Brad Gardner caught quality steelhead on the Rocky River this week. (Brad Gardner, via Cleveland Metroparks)

Anglers have reported some good steelhead fishing success during fishable conditions this week. Steelhead are well dispersed throughout the river systems, with the freshest fish concentrated in the northern river reaches closer to Lake Erie, according to aquatic biologist Mike Durkalec.

In his weekly Cleveland Metroparks fish report, Durkalec shares the best way to catch winter steelhead:

Winter steelhead will bite a variety of offerings, including smaller dime size spawn bags, 1/32-1/64 oz marabou jigs under floats (black, pink, and white are top colors), beads that mimic salmon eggs, and flies (egg patterns and baitfish streamers).  In winter a wobbling crankbait worked slowly through a deep hole can also produce well at times. 

Steelhead numbers can be expected to peak into March-April, so the best fishing of the year is coming soon 

On Lake Erie, the harbors still have ice cover and are full of gizzard shad.  With a south wind, anglers have a shot at clear water and steelhead at the East 55th Street breakwall. Be very careful along the ice.