***Tuesday April 26 afternoon update: 600 pounds of trout were stocked this morning in the East Branch Rocky River at 5 locations between Rt 82 (Royalton Road) and the covered bridge. This concludes our spring river stocking for the season.***
In late spring, highlight species targeted by anglers in Cleveland Metroparks include steelhead, stocked trout, largemouth/smallmouth bass, and panfish. The Rocky River is clear at the moment, but rain on the way could change that. Anglers should consult the flow data prior to heading to the water. Lots of steelhead were caught this week, with the majority at this time actively spawning or post-spawn fish. Lake-run smallmouth bass numbers are also increasing in the river. Trout were stocked in the East Branch Rocky River on Tuesday morning. Our local ponds and lakes are also offering good opportunities for largemouth bass, and panfish and yellow perch and walleye fishing is slowly getting better around the Cleveland shoreline. 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>
The Rocky and other area rivers are running clear at the moment, but rain is in the forecast. Anglers are advised to check the flow gage before heading out for a weekend trip. Anglerrs reported lots of steelhead this week, with the majority being post-spawn and actively spawning fish, although fresh (pre-spawn) steelhead are still present. Spawning steelhead (and suckers) can be found in shallower riffle and tailout (ends of pools) areas, while pre and post spawn fish can be found in holes and runs, especially just downstream of spawning fish. Fly fishers, bait anglers, and hardware chuckers have all been taking a share of the fish.
Complementing the steelhead are increasing numbers of lake-run smallmouth bass. These fish are present in deeper, rocky holes throughout the main branch of the river. Anglers fishing a jig, wooly bugger, live shiner, or other lures/flies that mimic a baitfish have a shot at hooking "the silver and bronze" (a smallmouth or steelhead) in the same day for the next few weeks.
On Tuesday 600 pounds of rainbow trout were stocked in the East Branch Rocky River between Route 82 (Royalton Road) and the ford crossing just south of Wallace Lake. These complement the 1,800 pounds of trout stocked in the river since mid-March. We tentatively plan to stock trout for the final time this spring (in the river) next Tuesday. Additionally, Wallace Lake was stocked with 300 pounds of trout last week, and ODNR Division of Wildlife stocked 2,500 trout in Hinckley Lake and 500 trout in Shadow Lake over the past month. The rainbow trout from ODNR average 10-14", which are a great size for kids, and slightly smaller than the ones Cleveland Metroparks stocks. Also note that trout were stocked throughout the winter at Wallace, Shadow, Ledge, Judge's, and Ranger lakes, and some of these fish remain.
Some offerings to consider for trout include PowerBait in a variety of color, small jigs tipped with maggots or waxworms, salmon eggs, worms, waxworms, minnows, and small lures (such as RoosterTail spinners). 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.
Spring is a good time of year to pursue pre-spawn panfish and largemouth bass at our inland lakes and ponds, as well as at protected areas along the Lake Erie shoreline of Cleveland, like Edgewater boat ramps area and Gordon Park. Northern pike may also be found prowling weedy nearshore areas of the big lake. A white spinnerbait or Husky Jerk are good offerings for spring bass and pike, while a few waxworms suspended under a small bobber works well for sunfish. Crappie bite well on live minnows or small jigs. The boat ramp docks are in at Gordon Park, and will be installed at Edgewater within the next week or so if all goes as planned. The yellow perch bite around the E72nd lighthouse for boaters and at E55th breakwall has been slow lately, but this should pick up again with the onset of more spring-like weather. Anglers are reporting a successful night bite for walleye around Lorain, and that is just beginning to pick up here in Cleveland, too.
E55th Marina Store is Open. E55th Marina is open again from 9-5:00pm for your bait and boat fueling needs. Also, Cleveland Metroparks is running the Emerald Necklace Marina at the Rocky River boat ramps for the first time and is hoping to have nightcrawlers and minnows in the very near future (possibly this weekend). Hours there are also 9-5:00pm.
Lost & Found: Fly Rod. Somebody recently lost a nice fly rod and reel on the river which has been relinquished to me. If you or anyone you may know lost a fly rod please give me a description of the rod and reel, as well as idea where you might have lost it, and I would be happy to coordinate its return.
Aquariums and Equipment Still Needed. We are still seeking additional aquarium and associated equipment donations for the Grafton Correctional fish breeding program expansion. The majority of proceeds from this program are being donated to the Metroparks Fishing Fund. Please contact me to coordinate a donation- the equipment need not be pristine or clean, but simply in working order.
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.
Caitlin was fishing the Rocky with her father Sunday and scored this steelhead (photo courtesy of Tim Daley).
Maximus appreciates diversity in his fish and notes "I got a 16.75 inch white sucker, a creek chub, and a shiner all on a pink jig I made tipped with Powerbait maggots" (photo courtesy of Maximus Madden).
Proud father Ron shared that his 5 year old daughter caught her first catch- a 15" rainbow trout from Wallace Lake (photo courtesy of Ron Ramos).
The St Edward HS Fly Fishing Club had a successful outing on the Rock this week (photos courtesy of Charlie Seibolt).
Andrew caught a spring prize- a Rocky River brown trout (photo courtesy of Andrew Christopher).
Lance shares "Sunday I had a great day on the Rocky River. I was fly fishing with an olive wooly bugger between Stitchcomb and the ford just to the south of it. I wasnt lucky enough to get a steelie but did land two nice smallmouth bass - one with very unusual black spots. I'd love to be in the fishing report if you deem these photos worthy! thanks!" Two follow-up points: 1) Your fish are more than worthy; and 2) those spots are a common, and harmless, condition in bass known as hyperpigmented melanosis (photos courtesy of Lance McGannon).
Roger had a great week. He caught a bruiser steelie at the fork in the Rock by Cedar Point Road, caught a steelie in pretty little Sagamore Creek (a Cuyahoga trib in Bedford Reservation), and observed a streamside mink (photos courtesy of Roger Pullen).
Corey reports "I took my new kayak to Wallace yesterday for the first time. Ended up with about 12 bass and a handful of sunfish. Nothing too big but it was a great time. I attached a couple pics. Thanks." (photo courtesy of Corey Butram).
Speaking of Cuyahoga River tributaries, Adam shared "Saw this steelhead in the hole next to the ford on Chippewa Creek Saturday in Brecksville Reservation. There were 2 or 3 more that would periodically come out from under the ford, but this was by far the biggest. There were also some other larger fish that I couldn't identify. They weren't smallmouth, weren't suckers, and were too big to be creek chubs. I might go back tomorrow to get a better look at them." (photo courtesy of Adam Walko).
Ed shared "Gorgeous day for the first bronzers of the year, as you can see full of eggs. Also got a hard fighting steelie, fresh from the lake, nearing 30 inches. And the trout bite was also hot at Wallace earlier this week with 10 bites and 5 fish in an hour, mostly on a ?? oz gold Little Cleo." (photos courtesy of Ed Schmitt).
I was the speaker at the OCBS meeting last Thursday and local angler George McCabe shared this cool cicada pattern he devised in anticipation of the big emergence of these bugs coming this summer.
This is the best time of year for fishing diversity in our local streams! Local fly fishing guide Pat Campbell caught some nice smallmouth bass on Clouser minnows in the Rock this week, as well as the fish in the second pic. Can you ID this fellow in the comments section? I'll post the answer in a few days (photos courtesy of Pat Campbell).
This is The Stairway to Trout Fishing Heaven! Owen and Steve carrying a load of rainbow trout for release in the East Branch Rocky River on Tuesday morning, when we stocked 600 lbs in the river between Rt 82 (Royalton Road) and the ford just south of Wallace Lake.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org, (330) 984-3086
17-002 Justin Pribanic, Chagrin River Outfitters, email@example.com, (724) 799-5011
17-003 Joseph Beno, On The Swing, firstname.lastname@example.org, (440) 667-2278
17-004 Jeffery Liskay, Silver Fury Guide Service & Schools, email@example.com (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
17-008 Justin Shillaci, 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>