Water flow: high
Visibility: 4 inches
Water temperature at mid-day: 35 Degrees F
Water condition: Stained
Best time of day to fish: Early morning/ Late evening
Best stretch: Lower River
Best access point: http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/Portals/9/pdf/rocky.pdf
Fly fishing hatches in order of importance:
Fish species: Steelhead
Fishing season: Fall
Nearest airport: Cleveland Hopkins Int'l Airport (CLE), Cleveland-Akron-Canton (CAK)
Recommended fly fishing leader: 9 Foot Leader
Recommended fly fishing tippet: 3X Tippet
Best fly fishing rod: 10' 7 Weight Fly Rod
Best floating fly line: Salmon/Steelhead WF Fly Line
Best sinking fly line: Streamer Stripper Sink Tip Fly Line
The Rocky is a medium-sized tributary of Lake Erie similar in character to its Eastern neighbor, The Chagrin River. It receives excellent runs of Lake Erie steelhead from October through April in most years, and its close proximity to Cleveland’s Eastern and Western suburbs make it a very popular destination for fly anglers. In 2007 Field and Stream Magazine named the Rocky River one of the 150 best places ...
to fish in America.
The Cleveland Metroparks provide excellent public access along the Rocky and its branches, and several fords along the river force migrating steelhead to pause in their upstream movement, creating excellent fishing opportunities. Like the other shale-bottomed rivers in Northeast Ohio, the Rocky rises and falls dramatically after a precipitation event, so monitoring its flow in cubic feet per second is critical to being successful as an angler. Also like the other northeast rivers, it fishes best with a slight green stain, which usually corresponds to flows between 200 and 400 cubic feet per second.
During the summer months, the Rocky provides excellent warm-water fly fishing opportunities for smallmouth bass, carp, and panfish. A 9 ft. 5 or 6 weight rod is perfect for casting the flies needed to bring these fish to hand.
Swinging streamers can be productive when flows allow, but drifting nymphs and egg patterns under an indicator gives you the best chance of hooking into some fish. Rather than targeting spawning steelhead, look for the pre-spawn set or "drop-backs" huddled in pools below the gravel. These fish are much more willing to take flies and seem to have more fight in them. In addition, look for breaks in the current because steelhead tend to rest just behind these breaks.
There is rain and warmer weather in the forecast for the next couple of days which means the water levels will be a bit high. It looks like Thanksgiving might be the day to hit the water before dinner. Watch for falling levels, these high flows and cold temps might have been what was needed to bring the numbers of fish up the rivers.