Bighead river is a relatively small stream in Southern Ontario raising in the Niagara escarpment and flowing through mostly forested areas until it dumps its waters into Nottawasaga Bay at Meaford, ON. This freestone river is inhabited by brook and brown trout in its upper reaches. The lower section around Meaford is renowned for its incredible salmon and steelhead fishery.
Timing here is more important than with any other stream. In fall the water can be extremely low, which will prevent the migration of salmon and steelhead upstream. When the rains start, Bighead river comes up almost instantly, bringing good runs of fresh fish. If you happen to be there on one of these rainy days, you can expect multiple hook-ups. Since trout move through in a steady stream, an angler can simply fish one hole and never stop catching new bright fish all through the day!
Bighead is most suitable for float fishing, but fly fishing with a single hand #7/8 rod or spincasting small lures are possible in some places. Many good holding spots are small pockets behind a rocks where the use of lures and flies will be difficult. Wading and crossing this river is easy in low to medium water levels.
As with many streams of Southern Ontario reaching the water in some sections is problematic due to restrictions by property owners.
I fished this river a few times and I have seen it in a state full of fish as well as in low water when no fish could be detected. During one of my days on the Bighead I hooked a total of 7 steelhead in a streatch no longer than 1km over a period of 3 hours or less. There were a number of other anglers who were equally successful.
The best time to fish the Bighead is during the week when fishing presure can be light. Some of the most accessible and well known spots like Legion hole below Bakeshop bridge are always occupied by anglers when the fish are in.