In winter, highlight species targeted by anglers in Cleveland Metroparks include steelhead and stocked trout. Area streams fished very well for steelhead this week, but they are icing up rapidly and only look to get worse given the very cold weekend forecast. After being completely open, our lakes are forming a crust of ice again, as well. 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> (Note: the NEORSD monitoring station was damaged in a recent flood and the installation is being repaired).
Steelhead anglers did quite well on the Rocky and Chagrin rivers this week as the water began to clear, with dime to nickel size spawn sacks in bright colors taking the bulk of the fish. A good run of fish is well distributed all the way to at least Cedar Point Road bridge on the Rocky. Area rivers formed significant slush and ice overnight, and only look to get worse given single digit low temperatures into the weekend. A tip for fishing in icy conditions is to bulk most of the split shot close to the bait, jig, or fly to punch it down through the surface slush quickly and keep it down where to fish are. To the brave who heads out in the coming days, dressing warm in layers and using an ice-off paste or Chapstick on yopur guides can minimize frustrating ice build-up. The Cuyahoa River is among the last of our streams to freeze in winter, with the lowhead dam under the Route 82 bridge being a hot spot. To get there park in the lot at the end of Station Road in Brecksville Reservation and walk north (downstream) to the dam on the Metroparks (west) or National Park (east) sides of the river.
Trout were stocked at Wallace (1,400 lbs), Shadow (750 lbs), Ledge (600 lbs), Judge's (150 lbs), and Ranger (100 lbs) lakes over the past two weeks. The lakes were all offering open water this week, but that will disappear rapidly with the coming Arctic blast. In areas with thin ice anglers can fish areas along the lake margins where the water drops off quickly from shore, such docks. Trout have been biting on a variety of baits, with small jigging spoons and jigs tipped with maggots or waxworms being among the top producers. 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.
Fly Tying at Merwin's Wharf Tonight: Guest Tyer Jeff Liskay. Jeff Liskay will be featured on February 11th from 6-9:00pm (6-7:00pm is mingling and dinner, and the tying is 7-9:00pm). Jeff is an extremely talented and humble local angler, fly tyer, and experienced fly fishing educator who is known well outside our region. He is a Patagonia rep and longtime fishing guide. Attendees will be joining Jeff to tie some effective patterns together, although you are welcome to attend and sit out tying if you wish. Materials will be provided with the $20 fee, but please plan to bring your own vise, tools, and thread. Food and refreshments will be available for sale for the duration of the session. This is an RSVP event- please contact (734) 544-1761 to do so. Other upcoming tyers in this series include Jake Villwock on February 23, Tommy Lynch on March 10, and Mike Schultz on March 22.
OCBS Steelhead Workshop on February 25th. On Thursday February 25th the Ohio Central Basin Steelheaders will be holding their annual Steelhead Workshop. The event will be from 7:30-9:30pm at the Buffalo Wild Wings on Pearl Road located in Strongsville. There will be a whole array of member hosted stations set up to teach the various techniques and equipment used for local steelhead fishing. More at <OCBS website>.
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.
Ed observes "The Rock has produced tons of strikes and fish over the past two weeks. My 10 year old daughter Madelyn and 6 year old Emily were even able to haul them in as you can see in these two photos" (photos courtesy of Ed Schmitt).
Adam and dad caught a bunch of nice Rocky River chromers this past weekend (photos courtesy Mike Flachbart).
Maximus reported from Sunday at Shadow Lake "I got four trout today (one was a brown). One was on hair jig I tied with a minnow and the others were on a 1/32 oz jig and grub tipped with PowerBait." (photos courtesy of Maximus Madden).
Kyle shares "I really enjoy reading your fishing report, keep up the great work. I would like to share with you this steelhead I got on Sunday, Feb 7th at the Rocky River. I hooked and released this beautiful chromer on a beautiful day! She couldn't resist the homemade yellow jig." (photo courtesy of Kyle Rakotci).
Ethan caught this fine trout at Ledge Lake last Thursday morning (photo courtesy of Ethan Darby).
A rightfully beaming Tony reported from the Rock on Saturday "What a fantastic and blessed day I had on the river today! I went 3 for 5 and I would have had all of them if one of the fish wouldn't have straightened my hook and one took the entire jig and snapped it off! I attached a picture of the jig just for the heck of it (Mike's note: those gold wire hooks bend too easily on strong steelhead). I couldn't believe how good the fishing was today. All of the fish were caught within 45 minutes of each other. I was able to land 2 hens and 1 buck. I think volunteer Steve is good luck because he showed up to watch people fishing and that's when the action turned on. Tell him to stop by more often!" (photos courtesy of Tony).
Troy caught this gorgeous brown trout swinging a streamer in the Rocky River last week (photo courtesy of Troy Shirley).
William and his mentor uncle had a great day a week ago Sunday. He relays "I wanted to send these in because we have never previously had a day when we would able to catch and release 9 steelhead without moving. These were all caught and released at the Rockcliff Springs Ford. It was my first time and my uncle was giving me guidance. Can't wait to get back at it again this weekend." (photos courtesy of William Springer).
Bob, along with his family and friends, have been making some great catches of rainbow trout at Wallace Lake. They caught this batch on green and rainbow PowerBait this past weekend (photo courtesy of Bob Hodoba).
Will reports from the banks of the Chagrin "Just wanted to share a photo from the other day. Conditions have changed since, but the fishing was very good on Saturday. Many guys were catching fish, some were into double digits. I managed 1 skipper, which I hooked on a hand tied bugger on the second cast of the day. The anglers who were doing well were using spawn sacks" (photo courtesy of Will Ellis).
Greg had his best day ever on the Rock this past Saturday, landing eight beautiful steelies. Great job, Greg! (photos courtesy of Greg Young).
John caught this fresh steelhead last Friday afternoon when the river was quite muddy (photo courtesy of John Fay).
Matt hooked 3, landing 2, largemouth bass on a Carolina rigged Moone Tadpole in a local pond on Friday (photos courtesy of Matt Arroyo).
Mark reports from the shores of the Rock "Finally broke the steelhead drought I was experiencing on the river with 31" female caught when the rest of the world was watching the kickoff to the Superbowl. After fishing Sunday from Emerald Marina to Lagoon Dam, and back to Rockcliff Springs, stopped there just to see who was out and took only my rod, leaving net tackle box etc in the truck. On the second cast hooked a large chromer I would guess to be around 30" on a Voodoo jig with a waxworm but was unable to land because I was using a 6lb fluorocarbon leader. My friend learned quickly why you never grab the leader to land a fish, so back to the truck to retrieve the net and on the next cast the 31" female decide was her turn and after a 15 minute awesome fight she was on the bank with the 15" my friend Al landed while I was getting the net. That was followed by a 25" for me and one for Al at 25". What a great time! All 4 plus the one that got away in less than an hour and still got home in time to watch the second quarter of the game!" (photo courtesy of Mark Forbush).
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.