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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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March 27, 2014

Posted: 3/27/2014
Posted By: Mike Durkalec

***Wednesday April 2 afternoon update:  500 pounds of trout were stocked in Wallace Lake this morning instead of the Rocky River because the river is still muddy and there is more rain in the forecast.  Trout are biting well at Wallace, Shadow and Hinckley lakes.  Lake-run white suckers are in thick at Morley Ford on the Rocky and are biting well despite the stained water.  A USGS crew was out today recalibrating the Rocky flow gage.***

***Tuesday April 1 morning update:  The Rocky River is elevated and muddy, and with more rain in the forecast it will likely not be fishable for at least a few days.  Check the flow gage link for the latest trend in flow.  The Ohio Division of Wildlife is scheduled to stock trout at Hinckley and Shadow lakes this morning.***

***Friday March 28 afternoon update:  Given the amended forecast of more rain and snow, weekend river conditions have become less predictable.  Check the flow gage before heading to the river, with a decreasing flow below 400 cfs offering decent fishing conditions.***

***Friday March 28 morning update:  The Rocky River spiked in flow following overnight rain, but is still fishable and is expected to begin receding soon.  The river will likely offer very good fishing conditions over the weekend if this trend continues as evidenced by the flow gage information.***

Highlight species targeted by anglers around Cleveland Metroparks in early spring include steelhead, stocked rainbow trout, largemouth bass and panfish. The Rocky and Chagrin rivers are clearing with a nice green stain in the deeper holes, but conditions for the weekend will be dependant upon how much rain we recieved over the next two days. Ice is melting on our lakes and ponds, with a fishable amount of open water already available on the north and south ends of Wallace Lake. Anglers can check the most recent river water level and temperature at the following links: <Rocky River flow gage data> <Chagrin River flow gage data>

The Rocky and Chagrin rivers are currently clearing with a nice green stain in the deeper areas, but that could change before the weekend depending on how much rain we recieve over the next day or so. As the water has cleared this week, steelhead fishing improved and offerings like white tube jigs drifted under floats and streamer pattern flies began producing as well, or even better than, spawn sacks. Although steelhead numbers in the rivers are decent at this time, the next warmer rain we recieve is expected to draw in many more fish. Overall, it seems the harsh and lingering winter has delayed the spring steelhead run a bit. Relatively few larger fresh (chrome) steelies have been caught this week, with the bulk of the catch being adult steelhead (24-30") with some darker coloration and skippers (15-20" smaller steelies). The spring run will only continue to improve in the coming weeks.

The white sucker run is gaining steam in the northern Rocky, with areas downstream of Rockcliff Springs access and Morley Ford being traditional sucker hot spots. A leadhead jig with twister tail, nymph flies or worm and small sinker fished near the river bottom will all take their share of suckers. For some anglers, harvesting suckers for use in making fish patties is a spring tradition. Recipes can be found online if you want to give this a try.

The Lake Erie shoreline is still mostly locked in with ice, but as it melts anglers can find crappies, largemouth bass, steelhead and northern pike prowling nearshore areas for baitfish. Steelhead are more nomadic while the remaining species tend to be more structure oriented. A small watercraft will increase an angler's opportunities in this area. Edgewater boat ramps are still closed for hurricane related repairs, but are expected to re-open later this spring.

The second spring stocking of trout in the East Branch Rocky River was conducted yesterday morning. So far a total of 1,200 pounds of rainbow trout were stocked between Royalton Road (Rt. 82) and the ford crossing just south of Wallace Lake, with the spot on the upstream side of Bonnie Park dam receiving the heaviest load of fish. Trout were already biting for anglers by yesterday afternoon, with quite a few fish taken on PowerBait, in particular. Trout will be stocked roughly weekly until the beginning of May, and updates will be posted to the fishing report, so check back regularly for the latest info. Furthermore, ODNR Division of Wildlife plans to stock trout at Hinckley and Shadow lakes on April 1.

A growing margin of open water is available at the north and south ends of Wallace Lake and anglers are catching some trout on jigging spoons, PowerBait and small jigs tipped with a few maggots or a waxworm. As the ice continues to melt on the lakes anglers can look forward to a few weeks of a hot trout bite at Wallace, Ledge, Judge's, Shadow and Ranger lakes.

If you have a photo or information that you would like to contribute to the fishing report, or if you have any further questions regarding fishing in Cleveland Metroparks, you may contact Aquatic Biologist Mike Durkalec at (440) 331-8017 or

Tight Lines,



Adam had a great day on Saturday fishing the East Branch Rocky River for stocked trout with his father.  They landed eleven trout (releasing most of them), including the chunky rainbow in the photo.  As a reminder, the trout limit in the river this time of year is 2 per angler daily (photo courtesy of Mike Flachbart).

Daniel displays a stocked trout caught at Bonnie Park on the East Branch Rocky River on Wednesday.  He was fishing with his mother and both of them caught their two trout limits.  PowerBait has been producing lots of trout this week (photo courtesy of Bill Keaton).

Charlie displays a fresh skipper steelie from the marina area from this week (photo courtesy of Charlie Seibolt).

Now that wrestling season is over, 14 year old Jake and his dad are back to steelhead fishing.  This skipper came from Rockcliff Springs on the Rocky yesterday (photo courtesy of Jake Mantle).

Ron Schwarzer caught his first steelhead on his first trip trying for them in grand style this week, landing this 30" bruiser buck from the Rock on a white tube jig (photo courtesy of Lance Masarik).

Joe caught this Rocky River beauty swinging a black and blue Intruder fly pattern in the Rock on Saturday afternoon.  He reports that the fish fought great, ripping out about 40 yards of line 2 or 3 times before coming to hand (photo courtesy of Joe Varcelli).

After a few trips where the steelhead proved elusive, Tuesday was finally the day for Mark on the Chagrin River.  He landed two steelies, including this hefty buck, on stonefly nymph patterns (photo courtesy of Mark Deal).

Scott Pennington had a great day on the Rock yesterday, landing 7 of 9 steelies hooked in the vicinity of Morley Ford (photo courtesy of Ranger Will Collins).

Bob has been on the Rocky three times in the past week and a half and has landed steelies on all of those trips.  He noted pressure by the marina was light when he was out this week.  He is working on getting his daughter Rachel into her first steelhead of the year (photo courtesy of Bob Brunner).

Dane had a great time catching white suckers on the Rock Saturday and Sunday, landing almost 2 dozen of them on leadhead jigs and twister tails.  He also sent a link to a <video> of his sucker catchin' exploits (photos and video courtesy of Dane Seikel).

Corey didn't catch a steelie over the weekend, but had fun trying with his dad.  It's great to see so many kids getting out on the water this week! (photo courtesy of Craig Delewski).

Corey hit the open water at the north end of Wallace Lake on Saturday afternoon and was pleasantly surprised to catch his first two golden rainbow trout on PowerBait (photo courtesy of Corey Butram).

Yuriy is having a good week on the Rock, with this fish from Tuesday being among several he has landed (photo courtesy of Yuriy Chen).

Dan "King of the Rock" McCutcheon is out of hibernation and back at it, landing these fresh steelies on the northern river on white tube jigs this week (photos courtesy of Dan McCutcheon).

Frank caught his limit of steelies at Lagoon Dam on the East Branch Rocky River this week.  He hooked one immediately on his first cast and thought he was snagged for a moment! (photo courtesy of Bill Keaton).

Nate had a "heart to heart" talk with the steelie in the top photo (his words), and landed the beautifully colored buck steelie in the bottom image in the Rock this week (photos courtesy of Nate Adams).

Chris landed his first steelie of the year on the Rock on a swung purple and orange "ESL" (egg sucking leach pattern).  Check out the nice <blog> he maintains (photo courtesy of Chris Thompson).

Andrew reports from the Cuyahoga River "I caught these two steelhead out of a run off of the Cuyahoga River last Tuesday when the river was elevated! I was fishing for pike but had no luck so I switched to a yellow RoosterTail tipped with maggots and moved to the rapids and first cast I hooked up! Then 3 minutes after I released the longer one I caught the second one! I had a third ten minutes later but he got off." (photos and report courtesy of Andrew),

Over the past two Wednesdays, we have stocked 1,200 pounds of rainbow trout in the East Branch Rocky River, with more on the way next week.  See the report text for details and check back in on the report between scheduled Thursday updates for interim stocking updates.

A pretty Rocky River brown trout from this week.

Our crews have been working hard to remove the ice slabs piled up at the boat ramps this week.  The image above depicts the result.

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>


4/2/2014 5:58:08 PM by Andrew
Ahh ok Mike, people must of fished it out or something.
4/2/2014 10:20:06 AM by Bob
Best area for pike? Anyone know where a good spot is with high odds of hooking into one?
4/2/2014 7:54:44 AM by Mike Durkalec
Andrew, we conducted a fish population survey at the larger Acacia pond 9/7/13 and collected 97 largemouth bass in 49 minutes electrofishing. After data is processed into a Management Plan (likely fall 2014), the lake will be stocked at some point.
4/1/2014 6:50:45 PM by Andrew
How come there are no fish in acacia reservation right now? I went there today with a bunch of worms and not even a bite, is acacia stocked regularly?
3/27/2014 11:34:31 PM by Queen Of The Rock
White tube jigs and spade tail worms are working best. Keep reports coming! Queen?

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