Increase Text Size Decrease Text Size

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.

Drop Us A Line - Email Us Your Fishing Photos

October 24, 2013

Posted: 10/24/2013
Posted By: Mike Durkalec

Highlight species targeted by anglers around Cleveland Metroparks in fall include steelhead trout and yellow perch, with some anglers also pursuing largemouth bass, stocked rainbow trout and panfish.  The Rocky River is currently exhibiting very good fiashing conditions while the Chagrin River is exhibiting elevated and muddy conditions due to overnight rain/sleet.  Weekend prospects for all streams will be dependant upon how much precipitation the region recieves today.  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 has been more challenging this week despite near ideal stream conditions and temperature.  It appears the last rise in flow only enticed a modest number of fresh steelhead into the rivers, which is not uncommon this time of year as the lake continues to cool.  Fish appear to be spread out and as the water levels recede further fish will become more concentrated and, typically, easier to find.  Anglers this week have reported various degrees of luck using spoons (a 2/5 oz Little Cleo spoon in silver/blue is a good choice), spinners (silver/white Roostertail and Vibrax), and 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 2-3' under a small float.  Dime size spawn sacks in pink and chartreuse are always worth a try, as well.  Fly fishers typically score well using egg pattern flies, streamers (Woolly Bugger and Clouser minnow patterns) and size 14-12 nymph patterns as the waters clear.  Fish are becoming better dispersed throughout the watershed, with fish this week reported intermittently from the marina all the way up into both branches of the river.  The Chagrin River up to North Chagrin Reservation, Euclid Creek at Euclid Reservation (Wildwood) and Lakefront Reservation at East 72nd Street and Edgewater have also produced some fish recently.  Expect the steelhead run to really begin gaining steam into mid and late November.

Largemouth bass and sunfish have been biting fair to good in Metroparks lakes and ponds this week.  Natural populations of fish in these waters have been supplemented with stockings of 2,220 catchable size bass and sunfish, many of trophy size, since mid-September.  Stocking activities are expected to continue throughout November depending on weather.  Wallace, Hinckley, Ledge, Ranger and Judges lakes, as well as Oxbow Lagoon, have all produced bass on rubber baits and shad crankbaits recently.  A reliable source reported the catch and release of a 20 inch, 5 pound, largemouth bass at Wallace Lake on a rubber bait last week.  Some big stocked bluegill have been caught on worms, maggots and small lures at the Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area and Wallace Lake, as well. 

The Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area was stocked earlier 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 area to the left after you cross the footbridge has been producing the most action.  The first round of winter trout stockings in Cleveland Metroparks lakes and ponds is scheduled for mid-December.

Lake Erie has been kicked up and not conducive to boating much of the past week.  As conditions permitted anglers out of Lakefront Reservation, Euclid Reservation and the Emerald Necklace marina on the Rocky River were making some impressive catches of larger yellow perch.  Although some searching has typically been involved to find the schools of perch, a few productive spots have been 39-41 FOW off the Stadium, 51-53 FOW off the Crib/East 72nd Street and 43 and 51-53 FOW off Wildwood.  The very first reports of night bite walleye along the Cleveland shoreline are beginning to trickle in, and is expected to really kick into gear into November

Taking a good fish photo.  Over the years I have seen a lot of fish photos, and many of the best share some common traits.  First, when possible it is always best to have the smiling angler in the photo holding the fish rather than the fish laying on the ground.  The fish should be a focus of the image, so holding it out a bit and minimizing covering the fish with the angler's hands will highlight your catch.  If the fish is muddy from landing it, rinse it off before the photo.  Please never not hold a fish by the gill cover unless you plan to keep it.  Positioning the photographer with the sun to his or her back will minimize shadows and highlight detail in the image.  A good photo will portray the river or lake in the background instead of a muddy bank or uniform woods, so plan the photo accordingly.  On a final note, anglers fishing alone can still get a good photo thanks to the auto function available on digital cameras, as well as pocket size collapsible tripods that run $10 or less.  But make sure to practice taking auto function photos a few times before you land that trophy! 

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 Cleveland Metroparks, you may contact Aquatic Biologist Mike Durkalec at (440) 331-8017 or .

Good Fishing,


Emmanuel and a friend scored a few steelies in the northern Rock on jigs and black woolly bugger flies (photos courtesy of Emmanuel Roman).

Dexter caught this quality bluegill while fishing at Wallace Lake with his father (photo courtesy of Corey Butram).

Andrey caught this gorgeous chrome hen in the Rock this morning on a black jig with pink head, and lost a second fish on a white tube jig (photo courtesy of Andrey Gutsulyak).

Rick reports that he hooked two steelhead, landing both, on his first trip of the season on the Rocky.  One fish bit a tube jig and the other a small marabou jig tipped with several maggots (photo courtesy of Rick Bower).

Ranger Lt. Mark Hayner was checking anglers at East 55th Street access at Lakefront Reservation this week and met an angler that had caught a 33" northern pike on a jig tipped with maggots (photo courtesy of Ranger Lt. Hayner).

Steve learned a lesson on the stream this week that may help other anglers, as well:  "
Came up from Columbus Monday morning and landed three out of four, all fish chased and slammed the same Rooster Tail spinner (green and yellow). All caught in skinny water downstream of Rockcliff Spring. I never see people fish this spot due to the shallow water. All other normal float tactics seemed to fail all morning, so I changed it up and fished the not so popular spot and it paid off with some nice chrome. It's changed my normal routine of thinking the fish are in the same spots we all tend to fish!"  (photo and report courtesy of Steve Kuklica).

Steve caught this walleye off Bay Village in “20 foot of water at about 11:30pm trolling a deep diving Rapala Husky Jerk.  Only bite he had all night.  I measured the fish yesterday morning and it was 30.25" and had a large girth (full of eggs) and estimated at least 11 lbs and maybe closer to 12.” (photo and report courtesy of Bill Marquard).

Sisqo notes that the fishing has been more challenging this week, but he did hook four on the upper (southern) Main Branch of the Rock combined on Friday and Monday on pink and green egg sacks. He fished behind the golf courses with a friend yesterday and neither of them hooked any steelhead there (photos courtesy of Sisqo By).

Last Friday Brian stopped by Wallace Lake after work and hooked several smaller largemouth bass and a huge bluegill on a crankbait.  He also reports losing a very large fish that evening.  Brian noted that the moon was bright and the action halted as soon as clouds moved in.  You can fish any of Cleveland Metroparks inland lakes, ponds and streams until 11pm (photos courtesy of Brian Kich).

Volunteer Steve Nyetrae displays a few quality sportfish stocked this week.

On Monday afternoon we hosted a fish collection outing with 20 Baldwin Wallace University biology students on the Rocky River by the Nature Center.  The flow was fairly strong and we only found one steelhead downstream of the ford, but found a half dozen nice steelies resting on the upstream side of the ford.

Note: The fishing report is updated monthly in June, July, and August and weekly every other month

2016 Cleveland Metroparks Registered Fishing Guides (name, company, contact)

16-001 Patrick Campbell, Fisher of Men Outfitters, LTD,

16-002 Monte Casey, The Steelhead Guide,

16-003 Don Mathews, Steelhead School,

16-004 Jeffery Liskay, Silver Fury Guide Service & Schools,, (440) 781-7536

16-005 Patrick Robinson, Steelhead Alley Outfitters,

16-006 Gareth Thomas, Steelhead Alley Outfitters,, (216) 235-5056

16-007 Nathan Miller, Steelhead Alley Outfitters,, (440) 796-6105

16-008 Jim Lampros,,, (216) 513-6011

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>


11/18/2013 5:51:13 AM by ioioguaj
Thank you,

I can give details on this site that are frowned upon by other sites.

Great Report,

11/14/2013 4:29:38 AM by Patty
The reports are really great!
FOM has had great quality of fishing from these reports.

Thank You Metroparks!
10/26/2013 1:59:10 PM by The Steelhead Whisperer
Hardly any steelhead in the rocky river.
Just because the river blows out doesn't mean
steelhead are coming up in it. There has to be
a good number of staging fish at the mouth and willing
and ready to come up. If they are not there when it blows
there will be a minimal run. Like the past 3 blow outs.
Start re-stocking the fall running strains and it will
not be like this.
10/25/2013 4:09:42 AM by Sally
Thank you for providing the information on locations of fish being caught and the offerings used. Such information is frowned upon by many forums but it really helps people get onto fish. After all, it's just fishing and the fun is getting fish!

Keep up the great reports.

Social media and blog policy