***Sunday January 31 afternoon update: This afternoon we stocked trout at Shadow (750 lbs), Ledge (600 lbs), and Judge's (150 lbs) lakes. Steelhead fishing on the Rocky River was good today.***
In winter, highlight species targeted by anglers in Cleveland Metroparks include steelhead trout, stocked trout, and walleye. This week I have good news for steelhead anglers and bad news for ice fishers. There is a growing amount of open water on the Rocky River this week, and the water has a good green stain and flow. Ice conditions, on the other hand, have deteriorated to the point of being very thin and unsafe. 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).
There is a growing amount of open water on the Rocky River this week, and the water has a nice green stain and good flow. Weekend steelhead opportunities will be contingent upon how much rain we receive, so anglers are advised to check the flow gage data before embarking on a trip. The Chagrin River, Cuyahoga River, and several smaller tributaries are also offered increased open water this week. Brightly colored spawn sacks, jigs tipped with grubs, live or salted minnows, rubber baits, and slow wobbling plugs can all entice lethargic winter steelhead into biting. For those interested, from 2:30-3:30pm I will be giving a presentation about steelhead fishing opportunities in Cleveland Metroparks focused on an overview of different spots to go. You can check the link further down this report for event details.
The thaw over the past week has chased ice fishers from our smaller inland lakes. Ice is not safe to walk on at this time! Anglers can fish areas along the lake margins where the water drops off quickly from shore, such docks. There are increasing spots of opening water where there are stormwater inputs into our lakes, as well. Trout were stocked at Wallace (1,400 lbs) and Ranger (100 lbs) lakes last Tuesday, and weplan to stock Shadow, Ledge, and Judge's lakes this Sunday (January 31st). Back in December, 3,000 lbs of trout were distributed between these same lakes. Winter trout bite well on jigging spoons, small jigs tipped with a few maggots/waxworms, PowerBait, live minnows, and small spawn sacks. 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.
NCFF Northern Ohio Fly Fishing Expo. The Northern Ohio Fly Fishing Expo, the largest in our region, will be this Saturday January 30th from 9-4:00pm at the Cuyahoga Valley Career Center in Brecksville. In addition to lots of vendors, displays, and information, there will be a whole series of concurrent talks/seminars from experts from 6 different states. Stop by the Cleveland Metroparks. table and say hello! Event details here: <Northern Ohio Fly Fishing Expo>.
Ice Fishing Derby Cancelled. The ice fishing derby tentatively scheduled for February 13th has been cancelled due to unsafe conditions. The event is unlikely to be rescheduled this year.
Fly Tying at Merwin's Wharf on February 11: Guest Tyer Jeff Liskay. The first celebrity fly tying session at Merwin's Wharf featuring Greg Senyo was a great time! Next in the series Jeff Liskay will be featured on Thursday 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.
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.
Ayla experienced her ice fishing outing with her dad at Wallace Lake over the weekend. Note: Ice is no longer safe to walk on (photos courtesy of Michael Dunlop).
Charlie caught a pretty steelhead on a small Metroparks creek this week. He also observed that the Rocky River by the marina still had a bunch of ice (photos courtesy of Charlie Seibolt).
Nick and Ryan made a mixed catch of rainbow trout and bluegill at Wallace Lake. This was among Nick's last fishing trips for awhile as he just departed for Army duty this week (photo courtesy of Nick Zarzeczny).
Nate shows off a nice steelie he caught this week (photo courtesy of Nate Adams).
A Wallace Lake trout limit highlighted by a gorgeous golden rainbow trout (photo courtesy of Ranger Rich Valek).
Justin caught this extremely dark buck steelhead this week. Steelhead, especially the males, that have been in the cold river for an extended period often darker up like this (photo courtesy of Justin Marconi).
John outfished his dad, catching four Rocky River steelhead in one outing (photo courtesy of Joe Tonich).
Matt shows off a steelie caught a few weeks back. He's done well with a crayfish crankbait (photos courtesy of Matt Arroyo).
A fantastic assortment of 98 spey flies tied and donated by Greg Senyo will be offered in a silent auction at the Cleveland Metroparks booth at the <Northern Ohio Fly Fishing Expo> this Saturday from 9-4-00pm. Stop by the booth and say hello!
We have new updated depth maps now available for Ledge, Judge's, and Acacia lakes. See all our available lake maps at <this link>.
Note: The fishing report is updated monthly in June, July, and August and weekly every other month
2018 Cleveland Metroparks Registered Fishing Guides (name, company, contact)
#18-001 Monte Casey, The Steelhead Guide, email@example.com www.steelheadguide.com
#18-002 Jeffery Liskay, Silver Fury Guide Service & Schools, firstname.lastname@example.org (440) 781-7536
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>