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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 - November 8, 2012

Posted: 11/8/2012
Posted By: Mike Durkalec

Did anybody notice that we got some rain last week while the fishing report was on brief hiatus?  Wow, that was one heck of a flood!  Our crews are still busy clearing the carnage in the river valley, and the marina lost a bunch of docks and boats that had to be salvaged on Lake Erie.  But, the good news is that the river is currently in great shape with a nice run of fresh steelhead.  The Chagrin River is also fishing well.  And the high water flushed many of those annoying fallen leaves from our favorite steelhead holes.  Based on the current dry weather forecast leading up to the weekend expect the river to continue to clear and drop.  Anglers can check the latest river flow and temperature trend at the following link: <river flow gage data> 

We are approaching prime time of the fall steelhead season!  There is a fresh run of steelhead trout in the Rocky and Chagrin rivers following the massive flooding last week and fishing has been good this week.  A highlight has been a number of the largest fish of the year making a showing.  Local angler Karl Ternay landed a 14 pound buck steelie on the Rocky River on his second drift of the morning this past Sunday (see photo below), and angler Todd Dyckes caught and released a 32” length by 20” girth buck (calculated out to about 15 pounds) in the Chagrin River on his spey rod earlier this week, his largest Ohio steelhead in many years of fishing here.

Earlier this week, bright nickel size eggs sacks and brightly colored egg pattern flies were the top producers.  As the water has continued to clear, anglers have also been hooking up well on marabou jigs tipped with maggots, minnows, and more subdued fly patterns.  Silvery spoons and spinners can be a good bet for fresh run fish, too.  As the water continues to clear into the weekend and fish see more pressure wise anglers will begin employing finesse techniques with smaller offerings on lighter 4-6 pound leaders, such as small jigs tipped with a few maggots, live minnows, small spinners, beads that simulate single salmon eggs, tiny egg sacks (index fingernail size), and beadhead nymph (size 14 is a good bet in clear water) and streamer fly patterns (Clouser minnows and Wooly Buggers are good).  Fish will become more concentrated in the deeper holes as the water continues to drop.

Wallace Lake was stocked with 600 pounds of catchable channel catfish in mid October.  These fish bite well on chicken liver and nightcrawlers fished near the lake bottom along shoreline drop-offs.  The Ohio & Erie Canal fishing area off East 49th Street was stocked with 1,000 pounds of rainbow trout in mid October, as well.  These fish, ranging from 1-3 pounds, were been biting well on rainbow color PowerBait, although most reports from anglers indicate the bite has tapered off there.  The canal was also stocked with 1,000 yearling channel catfish by ODNR recently.  Please heed clearly posted fishing regulations at these (and other) Cleveland Metroparks fishing locations.

The Lake Erie fishing report can be found at the following link: <ODNR Lake Erie fishing report>.   

Wishing Ken Stein Happy Trails.    One of the benefits of serving the fishing public has been the opportunity to get to know a lot of great people I might not otherwise have a chance to meet.  Ken Stein is one of those folks.  Ken is a dedicated family man, but also makes the time to get out on the northern Rocky River near his home on a regular basis and has been a regular contributor to the fishing report for several years now.  Ken’s enthusiasm for fishing our treasured local waters is always evident, whether it was the time he shared the photo of his 33” bruiser steelie, the story of the brown trout he caught by the marina while fishing with his daughters, his excitement over catching a quillback carpsucker in the river in spring, or the time he proudly coached his youngest daughter, Elizabeth, as she reeled in a 15” Rocky River smallmouth bass (you may remember the ear to ear grin on the young angler in a photo from a past fishing report).  Ken appreciates the sport of fishing and viewing nature to the fullest when he is out, but also enjoys the camaraderie with fellow anglers in the fishing community.

Ken clearly loves our local fishery and the Cleveland area, but duty calls elsewhere, and a too good to pass up career opportunity arose for him recently that will require a move to Stuttgart, Germany, with regular travel throughout the African continent.  As a scientist, author, and military serviceman (U.S. Navy Reserve Commander and Senior Medical Planner for the U.S. Marine Corp) Ken’s unique blend of talents will be missed here but will also be appreciated elsewhere. Ken makes the move next week, and I think I speak for us all in wishing him happy trails on his journey.  I have been assured that he will keep in touch and will still be following this blog.  Maybe Ken will even send us a report and photos of his fishing exploits in Germany (hint!).  I leave readers with an interesting article Ken penned about fishing in ancient Egypt he contributed to another local website:  <Fishing in Ancient Egypt>

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

Good Fishing,



Nine year old Brandon was off from school on Tuesday so his father and him made the most of the day by going fishing on the Rocky River...and were not disappointed!  Brandon, only in his second year of steelhead fishing, caught the first fish, and his father and him followed up with a handful more to cap a very nice day on the water.  They tried it all, spawn, jigs, etc...but minnows took all their fish (photos courtesy of John Burkhart).


Karl seems to have a talent for always sniffing out some big fish.  He caught this 14 pound bruiser buck on his second drift of the day on the Rocky this past Sunday.  Great fish, Karl! (photos courtesy of Karl Ternay).


Joe and friend caught some nice steelies and a bonus brown trout in local streams this week.  The saying goes that necessity is the mother of invention and I think that belt for a stringer is an example of that!  (photos courtesy of Joe Fowler).


"Wild Bill" caught the first documented chinook (king) salmon in the Rocky this year (top photo) and his buddy Lee caught a nice steelhead.  They were fishing "many miles upstream of the Lake" (photos courtesy of Mark Fascione).


Michael caught one nice steelie just before the flooding last week, and three yesterday morning.  He got them on his home tied white feather jig (photos courtesy of Michael Boc).


Chris caught and released this darker buck steelie on a white jig with a hint of light green tipped with maggots.  He was fishing the West Branch of the river (photo courtesy of Chris Darr).


The boys at Chagrin River Outfitters and their customers have been enjoying some great fly fishing on the Chagrin River this week, capped by some high quality fish (photos courtesy of Dan Pribanic).


This plump Rocky River chrome hen steelie was among six Rich hooked, landing four, on Sunday (photo courtesy of Rich Mihna).


The storms didn't stop Brian from getting out and catching some largemouth bass in a Cleveland Metroparks lake last week (photo courtesy of Brian Kich).


We were just hammered with rain last week, and the steelhead took notice (image courtesy of


Ken took his two daughters to view the flooded river when it was 13,000 cfs so they could fully appreciate and respect the power of water.  The river flow peaked at just over 15,000 cfs.  (photo courtesy of Ken Stein).


Tony sent in this photo of a flooded soccer field along the West Branch Rocky River in Medina where an annual tournament was scheduled to be held.  Water polo instead?  (photo courtesy of Tony Deluca).


And Brian captured these images of flooding at Wallace Lake and along the East Branch Rocky River (photos courtesy of Brian Kich).


During heavy flooding, the Cuyahoga River spills over into the canal at Ohio & Erie Canal Reservation, and the gizzard shad seem to enjoy becoming little surfers in the waves it spurs (photos courtesy of Brian Fyfe).


Before all the flooding, local angler Ralph Stock captured these amazing images of a buck in Lake Erie, and reports "I thought I would share these pictures I took on 10/25/2012 while perch fishing out of Cleveland by the lighthouse about 1000 yards offshore.  We limited on perch and while pulling the anchor, I saw this guy swimming towards us.  We immediately pulled north of him to try to convince him to swim back to shore and then a pontoon boat came and tried to help us as well.  We called the Coast Guard and an ODNR boat came to help him."  The deer eventually made it to land successfully at Wendy Park (photos courtesy of Ralph Stock).

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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