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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 - December 7, 2012

Posted: 12/7/2012
Posted By: Mike Durkalec
The Rocky River fishing conditions are currently much improved following rain earlier this week and fresh steelhead are available to anglers.  But given the forecast of rain the next four days this scenario will likely be short lives.  Before planning a trip anglers should check the latest trend in river flow and temperature trend at the following link: <river flow gage data> 

The steelhead fishing on the Rocky and Chagrin rivers received a much needed bump in flow this week, with more rain on the way.  River conditions are very good this morning, especially for bait anglers, with a greenish brown stain to the water and dropping flow.  Anglers on the Rock have reported a good number of fresh fish moving and biting over the past day, especially in the northern river sections near the marina.  With more rain on the way these fish will distribute throughout the river systems thoroughly, and we should have some of the best fishing yet of the season once the river level drops and clears even a bit further.

In the currently stained water conditions angler drifting nickel size bright pink or chartreuse spawn bags (trout or salmon eggs) will often do the best.  Fly fishers prefer brightly colored eggs patterns or larger contrasting color streamer flies under these conditions.  As the water continues to clear, small jigs tipped with a few maggot or waxworms and live (or salted) minnows will work well.  Some anglers this week have reported scuess with minnow type crankbaits and spoons (Little Cleo spoons are popular), especially near the river mouths.

Cleveland Metroparks has scheduled our first round of winter rainbow trout stockings in our lakes and ponds for early next week (tentatively scheduled for Monday and Tuesday December 10 & 11).  The 2,000 lbs of trout will be distributed between Wallace, Shadow, Ledge, Ranger, and Judges lakes, with Wallace receiving the most fish since it is the largest of these lakes.  These trout bite well on thumbnail size nuggets of brightly colored PowerBait fished on near the lake bottom with a small sinker, small jigs tipped with a few maggots suspended about 2-3 feet below a small bobber, canned corn, and small spinners, among other offerings.  Keep posted to the fishing report for an update on these stockings early next week.

For the fourth (and final for 2012) week in a row largemouth bass and bluegill were transferred from private ponds to Cleveland Metroparks public fishing waters.  We target this type of activity in the fall because the process is less stressful on the fish due to cold water temperatures.  Most of Cleveland Metroparks fishing lakes and ponds have benefitted from the release of these fish, and from similar activities, over the past few months. With the cold water, though, they are not pushovers to catch and require some patience in the form of moving around a lot to find them and a slow retrieve. 

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

The Cleveland Metroparks Fisheries Program and Fiscal Responsibility.   Despite tough economic times, this has been a year of growth for the Cleveland Metroparks fisheries program.  Although park budgets were tight all around, no significant internal funding was cut from the fisheries program budget due to its popularity and relatively low cost.  And on top of this, cost recovery for the program was outstanding in 2012.  This year a total of $19,120.00 direct funds were generated from grants, donations, and the Fishing Guide Permit program.  And we had a fantastic year for donations of valuable sportfish through special arrangement with private properties with lakes and ponds at non-Metroparks golf courses, a school campus, and a private residence.  In fact, just over 75% of the total value of fish collected in 2012 ($17,397.00) were collected from such offsite locations, and reflect another form revenue generation at little relative cost to us for staff time, fuel, and equipment.  This is a novel program that allows us to further expand our fisheries program and the quality of the experience for local anglers.  So please be aware that your tax support of Cleveland Metroparks is rewarded with not only wise management of the fishery resource, but also with a keen eye on how that money is spent to maximize benefit the fishing public.

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,


"Wild Bill" caught a few very nice steelhead far upstream on the Rocky River yesterday (photos courtesy of Bill Keaton).

Congratulations to Andrey on catching his first steelhead ever in the Rocky River this week after three years of effort (photo courtesy of Sisqo By).

Mark caught this beautifully colored buck brown trout in the Rocky River this week, the second one in two weeks.  The fish bit a 3" white rubber trout worm.  Mark was fishing late last week when the river was still low and clear, and also hooked four (landed 2) steelhead on spawn (photos courtesy of Mark Cox).

Brion took out his brother in law Sean, visiting from Charlotte, NC, and he hooked a few fine steelhead specimens (photos courtesy of Brion McCutcheon).

Little Leanni is taking up some serious gear at a tender young age!  Her proud father Gio calls her the "Steelhead Pricess".  Gio had a good day yesterday on small creek that flows partially through Cleveland Metroparks property, and shows off a few fish from his catch above (photos courtesy of Giovanni Quintana).

Frank caught this nice size bluegill in Wallace Lake this week.  Frank is the proud father of Tennessee Titans wide reciever coach <Dave Ragone>.

Dale caught this plump hen steelie by the marina this week (photo courtesy of Geno).

Jake, who turns 13 today, volunteered to assist us in collecting and transferring 461 nice size largemouth bass and bluegill from a private lake to Cleveland Metroparks public fishing areas yesterday.  The lad was enthusiatic and had fun, but we put him to work and had him a bit tired out by the end of the day!

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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