In early spring, highlight species targeted by anglers in Cleveland Metroparks include steelhead trout, stocked trout, and panfish. The rivers were slushy mid-week but are opening up again following a milder night. Based on the weather forecast conditions will be dependant upon how much precipitation we recieve into the weekend. Overall, steelhead fishing opportunities have been excellent lately. 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>. A total of 3,000 lbs of trout were stocked in our lakes about a month ago and our first spring stocking of trout in the East Branch Rocky River is tentatively scheduled for tomorrow (3/17).
The Rocky and Chagrin rivers were slushy mid week, but are opening back up following a milder night. Both rivera are fishing very well for steelhead. Weekend prospects will be dependant upon how much precipitation we recieve over the next few days. A mix of fresh chrome and older more colorful steelhead are well distributed throughout both watersheds at this time. The colder temperatures have halted spawning and the fish are mostly being caught in deep slower flowing areas. A good number of quality size fish 28" and over were reported this week, and there is an abundance of skippers (smaller 15-18" steelhead) in the northern river reaches. When the water is on the stained side, a dime to nickel size brightly colored spawn sack (hot pink or chartreuse are both good) drifted under a float/bobber is hard to beat. As the water further clears other offerings, including live minnows, jigs tipped with maggots or waxworm, salmon egg mimicking beads, and various flies (eggs, nymphs, and streamers) will begin taking a good share of the fish. Medium size silvery spoons, spinners, and small to medium crankbaits can be worth a try, as well, and require less specialized tackle for newer steelhead anglers. The unstocked Cuyahoga River and smaller area tributaries have also been producing stray steelhead.
A total of 3,000 lbs of trout were stocked since late January/early February at Wallace (1,400 lbs), Shadow (750 lbs), Ledge (650 lbs), Judge's (100 lbs), and Ranger (100 lbs) lakes and plenty of these trout remain. This concludes our winter trout stocking which have totaled 6,000 lbs between these five locations since December. Trout hit well on PowerBait fished near the bottom, jigs tipped with a few maggots/waxworms suspended below a bobber, minnows, and smaller spoons and spinners. The most successful anglers change their presentation until they find what works on a given day. 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 stocking of trout in the East Branch Rocky River was delayed on Tuesday morning due to inclement weather and was tentaively rescheduled for tomorrow morning (3/17). These fish are stocked at about a half dozen locations in Millstream Run Reservation between Royalton Road (Route 82) and the river ford (low bridge crossing) just south of Wallace Lake. Trout will then continue to be stocked regularly through the end of April. Stay posted to this report for the latest fish stocking details.
4th Annual Barbie Rod Steelhead Derby Fundraiser on March 25. On Saturday March 25th the we will be hosting the fourth annual <Barbie Rod Steelhead Derby> on the Rocky River. Trophies, prizes for three largest steelhead, raffle, 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. The dozen <raffle packages> are outstanding and have set a new high bar this year! Folks are welcome to attend the raffle and lunch without competing in the event, if you wish. A website has been set up for the event and our list of great <sponsors> is growing weekly! The event has a Facebook page, as well. Don't miss this fun event for a great cause!
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.
Demetrius (top) and Ephraim caught a few fine steelhead in the Rock yesterday despite the cold and slush. Ephraim recently got into tying his own jigs at our Open Vise Night and is proud to report his nice hen hit a purple and pink jig with black collar that he created. He is also kitchen manager at <Bonefish Grill in Independence>, one of the many appreciated <sponsors> of our upcoming <Barbie Rod Steelhead Derby> (photos courtesy of Ephraim Bowser).
Jarred and his buddy struck silver on the Rocky this week (photos courtesy of Jarred Bugg).
A local angler caught this 23" steelhead in the Rocky this week that had a 4" wide bite mark on both sides of its body. To me it looks like the result of a close encounter with a fairly large pike or musky(photos courtesy of Ken Harper).
Speaking of pike, look at the surprise northern pike caught by an angler in the Rocky this week! John caught about a dozen steelies the same day, all on spawn sacks (photos courtesy of John Bryant).
Doug made another surprise catch in the Rock this week, a brown trout (photo courtesy of Doug Reilly).
And Michael made yet another unexpected catch in the Rocky this week- a colorful brook trout. This is the third brookie to show up in the river this season (photo courtesy of Michael Duncan).
Brad an two buddies his the Chagrin river on Sunday and hooked almost 30 steelhead, topped by Brad's 28" hen- his first Fish Ohio steelhead (photo courtesy of Brad McMichael).
Dominic landed this high quality chrome hen on the Chagrin River this week (photo courtesy of Dominic Charlot).
Bob caught this 29.5" steelhead estimated at 10 pounds in the Rock. Bob serves on the OCBS Board of Directors (photo courtesy of Bob Brunner).
Pat shares "I landed this fat 29 inch hen Saturday afternoon on the Rock. Out of the near 100 steelhead I've caught this season and most of them 24 inches+ this was the biggest" (photo courtesy of Pat Jurco).
Dale landed this nice buck steelie by the boat ramps on the northern Rock (photo courtesy of Dale Stanley).
John and his son Brandon are catching all kindsof great steelies on the Rock lately! He relays "Pulled a 'few' Sunday. River was on fire. We lost too many as well. A few of the nicer ones attached. 30ish landed and lost for the day between the two of us. Ran out of gear and bait. The last three trips have all been double digits. Exciting Spring!". John is also the GM at <Burntwood Tavern in Rocky River>, one of the many appreciated <sponsors> of our upcoming <Barbie Rod Steelhead Derby> . I recommend them for great local food and a very nice atmosphere (photos courtesy of John Burkhart).
John caught this steelie on eggs he got out of a stocked trout he caught recently (photo courtesy of John Hall).
The newly renovated Strawberry Pond in North Chagrin Reservation is beginning to fill up with water. Fishing platforms are currently being constructed at the site (photocourtesy of Jim Rodstrom).
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>