Fishing Season: Spring

Chagrin River - OH

Fishing Outlook & Conditions

Water Temp:


Orvis Westlake's Tip of the Week

Throw streamers at the deeper holes or structure like logs and big rocks for the lake run smallmouth.

Directions open in app

Map of Chagrin River

Water Flow Data

Tidal Conditions

5-Day Outlook as of 5/17/23

Great temps are being called for all weekend but with some rain in the forecast. River is low so any rain that comes will help.

Techniques & Tips as of 5/17/23

Running streamers will be the way to get the fresh smallmouth to bite anytime of the day. Poppers and sliders will work in the early morning before the sun is up.

Local Species Available Spring

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    Smallmouth / Carp

Orvis Westlake's Recommended Fly Patterns

"Must-have" fly fishing patterns in descending order of importance:

Name: Colors: Size(s):
Zonker White , Olive 6
Bead Head Flash Zonker White 6, 8
Hawkins Triple Double Rainbow 2
Tungsten Cone Head Woolly Bugger Black , Olive 6, 8 ,10
Sneaky Pete Popper Chartreuse, Black, White 8
Freshwater Clouser White/Chartreuse, Olive/White 2, 6


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Orvis Westlake's Recommended Gear

Description: About Chagrin River

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. Steelhead 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. The river fishes best between 150 and 350 CFS (look at the USGS chart to determine real time flows) 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.

Nearest Airport:

Cleveland Hopkins Int'l airport (CLE), Cleveland-Akron-Canton (CAK)

Best Time to Fish:

Early Morning / Late Afternoon

Best Stretch:

North Chagrin Reservation

Best Access:

Lower to middle access points