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,

So it seems that the monsoons are starting to subside a bit this week. We have been so grateful for all the water that we have been getting! It sure has helped a bunch. The Pecos and its tributaries are now open!!! The fishing all around northern NM has been getting better by the day and we are anticipating a stellar fall season! The Rio Grande is also starting to drop and clear up, fishing should get better by the day up there. Fall fishing in NM is some of the best fishing around the southwest without the crowds. Let us know how we can help you with your upcoming trip.

Chama River Freestone Section- Water levels have been pretty good this last couple of weeks and so has the fishing. Well worth the trip up north. The Seargent has been fuego! Dry dropper set ups using a Chubby Chernobyl or Hopper on top and using mirco mays, yodas, flasback hares ears and frenchies for your nymphs.

Brazos River- Fishing has been fair in the public sections. Little bit of walking between holes due to the lower water levels. (30 cfs). Should be getting better with the lower air temps staring to hit the north. 

Below El Vado- fishing has been good on the weekdays when the flows are lower. Flows on the weekends ramp up for the rafters and the river is not nearly as wadeable. Wolly Buggers, tung hares ears, jaw breakers, egg patterns, and flashback p tails are working well.

Below Abiquiu- Flows have been all over the place for these last few months. Wait til October to it this stretch for the better fishing.

Rio Grande- The Rio's flows have started to come down and the river is clearing up. Use dry dropper rigs and indicator rigs this time of the year. The river has been unfishable these last 3 months so the fish should be healthy and strong. Caddis larva, micro mays, yodas, tung hares ears, tung Duracells, Tung Red Butts, and flashy perdigons will work for you. Don't expect much dry fly action until next month

Pecos River- OPEN! Fishing has been great up and down the whole canyon. Not much of a fish kill that I can see from the ash and the fires. Dry dropper set ups with a bigger chubby on top or a high riding caddis. Drop a caddis larva, yodas, frenchies, anato may, or a tung worm. Have some different sizes available to get to the different depths that the river has right now. I have not seen this kind of consostent flow on the Pecos at this particular time of year which is awesome by the way. Get it while its hot!

Santa Cruz Lake- Be sure to check with BLM for the lake's ever-changing opening and closing times. Fishing has been fair. Use a full sink line to get your streamers down to the fish. Work the many points you see out on the lake.

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.