By Mark Kuipers
When my son, Jake, told me he was moving from Boston to Cleveland, I was not happy. No more striped bass, blue fish or false albacore fishing. But it turns out there is a bright silver lining...steelhead. Jake lives at the western edge of "Steelhead Alley" on the Chagrin River near Chagrin Falls. About the size and character of Rock Creek, it gets a large run of steelhead from Lake Erie starting in October and through April. Then in May and June, big smallmouth bass in the 5 and 6 pound class enter the river to spawn and spend a good deal of the summer.
When we visited last week, Jake and I hit the river, swinging Intruder type flies through excellent holding water. About an hour in, a bright steelhead grabbed my fly and five minutes later I landed the bright beauty in the photo. Suddenly, the Cleveland area was looking much better to me!
When we fished the river the flow was about 250 cfs. But that evening it rained and the gauge went straight up and by 7:00 am it was at 3200 cfs. That ended our fishing for the rest of our stay but I'm looking forward to getting back there and doing some serious fishing. And seeing the granddaughters is nice, too!