In late spring, highlight species targeted by anglers in Cleveland Metroparks include steelhead, stocked trout, largemouth/smallmouth bass, and panfish. The Rocky River has been elevated and stained much of this week and is slowly on the rise again. River conditions for the weekend will depend on how much additional rain we receive so anglers should consult the flow data prior to heading to the water. Steelhead number dropped off notably this past week, although lake-run smallmouth bass numbers in the river have been impressive. Trout are available in the East Branch Rocky River, as conditions permit, and our local ponds and lakes are also offering good opportunities for largemouth bass, and panfish. Walleye fishing has been good around the Cleveland shoreline after dark. 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>
The Rocky River has been elevated and muddy much of this week. The river has offered a nice window of opportunity to fish the past day or so, but is slowly on the rise again. Conditions for the weekend will depend on how much rain we receive in the coming days, so anglers are advised to check the flow gage before heading out for a trip. Steelhead numbers have dropped off notably in local streams this week. I would expect a few straggler steelhead to hang out over the next few weeks, but most anglers are hanging up the steelhead gear for the season and switching focus to other species.
Nosing steelhead out of the spotlight lately are increasing numbers of fat and sassy lake-run smallmouth bass. These fish are present in deeper, rocky holes throughout the main branch of the river. Anglers fishing a jig, wooly bugger, live shiner, or other lures/flies that mimic a baitfish have a shot at hooking "the silver and bronze" (a smallmouth or steelhead) in the same day for the next few weeks. For targeting smallmouth specifically an olive or dark brown 3-4" tube jig is a great choice. Please consider releasing larger bass, which are on their spawning run. Unlike our steelhead, this excellent fishery is completely self perpetuating and we want to keep it strong.
Throughout spring, a total of 3,000 pounds of rainbow trout were stocked in the East Branch Rocky River between Route 82 (Royalton Road) and the ford crossing just south of Wallace Lake. although our spring stocking program has concluded, plenty of these trout remain when river conditions are amenable to angling. Additionally, Wallace Lake was stocked with trout throughout the winter and spring seasons, and ODNR Division of Wildlife stocked 2,500 trout in Hinckley Lake and 500 trout in Shadow Lake in April. Wallace Lake and oho & Erie Canal fishing area will be stocked with trout the third week of May for a kid's fishing event. Largemouth bass have been biting well at Wallace Lake this week, as well.
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 (through May 15, after which time it increases to 5/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. E55th Marina and Emerald Necklace Marina are now open from 9-5:00pm to supply your bait, refreshment, and general boating needs. The walleye night bite around Cleveland was good this week, with shore anglers with long handled landing nets have been catching walleye on Husky Jerk and Perfect 10 crankbaits.
Juvenile Steelhead Have Been Stocked. Please be aware that juvenile steelhead, called smolts, were stocked in the Rocky River by the marina recently. These sub-legal size trout feed voraciously, and it is best to avoid using live bait and smaller hooks in that area for the time being to avoid undue stress from catching these little fish- which are the future of our steelhead fishery .
Fly Fishing Introduction with Jeff Liskay. On May 31 we are offering an introductory class to fly fishing lead by one of the best regional instructors- Jeff Liskay. All gear is provided in this fee program, which requires RSVP. More <here>. *UPDATE: This program has already sold out. We ask that you please sign the waiting list at the link provided to assist us in scheduling more course offerings.*
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.
Bill shares "This is Stanley Szumilak. He and his Dad Stash went fishing at Rt 82 and Stanley caught this rainbow trout. We all went fishing in between the rain on Friday and a great time was had by all! Think we can get little Stanley on the fishing report?" Not only in the report, but the lead photo! (photo courtesy of Bill Mantle).
DeAngelo caught this pair of walleye in Lake Erie off Cleveland this week (photo courtesy of DeAngelo Williams).
William shares "Got some nice bass on a dropshot rig at Wallace Lake on Friday. I used a small green pumpkin worm" (photos courtesy of Willian Holden).
Jake caught a few steelies this week (photo courtesy of Jake Wright).
Pat shares "Caught and released this monster catfish lurking below the dam at Hinckley Lake. I got him on a piece of corn on 4 pound test on my micro rod. I?�+ve also caught some nice carp below the dam, and admired at a safe distance a couple of nice size snakes basking in the sun." (photo courtesy of Pat Thauvette).
Jason (pictured) and Owen tried their luck for walleye at E72nd this week. While they did not get any of those, they did receive an excellent consolation of a nice smallmouth bass each. Jason got this fish (his first bass ever!) on a small hot pink X-Rap, and Owen got his on a size 14 blue/silver/orange Husky Jerk. You may recall a photo of Jason with a goby from a few months back, which was his first fish ever. Based on that, Owen observes, jokingly, "It's nice to see Jason working his way up the Lake Erie food chain!" (photo courtesy of Owen Lockhart).
Matt uses some atypical offerings for trout, but you can't argue with success! (photo courtesy of Matt Arroyo).
Lydia was learning to fly fish and caught her first steelhead, although her face indicates she was a bit less than enthused to hold it! (photo courtesy of Kevin Naim).
Matt shares "Just wanted to share some photos of some nice smallmouth I've been swinging up out of Rocky River on Zonkers!" (photos courtesy of Matt Dixon).
Volunteer Steve is sending out the steelhead season in style with this tackle-buster hen caught while fly fishing the East Branch Rocky River (photo courtesy of Steve Nyetrae).
Eric displays a nice Wallace Lake crappie (photo courtesy of Eric Tancak).
Brian was fishing for crappie in Lorain harbor and was surprised to catch this steelhead still full of eggs! (photo courtesy of Brian Simpkins).
Nick had a great week fishing around Cleveland Metroparks. He started out by taking his girlfriend and her little brother Jake to Judge's Lake, where she caught a yellow perch (we don't know how they got in there, but there is a modest population) and he caught his first trout! Then he followed up by kayaking the mouth of the Rock and catching smallmouth and some bonus sheepshead on olive tube jigs (photos courtesy of Nick Zarzeczny).
This is an appropriate parting shot to say "goodbye and thank you!" to this season's steelhead run (photo courtesy of Jake Wright).
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.