As we begin our approach to fall, highlight species targeted by anglers along the Rocky River and other area streams include steelhead trout and smallmouth bass. The Rocky River water level is currently low and clear and we need rain, although it does not look like much coming in the forecast. Steelhead anglers are focusing on northernmost river reaches near Lake Erie and the lakefront. To monitor the most recent river water level and temperature you can check the following link: <Rocky River flow gage data> <Chagrin River flow gage data>. Lake Erie anglers are targeting yellow perch, walleye, steelhead, and smallmouth bass, and inland lake/pond anglers are primarily pursuing largemouth bass, channel catfish and panfish.
The Rocky River was picked among the top ten steelhead streams in the Great Lakes in the October 2015 issue of Outdoor Life magazine! The rivers are currently low and clear and in need of a good rain. This week I received a modest number of reports of steelhead from the northern reaches of the Rocky and Chagrin rivers, Lake Erie shoreline (at Edgewater, E55th, and Wildwood parks), and Euclid Creek. Casting a spoon (ie Little Cleo or KO Wobbler) or spinner (ie Vibrax or RoosterTail) near any river mouth or the lakefront rocks early in the morning, or in the evening, are as good a bet as any for connecting with an early fall steelhead trout. With that said, a small number of fish have run well upstream, notably a steelhead caught by Cedar Point Road on the Rocky this week, and a smallmouth angler was surprised by a steelie all the way up by Rogers Road on the Chagrin River (he noted the fight was exciting while it lasted, but unsuccessful, on his under-equipped 5 weight fly rod). A post-spawn pink salmon carcass was observed on the Rocky this week, as well. Smallmouth bass have been biting in the rivers, as well. Please note: there will be bridge rehab work underway on Cedar Point Road bridge for approximately the next month which will impede the ability to fish there. Sorry for the temporary inconvenience while this much needed work is being carried out. ODNR has invited anglers to take an <Ohio Trout Angler Survey> through the end of October. Please consider taking a moment to do this and give important feedback to those who make this great fishery possible.
The yellow perch anglers around Cleveland are heading out again following a rough week on the lake. Before the shake-up, perch were biting in around 50-54 FOW off E72nd and 40-49 FOW off Wildwood Park. Anglers are using perch spreaders and live or salted shiners, although most local bait shops have had golden shiners and fathead minnows in place of hard to find live emerald shiners lately. Salted emerald shiners and live golden shiners are available at E55th Marina, which is currently on fall hours (through November first, when they close for the year), which will be 9:00am-5:00pm daily. Perch are just starting to bite from the north facing breakwall at E55th, as well.
Rock bass, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, crappie, freshwater drum and sunfish species are also found along the Cleveland shoreline in late summer/early fall and can be caught on offerings such as tube jigs, dropshot rigs and live bait. A few locals have reported walleye caught at E72nd St after dark the past few weeks. A highlight has been an abundance of juvenile walleye this year, which promises a continuation of our great Lake Erie walleye fishing into the foreseeable future. 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>.
Fall Family Fishing Fest on Saturday October 10th. The inaugural Fall Family Fishing Fest will be held at the Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation on Saturday October 10 from 9-1:00pm. Thank you to the Ohio Division of Wildlife and Ohio Central Basin Steelheaders for $2,600 in grant funded assistance to support this event. Details on this free event can be found <here>. Please note: the Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation fishing area will be closed to public fish from this morning through the beginning of the event on Saturday!
An Evening with Greg Senyo on Tuesday October 13th. On Tuesday October 13 Greg Senyo will be offering a presentation, fly tying demo, and book signing from 6:00-9:30pm at Merwin?�+s Wharf. 100% of the $20 entry fee will go into our Fishing Fund. Greg is among the most noted fly fishers in America right now, so you won?�+t want to miss this! More info <here>.
Steelhead Fly Fishing Basics with Jeff Liskay on Saturday October 24h. On October 24th we are offering a Steelhead Fly Fishing Basics course with Jeff Liskay (a widely respected guide and industry rep who brings 40+ years of steelhead fishing experience to the table) at the Rocky River Nature Center from 9-12:30. This program has a cost recovery fee ($20) associated, which is far less expensive than hiring a guide for a day, and is already filling up- so sign up soon if interested (there is a cap of 10 attendees so students will recieve a high degree of 1 on 1 attention). Details can be found <here>.
Fall Dockage Specials at E55th Marina. As an FYI to late season Lake Erie fishing boaters, we are offering some fall specials on dockage at E55th Marina. Dockage from November 1-30 is available for $150. There will be electric, but no water, during this time. For dockage all of October and November the cost is $350 (although only four spaces are currently available for October). If interested call Lisa Buie (216) 431-3280.
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 .
?�n Congratulations to Josh on catching his first steelhead ever in the Rocky this week (photo courtesy of Joshua Howerton).
?�n Melanie caught this bruiser catfish along the Lake Erie shoreline on shrimp (photo courtesy of Tim Daley).
?�n Faruq was casting for walleye along the Cleveland shoreline when this steelhead paid him a surprise visit (photo courtesy of Faruq Abdul-Khaliq).
Mike and Jay have been enjoying their father-son time catching steelhead around the marina (photos courtesy of Mike Estep).
?�n Greg attended the Steelhead Expo on Saturday and caught this steelie on the Rock immediately after (photo courtesy of Greg Young).
?�n Nick also attend the Steelhead Expo and hooked up on the Rock the same afternoon. See a pattern here? (photo courtesy of Nick Zarzeczny).
?�n Sean and a buddy hooked up by the marina on the Rock again this week (photo courtesy of Sean Fenton).
?�n Nate is not giving up for the season on his beloved carp quite yet! (photo courtesy of Nate Adams).
?�n Michael shares "These steelhead were caught on 9/30 around the boat launch. We caught two of them after dark on Vibrax spinners. The others were caught on what I call jig n' butter. I use Butter worms instead of maggots. I feel they work better for me. All fish were released." (photos courtesy of Michael Berardinis).
?�n Will made some interesting observations this week. He found a dead female pink salmon (they die after spawning) along the banks of the Rocky River, and caught a few wild juvenile rainbow trout/steelhead in a tributary of the Chagrin (photos courtesy of Will Ellis).
?�n Tim found steelhead success on a Mepps spinner quite a distance up the Rock, as he relays "Made the best of an hour or so that I was able to get out in the afternoon and caught a steelie near the confluence of the two river branches on Sept 30. Nice to get one in Sept on my first time out. Also nice to see a lot of smallies down that way. I caught 6 or 7 of those as well." (photo courtesy of Tim Fischer).
Father and daughter Bob and Rachel had success on a smaller Metroparks pond this week. She notes "Soft plastics worked best for us today; we caught our fish on Senkos, grey ghost swimbait and emerald shiner swimbait. Dad got 4 bass and lost 4 or 5 and I got one perch! So funny that I caught my first perch NOT in Lake Erie, but in this pond haha. We even got a visit from the resident beaver, who practically made me jump out of my skin when he splashed across the pond, disappeared, then reappeared with a loud flop like 4 feet from me like 10 minutes later." (photos courtesy of Rachel Brunner).
Matt shares "My uncle caught two steelheads using bobber and minnow near the lighthouse in Lorain, OH. First ones of the year after I hooked up with a bobber and white 1/4oz. jig tipped with a full nightcrawler, but sadly my line broke" (photos courtesy of Matt Arroyo).
Come out and join us this Saturday October 10! Details <here>.
Chagrin River Outfitters if having a free event at their shop on October 10. Check out chagrinriveroutfitters.com for details (photo courtesy of Dam Pribanic).
Nationally noted fly tyer Greg Senyo will be coming to Cleveland Metroparks on Tuesday evening October 13! Details <here> (photo courtesy of Greg Senyo).
An updated Hinckley Lake depth map is now available <here>.
Last Thursday afternoon we spent an hour electrofishing by the marina to collect a few modest size steelhead to display live at the Steelhead Expo. The "problem" was getting fish small enough for our 50 gallon tank! We just missed netting a smallmouth bass that was around twice as big as the smallmouth in the photo above, likely the biggest smallie I've ever personally observed.
And THIS is why we have the steelies on display at the event. The little kids love them- as do many of the "big kids"!
A talented photographer captured this image of an osprey with freshly caught fish at Wendy Park on Lake Erie this week. For the Know Your Fish challenge, can you name the fish species in the bird's talons? Please post guesses in in the comments section (photo courtesy of Chuck Slusarczyk Jr.).
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, email@example.com (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, firstname.lastname@example.org www.steelheadguide.com
- #19-005 Jeffery Liskay, Silver Fury Guide Service & Schools, email@example.com (440) 781-7536
- #19-006 Mario Chance, Chagrin River Outfitters, firstname.lastname@example.org (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.