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.
We hope that the Holiday season is going well for all of you! We have some awesome sales going on here at the fly shop! Great sales on SIMMS Waders, Boots, and WAYPOINTS fishing packs! Any ORVIS fly rod, reel, and line combination will get you 20% off!!!! WINSTON BIIIX and BIIILS fly rods are available for 25% off!!! All REDINGTON WADING BOOTS, HYDROGEN, and PREDATOR FLY RODS are 25% off!!! These items are available while supplies last! Now for the FLY FISHING!! The fishing still remains very good below both El Vado and Abiquiu Dams. Using little midge patterns and BWO patterns behind a Cranefly Larva will yield good results. Be patient and you can get rewarded with a Brown of a lifetime. The fishing on the Rio Grande has slowed down just a bit with the colder water temps. If you are going to fish the Rio I would do it sometime after 12pm. Have an assortment of mayfly nymph patterns sizes 14-18 and egg patters this time of year. The Pecos continues to fish good at Villanueva State Park. Using dry droppers with mayfly and midge nymph patterns will get you some fish. Also try some egg patterns as well. Remember that winter fishing is a great time to fish! We are going to start our WINTER GUIDE RATE on December 1st so if you are wanting a trip or ou would like to buy one for a gift that this is a great idea!!! The WINTER RATE consists of 6 hours of fishing for the price of a half day trip!! Give us a call for details or if you have any questions at all!
Ivan and the staff at the Reel Life
Pecos River (29 cfs) Mora River (12cfs)
Fishing at Villanueva has been good! Use the patterns listed above and you will get on some fish! The Canyon section has slowed down pretty good. If you are going to fish it do so in the middle of the day. The water is pretty cold and gin clear up there!
Conejos River (27 CFS below Platoro, 69 below Mogote)
Fishing has been pretty decent up at the RABBIT! Having smaller flies in your arsenal will help. Flashbang midges, smaller BWO patterns, and worm patterns have been producing fish. Get at it because that water shed will turn off here pretty soon!
Rio Brazos (20 cfs @ Fishtail)
Rio Chama (50) cfs below Abiquiu, 84 cfs below El Vado)
Flows below the Q and El Vado are low and this is nothing new this time of year. If you do go fish it I would throw streamers and target the big browns in there! Fishing has been pretty good below El Vado and the Q. Nympynig crane fly larva, red worms, and tungsten jigged nymphs have been really productive for usas well as the flies that I described above! You will see some crowds but just walk a ways from Coops and you will have some water to fish. Below the Q the picnic table area has some crowds but if you drive away from there you will always find plenty of room!
Rio Grande: 43 at Cerro, 180 at TJB
The Rio is starting to slow down just a bit. If you go use the flies that I described above and be sure to fish from mid day on. Pike fishing should start to turn on as well. We haven't been targeting them yet but it is always worth a shot, especially if there is nobody on the river doing that.
San Juan River 285 cfs
We have been doing great on our guide trips up on the JUAN! The fishing has been excellent with many big fish coming to the net! There have been alot of mild days up there so give us a call and get yourself a trip booked!
Jemez streams- 22 cfs
Pretty cold up there!
I wouldn't recommend any area lakes at the moment! Bluewater has been producing some very nice Tiger Muskies though
Stop by the shop on your way up north for anything you may need to make a memorible day on the water.We are open at 9am. We have some great new flies and current daily fishing reports.