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,

Water levels are great in a lot of places right now! We have been super busy with guided trips and they have been awesome! Call us to get your reservation for the date and guide that you prefer. The fly shop is fully loaded and we are here to get you dialed in with the gear and flies that you need.

Chama River- The fishing has been a little hit or miss on the Freestone section. Keep an eye on the flows before you go or give us a call at the shop and we can give you our best recommendation. We have had some luck on Caddis larva sz 14-16, San Juan worms, smaller stonefly sz14-18 nymphs, and jig mayfly patterns in sizes 14-16. Don't expect much though.

Below El Vado- fishing has been Fair up there. Don't expect huge numbers but we have been getting some pretty decent fish to the net. Try stripping a streamer or if you want to nymph using crane fly larvae, wooly buggers, Caddis larva, and jig pheasant tails sz 12-16
Below Abiquiu- Flows have been all over the place below the Q. If you see the flows maintaining for a couple of days it might be worth a shot. The water has been high but it is not muddied up. Using bigger flies like crane fly larvae to a small baetis are stonefly nymph should produce some fish.
Rio Grande- the Rio is still fishing really good! The biggest factor has been the wind. The Caddis are still out but have moved upriver a bit. We have had some awesome guide trips with some solid Dry Fly action. Getting down into the gorge has been fantastic. The Pilar stretches have been really good too, however there have been solid crowds during the weekends. In addition to caddis there have been really strong blue wing olive hatches as well. Our go to flies have been Caddis larva, Caddis emergers, perdigon nymphs, jigged pheasant tails, jigged soft spots, and yodas. Throw in some Elk hair caddis, hen wing caddis, and parachute adams for the dry flies. 
Pecos River- Fishing has been pretty decent once the sun warms up the water. Get out after 10:30 and you should find some success. Nymphing with micro stones, eggs, worms, perigon nymphs, caddis poopah, copper johns, and anato Mays have been producing for us. Keep an eye on the flows as runoff is putting water into the river.
Santa Cruz Lake- Fishing has been great at the Cruz! Having some kind of water craft greatly helps your chances! Fishing deep with leeches, wolly buggers, and calli beatis will get you hooked up! Remember the Lake is only open 8-5 Thursday- Sunday. 
San Juan River- the Juan has been pretty good lately. Lots of people out there as usual. Get out and Fish on the weekdays so you can thin out the crowds. 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.
Brazos River- water levels are pretty high on the Brazos. We have just heard word that the Yoda Lane access point has been shut down by the new landowners up there. I have spoken to Game and Fish and they are trying to work on things for the public. When I hear something I will update.


Tight lines,