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Fishing Report Blog

Rocky River and Lake Erie were each named among the "150 Best Places to fish in America" in Field and Stream magazine.

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Rocky River Fishing Report - November 15, 2012

Posted: 11/15/2012
Posted By: Mike Durkalec

The Rocky River fishing conditions are currently very good following a spike in flow earlier this week. Based on the current dry weather forecast leading up to the weekend expect the river to continue to clear and drop. Anglers can check the latest river flow and temperature trend at the following link:<river flow gage data>       

We are in prime time of the fall steelhead season and there is a fresh run of steelhead trout in the Rocky and Chagrin rivers.  Fishing conditions are currently excellent in both streams, with the water exhibiting a greenish brown stain and moderate flow.  Highlights this week have been more trophy size steelhead making an appearance (see photo of Ray Fierst’s fish below), as well a few bonus stray chinook (king) salmon (photos also included below). Earlier this week, bright nickel size eggs sacks and brightly colored egg pattern flies were the top producers. As the water has continues to clear, anglers can expect 1/32 oz marabou jigs tipped with maggots, live minnows, and various fly patterns (sucker spawn and globugs in pink, cream, yellow and peach colors, Clouser minnows, Woolly Buggers, and size 14 nymphs can all be good) to take plenty of fish.  Silvery spoons and spinners can be a good bet for fresh run fish, as well.  As the water continues to clear into the weekend and fish see more pressure wise anglers will begin employing finesse techniques with smaller offerings on lighter 4-6 pound leaders.  Fish will become more concentrated in the deeper holes as the water continues to drop.

Wallace Lake was stocked with 600 pounds of catchable channel catfish in mid October. These fish bite well on chicken liver and nightcrawlers fished near the lake bottom along shoreline drop-offs. The Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area off East 49th Street was stocked with 1,000 pounds of rainbow trout in mid October, as well. These fish, ranging from 1-3 pounds, were been biting well on various colors of PowerBait. The canal was also stocked with 1,000 yearling channel catfish by ODNR recently. Please heed clearly posted fishing regulations at these (and other) Cleveland Metroparks fishing locations.

The Lake Erie fishing report can be found at the following link: <ODNR Lake Erie fishing report>.   

Who needs a stinking fishing rod to catch steelhead, anyway?  Scott Heidrich was fishing the Chagrin River over the weekend and had a memorable experience with a steelhead. While setting the hook after his float dunked underwater with a bite, the line snapped from being wrapped around a guide. He broke off everything about 45 feet out.  A short while later his fishing buddy saw the float pop up in the hole above them once or twice, still clearly attached to the fish. About a half hour later another angler snagged the float with his line, with fish still on, and Scott came over and successfully brought in the fish by hand!  See a photo of the “bruiser” that broke Scott’s line in the photos below. Maybe Scott’s next challenge can be to catch a steelhead with his bare hands!

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 .

Good Fishing,



Ray had a great weekend.  His girlfriend, Gina, caught a nice steelie before he even had his line in the water and he followed up with the 32.25", 13.5 pound, bruiser buck steelie in the photo above (photos courtesy of Ray Fierst).


Nick and his brother Andy live in Ohio near the PA border, but came out to fish the Rock on Sunday and found some willing chromers upstream of Rockcliff Springs.  They took two of the trout fly fishing with Hare's Ear nymphs, and another spin fishing with live minnows.  Nick notes that he finds the Rocky to be a beautiful river and wants to explore it more when he's over this way.  Check out Nick's blog at the following link:  <Nick's Fishin' Hole>  (photos courtesy of Nick Milkovich).


Six year old Kaelynn caught this 20", four pound trout in rainbow color PowerBait yesterday (photo courtesy of Dorel Stefan).


Pavel caught this surprise chinook (king) salmon in the East Branch Rocky River this week (photo courtesy of Pavel Zozulya).


Gio turned down invites from a few buddies to fish others streams on Saturday and stayed on his home river the Rock...and was not disappointed!  Gio landed 9 of 15 steelies he hooked on small pink spawn sacks, and his friend Alex (also pictured above) also hooked several (photos courtesy of Giovanni Quintana).


This is Scott and the fish detailed in the highlight in the report above (photo courtesy of Scott Heidrich).


Pat was fishing at the Ohio & Erie Canal Fishing Area and tried rainbow colored PowerBait, as noted in my last fishing report, and did not hook any trout.  On word that they were hitting yellow PowerBait from another angler, he pulled an old jar of that color out of his tackle box (that he never previously had any luck with) and promptly caught 21" and 24" (pictured) rainbow trout!  If there is a moral to this story it's that if one bait is not working, you should try something else, even if that crazy fish biologist at Cleveland Metroparks says the fish are supposed to be biting on it (photo courtesy of Pat Thauvette).


Ed reports "Had a field day on Saturday landing 4 trout and losing a huge one near the golf a bonus smallmouth.  All but one of the fish were caught on a new swim bait that I found called a Zoom Shimmer Shad (silver 1.5 inch).  I've fished a ton of swim baits, and this is the most realistic shad I've ever seen in the water"  (photos courtesy of Ed Schmitt).


John caught this surprise chinook salmon while fly fishing the Rock this week (photo courtesy of John "Johnny Walleye" Masterson).


"Koz" is a versatile angler and has been out in conditions ranging from low and clear to elevated and stained...and caught steelhead in them all.  He also caught fish on various techniques, ranging from drifiting spawn to stripping Clouser streamer flies.  Nobody is going to accuse Koz of being a one trick pony! (photos courtesy of John Kozlowski).


Joe caught this fine buck steelie on the Rock this week (photo courtesy of Mark Fascione).


Chris has been doing great on the Rock with a white feather jig with a little bit of light green tipped with maggots (photos courtesy of Chris Darr).


This big bass, we nicknamed "Helga", was one of several hundred quality sportfish transferred from a private golf course to Cleveland Metroparks public fishing water.  D'Arcy Egan of the Plain Dealer wrote a nice <article> about the project in last Friday's paper.


Brian reminds us that while the steelhead are getting the spotlight this time of year, there are still largemouth bass to be caught in Cleveland Metroparks lakes and ponds (photo courtesy of Brian Kich).


Dan at CRO reports that some big steelies have also moved into the streams east of the Rocky River, as evidenced by the photos above (photos courtesy of Dan Pribanic at Chagrin River Outfitters).


What are friends with cameras for?  To capture your embarassing moments on the river, of course!  Scott captured this series depicting an awkward ballet between man (Chad) and fish on the Chagrin River on Saturday. As a fisheries biologist I can vouch for Chad that those fish are slippery! (photos courtesy of Scott Heidrich).

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,, (330) 984-3086

17-002 Justin Pribanic, Chagrin River Outfitters,, (724) 799-5011

17-003 Joseph Beno, On The Swing,, (440) 667-2278

17-004 Jeffery Liskay, Silver Fury Guide Service & Schools,, (440) 781-7536

17-005 Monte Casey, The Steelhead Guide,

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>


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