In fall highlight species targeted by anglers in Cleveland Metroparks include steelhead, walleye, and stocked rainbow trout and landlocked coho salmon (the latter recently stocked in Wallace Lake). Lots of steelhead were reported caught from area streams this week, and Thanksgiving day was stellar for many anglers. The Rocky River and other area streams are moderately low and clear at this time, but there is rain in the forecast today so conditions could change into the weekend. Anglers can keep posted to the flow gage links below to track the affect of any precipitation on stream conditions. The steelhead and walleye night bite along the Cleveland shoreline has been very good this week, overall. To monitor the most recent river water level and temperature you can check the following link: <Rocky River flow gage data> <Chagrin River flow gage data> <Rocky River NEORSD station with turbidity>
The Rocky River and other area streams are moderately low in level and clear at the moment, but rain is in the forecast today. Wise anglers will check the flow gage links to track affects of any precipitation on stream levels into the weekend. Steelhead are well spread throughout the entire mainstem of the Rocky River as well as both branches, and are up into North Chagrin Reservation on the Chagrin River. The big trout are averaging 5-7 lbs this year, with few fish reported of Fish Ohio size (28"+). Steelhead have been biting on brightly colored dime to nickel size spawn sacks when the water is stained, and beads that mimic salmon eggs, small marabou jigs tipped with a few maggots or a waxworm drifted under a float, live minnows, flies (egg patterns and baitfish streamers), and lures such as Little Cleo spoons and Vibrax spinners as the water clears further. The fall run is in high gear at this time and prospects will remain good into winter.
The steelhead bite has remained very good along the Cleveland lakefront as lake wave conditions allow- especially at Edgewater Park and E55th east facing breakwall. Steelhead can also be found off the breakwall at E72nd, the pier at Wendy Park at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River, off the breakwall at Wildwood Park, and off the jetties at Huntington Beach. Casting a spoon (ie Little Cleo or KO Wobbler) or spinner (ie Vibrax or RoosterTail) at these locations are as good a bet as any for connecting with a lakefront steelhead trout, as is suspending a small jig tipped with minnow or maggots under a bobber. Make sure to bring a long handed landing net when fishing the lakefront for steelhead!
Complementing the great steelhead fishing along the Ceveland shoreline, excellent numbers of walleye have been found along nearshore Lake Erie. Shore based walleye anglers are doing best casting stickbaits (ie- Husky Jerks and Perfect 10s) and glow in the dark spoons at dusk and after dark. White bass and yellow perch fishing has been slow lately. The ODNR Division of Wildlife weekly Lake Erie fishing report can be viewed <here>.
The Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area off E49th Street (down the walking trail from Canalway Center) was stocked with 1,000 lbs of rainbow trout and 600 lbs of farm raised channel catfish on Friday October 13th. The daily limit here is 5 trout per angler. Trout bite well on PowerBait, small jigs tipped with maggots, and small spinners. Catfish bite great on chicken liver. Trout and catfish can both be targeted effectively fishing a half nightcrawler worm or chunk of cocktail shrimp right on the canal bottom.
Anglers at Metroparks inland lakes and ponds are catching catfish, largemouth bass, and panfish. Wallace Lake, Ledge Lake, Shadow Lake, and Beyer's Pond are a few spots worth poking around in fall. Wallace Lake was stocked wityh 209 huge bluegill and decent largemouth bass on Tuesday, Oxbow Lagoon in Rocky River Reservation was stocked with 986 largemouth bass and bluegill recently, and Wallace Lake was stocked with the majority of another 449 largemouth bass and bluegill since October 23. These fish were transferred from private golf course lakes. Additionally Wallace recieved 300 catchable size coho salmon and a few rainbow trout back in October. Rainbow trout will be stocked in Metroparks lakes around mid-December- stay tuned to the fishing report for details on that.
Roly Poly Fish Heads (Ammended).
If you or an angler you know catches and harvests a lake trout from Lake Erie or a connected tributary please retain the head. John Deller, Fish Biologist at ODNR Fairport Harbor Fisheries Research Unit (and old grad school chum of mine) made this request because many stocked fish have coded wire tags implanted in the head that contains very useful data for Lake Erie fish managers.
Additionally, Michigan DNR fish biologist friend Heather Hettinger reached out to me and requested that anyone who harvests a stray Atlantic salmon in Lake Erie, as occurred last week, also retain the head (as they also have coded wire tags implanted). In either scenario please just freeze the head and you can get in touch with me to arrange acquisition of the specimen.
Donations of Aquarium Equipment needed for Grafton Correctional Institution Collaboration.
We are seeking donations of aquarium gravel, aquarium decor, and larger capacity pumps and filters for the Grafton Correctional Institution inmate-run Aquatics Program. We are good on aquariums at this time. Please contact me to coordinate a donation.
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
Tim reports "Nice weather made for some nice fishing at Wallace this weekend, 11-25. Girls got to catch some sunfish and I had a surprise largemouth bass hit a spoon right near the top of the water"
(photos courtesy of Tim Mulcahy).
John took his kids out steelhead fishing on the Chagrin River 3 days in a row over the Thanksgiving weekend. His six year old son caught his first ever, and his eleven year old daughter was also successful. Dad reports the kids slept soundly after their fun weekend! (photos courtesy of John Russell).
Jill caught his hog walleye trolling off Cleveland on Tuesday night (photo courtesy of Jill Dershaw).
Davis is an aspiring fish biologist going to school in Michigan. while he was back home in Ohio over the Thanksgiving holiday he had a fun fishing competition with his mother on the Rocky River. Topping the day off he landed a surprise coho salmon on his fly rod. He documented it all in this <video>
(photos courtesy of Davis Fray).
Mark reports that there was a 30 minute rush of red hot walleye fishing at Edgewater Park on Monday night. Lou Majcher caught a 29" 10 pounder (pictured), 30" 9 pounder, and 25" walleye on a clown colored lure all with that timeframe 9photo courtesy of Mark Forbush).
Shannon caught a couple of beauties on the Rock by the marina yesterday, including the 28" Fish Ohio award eligible hen in the bottom pic (photos courtesy of Marshall Winthrow).
Congratulations are in order for father and son Len and Justin, who both caught their first steelhead on centerpin rigs this week. Len has been a successful longtime steelhead fly fisherman (photos courtesy of Len Barton0.
Dominic sent me the following message- "Thanks for your efforts in keeping up with the weekly fishing report and pics. We sincerely appreciate your efforts. This is Nick Allegrini on the Chagrin River who enjoyed a double digit day on Friday. He was successful on egg sac and small maribou jigs. He actually had he opportunity to meet you last year in the Rocky. Thanks again and happy holidays! "
(photo courtesy of Dominic Mihalik).
Adrian flyfished the Rocky for two hours on Saturday and was rewarded with two fresh steelies that munched on his veiled egg pattern (photos courtesy of Adrian Zachary).
Brian has caught steelhead and walleye along the Lake erie shoreline lately, but caught his first ever river steelhead in the Rocky this week (photos courtesy of Brian Franko).
Matt has been catching walleye along the Lake erie shoreline at night on Husky Jerk crankbaits (photos courtesy of Matt Arroyo).
Tony is always good for an detailed report of his fishing outings, which I appreciate. He observed "Here is my fishing report for the long weekend. Friday I fished the Lagoon dam all day and got one, see attached picture. I used spawn the entire time but was only able to catch one due to the fact that there were people fishing everywhere.Saturday: Fished the Lagoon dam again with no luck, used eggs the entire time. I didn't see a single person catch anything Saturday. Sunday: Lagoon Dam and Cedar Point. So here is the catch. I wasn't catching anything using spawn so I put my very last jig on and I caught an absolutely beautiful buck but I wasn't planning on sending the picture because he side swiped my jig and I foul hooked him. I was really disappointed because he was a beautiful fish but he wasn't caught legally."
Incidentally, Lagoon dam is where I caught my first steelhead in the mid-80's (photo courtesy of Tony Cilluffo).
Tom was another angler who caught a coho salmon in the rocky River this week. These fish likely stray down from Lake Huron (photo courtesy of Tom Parks).
On Tuesday we transferred 209 gigantic bluegill and decent size bass from a private golf course pond to Wallace Lake.
I'll caption this one "Teamwork makes the dream work
"! A group of anglers were very determined to land a steelhead off the wall at Morley Ford on the Rocky this week (photo courtesy of Kevin Smith).
Don reports of this piebald buck "I have not gotten a fish into your weekly fishing report yet. Still on my bucket list. However, how about this deer photo? Our housing development backs up to the Cleveland Metroparks West Creek Reservation in Parma. This deer has been hanging out in our back yards."
(photo courtesy of Don Shepka).
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.