In late fall highlight species targeted by anglers along the Rocky River, other area streams, and Lake Erie include steelhead, yellow perch, walleye, and panfish. The Rocky River finally received a bump in flow overnight, but is dropping very quickly. To monitor the most recent river water level and temperature you can check the following links: <Rocky River flow gage data><Chagrin River flow gage data>. When Lake Erie hasn't been kicked up the steelhead bite from shore has been fair to good this week at Edgewater and E55th, the yellow perch bite around Cleveland has been fair, and walleye night walleye fishing after dark has been good.
The Rocky River received a much needed, albeit modest, bump in flow overnight, but is dropping rapidly. There looks to be more rain in the forecast into the weekend so anglers should check the flow data for the latest trend in flow. Although some anglers reported patches of good steelhead fishing, things have overall been fair in accordance with the conditions. Big schools of emerald shiners have been present in the river by the marina this week. When conditions are not too rough, the Lake Erie shoreline steelhead bite has been decent at Edgewater and E55th this week. These areas fish best with a southerly or light north wind. Suspending a jig tipped with maggots or a minnow under a float or casting a spoon (ie Little Cleo or KO Wobbler) or spinner (ie Vibrax or RoosterTail) at these locations are as good a bet as any for connecting with a lakefront steelhead trout. Steelhead fishing will improve further after we receive more precipitation.
The Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area was stocked with 1,000 pounds of rainbow trout, 600 pounds of big channel catfish, and 1,000 smaller catfish (the latter by ODNR Division of Wildlife) in mid-October. The first round of winter trout stocking at our inland lakes will likely take place within the next two weeks. Anglers can keep posted to the Fishing Blog for updates on that.
The yellow perch bite has been decent off Cleveland and Euclid this week when the lake has behaved. Anglers are using perch spreaders and emerald shiners in 30-40 feet of water, with quite a few anglers focusing on the east end of the Cleveland breakwall. The perch size has been very good. A few steelhead, white bass, and walleye have been bonus catches for perch anglers, as well. Night walleye fishing along the Cleveland shoreline was good this week as lake conditions permitted, with a number of great size fish entered into the Fall Brawl tournament recently. Walleye anglers are casting or trolling Perfect Ten and Husky Jerk crankbaits around E72nd after dark. 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>.
What is up with these Rocky River brook trout? I have fished the Rocky River my entire life, and in 40 years I had not heard of a single brook trout caught out of the main branch of the river until last week. But over the past week, two have been caught and released (confirmed with photographs) in the river. Photos of the latest are provided below. So what is going on? Brook trout have never been stocked in the main river, although a very small population is present well upstream in the watershed. These fish are protected, few in number, and average about the size of an adult index finger. Although it is possible some of those fish moved downstream and grew, that is not considered the most likely scenario. One good theory, that I favor, is that the extremely low and warm water in streams of the region this summer caused brook trout from populations in places like the private trout clubs by Sandusky to emigrate downstream to the lake to find cool water. Now that the streams are cooling, the fish are wandering back into area streams. The fish are robust and the size of a typical trout club stocker, too. Although we can't say for certain, this seems to be the most plausible scenario. By any means, if you observe any unusual catches from area waterways it would be appreciated if you could send observations and photos to the contact information at the end of this report. Thank you.
Updates from the desk of the Park Manager. Rick Ditch, the Rocky River Reservation Park Manager, wanted me to pass along a couple of updates. All but one launch/recovery dock have been pulled at the marina. The remaining courtesy dock will be left in as long as reasonably possible depending on weather. It will likely be pulled in mid-December. Also, he wanted to let folks know that the burn barrel at Morley Ford will likely be installed sometime in the next week or so.
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 .
Last Friday Stephen caught a nice rainbow trout at the Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area. This area was stocked with trout back in mid October (photo courtesy of Rixin Xu).
Jonny also caught a fine rainbow trout at Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area off E49th Street (photo courtesy of Jonny Magriz).
Another brook trout was caught and released in the Rocky River this week! The colorful trout bit an orange glow bug fly drifted below Morley Ford (photos courtesy of Mikale Mosack).
Tuan caught some nice steelhead this week drifting frozen minnows by the Nature Center (photo courtesy of Tuan Truong).
Joe from West Virginia makes regular visits to fish the Rocky River and always gets a few steelhead. He caught these fish this week on a pink jig tipped with a pink trout worm (photos courtesy of Joe Goodman).
Mike reports "Still catching them at Edgewater. Tough hooking them with the small jigs we use but very fun when we get one. Terry and I go everyday and always get some action. Never a biteless day." (photos courtesy of Mike Reed).
Regular fishing report contributor Pat Cramer reports him and buddies Ming and Ken have caught some fine steelhead on the Rock this week (photos courtesy of Pat Cramer).
Father and son Bill and Andy caught some colorful buck steelies this week. Also, Andy was involved in this <Youtube video> featuring an afternoon fishing the Rock this week (photos courtesy of Bill Wahl).
Over three dates in the past three weeks we have removed almost 1,100 carp from Lake Isaac in an effort to restore this wildlife sanctuary. Here Natural Resources Area Manager Valerie displays a fine largemouth bass sampled during efforts this week. Although the lake is closed to fishing, we routinely transfer sportfish from here to public fishing areas.
The Rock never fails to disappoint with surprises! This morning we teamed up with naturalists Mary Ellen and Katelynn to collect fish to freshen up the display tanks at the West Creek Watershed Stewardship Center. During our sampling effort by the Rocky River Nature Center we turned up a nice coho salmon (first 3 images), as well as several steelhead. The wayward coho had a red marabou jig in its mouth from where it had broken an angler's line. Was that one of you? After removing the jig and taking a few photos the salmon was released to hopefully surprise a lucky angler.
The Linda Mae party boat out of Wildwood Marina caught quality yellow perch over quantity yesterday (photos courtesy of Wildwood Marina).
Some huge walleyes were entered in the Fall Brawl tournament, which ends on December 4th. It will take a fish pushing 13 pounds to topple the leader at this point and win the $20k prize (photos courtesy of Craig Lewis at Erie Outfitters).
Jason caught a nice fresh steelie in the Rock recently and his wife had fun in Photoshop capitalizing on his butterfingers moment! (photos courtesy of Jason Meadwell).
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.