Welcome to Santa Fe’s premier Fly Shop and Guide Service! We specialize in guiding public and private waters throughout northern New Mexico. Our full service fly shop is conveniently located inside the De Vargas Mall and stocks everything you need to make your next fishing trip a success.

Our staff of patient and professional instructors can help you maximize your time on the water, all the while improving your Fly Fishing skills. We guide full and half day trips on the Pecos, Chama, Rio Grande, Brazos, Jemez and more!

In March of 2014 The Reel Life was purchased d by Nick Streit and Ivan Valdez and the store was moved to its current location inside the De Vargas Mall at 526 North Guadalupe. Both native New Mexican's, Nick and Ivan have extensive expireince fly fishing and guiding in the Santa Fe area.

Nick also owns the Taos Fly Shop and has built a reputation as one of New Mexico's top guides. When he was 17 he was on the Junior US Fly Fishing team that placed 2nd in Europe. Nick has guided and fished all over the world, cutting his teeth on rivers from Alaska to Argentina, not to mention the salt flats of the Caribbean.

Fishing Reports



Hi Reel Lifers,

This year is wrapping up beautifully on the water. With the shorter days and colder temps we are all heading out later and heading home earlier. Most of our smaller streams are starting to freeze so you'll need to find some sunny spots in the afternoons if you are dead set on fishing the Pecos or Jemez. As for the bigger rivers, the Rio Grande is unseasonably high but still fishing really well in the afternoons. Keep your eyes peeled on the flows or give the shop a call if you plan to fish the Rio Grande for some more up to date info. The Chama has held up below El Vado and is at a pretty stable flow. This has also kept the fishing up to the usual standards. We've seen the flows below Abiquiu spike once again causing a bit more difficult conditions for wading but the fishing has also stayed steady. Look for the flows to drop within the next couple weeks on both the Chama and the Rio Grande.

Chama River Freestone Section- Water levels are low if not already frozen.

Brazos River- Water levels are low if not already frozen.

Below El Vado- fishing has been good. Woolly Buggers, midges, eggs, tung hares ears, egg patterns, and flashback p tails are working well.

Below Abiquiu- Flows have been high but fishing well. it has been getting hit hard by other anglers. the upper Chama under El Vado probably has less pressure of anglers. Woolly buggers, cranefly larvae, eggs, and afternoon baetis.

Rio Grande- The Rio's flows are high and hopefully coming down soon. Midges, micro mays, yodas, tung hares ears, tung Duracells, Tung Red Butts, and flashy perdigons will work for you. 

Pecos River- Water levels are low if not already frozen in the canyon. fishing has been good in the Villanueva state park. using worms, midges, and woolly buggers. 

Santa Cruz Lake- Be sure to check with BLM for the lake's ever-changing opening and closing times. Fishing has been fair. Big midge patterns and leeches.

San Juan River- Not much change here, the Juan has been pretty good lately. The standard San Juan fare has been producing as always. San Juan worms, eggs, red larva, Midge pupa, Midge emergers, chocolate foam backs, and rs2's have all been producing. The streamer bite is on up there as well.