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.
Hello Reel Lifers! Fishing has been pretty stellar as of late. Yes we are in drought, but contrary to popular belief we do have water and the fishing has been great! The bigger rivers like the Chama, The Rio Grande and the Conejos are excellent! We have had reports that the monsoon season will be great for NM this summer, which we really need. You just have to keep your mind open as to where to fish. My best advice to you is to call us before you head out. We have up to the minute reports on how the fishing is, and we will steer youin the right direction. The stonflies are already out on the Pecos and it will be a matter of a little time before the Conejos see these critters. Let us know how we can help you and your fishing game out!
Pecos River (18 cfs) Mora River (2cfs)
The upper Pecos has been fishing prety damn good these last couple of weeks! Water is a little low and clear so using stealth and muted colors is a must. Dry dropper rigs have been the norm out there with the fish keying in on the droppers with an occsional riser to boot. Best success has been with eggs, mayfly nymphs (16-18), and smaller stonefly nymphs. Not expecting much of a runoff here, so fishing should continue to stay good as long as the forrests remain open.
Conejos River (234 CFS below Platoro, 609 below Mogote)
Fishing on the Conejos has been great up there! The whole river has been fishing well, and opprotunity for big fish is ample! Stonefly hatch and drakes should be right around the corner, worms, stone patterns, and baetis have been hooking up very well. Keep in mind these fish have been heavily pressured after the memorial day weekend, may want to allow it to calm down for a few days before planning this epic trip.
Rio Brazos (60 cfs @ Fishtail)
The beautiful Brazos!!!! Flows have been very good lately, but will continue to lower until we see our monsoon season. Fishing is incredible at the moment however! Lots of wild fish, very actively feeding. No definitive hatch happening yet, fish are eating caddis, stonefly patters (even dry fly patterns). The best stretch to experience this river is on the Corkins Lodge property, give us a call and we can book you a guided trip in this GORGEOUS stretch!
Rio Chama (739) cfs below Abiquiu, 534 cfs below El Vado)
the flows below Abiquiu, have been raised back up. the fishing is slow, but the water is still nice. if the flows stay around this range for a while fishing will improve. flows below El Valdo have been raised as well. this range of flows is ideal for big brown trout hunting. fishing here as been hit and miss however, fishing will improve in the next week or two. Our best flies have been red midge larva, don king emergers, poly wing emergers, yodas, cranefly larva, crane bombs, and caddis nymphs. The water is chocholate milk currently as they have increased the flows again, however it was stocked recently.
Rio Grande: 151 at Cerro, 272 at TJB
The caddis hatch has been epic! Even this far into May, we are consistantly seeing huge caddis and mayfly hatches, with a ton of stonefly nymphs in the water as well, so we will have that hatch to look forward to soon.
San Juan River 600 cfs
This flow is persect for either a float or wade trip at the JUAN. The usual midge fare or larva and emergers and dries have all been producing. Using a beatis pattern below T Hole has also been hooking fish after noon time. This is a great time to fish this gem!
Jemez streams- 22 cfs
The Jemez is still fishing pretty decent and is still being stocked as well as Fenton Lake. I would concentrate at the lower elevations and fish some dry dropper rigs with bwo and midge patterns.
Monastary, Santa Cruz and Abiquiu laskes have all been fishing well. Using wolly buggers has been most productive.
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.