***Tuesday March 29 morning update: 650 pounds of trout were stocked in the East Branch Rocky River today at 4 locations between Route 82 (Royalton Road) and Bonnie Park.***
In early spring, highlight species targeted by anglers in Cleveland Metroparks include steelhead, stocked trout largemouth bass, and panfish. The local streams have been fishing very well for steelhead all week and have been pretty crowded accordingly. And don't miss the fun Barbie Rod Steelhead Derby this Saturday (details below)! They are calling for rain tonight so wise anglers will check the flow data link before heading out on a trip to the river tomorrow. Stocked trout in the East Branch Rocky River are also biting well. Our local ponds and lakes are offering good opportunities for stocked trout, largemouth bass, and panfish and yellow perch fishing is starting to heat up 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> (Note: the NEORSD monitoring station is back online).
Steelhead fishing in all local streams has been hot this week, and lots of folks are out pursuing them accordingly. We can expect another good weekend of steelhead fishing as long as we do not get too much rain tonight. Anglers are advised to check the flow data at the link above before planning a trip- especially on Friday or early Saturday. An increasing number of steelhead currently in the river have already spawned (known as dropbacks), but the next increase in flow will entice more fresh fish into the streams. Spawning steelhead (and suckers) can be found in shallower riffle and tailout (ends of pools) areas, while pre and post spawn fish can be found in holes and runs, especially just downstream of spawning fish. Fly fishers, bait anglers, and hardware chuckers are all taking a share of the fish. Steelhead are well distributed all the way up into both branches of the river at this time. In a typical year, steelhead numbers peak in late March through mid April, so this is prime time!
There are currently lots of lake-run white suckers in the river, as well. Morley Ford just north of the Lorain Road bridge is a sucker hot spot, and they will gobble worms or grubs/maggots fished on the river bottom, even under elevated and muddy river conditions. Springs suckers are especially good targets for kids, less experienced anglers, or folks just learning to fly fish.
We stocked 650 pounds of rainbow trout in the East Branch Rocky River on Tuesday afternoon. The trout were released at 6 locations between Route 82 (Royalton Road) and the ford just south of Wallace Lake. Thank you to all the anglers that helped me determine how well the trout we stocked during high water stayed put at Bonnie Park last week. Lots of trout were caught around Bonnie Park , as well as up to 1.2 mile upstream, which indicated the fish did not all migrate downstream- which is great news. We tentatively plan to stock again this coming Tuesday morning, and all of those will be distributed in the East Branch Rocky River if the river conditions are amenable. You can check in on the Fishing Report Blog for updates on that. Spring trout stockings by Cleveland Metroparks will continue until May. Additionally, the ODNR Division of Wildlife plans to stock 500 trout in Shadow Lake on March 30 and 2,500 trout in Hinckley Lake on April 6. These rainbow trout will average 10-14", which are a great size for kids. Also note that trout were stocked throughout the winter at Wallace, Shadow, Ledge, Judge's, and Ranger lakes, and a good number of these fish remain.
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. The boat ramp docks are in at Gordon Park, and will be installed at Edgewater within the next two weeks if all goes as planned. Early season yellow perch boating anglers are just beginning to report good catches around the E72nd lighthouse and anglers at E55th breakwall have been catching catching a few jumbo perch from shore using emerald shiners on crappie rigs.
Barbie Rod Steelhead Derby is this Saturday March 26th! This Saturday March 26th the we will be hosting the third annual Barbie Rod Steelhead Derby on the Rocky River. Trophies, prizes for three largest steelhead, raffles, and a cookout are all part of the day's festivities for this fun event where anglers must fish for steelhead with a kiddie fishing pole! Proceeds from the fundraiser event go to support the Cleveland Metroparks Fishing Fund. A website has been set up for the event <here>. The event has a Facebook page, as well. Don't miss this fun event for a great cause! Note: in the event that the river is unfishable from rain, an update and rain date will be posted here tomorrow. No update means the event is on as scheduled.
Lost and Found: Fly Rod and Reel. If you lost a fly rod and reel on the Rocky earlier this month, please send me a description and place it was last used and if it is yours I would be happy to coordinate a happy re-union.
Free Orvis Fly Fishing Classes. Orvis Westlake will be offering free fly fishing classes this spring, starting in early April. For a listing of offerings and to register you can check <here>.
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.
Congratulations to 3.5 year old Hunter who caught his first trout at Bonnie Park this week (photo courtesy of Stephanie Mundt).
Megan caught her first trout of spring in the East Branch Rocky River yesterday (photo courtesy of Gary Garnet).
Tim shares "Monday 03/21/16 Julianne?�+s first steelhead. Caught on a black maribou jig tipped with waxworms" (photo courtesy of Tim Toler).
Congratulations to Gavin on catching his first steelhead. This is also the latest installment of the Know Your Streams challenge! Can you name the small stream location here? Hint: thousands of people drive within sight of the creek every day (photo courtesy of Gavin Nupp).
Sam caught her first steelhead, but was less enthused about holding it for a photo! Being a trooper, on the third try she sort of mustered a grin for the camera, though (photos courtesy of Harrison Vondereau).
Congratulations to Caleb on catching his first four steelhead under his uncle Travis' tulelage (photos courtesy of Travis Males).
Adam had a great week on the Rock, exercising the fly rod on some lake-run white suckers, followed by catching and releasing some gorgeous steelies (photos courtesy of Mike Flachbart).
So reports "Wife and I went Rocky on this past Saturday. Green and yellow spoon brought us this beautiful female steelhead." (photo courtesy of So Sato).
Daniel landed a gorgeous Rocky River hen steelhead (photo courtesy of Daniel Zukie).
Bill Demarco was fishing Euclid Creek for steelhead, but was surprised when this bruiser carp inhaled his spawn bag (photo courtesy of Ken Russ).
Yellow perch fishing is perking up for shore and boating anglers around E55th and the east lighthouse. The bite for these tasty fish should only get better later into spring.
Charlie caught some brute steelies on the fly rod in the Rocky River this week (photos courtesy of Charlie Seibolt).
Nick reports "Caught this nice largemouth Sunday at Wallace Lake. It was my first largie and first catch at Wallace." (photo courtesy of Nick Brown).
Registered Metroparks fishing guide Patrick Campbell showed a few fly fishing clients from the Toledo area a day of much steelhead action on the Rocky this week. Above they display a few from their stellar day (photos courtesy of Patrick Campbell).
An angler at Euclid Creek shows off one of the limit of two steelhead he landed using spawn sacks on a recent good day.
Brendan shows off a very fresh steelhead that he caught at Lagoon Dam on the East Branch Rocky River.
Travis and Dan caught a pile of Rocky River steelies using pegged beads under floats this week (photos courtesy of Travis Males).
Dennis caught a pan sized rainbow trout at Bonnie Park on the East Branch Rocky River (photo courtesy of Dennis Morgan).
An angler caught this fish on a white wooly bugger in the Rocky this week. Can you name the species for the Know Your Fish challenge? (photo courtesy of Patrick Campbell).
Nick had a great week of fly fishing for steelhead (photo courtesy of Nick Milkovich).
Day or night, if you are a steelhead in the Rock the McCutcheon brothers will find you. And they WILL catch you! (photo courtesy of Brion McCutcheon).
Thank you to our most recent sponsors on a long list for the Barbie Rod Steelhead Derby this coming Saturday (details above). Cool custom hats by Jerry Roman of <Lake Erie Wicked Walleye> and flies by Greg Senyo of <Steelhead Alley Outfitters>.
Look at this tiger fish I caught in the Rocky River this week! True or false.
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
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>