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.
FALL COLORS ARE OUT!!!!!
Fly fishing has been good to excellent this last week since the flows subsided a bit from the storms. Air temps are Uber good right now with great weather in the forecast! We are booking up fast this month so if you would like a guided fly fishing trip let us know soon. We have been having some excellent reports from our guides, this should be an epic 2nd half of October.
Pecos River (100 cfs) Mora River (37 cfs)
The Pecos is beautiful right now! Amazing colors and amazing fishing. Flows are a bit high but all of the fish are on the edges and in pockets. Fishing with a dry dropper rig will produce fish. Using a hopper or a caddis dry and a mayfly dropper, such as an Anato May, hares ear, or pheasent tail.
Conejos River (196 cfs Mogote)
Flows have stabalized and the Conejos is fishing great! It is starting to get cold up there at night and the mornings can be a bit cold. Let it warm up a bit then fish some nymphs such as a Pets Rubber leg, Sanlvations, Flash Bangs, Yodas, And worm patterns. If you see a rising fish throw a couple of Para Adams at them (different sizes)
Fly fishing on both the public and Corkins has been really good lately! Some nice fish are being caught up in the box! Smaller beatis patterns trialing a jig head nymph have been getting results. Not much dry fly action. A couple of other patterns to try would be Yodas, Barr emergers, zebra midges, frenchies, and egg patterns.
Rio Chama (414 cfs below Abiquiu, 254 cfs below El Vado, 100 cfs near La Puente)
Now is the time to fish the Chama!!! Not only will you see epic colors but the big fish are starting to make their way into the river to spawn, (please do not fish to spawning fish on their redds, so unethical). I would be swinging some streamers and nymphing with big flies such as wolly buggers, cranebombs, Barrs cranefly, and big hares ears. Abiquiu will start to clear up soon but I would fish it while it si a little drty as well.
Rio Grande: 220 at Cerro, 411 at TJB
The Rio is en FUEGO right now! Lots of beatis and tricos! This has traditionally been the best time to fish the Rio and this year is no exception. Water is a bit high and most of the fish I have been getting are on the edges. Throw a chubby chernobyl and drop a jigged pheasent tail, anato may, Yodas, or a barrs emerger to them. We have been guiding it quite a bit and having some excellent days. Give us a call to get you all dialed in
San Juan River 519 cfs
Flows on the Juan are great right now and so is the fishing. Fish ants, hoppers, and midges for your dries. If you are needing to nymph I would have a red larva, discos, don kings, rs2's, and sj worms. We now offer guided fly fishing trips on the Juan. If you have some interest in this fishery give us a call and we can go over a trip in detail.
Jemez streams- 23 cfs
The San Antonio, the east fork and the Valles Caldera are the best bets in the Jemez at the moment. Not much need to run a dropper as the fish are looking up and feeding hard. Beetles, ants, and small stimis are what we have been using!
My best bets would be to try Monastary and Santa Cruz lakes in the Santa Fe Area. Smaller streamers imitating minnows, damsels, and leeches for your subsurface patterns, Beatis and caddis for your dries!
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.