Fly Fishing The Bighead River

Information on the Bighead river in southern Ontario. This river is probably best known for its run of steelhead rainbow trout in the fall and spring. It is also host to an excellent cold water fishery in its upper reaches.

The Bighead River is a river in southern Ontario which flows from the Niagara Escarpment near Chatsworth, Ontario and empties into Nottawasaga Bay, an inletof Georgian Bay, at Meaford, Ontario. There are several hiking trails along the river including ‘Trout Hollow Trail’ and sections of the Bruce Trail.

It is a small river. Really only the locals and seasoned veterans know the upper reaches due to its thrashingly thick bush and untouched banks. Private property conceals most of the river. Once permission is granted, access is golden as trout in the upper reaches are plentiful and fat.  The lower reaches are well travelled by many fisherman in search of a wild silver trophy during the fall and spring.

Being a typical free stone river, the Bighead is rather small in size compared to its neighbours. It has a relatively steep gradient until about a kilometer from the mouth. Many excellent runs offer great drifts for several

kilometers along the river and the Rainbows, Browns and Salmon are plentiful when the run is on.


Communities on the Bighead River include:

  • Bognor
  • Massie
  • Meaford

This river is quick to rise during a rain, but it is also quick to fall back to fishable conditions, leaving itself a  beautiful green tinge that I like to see as very fishable conditions. Smallmouth Bass also inhabit the river, and a resident population of Browns and Brookies can be found in its upper reaches and tributaries.Many of the  upper sections of this river are located on private property, so access is limited. The Bruce trail winds its way along a section or two of the river, so familiarizing yourself with the trails available will allow you to find a  couple of easily accesible areas.

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