Continuing our mini-series on Steelhead Alley, we take a look at the Chagrin River. Located in Northeast Ohio, the Chagrin River is one of five major Lake Erie tributaries stocked by the Ohio DNR with Little Manistee strain Steelhead and is a fly fisherman's delight.
If you are planning a trip to the Chagrin River but are not sure where to go, a good place to start is the Ohio DNR Chagrin River Steelhead Trout Fishing Map which shows public access points.
Chagrin River Steelhead Trout Fishing Map
To make life a little easier we have put together interactive Google map showing the Ohio DNR designated steelhead trout fishing areas, including Eastlake Seawall, Borac's Landing Boat Ramp, Mitchell Field, Chagrin River Park, Gilson Park, Todd Field, Daniels Park and North Chagrin Reservation.
Where to Fly-Fish Chagrin River
There is excellent public access to the Chagrin River through a network of parks along the river. One area that is favored by fly fisherman is the Cleveland Metroparks' North Chagrin Reservation, a 2,140-acre park beginning just upstream of Chagron Road extending to Mayfield Road. This 7-mile stretch is characterized by crystal clear riffles, pools and gravel runs, and is easy to wade making it a good place for fly fishing for Chagrin River steelhead.
Chagrin River Outfitters provides a glimpse of what you can expect to find when you get there.
Chagrin River Flow Chart
Of course before you head out to the river you'll want to check the river conditions. The USGS Chagrin River flow gauge in Willoughby, OH provides real-time stream flow data and provides a good indication of river conditions. The chart below shows the stream flow (in cfs) for the past seven days.
The Chagrin River fishes best when the stream flow is between 150-350 cfs and has an average run-off time of 3-4 days. The average run-off time is how long the river typical takes to get back to normal flow level following a rain event.
Ideal Flow (cfs)
Average Run-off Time
Best Flies for Chagrin River
Effective flies for catching steelhead in Chagrin River include basic egg, nymph and streamer patterns. The fish are not too selective, so your go to patterns will work just fine.
If you like to swing flies, RiverBum offers a great selection of classic steelhead flies that will catch fish anywhere. Set includes 30 high quality, hand-tied flies (see list below) and durable fly box.
If you prefer to dead drift flies, BASSDASH offers a great selection of some of the most effective egg flies and attractor patterns. Set includes 57 flies (see list below) and high-grade double-sided fly box.
Heading out to do some steelhead or salmon fishing and need an affordable fly rod, reel and line to get started?
Look no further than the Orvis Encounter Fly Rod Outfit. An 8 Wt. setup that is perfect as a first big-game outfit or backup travel rod.