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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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November 8, 2013

Posted: 11/8/2013
Posted By: Mike Durkalec

Highlight species targeted by anglers around Cleveland Metroparks in fall include steelhead trout and yellow perch, with anglers also pursuing largemouth bass, stocked rainbow trout and panfish.  The Rocky River is currently exhibiting moderately elevated and stained conditions, but is dropping nicely for the weekend.  The Chagrin River is more elevated than the Rock, but should still be fishable into the weekend.  Before making a trip anglers are advised to monitor the most recent river water level and temperature, which can be done at the following links: <Rocky River flow gage data>  <Chagrin River flow gage data>

Steelhead fishing in the Rocky and Chagrin rivers had picked up noticably this week, although fallen leaves in the water added to the challenge.  The Rocky is looking to be in prime shape for the weekend and a fresh batch of steelhead should be waiting to greet anglers.  The big trout are spread out throughout the systems from the marinas to the reaches well upstream.  Fish this week have been reported hooked on live minnows, dime to nickel size spawn sacks (pink and chartreuse have been producers) spinners/spoons and small 1/32-1/64 oz marabou/hair jigs (various colors) tipped with a waxworm or a few maggots or 2-3" white tube jigs suspended under a small float.  Fall fly fishers typically score well using egg pattern flies, streamers (Woolly Bugger and Clouser minnow patterns) and size 14-12 nymph patterns.  Expect the steelhead run to really begin gaining steam from mid November onward.

Steelhead fishing along the lakefront has been good as lake condiotions permit recently, although getting lucky and being there at the right time has been an important part of the equation.  Steelhead are feeding on schools of minnows along the rocks at Edgewater Park, the east facing wall at E 55th Street and the Wildwood Park breakwall and anglers have been catching them on spoons (Little Cleo 2/5 ounce with silver has been working well), spinners and minnows or small jigs tipped with a few maggots suspended under a bobber.  Fish tend to provide action in spurts on the good days, with several fish hooked between anglers in short order interspersed between lulls in the action.  A light NW wind and slight chop seem to equate to a better bite.  Remember to take a long handled landing net when fishing these locations.  Anglers trolling the river mouths and shallow nearshore areas with crankbaits are also reporting some steelhead success.  The north facing wall at E 55th has been producing yellow perch, including a few limit catches of larger fish, for anglers fishing emerald shiners on the bottom.

Largemouth bass and sunfish fishing prospects in Metroparks lakes and ponds are good, as natural populations of fish in these waters have been supplemented with stockings of over 2,600 catchable size bass and sunfish, many of trophy size, since mid-September.  Stocking activities are expected to continue throughout November depending on weather.  Wallace, Ledge, Ranger, Shadow, Judges and Bunns lakes, as well as Oxbow Lagoon (Rocky River Reservation) and Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area, have all been beneficiaries of some of these fish recently. 

The Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area was stocked in October with 1,000 pounds each of rainbow trout and farm raised channel catfish.  Trout typically bite well on PowerBait and catfish like chicken liver, although a nightcrawler will catch either species.  The first round of winter trout stockings in Cleveland Metroparks lakes and ponds is scheduled for mid-December.

Anglers out of Lakefront Reservation, Euclid Reservation and the Emerald Necklace marina on the Rocky River are making some excellent catches of larger yellow perch this week as lake conditions permit, with many 9-12" fish and an impressive number up to 14".  A few productive spots have been 39 FOW off the Gold Coast and Lighthouse and 49 FOW off Wildwood.  The north facing wall at E 55th Street has also been producing yellow perch for shore anglers fishing minnows on the bottom, including a few limit catches of larger perch up to 12" plus.  The walleye night bite along the Cleveland shoreline has been heating up this week, with trollers hooking fish off E 72nd Street in 38-40 FOW on Reef Runner, Rattlin Rogue and Husky Jerk crankbaits.  A few should be available for shore anglers casting after dark at Edgewater and E 72nd Street, as well.

If you have a photo or information that you would like to contribute to the fishing report, or if you have any further questions regarding fishing in Cleveland Metroparks, you may contact Aquatic Biologist Mike Durkalec at (440) 331-8017 or .

Good Fishing,


Joey displays a huge walleye recently caught trolling off Edgewater Park.  The trophy fish took a Tennessee Shad color Husky Jerk crankbait fished 30' off a side planer board in 25 FOW (photo courtesy of Gary Brandt).

Dave reports "Last Sunday was the first chance this season little David and I had a chance to fish at our favorite fishing place, the Rocky River. David's football season ended so we had a few hours to fish. We arrived at noon and the fishermen said they have been fishing since 7:00am with no luck.  Little David landed his first steelhead of the season in about 30 minutes. We went out today for few hours and he did it again. As for me you guessed it, I did not catch a thing. David's fish were caught using a small dark color jig tipped with maggots." (photos courtesy of David Dorko). 

Tony caught this fine hen steelie in a 1/32 ounce green and pink Panther Martin spinner on Sunday.  He further reports "There were some other guys fishing near me with fly gear and spawn sacks, and although one guy landed one fish on a pink spawn sack, they really seemed to be chasing the spinning gear and spoons yesterday.  A lot of guys were doing pretty well in the river yesterday and I saw quite a few hens rolling.  Oh, by the way, she was released unharmed." (photo courtesy of Tony Cilluffo).

Jerry reports from the Cuyahoga River "Here is a pic of couple catch and release steelies caught on November 6.  The male was caught on a Little Cleo spoon and the hen was caught on a Rooster Tail spinner in the Cuyahoga River near Rt. 82 dam." (photo courtesy of Jerry M.).

Jake caught this colorful steelie in the West Branch of the Rock on a live minnow this week (photo courtesy of Jake Powers).

Nate landed this chinook salmon in the Rock this week on a 4 weight fly rod! (photo courtesy of Doug Deyo).

Tyler caught this scrappy steelie on the Rock Sunday morning (photo courtesy of Sisqo By).

Steve provides us with the following successful strategy "Came up from Columbus Monday morning and caught two fresh hens in two different spots by the marina. I've been using Rooster Tails in different patterns and colors on every fish I've caught this season. It's a ton of casting, but I can cover a bunch of water in a short period of time and then jump to the next spot if they're not hitting. You've gotta be willing to bounce around to different spots to be successful out here. Another great day on the Rock!" (photo courtesy of Steve Kuklica).

Dan "King of the Rock" McCutcheon with yet another fine Rocky River chromer.  Dan is a familiar face on the northern river and is quick to help out fellow anglers.  He's a great ambassadeur to our sport! (photo courtesy of Dan McCutcheon).

Jeff intercepted a run of quality Rocky River steel just after sun-up on Sunday morning.  He noted the fish favored chartreuese spawn sacks that day (photos courtesy of Jeff Abbott).

Emmanuel has been doing quite well on the northern Rock this week (photos courtesy of Emmanuel Roman).

Nate is still catching a mixed bag of steel and carp fly fishing the Rock this week (photos courtesy of Nate Adams).

Justin has been hooking into some fine steelies while also enjoying wildlife observation in the river valley.  A back/white/green hair jig drifted under a float has been a producer for him lately (photos courtesy of Justin Marconi).

The crew displays more quality largemouth bass and bluegills that were released in our public fishing waters this week.  The last photo depicts the last bit of evidence that a good size bullfrog existed prior to meeting up with this two pound bass!

A tranquil image of a fly fisher working his craft amongst the fall colors of the Rocky River valley (photo courtesy of Nate Adams).

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>


12/30/2013 1:56:15 PM by MYLAB
Salmon in lake Erie??? Yuck
11/18/2013 5:56:51 AM by fredrick
Can I keep a steelhead on a stringer, then let that trout go free for a bigger trout? Is this culling?

Thank You for great reports

11/8/2013 7:19:30 PM by Nate
That's my buddy John in the last photo

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