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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 - April 11, 2013

Posted: 4/10/2013
Posted By: Mike Durkalec

The Rocky River is currently elevated and muddy, and based on the forecast will offer limited if any fishing opportunities into this weekend and beyond.  On a positive note, a number of Metroparks lakes and ponds are offering good opportunities for rainbow trout, largemouth bass and various sunfish species.  Anglers can check the latest river flow and temperature trends at the following link: <Rocky River flow gage data> 

The rain and warmer temperatures will draw in another fresh run of spring steelhead, which will be available to anglers when the river drops and clears.  Smaller streams will be the first to offer fishable conditions.  As the rivers begin to clear, but still carry a stain, most fish will be taken on nickel to quarter size brightly colored spawn sacks.  Fly fishers will score with larger brightly colored egg patterns and streamers in contrasting colors.  Expect the spawn to be in full swing in shallow fast riffle areas as the water level drops.  Given the relatively cold spring we've had so far steelhead should be around in reasonable numbers through the end of April, with some fish likely lingering around into early to mid May if we don't get any extreme hot temperatures.

Plenty of lake-run white suckers will still be available in the Rocky and Chagrin rivers when they drop into shape.  These fish are a lot of fun on light tackle, especially for children and less experienced anglers.  Suckers bite various offerings, including worms, smaller jigs and nymph pattern flies.  A few anglers also reported among the first lake-run smallmouth bass in area rivers.  There should be even more of these feisty bronze fighters when the rivers drop.  Smallies have a sweet tooth for tube jigs and streamer pattern flies (Woolly Bugger, sculpin and crayfish patterns are all good) in olive and brown colors.

For the fourth consecutive week the East Branch Rocky River was stocked (on Tuesday) with 600 pounds of trout between Route 82 (Royalton Road)  in Strongsville and the river ford (crossing) just south of Wallace Lake in Berea.  This fishery will offer limited opportunities into the weekend, though, due to high water conditions.  Additionally, ODNR stocked Hinckley and Shadow lakes with trout on Monday April 1.  Hinckley Lake will be muddy like the river following rain, though, as it is formed by the impounded East Branch Rocky River.  Small jigs and ice flies tipped with a few maggots or waxworms, PowerBait, small spinners, and salmon or trout egg sacks have all take their share of trout.

Largemouth bass and panfish angling is heating up in Metroparks lakes and ponds, as well.  Some anglers have reported a good largemouth bass bite at Wallace Lake this week using spinnerbaits, rubber skirted jigs and rubber worms, especially along the snaggy western shore of the lake.  Sunfish can be taken in just about any Metroparks waters by dangling a small worm or waxworm on a small hook below a pencil style bobber.

Thank you to the fishing community for your amazing support.  The support I've received from the local fishing community following my January car accident has been humbling to say the least.  Your kind letters, cards, emails and phone calls have meant a lot to me and are helping me heal.  A few folks/goups have even gone so far as having fundraisers to benefit my recovery, which I never would have expected but appreciate greatly.  Sportmen are among the best at banding together to help each other out in times of need, and this has been a great example of that.  I should be on my feet soon enough and be back to doing what I love and am passionate about: serving the fishing community! 

If you have a photo that you would like to contribute to the fishing report, send them to

Good Fishing,



Three year old Dexter had fun fishing Wallace Lake with his father over the weekend.  They caught rainbow trout and sunfish using small jigs tipped with maggots suspended under a small bobber (photos courtesy of Corey Butram). 

Under the watchful eye of her father, Chelsea took naturally to the fly rod to the dismay of the Rocky River sucker population! (photos courtesy of Patrick Campbell).

David has been catching lots of steelies from the Chagrin River lately, including the three trophy fish all measuring 31" displayed above (photos courtesy of David Diyanni).

Philip caught this Rocky River steelie on a spoon (photo courtesy of Philip Turske).

On Saturday afternoon buddies Vinnie (top), Bubba (bottom) and Chris (not pictured) sifted through lots of suckers to find some Rocky River steelhead (photos courtesy of Christopher Jenkins).

Pat caught four trout from his favorite Metroparks lake on Saturday, releasing one since the limit there is three (photo courtesy of Joe Wedlake).

Suckers can be a ton of fun on a light flyrod (photo courtesy of Jose Sanchez).

Registered fishing guide Owen Murphy of Ohio Steelhead Drifters has had many successful trips on the Rocky and Chagrin rivers this spring.  Many of the trips are done as floats on a river raft (photos courtesy of Owen Murphy).

Joyce has been equal opportunity this spring, catching both suckers and steelhead (photo courtesy of Joyce Smith).

Nate continues to hook into those Rocky River steelies this week.  The top photo depicts his buddy Lou's first steelie and the last photos depict a highlight for Nate: a steelie hooked on a dry fly!  Nate accomplished this rare feat for the first time using a brown Bomber pattern (photos courtesy of Nate Adams).

Can you identify this fish?  They run up the river from Lake Erie to spawn in spring.  The high dorsal fin is the giveaway, the fish being a quillback carpsucker (photos courtesy of Mark Fascione).

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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