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,

The monsoons are here and bringing lots of much-needed water. However, they have also brought some tougher fishing conditions. Seems to be an almost endless forecast of afternoon thunderstorms so pack a rain jacket and stay safe out there. This is a good time of year to focus on lakes. We've been getting good reports from anglers fishing the alpine still waters. Dry dropper setups and leeches are the go-to rigs. Fine time to dust off the ol float tube and go kick around!

Chama River Freestone Section- Water levels are up and down with every storm. Please use extreme caution when wading. With off-color water, try nymph rigs with stonefly nymphs, tungsten worms, and caddis larva

Below El Vado- fishing has been decent despite the fluctuating flows. Streamers, woolly buggers, caddis larva, and worms. Use caution wading

Below Abiquiu- Flows have been all over the place below the Q recently. Water is off color and turbid. Use big flies like woolly buggers, stonefly nymphs, leeches, and worms.

Rio Grande- The Rio's flows have been up and down with every storm. Water is off color and higher than usual. Fishing has been fair, to say the least. Use crane fly larva, jiggy p tails, and mop flies

Pecos River- Closed due to fires.

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.