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.

Latest News

Fishing Reports



Pecos River

The Pecos has been fishing well! Dry droppers wtih beatis, midges and eggs working best. Fish have been most active after things have warmed up a bit in the canyon. Winter weather will slow things down so fish the warmer days! No reports from Villanueva State Park. Start lower in the canyon and work your way up. No need to fish as high up the road as possible.


Rio Grande

The Rio is EN FUEGO! I have never seen it better in all the years I have been fishing and guiding it. Beatis hatches are intense from 12-4pm! Lot of dry fly action and nymphing has been producing great results as well! Patterns such as anato mays, hares ears, pheasant tails, rs2's, foam backs as well! Get out or get one of our guided trips to get ya dialed in! The river is perfect!


Rio Chama: 

The color of the water on the Chama is great, however the flows are extremely high for this time of year! Flows below both El Vado and Abiquiu are over 1000 cfs at the moment. I wouldn't be wading at these flows, especially if you don't know the river bottom very well. If you are going to fish over there using streamers and big nymphs are your best bet. I wouldn't worry as much about the pattern, just get down deep to the fish in a appropriate amount of time. I am hearing that the flows will not come down until the latter part of December.


Santa Cruz Lake:

The fishing is EXCELLENT if you want to go throw a CRUZ! Leach patterns, crayfish patterns, minnow patters are all pulling up fish. Some very big fish! Get it while its hot!


Area streams:  Things are starting to get a bit cold for that skinny water this time of year! The warmest days will produce some fish, but there are much better options above.