Stephen Balogh was born and raised in Texas, he started fishing all species at a very young age. Instead of playing on the playground, you could find 4 year old Stephen with a rod in his hand tying his own knots and baiting his own hook. His passion for fly fishing took him to school in Arkansas where he spent more time on the water, fishing for trophy trout and smallmouth, than in class. After a few years guiding trout and smallmouth there, Stephen made a childhood dream come true and made the trek to guide in Unalakleet at Unalakleet River Lodge, Alaska. Finally making his way to Colorado, Stephen has been in Colorado for the past 5 years loving every second of both wade and float fishing….. mainly float’n.
Nowadays, you can find Stephen with Minturn Anglers out of the Vail Valley, along with Fisheads of The San Juan River Lodge in Navajo Dam, New Mexico and the San Juan Angler out of Durango, Colorado.
Stephen’s newest venture is helping out fellow guide and best friend, Jesse Colten, and good amigo Alex Beck, with a new purchase of an AMAZING lodge in Xcalak, Mexico. He is playing roles as Social Media Director (@theflatsflyfishing), Lodge Ambassador, and Host. The addiction to PERMIT fishing has taken over, and there’s no end in sight.
As a self-taught, now professional fisherman, Stephen sees fishing differently than most. It’s more than a hobby; to him, passion isn’t even deep enough to describe how he feels about the sport. There a few things that will get him out of bed before dawn and fly fishing is one of them. Guiding, most of the time, brings Stephen more joy than fishing for himself. There’s something to be said about teaching a kid, or any first-timer how to cast, land, and even hold a fish. Stephen’s move when a kid catches his first fish is to cut that fly off and stick it right on the kid’s hat. Nothing better than watching eyes glow knowing they will always remember that fish. When guiding the “old guys” that have been fishing for 40+ years, Stephen is always trying to learn from them but loves when he can teach a thing or two and surprise someone that’s been doing this way longer than himself. He has been asked when he is getting a “real job” and why he guides many, many times. His answers are always the same…. “I don’t know many people that wake up before dawn and say F*** ya… I get to go to work!” As for why he guides… “Nothing brings me more joy than watching the smiles of you guys, on my boat, due to bent rods and terrible jokes. That’s why I do it.”
When Stephen isn’t on the river (almost never, unless its iced), you can find him snowmobiling, snowboarding, and hanging with his Husky/Shepherd mix, Tycho!
Look for his lime green raft on the Eagle and Upper Colorado rivers and say hi!
Professional Fly Fishing Guide
– Minturn Anglers- Vail Valley, Co
– The San Juan Angler- Durango, Co
–Fisheads of The San Juan River Lodge- Navajo Dam, Nm
Social Media Director, Ambassador, Host
– The Flats at Tierra Maya- Xcalak, Quintana Roo, Mex