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 - October 25, 2012

Posted: 10/25/2012
Posted By: Mike Durkalec

SPECIAL NOTE:  The fishing report will not be updated next week due to web maintenance activities.  This is the first fishing report update that will be missed in the 7 years this blog has been offered.  Sorry for the temporary inconvenience and the report will be updated again on November 8.

***Saturday October 27 morning update: Due to overnight rain the river is on a rapid rise and is currently much elevated in flow and muddy.  Anglers would be wise to keep an eye on the flow gage and look for a trend in which the river flow approaches and drops below approximately 300 cfs following a few days of dry weather before planning their next trip.  But when that does happen steelhead fishing prospects will be greatly improved versus the low water conditions we had been dealing with.***

Despite heavy rain in the northernmost part of the Rocky River earlier this week, the upper reaches of the watershed were remained mostly dry and the river remains low in level and clear.  These conditions, coupled with lots of fallen leaves in the water, have made for challenging fishing conditions.  Based on the current weather forecast, we are looking at a good chance of rain in the next few days, and weekend fishing conditions will be fully contingent on how that plays out.  Before planning a trip anglers would be wise to keep an eye on the flow and temperature trend at the following link: <river flow gage data>      

The river remains low and clear with a growing accumulation of falling leaving making for challenging fishing conditions, and this scenario will remain until we receive some significant rainfall throughout the watershed.  Still, persistent folks who offered finesse offerings on lighter 4-6 pound leaders, like 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) have still been hooking up with a few steelhead this week.  Anglers would also be well advised to move around the stream with minimal splashing and wear clothing that blends in relatively well with their surroundings given the conditions.  Fish have primarily been concentrated in the deeper holes in the clear water, especially around structure like a fallen tree or shale ledge.  If we recieve more rain into this weekend and the river muddies again, anglers should revert back to offering like nickel size brightly colored spawn sacks and larger contrasting color flies and jigs.  The fishing will only get better later this fall as we get into the prime time of the season.

Wallace Lake was stocked with 600 pounds of catchable channel catfish  in mid October week.  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.

Yellow perch fishing on the big lake north of Cleveland has been excellent again this week, with many limit catches of good size fish reported on emerald shiners fished near the lake bottom.  Boaters please take note that the water level near the marina has been low lately and angler with boats over 20’ have been hitting their trailer tires on the cement curb at the end of the underwater ramp.  Just but be aware the curb is there and that you should not back your trailer past it, although individuals with larger boats would be better served at the free public boat ramps at Edgewater State Park until water levels are back up to normal.  Details can be found in the ODNR Lake Erie fishing report available at the<ODNR Lake Erie fishing report>.   

Special "thank you” to volunteer Steve Nyetrae.    I would like to highlight one of our many appreciated volunteers at Cleveland Metroparks.  Steve Nyetrae has assisted us with park fishing derbies for years.  But following his recent retirement, he has really taken it to a new level.  Over the past month, he has exceeded 70 volunteer hours working with my crew and I.  He has yet to turn down a volunteer opportunity when I call to ask if he is interested.  Steve is a younger retiree and has as much energy and enthusiasm to work as any of our crew members, and is always quick with a smile, story, or joke to make working with him a pleasure.  Steve can be seen in photos below holding a catfish and large goldfish collected during lake assessments this week.  So from me, Cleveland Metroparks, and the fishing public, I want to give a big thank you to Steve and let him know how much we appreciate all his help.  And that goes for all the other valued volunteers who have assisted us with projects in the past, as well (others of which I plan to highlight in the future).

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,



Ken caught this thick bodied buck steelie during a quick visit to the Rocky River this morning before work.  Ken notes that despite the challenging low water conditions in the river there are still fish to be caught for those willing to adapt.  See the fishing report text for some tips on low water steelhead tactics (photo courtesy of Ken Harper).


Dan at <Chagrin River Outfitters> reports that anglers have been taking some nice steelies in the low water on the streams east of Cleveland, as well (photos courtesy of Dan Pribanic).


Wally and Albert caught some fine Wallace Lake channel catfish this week (photos courtesy of Mark Fascione).


Thuc caught this Rocky River beauty on a live minnow this week (photo courtesy of Thuc Nyguyen).


Don had a fantastic outing fishing for largemouth bass at Wallace Lake on a very cold morning this past Sunday.  He was persistent, changing offerings and spots on the lake several times until he found a group of bass schooled up.  He caught a total of 8, capped by the one in the photo which was his last of the day, all on Super Fluke Jr. rubber baits worked slow (photo courtesy of Don Burrie).


Kris fished the Rocky with a friend for the first time this season this past Sunday and caught two steelies near Rockcliff Springs access, including the one in the photo.  Kris adapted to the conditions using small minnows on a tiny hook and fluorocarbon leader and it paid off (photo courtesy of Kris Wikiel).


Brian has done well for largemouth bass at Wallace Lake the past two week despite a light bite, including the two pictured above (photos courtesy of Brian Kich).


Mickey, from Beachwood, was fishing the Rocky River by the marina on Saturday and first tried spawn sacks and jigs with no success.  He then switched over to a Sonic Rooster Tail spinner and *BAM*, he hooked the feisty steelie pictured, which he reports was "jumping all over the place".  Yet another story this week of persistence, being adaptive, and finding success in low water (photos courtesy of Mickey Venditti).


Even the smaller lakes in Cleveland Metroparks sometimes produce a trophy fish, such as this 1.25 pound bull bluegill that was sampled during a fishery assessment this week.


The challenging low water conditions this week had seasoned steelhead veterans/brothers Brion (pictured) and Dan McCutcheon pulling all kinds of tricks out of their bag, such as fishing after dark and using tiny spawn sacks (photos courtesy of Dan McCutcheon).


Chris and his buddy Kenny (top two photos, respectively) caught steelies on their first outing of the season recently.  Chris also shared a photo of a nice chinook salmon (bottom) that he caught on a recent trip to New York (photos courtesy of Chris Mighelbrink).


Volunteer Steve Nyetrae, highlighted in the report, displays a goldfish and channel catfish sampled during recent fish population surveys.


Every fall, my staff and I conduct scheduled surveys of fish populations in the lakes and ponds of Cleveland Metroparks.  We collect fish by boat electrofishing in timed runs along the shoreline, put all fish collected in aerated tanks, and then measure/weigh/release the fish.  This data is used to investigate such aspects of the fish community as general fish health (based on length to weight comparisons), fish age/size structure, and predator/prey ratios which, in turn, is used as the basis for adaptive management plans for these bodies of water.  All currently completed managment plans can be found at the following link, with three more coming this winter:  <Natural Resources Publications> .


John was driving home along the parkway following a fishing outing in the Rocky River this past weekend and came across this scene.  The pair of antler locked bucks in a dispute over, apparently, which one has the right-of-way on the centerline of the road!  I posted this on Cleveland Metroparks' Facebook page this week and it was the most popular post we've had to date.  No post had previously reached 1,000 "likes", but this one recieved over 1,300 "likes" and over 300 "shares" (as well as plenty of amusing suggested captions in the comments)...making it our most viral post to date.  So thank you, John, for sharing a photo of interest to so many people.  If any of you are not already friends of Cleveland Metroparks on Facebook please check us out (photo courteys of John Fay).

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