Fishing Season: Spring

Vermilion River - OH

Fishing Outlook & Conditions

Water Temp:


Orvis Westlake's Tip of the Week

Spring smallmouth fishing is off to a great start with rain triggering runs of fish from the lake. Fishing when you have the time will be important in the coming weeks. On the water focus your efforts on the lower river to have your best opportunity at fresh fish and good numbers.

Directions open in app

Map of Vermilion River

Water Flow Data

Tidal Conditions

5-Day Outlook as of 5/9/22

Spring showers in the forecast will have water levels back up this week. Keep an eye on USGS gauge and weather reports.

Techniques & Tips as of 5/9/22

Sculpin, crayfish and baitfish patterns work best this time of year to attract smallmouth. Poppers will also draw fish but remember when fishing them to vary pause lengths and how long your strips are to make the popper seem as natural as possible and to give the fish time to locate it.

Local Species Available Spring

  • Fish Icon

    Smallmouth Bass

Orvis Westlake's Recommended Fly Patterns

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

Name: Colors: Size(s):
Bead Head Flash Zonker White 4,6,8
Krystal Bugger White, Purple, Chart 8,10, 12
Senyo's AI Intruder Rainbow Olive 2
Schultzy's S3 Sculpin Black, Olive 2
Clouser Minnow White/Olive, Gray/White 6
Lefty's Deceiver Blue/White, Olive/White. 8

Bead Head Flash Zonker

When fishing for bass, this pattern fills the need for an all-purpose big fish fly.

Orvis Westlake's Recommended Gear

Description: About Vermilion River

The Vermilion River our best Tributary in western Ohio, winds its way through urban areas, rural lanscapes, valleys, and gorges on the way to Lake Erie. The " V" gets excellent returns of Spring run Manistee Strain Steelhead starting in late November. Due to the management efforts of the Ohio Division of Wildlife the Vermilion River has become a solid spring steelhead fishery. The Vermilion River is also classified as one of Ohio's Wild and Scenic Rivers. This river fishes best with flows between 100-250 cfs.

Nearest Airport:

Cleveland Airport, Detriot Metro


Baitfish and sculpins are the primary food source for fish in the river. Stoneflies, eggs, and woolly buggers are a good bet as well.

Best Time to Fish:


Best Stretch:

Lower to middle river access points

Best Access:

Metro Parks