Chagrin River Steelhead
Copyright 2016 James Marsh
Fly Fishing The Chagrin River Ohio
The Chagrin River runs through areas of suburban
Cleveland. It flows through two Metropark reservations in
Cleveland before entering Lake Erie.  There are two
tributaries, the Aurora Branch and the East Branch.
Thousands of steelhead are stocked each year.

The Chagrin River is a State Scenic River. Although it
flows through suburban areas, its headwaters are
located in protected areas with heavy tree cover. It is a
beautiful river with lots of wildlife, in addition providing
nice runs of salmon and steelhead.  

The Chagrin River is very diverse with all types of water.
There's plenty of pool, run and riffle type water ideal for
steelhead. Most of the bottom consist of gravel and
coble but there's some clay substrate. In some areas,
sandstone and shale exit. It's spring fed in areas which
increases the pH level of the water and in turn provides
plenty of aquatic insects.

The fly fishing methods and strategies used for
steelhead fishing on the Chagrin River are the same as
those used on most other Lake Erie steelhead streams.
Just keep in mind that the distance upstream the
steelhead migrate, mostly has to do with stream levels
as well as the weather conditions. Different water levels
vary the exact location of the majority of the steelhead
and you must keep track of the current location. Local
anglers are a big help in this respect. You don't want to
waste a lot of time casting in water void of steelhead.

Thanks to two parks, access is plentiful. Fly fishing the
beautiful Chagrin River can be a wonderful experience.
This is a prime example of just how a stream can add a
wonderful contribution to the recreational opportunities
and beauty even when a stream is nearby a large meto

The steelhead season is from early Fall to late Spring..
Steelhead can be caught as late as the end of April
depending on the weather.
During the Summer, the water is too low and warm for
salmon or steelhead.
Salmon first enter the river and the steelhead follow.
Steelhead begin entering the Chagrin Riveras early as
middle of September. The fishing is good throughout the
All but the coldest days of Winter can be good for
steelhead. The extremely cold water of January and
February can make the fish sluggish but otherwise,
fishing remains good throughout the Winter.
Type of Stream

Brown Trout (Stocked)
Smallmouth Bass

Medium to large

Northeastern Ohio

Nearest Town

Early Fall to late Spring


Special Regulations
Yes, Make sure you check the
current regulations.

Non-Resident License
State of Ohio

National Weather Service Link

USGS Real Time Stream Data

Fly Fishing Gear, Tackle,
Steelhead and Salmon Flies
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Chagrin River Fishing Report - Archive:
11/21/13 Customer reporting more steelhead caught. Ordering more egg flies and our Giant
Black Stonefly steelhead nymph. Levels at 4.27 and 484cfs in good shape slightly above
USGS Data:

12/05/13 Local contact reporting the river is in excellent shape. Steelhead are distributed
throughout the river from the marinas upstream. Slush ice can be a problem in the early
12/27/13 The river has been high, off color and even blown out but it has dropped back
down into good shape the last day or two. It is flowing at 327 cfs at 4.01 feet which is the
normal level for this time. It also is clear. We don't have any fish reports of steelhead being
caught but we thing we will very soon.
Fishing Report Updated 10/17/16
(Bottom Of Page)
01/29/14 Ice in the lower river has been causing problems for anglers. Sorry to say that have
not received any good reports within the last several days.
03/21/14 Still no reports of any steelhead being caught and the water is still very cold.
Steelhead season is here and things should improve soon, so please check back.
Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (
with the dates you will be fishing this
stream and we will send you a list of our
fly suggestions. Please allow up to 24
hours for a response.

2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will help
you decide which flies you need.

3. Email us (
with a budget for flies and we will select
them to match the budget and get them to
you in time for your fly fishing trip.

All orders are shipped free in the
U. S. Orders over $50 are shipped via
Priority Mail.  
06/24/14 Sorry for the lack of reports but we lost our local contact who moved to a western
state. We have a new local that will be fishing each week. Right now anglers are focusing on
Smallmouth. We will resume the reports approximately October 1st.
10/18/14 Some steelhead have moved into the river. The recent rain has helped but more is
needed. One customer reported catching three on our
Veiled Beadhead Crystal egg flies.
11/10/14 Chargin River levels are back down and fishing should pick up. No reports from the
past week.
12/04/14 The flows are a little high but steelhead are being caught swinging flies. Watch the
Great Lake Steelhead flies
12/19/14 South and North Chargin have been producing the past several days. Nymphs and
swinging flies have produced.
01/21/15 Cold water and ice has slowed the fishing down to only those warm weather days
but they are few and far apart.
02/06/15 We only received a couple of good reports during the past month. Ice and cold
water has really slowed things down.
Chagrin River Fishing Report:
11/09/15 Stream levels are running a little high right now and that's good. More steelhead
have moved into the river. The
Veiled Beadhead Crystal egg flies.are producing good for our
customers. The Ginat Black stonefly steelhead nymph is also producing good. Swinging flies
is working as long as the water levels are up. .
Great Lake Steelhead flies
01/01/15 The river has finally dropped down into fishable levels. It has been high for the
past several days. Two good reports came in this past week. We recommend nymphing
versus swinging flies.
01/11/16 Our customers are reporting some good catches. The water is down to a good level
and swinging flies, and nymphing using an indicator is effective.
Perfect Fly steelhead
03/28/16 The stream levels are falling and a little below normal again. Steelhead are in the
river in good numbers and being caught in good numbers. Nymphs and small streamers are
working best with the lower, clearer water.
04/11/16 The river is currently blown out and will take a while to get back to normal.
05/16/16 The steelhead are finished but smallmouth bass fishing is red hot. Check out our
smallmouth flies.
07/18/16 Smallmouth bass fishing has been good for those using the Perfect fly crayfish
patterns. The dumbbell eye version is the best. It isn't long before it will be steelhead
season again. Be sure and check out of steelhead flies.
08/01/16 Stream levels are back up just above normal. Smallmouth bass fishing should be
very good at this time.
08/15/16 The stream levels are high right now, and that should help the overall condition
of the river prior to the steelhead and salmon season.
09/12/16 The weather will be getting a little cooler this coming week and that along with the
higher water levels will help get things started.
Perfect Fly steelhead patterns:
10/10/16 Last week's rain brought a lot of steelhead into the river but it is back down low
and clear. It is still possible to catch some, but more rain in needed for it to be good.
10/17/16 The stream is flowing at 61 cfs at 3.41 foot. There is some chance of rain and it is
badly needed.