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

Rocky River Fishing Report - April 18, 2013

Posted: 4/17/2013
Posted By: Mike Durkalec

The Rocky River is currently offering very good fishing conditions with moderate flow and greenish stain.  Weekend conditions will be dependant upon how much rain we receive tomorrow.  A number of Cleveland 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 Rocky River is currently offering a mix of fresh (not yet spawned), spawning, dropback (already spawned) and skipper (smaller 15-20") steelhead.  Spawning is occuring in shallow riffles and tailouts over gravel.  Quite a few of the fresh fish are staging in deeper water downstream of pods of spawning fish.  Eagerly feeding dropbacks can be found just about anywhere, but most often frequent deeper pools and runs as they systematically migrate back to Lake Erie.  Fish are well distributed throughout the watershed.  This is the time of year where just about any technique has a chance of hooking fish, with fly fishers, float fishers and hardware chuckers all hooking their share.  Weekend fishing conditions will be fully dependant upon how much rain we recieve tomorrow, and if it ends up being minimal the fishing outlook will be very good.  The Chagrin River is experiencing a similar scenario.  Given the relatively cold spring we've had so far steelhead should be around in reasonable numbers through the end of April, with a few fish likely lingering around into early to mid May if we don't get any extreme hot temperatures

The run of smallmouth bass migrating into the Rocky River from Lake Erie is beginning to gain momentum, with a handful of anglers in the northern river reporting some bass mixed in with the steelhead.  These fish will hit live bait (minnows, crayfish, worms), 3-4" tube jigs (olive, brown and white are all good), and baitfish streamer or Woolly Bugger flies (same colors as noted for tube jigs).  This is a special time of year where anglers have a chance to catch a mix of bass and steelhead from some of the same holes.  Anglers are strongly encouraged to release these larger 2-4 pound bass so that they can spawn and perpetuate the population.  Lake run smallies will be around until early June most years.  Suckers are still present throughout the river, as well.
Although this was a week off in the spring trout stocking schedule, there are plenty of trout around for anglers.  The previous four weeks the East Branch Rocky River was stocked with trout between Route 82 (Royalton Road)  in Strongsville and the river ford (crossing) just south of Wallace Lake in Berea.  Additionally, ODNR stocked Hinckley and Shadow lakes with trout on Monday April 1.  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.  Trout stocking in the river will resume next week.

Largemouth bass and panfish angling is heating up in Cleveland Metroparks lakes and ponds, as well.  Some anglers have reported a good largemouth bass bite at Wallace Lake recently 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.

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

Good Fishing,


Congratulations to Buddy (top) on catching his first steelhead in the Rocky River this week.  Sisqo also perservered in muddy water conditions and hooked a number of steelies this week (photos courtesy of Sisqo By).

Congratulations to 12 year old Brady on catching his first steelhead on the fly rod in the Rock this week (photo courtesy of Jon Zuccola).

Joyce caugh this thick 10 pound buck in the Rocky yesterday.  Her rod got such a workout that she broke it while fighting a fish, as well!  (photo courtesy of Joyce Smith).

Chuck took this steelie during a brief window of opportunity in the Rock this week (photo courtesy of Chuck Mechling).

Andrew landed these nice steelies many miles upstream in the Rocky River this week (photos courtesy of Andrew Leonard).

Longtime local steelheader Mike Spanulo scored this bruiser buck from the upper Rock recently (photo sent via anonymous cell phone).

Veteran steelheader Ken Harper shows evidence that a few very fresh and healthy steelhead continue to migrate up the Rock from Lake Erie.  The fish he is holding measured 32" (photos courtesy of Ken Harper).

Chris caught this large hen in the Rocky River yesterday (photo cortesy of Chris Dietrich).

Registered fishing guide Patrick Campbell of Fisher of Men Outfitters has been catching steelies upstream in the Rock this week, along with some bonus smallmouth bass (photos courtesy of Patrick Campbell).

Registered fishing guide Owen Murphy of Ohio Steelhead Drifters reports abundant steelhead on the Rock this week (photo courtesy of Owen Murphy).

The Chagrin River is also providing some fine steelhead fishing.  Yuri (top) enticed this chromer to bite a Sucker Spawn pattern and Fabio (bottom) scored his fresh steelie on a swung Intruder pattern (photos courtesy of Fabio Malaspina and Yuri Zelenkov).

Jesse and Rick, respectively, caught these quality steelies in the Rock recently (photos courtesy of Jesse Sohl).

 Joe Wedlake caught and released this 18 inch rainbow trout at Ledge Lake on Monday (photo courtesy of Pat Thauvette).

Brion has been finding some chrome fresh steelies in the rivers this week (photos courtesy of Brion McCutcheon).

Nathaniel reports that he has caught many steelhead this week, including this chrome fresh beauty (photo courtesy of Nathaniel Watkins).

Justin has also found some quality fish this week despite the stained water conditions (photo courtesy of Justin Marconi)).

This little trout, most certainly wild since it is smaller than the ones ODNR stocks, turned up in the Rock this week (photo courtesy of Chris Thompson).

The four daughters of local angler Christopher Jenkins sent me a get well collage and brightened my day!  I love the drawing of me (Mr. D.) fishing with my recently deceased and beloved dog Kodiak.  Thank you Emma, Alli, Autumn and Avery for your artwork.

Inspired by all the support I've received, yesterday I took my first steps since my January 11 accident.

Tim was fishing on the Rocky River and captured some great images of a red-tailed hawk catching and eating a sucker meal (photo courtesy of Tim Schulz).

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>


Be the first to leave a comment.

Social media and blog policy