***Monday February 29 morning update: The Rocky River is slightly stained and some steelhead are being caught this morning.***
In late winter, highlight species targeted by anglers in Cleveland Metroparks include steelhead and stocked trout. Area rivers are currently flooded from recent rain and snow melt, but are now dropping in level. Several days without rain or snow melt could see the Rocky River in fishable shape again, so keep an eye on the flow data. Steelhead fishing was good during a brief window of favorable conditions earlier this week. Our local ponds and lakes are offering plenty of open water to fish at this time. 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).
Area rivers are swollen and muddy from recent rain and snow melt, but are now dropping in level. A window of good conditions earlier this week saw anglers catching some quality size fresh steelhead, and following the next string of several days of relatively dry weather the river will be offering up more of the big silver trout. Anglers can expect some of the first lake run white suckers of the season to also show up in the near future. Dime to nickel size spawn sacks in brighter colors will be a top offering as the water first begins to clear from muddy to a greenish-brown stain. Steelhead are well distributed all the way up into both branches of the river at this time.
Trout were stocked at Wallace (1,400 lbs), Shadow (750 lbs), Ledge (600 lbs), Judge's (150 lbs), and Ranger (100 lbs) lakes earlier this month. The lakes are offering open water for trout and panfish anglers. Trout have been biting on a variety of baits this week, 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. The first of many spring trout stockings in the East Branch Rocky River is planned for around late March this year, depending on river conditions at that time.
OCBS Steelhead Workshop Tonight (February 25th). Tonight the Ohio Central Basin Steelheaders will be holding their annual Steelhead Workshop. The FREE 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, equipment, and other points of interest used for local steelhead fishing. More at <OCBS website>.
Reminder: Renew Your Ohio Fishing License. As a friendly reminder, Ohio fishing licenses expire on February 29, 2016. Renewal options, including online purchase, can be found here: <Ohio fishing licenses>.
Fly Tying Basics with Jeff Liskay offering on March 22nd. On Tuesday March 22nd from 6-9:00pm Cleveland Metroparks is offering an entry level fly tying course featuring Jeff Liskay at our Rocky River Nature Center. All materials and tools are provided with the $20 cost recovery fee. This is a capped attendance, RSVP event. For more info, or to register, check here <Fly Tying Basics>.
Fly Fishing Film Tour on March 5th. On Saturday March 5th the very popular national Fly Fishing Film Tour (F3T) with be stopping in Cleveland at the Museum of Natural History. Get your tickets soon as this fun event sells out every year! Cleveland Metroparks is a Supporting Sponsor this year. More here: <F3T CLE>.
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.
Adam and dad enjoyed an "after school special" outing and caught a limit of trout and big bonus bluegill at Wallace Lake (photo courtesy of Mike Flachbart).
Fred caught a pair of gorgeous Rocky River steelies before the flooding this week. Both of the big trout hit a Gulp watermelon/pearl minnow drifted by the Nature Center (photos courtesy of Fred M. Jr.).
Chris caught this silvery fish on a rubber minnow jig along the shoreline of Lake Erie. In this installment of Know Your Fish, please post your guesses on the species in the comments section (photo courtesy of Chris Dietrich).
Greg had a stellar day on the northern Rock on Tuesday, landing 9 of 11 steelhead he hooked on jigs drifted below floats (photos courtesy of Greg Young).
Richard had a great day on Euclid Creek on Tuesday, hooking five steelhead in one spot (photo courtesy of Richard Carl Williams).
Father and son Bill and Andy got out during the brief window of good conditions this week and landed some chrome beauties on the northern Rocky (photos courtesy of Andy Wahl).
Mark caught some nicely colored rainbow trout in the open water at Wallace Lake (photos courtesy of Mark Fascione).
Late last week, Brian enjoyed what may likely be the last decent ice of the year and caught a pair of trout and colorful sunfish at Wallace Lake on PowerBait (photo courtesy of Brian Ailor).
This tree along the Cuyahoga River is currently under beaver construction. Can you name the type of tree in the comments section? (photo courtesy of Matt Dixon).
Late last week (when there was still ice) I thought this abandoned ice fisher's hole with radiating branches at Ledge Lake was pretty cool.
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, email@example.com, (330) 984-3086
17-002 Justin Pribanic, Chagrin River Outfitters, firstname.lastname@example.org, (724) 799-5011
17-003 Joseph Beno, On The Swing, email@example.com, (440) 667-2278
17-004 Jeffery Liskay, Silver Fury Guide Service & Schools, firstname.lastname@example.org, (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
17-009 Daniel Bennett, email@example.com, (440) 417-3062
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>