In late winter, highlight species targeted by anglers in Cleveland Metroparks include steelhead and stocked trout. Area rivers are dropping in level and clearing to fishable conditions following the rain this week, and fishing prospects will only further improve as they continue to drop. The forecast is calling for rain on Saturday so steelhead anglers would be wise to get out before then, and to keep an eye on the flow data following any precipitation. Steelhead fishing has been good during a brief windows of favorable conditions the past two weeks. Our local ponds and lakes offer open water fishing opportunities 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 dropping in level and clearing after several days of being swollen and muddy from recent rain. Steelhead fishing prospects will continue to improve as they drop in level further. Brief windows of good fishing conditions the past two weeks saw anglers catching quality size fresh steelhead, and anglers can expect the same in the coming few days. 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. Steelhead spawning activity will increase from this point on through the end of spring in shallow riffle areas, such as the reach just upstream of Cedar Point Road bridge on the East Branch of the river. As expected, some of the first lake run white suckers of the season showed up this week, 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.
Trout were stocked throughout the winter at Wallace, Shadow, Ledge, Judge's, and Ranger lakes, and plenty of these fish remain. The lakes are ice free at this time. Fishing pressure for these trout has been fairly high, and having several bait options to "change-up" between is always a good idea. Some offerings to consider 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. 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.
Fly Fishing Film Tour this Saturday 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>.
Fly Tying at Merwin's Wharf on March 10th: Guest Tyer Tommy Lynch. Popular Michigan fly angler Tommy Lynch will be our next featured fly tyer on March 10th from 6-9:00pm (6-7:00pm is mingling and dinner, and the tying is 7-9:00pm). Tommy is a guide on Michigan's fabled Pere Marquette River, and among his many patterns is the popular Drunk & Disorderly (D&D). Don't miss this one- we expect a full house! 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. The final upcoming tyer in this series is Mike Schultz on March 22.
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>. If interested, I suggest registering soon, as half the spots are already claimed!
Barbie Rod Steelhead Derby on March 26th. On 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> and a Facebook page for the event can be found <here>. Also, you may email me for a copy of the rules if you are not on Facebook.
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 email@example.com.
Justin had a great Monday on the Rock, catching some beautiful fresh steelhead on spawn sacks, and capping the day with his first ever brown trout (photos courtesy of Justin Telep).
Earl caught a pair of Wallace Lake rainbow trout on Monday. The fish bit both a spawn sack and maggots.
Congratulations to Greg on landing his best steelhead ever this week! The 30.5", 11 pound bruiser buck was caught in a smaller Metroparks stream over the weekend when the rivers were elevated and muddy (photo courtesy of Greg Young).
Travis caught a Rocky River chrome this week (photo courtesy of Travis Males).
Brion's steelheading skills were on full display on the northern Rock earlier this week (photos courtesy of Brion McCutcheon).
The first lake-run white suckers of the year have showed up at Morley Ford this week, and they seem extra plump this year!
Richard has been having success in smaller streams when the larger rivers are elevated and muddy (photo courtesy of Richard Carl Williams).
Jesse tagged a few quality steelies in the lower Rock this week (photos courtesy of Dan McCutcheon).
A big THANK YOU to the Ohio Central Basin Steelheaders and ODNR for providing $4,900 to support three big public Metroparks fishing events in 2016 (photo courtesy of Dan Kammer).
Another thank you is in order to Bill and Andy Wahl, for this donation of brand new fishing gear to use in prize packages at our upcoming kid's fishing derbies and fundraiser events.
Cleveland Metroparks has embarked on a unique and exciting partnership with Grafton Correctional Institution (GCI) to benefit the Park District?�+s public fishing program. The program allows interested inmates the opportunity to become engaged with a stimulating activity, learn skills, benefit the community, and enjoy the therapeutic benefits of viewing aquarium fish. This relationship was born in Spring 2015 when the President of the inmate-staffed Grafton Aquatics Program reached out to Cleveland Metroparks for technical guidance and help acquiring donations of aquarium equipment and related supplies. Since the program began, one inmate and two tanks blossomed into 42 inmate members assisting with 30 breeder tanks housing a few dozen fish species, as well as viewing tanks located throughout the GCI complex. Recently, Cleveland Metroparks staff met with GCI?�+s Unit Management Chief Adam Kastler to tour the facility and learn from the inmates how the program has developed, and observe first-hand their enthusiasm for their work. Many of the fish produced through the program are acquired by a commercial aquarium fish vendor, and GCI requires that 51% of proceeds from programs of this nature go to a non-profit community partner. We are highly appreciative that they chose to support our Fishing Fund. This program also provides personal tanks to military veteran inmates and GCI plans to expand the Aquatics Program to a second nearby facility. New projects are also being discussed to expand into raising channel catfish and hybrid sunfish to stock into Cleveland Metroparks public fishing areas. We are pleased to have the opportunity to work with Grafton Correctional Institution (photos Kyle Lanzer, Cleveland Metroparks photographer).
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, firstname.lastname@example.org www.steelheadguide.com
#18-002 Jeffery Liskay, Silver Fury Guide Service & Schools, email@example.com (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>