Fishing Season: Summer

Rocky River - OH

Fishing Outlook & Conditions

Water Temp:


Orvis Westlake's Tip of the Week

Steelhead looks to be about done here. Still plenty of great opportunity in our local tributaries. Smallmouth bass and carp are great late spring and summer opportunities.

Directions open in app

Map of Rocky River

Water Flow Data

Tidal Conditions

5-Day Outlook as of 5/9/21

Weather looks to be clearing up this week. Should drop back in to shape early this week.

Techniques & Tips as of 5/9/21

Stripping a streamer or fishing a large stonefly under an indicator is your best bet. Focus deeper, slower water and shale drop-offs.

Current Conditions as of 5/9/21

Weather looks to be clearing up this week. Should drop back in to shape early this week.

Local Species Available Summer

  • Fish Icon

    Smallmouth & Carp

Orvis Westlake's Recommended Fly Patterns

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

Name: Colors: Size(s):
Zonker White 6, 8
Krystal Bugger Black, Purple, Olive 10, 12
Conehead Bunny Muddler White, Black, Brown, 4, 6, 8
May's Full Motion Crayfish Rust 4, 8
Kauffman's Stone Brown, Black 8,10
Schultzy's S3 Sculpin Olive, Brown 2


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Orvis Westlake's Recommended Gear

Description: About Rocky River

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 150 and 350 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.

Nearest Airport:

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


Baitfish and sculpin patterns are the primary forage to imitate on this river. Stoneflies, woolly buggers, and egg patterns are great when nymphing.

Best Time to Fish:

Late Afternoon

Best Stretch:

Lower and middle access points

Best Access: