Fishing Season: Spring

Rocky River - OH

Fishing Outlook & Conditions

Water Temp:


Orvis Westlake's Tip of the Week

Fishing conditions have improved and look to be good early this week. Increasing water temps will make fish more aggressive.

Directions open in app

Map of Rocky River

Water Flow Data

Tidal Conditions

5-Day Outlook as of 3/22/23

Temps warming into the 50's in the week ahead. Chance of rain midweek and into the weekend. Water flows are declining as of 3/18. Expect this trend to continue until midweek, then check flows daily if we get rain that is forecasted. Water temperatures are currently in the low 40's.

Techniques & Tips as of 3/22/23

Fresh steelhead tend to key into pearlescent baitfish patterns, switching over to more neutral colors as they sit in the rivers. Stoneflies are good producers and I have yet to meet the steelhead who won't take a swipe at a well-presented egg pattern.

Local Species Available Spring

  • Fish Icon


Orvis Westlake's Recommended Fly Patterns

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

Name: Colors: Size(s):
Zonker White 4, 6, 8
Krystal Bugger White, Purple 4, 6, 8
Conehead Bunny Muddler Black, Olive, Brown 4, 6
Vitso's Psycho Spawn Charteruse, Pink 10,14
Pat's Rubber Leg Nymph Brown, Tan, Yellow 8,10
Steelhead Hammer Blue, Red, Balck 8
Senyo's AI Intruder Copper/Rainbow 2
Egg Fly Orange/Pink 8, 10, 12


Image Not Found

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:


Best Stretch:

Lower and middle access points

Best Access: