Water flow: Fair
Visibility: 10 inches
Water temperature at mid-day: 36 Degrees F
Water condition: Moderately Turbid
Best time of day to fish: Mid-Day
Best stretch: North Chagrin Reservation to the Lake
Best access point: North Chagrin Reservation
Fly fishing hatches in order of importance:
Fish species: Steelhead
Fishing season: Winter
Nearest airport: Cleveland Hopkins Int'l airport (CLE), Cleveland-Akron-Canton (CAK)
Recommended fly fishing leader: 9 Foot Leader
Recommended fly fishing tippet: 2X 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 Chagrin is a medium-sized river with moderate gradient, easily waded by fly fishers. It originates in Geauga County and ultimately winds its way north, entering Lake Erie at Eastlake, OH. It is one of only five Lake Erie tributaries in Ohio that receive annual stockings of steelhead from the ODNR, and provides anglers with exceptional steelhead fishing opportunities from October through April most years.
are, without question, the main attraction on the Chagrin. During the season steelhead can be found anywhere in the river from the dam in Gates Mills north to the lake. While the peak of the steelhead run in Ohio is typically March and April, fall and winter can offer great fishing as well, with some of the most aggressive fish of the year being taken during October and November. The river is mostly hard-rock shale bottom, with gravel runs and pools holding the highest concentrations of migrating steelhead. It is easily fished with a single-hand rod in the 9 to 10 foot, 7 or 8-weight class. Switch rod models are popular as well, giving anglers the versatility to execute two-handed spey casts along with traditional single-hand nymphing techniques.
In addition to steelhead, the Chagrin holds excellent populations of resident smallmouth bass and carp. These species provide great warm-water fly fishing and are the target species for fly fishers during the months of June, July, August and September. A 9 ft. 6-weight rod is ideal for pursuing the resident fish of the Chagrin, and excellent fishing can be had the entire length of the river, with some of the best fishing found upstream of the Gates Mills dam.
Though there are long stretches of private water, the Cleveland and Lake Metroparks provide excellent public access for anglers. An Ohio fishing license is required.
Fish the seams of riffles and runs, look for structure. Stop in to Orvis Westlake for tips!
We had a small window to get out and fish after the large amounts of rain last week. Recent rains have left rivers on the rise. Watch flows before planning your outing