In late winter, highlight species targeted by anglers in Cleveland Metroparks include steelhead trout, stocked trout, and panfish. The rivers are dropping after being elevated and muddy for several days. It looks like we have some rain coming, but unless it ends up being a substantial amount river conditions should continue to improve into the weekend. 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 plenty remain (see details below). PLEASE NOTE: We are transitioning to a new website over the next week so the fishing report won't be updated until at least Friday next week, possibly later, depending on how smoothly that goes. Thank you for your patience as we improve our web resources.
The Rocky and Chagrin rivers are dropping in level after being elevated and muddy the past few days following quite a bit of ain. Weekend prospects should be good as long as any additional precipitation is minimal. Fishing has been great lately as conditions have allowed, with a mix of fresh chrome and older more colorful steelhead well distributed throughout both watersheds at this time. A number of big 30"+ steelhead have been reported over the past month and a fair number of fish have already been spawning earlier than usual. There are also an abundance of skippers (smaller 15-18" steelhead) in the northern river reaches, which bodes well for next year. 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/salted minnows, jigs tipped with maggots or waxworm, salmon egg mimicking beads, and various flies (eggs, nymphs, and streamers) 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 Cuyahoga River and Euclid Creek have also been producing steelhead lately. A small number of lake-run white suckers and a few smallmouth bass are being caught by river anglers, as well.
Some steelhead can also be found along the Lake Erie shoreline throughout winter at E55th and Edgewater parks. The breakwalls and shoreline rocks are slippery, though, so it is a wise plan to wear boot cleats/chains if you head out there. Popular methods for targeting Lake Erie shoreline steelies include suspending a jig tipped with minnow or nightcrawler 2-5 feet below a bobber, as well as casting a spoon (ie Little Cleo or KO Wobbler) or spinner (ie Vibrax or RoosterTail). Make sure to bring a long handled net.
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 will likely begin in mid March. Stay posted to this report for the latest fish stocking details.
Delay in the Fishing Blog Next Week. We are transitioning to a completely new Cleveland Metroparks website over the next week, so the fishing report next week won't be updated until at least Friday, possibly later, depending on how smoothly everything goes. The web URL for the report will remain the same. Thank you for your patience while we improve our web resources.
Fly Fishing Film Tour this Saturday March 4. This Saturday March 4th the 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 again this year. More here: <F3T CLE>.
Open Vise Night at Merwin's Wharf on March 8. Have you been interest in fly tying or jig making but don't know how to get started? Are you an experienced fly tyer looking for a fun evening with friends? Do you just want to learn a little more while having dinner without actually tying yourself? Well, then, this is for you. Local expert Jeff Liskay and respresentatives from local fly fishing outfitters will be onhand to offer assistance, as needed. Some of the outfitters will be giving away promotional coupons for their shops, as well. The activity is in the private Lock 44 meeting room at Merwin's Wharf and attendees can come anytime between 5-9:00pm. This is a full service restaurant so attendees are more than welcome to have dinner or a drink while participating. More info here: <Open Vise Nights>.
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, 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 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.
Congratulations to Jeffrey Bugg on catching his first steelhead ever from the Rocky this week (photo courtesy of Jarred Bugg).
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
17-009 Daniel Bennett, email@example.com, (440) 417-3062
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>