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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 21, 2012

Posted: 11/21/2012
Posted By: Mike Durkalec

The Rocky River fishing conditions are currently challenging with the water on the low side.  The water was becoming clear, but obtained a slight stain overnight due to muddy water entering from the East Branch (the reason for this is yet to be determined).  There is a chance of rain on Friday which could serve to improve weekend fishing conditions.  Anglers can check the latest river flow and temperature trend at the following link:  <river flow gage data> 

Most anglers were disappointed with tough fishing over the past week.  Following and early start to the steelhead season, it now appears that numbers of steelhead trout are currently below average in all our tributaries for this time of year, as mid to late November traditionally offers up lost of trout in our streams.  Given modest numbers of steelhead in the rivers, heavy angling pressure over the past week, challenging low water conditions, and a forecast for warm weather on Thanksgiving I would expect this tough fishing to continue through the weekend.

Despite the challenging conditions steelhead were caught over the past week and a small handful of adaptable anglers even reported good fishing in some areas.  For the most part the best fishing was reported in the deeper holes on the northern few miles of the Rocky and Chagrin rivers.  Live minnows were a top producer, and small 1/64 and 1/32 oz  jigs tipped with a few maggots or waxworms and salmon egg imitating beads also accounted for their share of fish.  Small to medium size Vibrax or Roostertail spinners and Little Cleo spoons have also been hooking a few fish, especially by the marina and northern river.  Fly fishers are using a mix of beadhead nymphs and eggs patterns (sizes 12-16) and baitfish imitation streamers.  Anglers having the most success are using lighter fluorocarbon leaders (4-6 pound) and smaller split shot and floats/indicators. 

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 various colors of PowerBait.  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.  Wallace and Hinckley lake anglers willing to slow down their presentations have reported decent largemouth bass fishing recently, as well.

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

Baldwin Creek Dam Removal Project.    The fish of Baldwin Creek, a tributary of the East Branch Rocky River in Berea, have a lot to be thankful for this season.  Over the past week, the remains of three non-functional dams were removed by a construction contractor on the stream in order to facilitate fish passage, improve water quality, and allow ecological recovery.  Among those fish are a state listed species, the threatened central bigmouth shiner.  The grant funded project was lead by Rocky River Watershed Coordinator Jared Bartley and partners include Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District, Cleveland Metroparks, City of Berea, and the Rocky River Watershed Council.  For a summary of the project, check out the following <article>. 

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,



Congratulations to Paul on catching his first steelhead ever in the Rocky River this past Friday (top photo).  And Pavel displays a trophy steelhead he caught in the river this week (photos courtesy of Pavel Zozulya).


Brian found success on the Rock last Thursday and Friday drifting jigs tipped maggots in the northern river.  He reports that his cat enjoyed his catch as much as he did (photos courtesy of Brian Pavick).


Jonathan caught this surprise chinook salmon in the Cuyahoga River on a Blue Fox spinner (photo courtesy of Jonathan Freni).


Jeff caught this trophy 33" steelhead in the Rocky River this week (photo courtesy of Jeff Abbott).


Sisqo (top photo) and his buddy Travis (other photos) were among those few folks who reported good fishing in the Rock this week.  Sisqo relays "I've been out in the northern part of the Rock lately and my buddy Travis has been having a field day!  20+ fish within 2-3 days of fishing! Below are some pictures from our trip and one photo Travis wanted to give thanks to Jason Dillinger at Pulse Jigs for hooking him up with his jigs he used to catch most of the fish!" (photos courtesy of Sisqo By).


Nate has been fishing a small creek with a light 2 weight fly rod for steelhead that seem outlandishly large for that setting (photos courtesy of Nate Adams).


Brian reported bass fishing success at Wallace Lake again this week, and included photos of a few of quite a bunch of fish he's taken there lately.  The trick, he says, is to work your lures very slowly (photos courtesy of Brian Kich).


Volunteer Jerry Roman (top photo) and Allen show off a few of the nearly 500 largemouth bass and large bluegill transferred from Cherokee Hills Golf Club ponds to Cleveland Metroparks public fishing waters over the past two Fridays.  The fish collected were valued at just over $3,000 if we had purchased them.


This past Saturday, volunteers from the Emerald Necklace Chapter of Trout Unlimited joined staff from Chagrin River Watershed Partners and Cleveland Metroparks to plant approximately 150 potted trees and 150 willow stakes as part of a stream restoration project at Sulphur Springs Creek in South Chagrin Reservation.  Among the volunteers was Robert "Scott" McClintock, one of our registered fishing guides who I had the pleasure of meeting for the first time, who captured the images above (photos courtesy of Robert McClintock).


And above are some photos I took of the volunteer stream restoration project.  The last photo is a young volunteer named Sabrina.  I was in a group with her and her father Corey when I solicited her input on where she thought we should place the next willow stake.  When it didn't work out due to too many rocks in the soil, she advised me "That's what you get for listening to a nine year old!".  I had a good laugh at that.  Thanks you to all our great volunteers on this project and others around the park past and present.

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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