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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 - February 28, 2013

Posted: 2/28/2013
Posted By: Mike Durkalec

The Rocky River is experiencing elevated and muddy conditions.  Anglers planning a trip should keep an eye on the flow gage, with a reading below 600 cfs offering a chance of hooking a steelhead.  This could be possible late into the weekend, but be prepared to fish in stained water and cold winter conditions.  Ice conditions on lakes and ponds are not safe at the current time.  Anglers can check the latest river flow and temperature trends at the following link: <Rocky River flow gage data> 

Steelhead fishing was pretty stale this week, and the latest bump in flow will serve to freshen up anglers' prospects.  As the water clears enough to allow fishing, but is still stained, anglers should focus on using larger nickel to quarter size spawn sacks in bright colors, like hot pink and chartreuse.  Fly anglers can dead drift larger,densely tied egg patterns or swing large, weighted streamers in contrasting colors, such as black with a bright color mixed in.  As waters continue to clear, plan to downsize offerings and get out offerings such as minnows and jigs tipped with maggos or a waxworm.  In winter many steelies seek out slow, deep pools, although anglers should not discount faster water holding areas since the Little Manistee strain fish that Ohio uses come from hardy northern stock.  Some anglers have reported ripe hen steelhead dropping eggs this week, so expect some fish to hit the gravel to spawn during our next warm-up.  Steelhead are well distributed throughout the Rocky and Chagrin watersheds at this time.

Conditions are not safe for ice fishing on Metroparks lakes and ponds at this time.  Keep in mind that a minimum of 4" of solid ice is recommended by most state conservation agencies for foot traffic on ice.  In the meantime anglers can test their luck off fishing platforms and drop into deeper water along the shoreline from the safety of solid ground.  Anglers at lakes like Wallace, Ledge, Shadow and Judges reported catching a handful of rainbow trout this week.  Small jigs and ice flies tipped with a few maggots or waxworms were working for all of the aforementioned species, and jigging spoons (such as Forage Minnows and Swedish Pimples) were taking the larger predatory fish.  PowerBait and salmon or trout egg sacks have been catching their share of trout, as well.  Both winter stockings of trout in Metroparks waters have been completed..

Don't forget your new fishing license.  As a friendly reminder, 2012 Ohio fishing licenses expire today (2/28/13).  I don't want any of our local anglers to have an awkward experience when our Rangers or state Wildlife Officer checks them, so please make sure to renew your license if you haven't already done so.

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

Good Fishing,


Joe caught this handsome Rocky River buck steelie on his fly rod (photos courtesy of Joe Swinko).

Tom (top) and Chris (bottom) caught some fine steelhead in the Rock this week (photos courtesy of Tom Nock).

Joyce was seeking Rocky River steel and was awarded this plump white sucker as a consolation prize (photo courtesy of Joyce Smith).

This hen exhibits beautiful coloration with its pink hued cheeks and flanks (photo courtesy of Chris Darr).

Travis had another great week on the Rock despite the more challenging conditions (photos courtesy of Travis Males).

Ken cracked the steelhead code when fishing was tough on the Rock this week.  He downsized to neutral color offerings, and it clearly worked (photos courtesy of Ken Harper).

Paul came up empty handed on steelhead on a trip to the Rocky this week, but did find a neat deer antler shed.  Please be aware that antler sheds, like most other things, are not allowed to be removed from Cleveland Metroparks (photo courtesy of Paul Holzheimer).

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>


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