Cuyahoga River Steelhead Fishing Map

Cuyahoga River is a large, shale-bottom tributary to Lake Erie that receives a spring run of Little Manistee steelhead. The Cuyahoga is probably best known as the "river that caught fire" helping to spur the environmental movement in the late 1960's and ultimately to the passing of the Clean Water Act.

Water quality in the Cuyahoga has improved dramatically since the days when it used to burn (it actually caught fire 13 times). If fact, the Cuyahoga River was named as one of 14 American Heritage Rivers in 1998.

Cuyahoga River Steelhead Trout Fishing Map

map of fishing access points on the Cuyahoga River in Ohio

Get directions to fishing access points and real-time stream flow data with the DIY Fly Fishing Map

While the history of the Cuyahoga River is interesting, that's not why you are reading this article. You want to know where to catch steelhead that make an annual run up the Cuyahoga, right?

Fortunately for you, the Ohio DNR has published a map of designated steelhead fishing areas on the lower Cuyahoga River.  Public access points include the Rt. 82 Dam (Brecksville) and Gorge Park (Cleveland Metroparks).

When to Fish Cuyahoga River for Steelhead

The Cuyahoga River fishes best when stream flow is 250-350 cfs. The USGS Cuyahoga River stream gauge at Independence, OH provides real-time stream flow data and is a good indicator of river conditions. Bear in the mind the Cuyahoga River is large river and may take a week or more to clear and return to normal flows following a rain event.

USGS

Ideal Flow (cfs)

250-350

Average Run-off Time

1 week or more

Best Flies for Cuyahoga River

Effective flies for catching steelhead in the Cuyahoga River include basic egg, nymph and streamer patterns.  Don't obsess too much over your choice on fly but be prepared to rotate through a few different flies until you find one that works.

Need flies? 

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. 

Classic Steelhead Streamers

  • Purple Peril
  • Copper Top 
  • Comet
  • Jock Scott 
  • Bomber Black
  • Joe Gert
  • Blue Charm
  • Brite Pink
  • Egg Sucking Leech
  • Black Bear Green Butt  

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.

Deadly Egg Flies and Attractor Patterns

  • Antron Egg
  • Glo-Bug
  • Crystal Egg Fly
  • Dot Egg Fly
  • Crystal Meth
  • Milky Nuke Egg
  • Ultra Maggots
  • Egg Sucking Worms
  • Flash Candy Fly

Need Gear? 

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.

  • 8-wt, 9-ft, 4pc Fly Rod
  • Large Arbor Reel
  • WF Floating Line
  • Cordura Rod Tube
  • 25-yr guarantee

Visit our DIY Steelhead Alley Fishing Guide for maps and more information on other Lake Erie tributaries that steelhead like to visit.

About the author

Ken is an avid fisherman of 40+ years who loves to explore and find new places to fish. He created DIY Fly Fishing to help you do the same.

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