***Monday May 2 morning update: The Rocky River is elevated and muddy this morning from overnight rain.***
In late spring, highlight species targeted by anglers in Cleveland Metroparks include steelhead, stocked trout, largemouth/smallmouth bass, and panfish. The Rocky River is in nice shape at the moment, but rain on the way could change that by the weekend. Anglers should consult the flow data prior to heading to the water. Steelhead are being caught, but the run is beginning to wind down for the spring season. Lake-run smallmouth bass numbers in the river, on the other hand, increased notably this week. Trout were stocked in the East Branch Rocky River on Tuesday morning, which concludes our spring river trout stocking. Our local ponds and lakes are also offering good opportunities for largemouth bass, and panfish and walleye fishing is 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 River got a bump in flow early this week and is currently in good shape, although that could change by the weekend depending on how much rain we recieve. Anglers are advised to check the flow gage before heading out for a weekend trip. The bump in flow did entice a modest number of fresh (pre-spawn) steelhead into the stream, although most fish being caught are "dropbacks" (post-spawn fish). Although steelhead numbers in the river are still good, this will begin winding down sharply from this point forward.
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 2,400 pounds of trout stocked in the river since mid-March. This concludes our river trout stocking for the spring season. Additionally, Wallace Lake was stocked with 300 pounds of trout two weeks ago, and ODNR Division of Wildlife stocked 2,500 trout in Hinckley Lake and 500 trout in Shadow Lake over the past month. Wallace Lake and oho & Erie Canal fishing area will be stocked with trout the third week of May for a kid's fishing event.
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. E55th Marina and Emerald Necklace Marina are now open from 9-5:00pm to supply your bait, refreshment, and general boating needs. 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.
Juvenile Steelhead Have Been Stocked. Please be aware that juvenile steelhead, called smolts, were stocked in the Rocky River by the marina this week. These sub-legal size trout feed voraciously, and it is best to avoid using live bait and smaller hooks in that area for the time being to avoid undue stress from catching these little fish- which are the future of our steelhead fishery .
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hannah and her dad had a fun day of trout fishing on the East Branch Rocky River (photos courtesy of Bill Mantle).
Tommy caught this gorgeous steelhead at Morley Ford on the Rocky (photo courtesy of Peter Malquest).
William caught a bunch of steelhead and some bonus suckers this week (photos courtesy of William Holden).
Alfred caught this beast smallmouth bass on the northern Rock. The black patches are a harmless and common condition in bass called hyperpigmented melanosis (photo courtesy of Alfred Sandoval).
Johnta caught this bruiser smallmoth in the Rock, too. It was a great week for smallmouth! (photo courtesy of Chris Cook).
Dale Sante reports on the Rocky River steelhead fishing "Here?�+s one for the blog. Geno and I went 11 for 15 in a little hole we found Sunday. Went 7 for 9 on Sat. About an 8 pounder" (photo courtesy of Geno).
Brian got the ""silver and bronze" in the Rock this week. He notes that the 2-4 lb smallmouth have been hitting Rapala Xraps and Huddleston swimbaits, and the 26" steelhead hit a Rebel crawdad (photos courtesy of Brian).
Matt caught some rainbow trout in a local lake (photo courtesy of Matt Arroyo).
Scott also was awarded the "silver and bronze" this week on the Rocky (photos courtesy of Scott Hayas).
And Nate shared "Beautiful Saturday on the Rocky. Hooked up with some silver and bronze. Shared the river with a few doe too. All in all a great day." (photos courtesy of Nate Strader).
And there were still a few steelhead in Chippewa Creek again this week (photo courtesy of Jeremy Peppeard).
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.