also noted the beautiful coloration of the trout this year (photo courtesy of Scott Ferian).
Scott and friends caught their limit of trout at Shadow Lake this week (photo courtesy of Scott Deere).
An angler displays a quality Lake Erie shoreline caught steelhead that bit a KO Wobbler spoon on Saturday.
John caught a few Rocky steelies on his home tied jigs this week (photo courtesy of John Fay).
Pat caught trout and channel catfish at Wallace and Ledge lakes this week (photos courtesy of Pat Thauvette).
Andrey caught this pretty rainbow trout on a small spoon (photo courtesy of Andrey Gutsulyak).
John Hall caught this limit of Wallace Lake beauties (photo courtesy of John Hall).
Owen is a lucky angler who caught a golden rainbow trout. This rose cheeked specimen came from Shadow Lake (photo courtesy of Owen Lockhart).
Corey introduces the next generation to the joys of angling at Wallace Lake (photo courtesy of Corey Butram).
Note: The fishing report is updated monthly in June, July, and August and weekly every other month
2019 Cleveland Metroparks Registered Fishing Guides
(name, company, contact)
- #19-001 Jim Lampros, floodplainsmag.com, firstname.lastname@example.org (216) 513-6011
- #19-002 Joseph Beno, On The Swing, Joseph93935@hotmail.com (440) 667-2278
- #19-003 Daniel Bennett, Steelhead Alley Outfitters, www.steelheadalleyoutfitters.com (888) 453-5899
- #19-004 Monte Casey, The Steelhead Guide, email@example.com www.steelheadguide.com
- #19-005 Jeffery Liskay, Silver Fury Guide Service & Schools, firstname.lastname@example.org (440) 781-7536
- #19-006 Mario Chance, Chagrin River Outfitters, email@example.com (330) 984-3086
More information on Cleveland Metroparks Fishing Guide Permit requirements, including the permit application, you may check the following link: <Fishing Guide Permit Program>
Learn how you can support recreation opportunities through a donation to the Cleveland Metroparks Fishing Fund.