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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 - September 27, 2012

Posted: 9/27/2012
Posted By: Mike Durkalec

***Friday September 28 morning update: The rain yesterday held off for the most part and the Rocky and Chagrin rivers are dropping rapidly.  While still muddy, they should be on the stained side of fishable this afternoon and Saturday morning.***

The river level is currently elevated with a muddy stain, and weekend fishing prospects are fully dependant upon how much more rain the region recieves.  If precipitation is minimal, the river may be fishable into the weekend.  Anglers would be wise to keep an eye on the flow gage trend in the coming days, which may be found at the following link: <river flow gage data>     

There was a brief window of fishable conditions on the river this week, mainly limited to Monday and Tuesday, and a number of anglers who ventured out were greeted to a decent run of fresh steelhead trout in the northern river reaches.  The area around the Emerald Necklace Marina/Scenic Park, near the boat ramps, was a hot spot.  Most of the fish were reported taken on spawn sacks (bright pink and about the size of a nickel were working well in the stained water), 1/32 oz jigs in contrasting bright and dark colors tipped with maggots, and hardware (medium size spoons and spinners with some silver in the finish), although a few have also been hooked by fly fishers on egg and streamer patterns.  The early season steelhead run has been surprisingly good so far this year, which is hopefully an indication of what we can expect later this fall as we get into the prime time of the season.

Largemouth bass and panfish opportunities in Cleveland Metroparks lakes and ponds has overall been good lately.  Rubber worms and live shiners have been working for bass, and redworms and small nymph flies have been taking panfish.  Wallace Lake, Shadow Lake as well as a number of smaller Metroparks ponds are all good bets this time of year.  More information on various fishing location around Cleveland Metroparks can be found at the following <link>

Lake conditions dependant, Lake Erie boaters out of the Emerald Necklace marina have continued the excellent catches of yellow perch this week fishing near the lake bottom with perch speaders and live or salted emerald shiners.  One hotspot is at about 38 foot of water north of the mouth of the Rocky River.  Details can be found in the ODNR Lake Erie fishing report available at the <ODNR Lake Erie fishing report>.  

Sportfish Transfers to Cleveland Metroparks Public Fishing Areas.   Over the past month, our staff have transferred a total of 231 largemouth bass, 1,106 sunfish and 22 crappie to Cleveland Metroparks public fishing waters.  Most of these fish were of quality size.  Three of the four locations these fish originated from are off park property and were the result of arrangements worked out with the landowners to acquire the fish as donations.  Just this past Tuesday a total of 447 bass and sunfish were transferred from Lake Kilroy at University School to an eastside location in Cleveland Metroparks (see photos below).

This strategy reflects a unique facet of our park fisheries program that allows us to benefit the local angler, landowner (with a tax write-off option), and Park District (we acquire lots of valuable sportfish for only our time and effort) simultaneously.  The fish are released into our public fishing waters based on results of recent fish population surveys and the relative amount of fishing pressure the water receives.  For example, if the data reveals a heavily fished lake has an imbalance with too few predator fish, we will release largemouth bass of several age groups into that waterbody.

We purposefully do not identify which lakes receive these fish, unlike the trout stockings, because we intend these native warmwater fish species have a chance to acclimate and establish to their new environment rather than receive extra heavy fishing pressure immediately following their release.  But you can bet that chances are great that your favorite Cleveland Metroparks lake or pond has received one or more such fish stockings in the past year.

Steelhead Expo at the Rocky River Nature Center Saturday October 6th   A great way to kick off the fall steelhead season is to attend the 19th annual Steelhead Expo will be held at the Rocky River Nature Center on Saturday October 6th, 2012.  This event is a collaborative effort between the Ohio Central Basin Steelheaders and Cleveland Metroparks and will offer a full day of expert speakers and seminars, vendors, and other related information to kick off the fall steelhead season. There is no charge for the event but OCBS, a non-profit sportman’s group which is very active in the local fishing and conservation communities, is offering a raffle as a fundraiser so donations or participation in the raffle is encouraged.  More information on this offering can be found <here>.

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,



Mother and son Joyce and Daniel shared some time on the river Tuesday morning and both struck silver (photos courtesy of Joyce Smith).


"Wild Bill" (top photo), "Alabama Jim" (below), and Mark (not pictured, but he needs a nickname like the rest of them!) are among the most dedicated retirees who enjoy fishing around Cleveland Metroparks.  Just this week they caught some nice fish, turtles, and observed some wild turkey around Millstream Run Reservation.  As a sidenote, any reptiles or amphibians caught in the park must be released (photos courtesy of Mark Fascione).


Yuriy caught this fine brace of steelhead in the Rocky River last Thursday (photo courtesy of Yuriy Chen).


Billy caught his first steelie of the season on the northern Rock last Friday, and was gracious enough to share an image of the minnow fly the trout took (photos courtesy of Billy Delfs).


Kevin caught his first Rocky River chromer of the year on a gold spinner (photo courtesy of Kevin Bunch).


On Tuesday morning, Dan (third photo) landed 4 of the 5 steelies he hooked, and he also witnessed Andy (top photo) catch his first two fish of the season, one each on his flyrod and spinning rod with a jig tipped with maggots (photos courtesy of Dan McCutcheon).


Joyce is having a great week!  Of the roughly dozen steelies folks landed by the marina on Tuesday afternoon she caught (and released) the largest one, this thick, rosy cheeked hen (photos courtesy of Ken Harper).


This past Tuesday Cleveland Metroparks staff collected and transferred 120 largemouth bass and 327 sunfish from Lake Kilroy at University School to a public fish area in the park.  Students P.J. and Julian were among those who assisted us, and struggle to wrangle a big grass carp in the middle photo.  See the report highlight for more information regarding Cleveland Metroparks fish collection and transfer activities over the past month.

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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