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!
Sorry for the delay in the fishing report! We have been super busy guiding up here in Northern NM and are looking forward to a great fall season! The colors are changing along the rivers and mountains and the temperatures are finally dropping. We have been getting great reports from our guides at such places as the Rio Grande, Rio Chama, Pecos, and the Rio Pueblo. This is my favorite time of the year to be fishing as the fish will be eating hard and putting on some weight for the winter. New Mexico river and streams are well known for its great beatis (mayfly) hatches this time of year. We are booking up fast for the fall so give us a call if you would like to set up a guided trip and get in on some of this action!
Ivan and the staff at the Reel Life
Pecos River (29 cfs) Mora River (12cfs)
The Pecos has benfitted from some great rain fall this monsoon season. Flows are pretty decent and the fishing has been fantastic! Dry droppers have been the go to rig with a para wulff or small hopper on top and trialed with a small pheasent tail, hares ear, or really and good beatis imitation. Fishing will remain on point!
Conejos River (27 CFS below Platoro, 69 below Mogote)
COlors are changing up there at it is stunnning! If you have never experienced the Conejos Valley this time of year you don't know what you are missing! The water is skinny and the fishing has been a little tough. Long stealthy casts fishing with midges and beastis have been the most productive patterns. Once in a while you will see some risers to throw some dries to as well.
Rio Brazos (20 cfs @ Fishtail)
The Brazos has remained good and should only get better. The air and water temps are spot on up there. We have had a few guide trips and the reports were excellent for both browns and bows. Elk hairs, para adams, and small stimis on the surface. trailed by beatis patterns and worm patterns as well.
Rio Chama (450) cfs below Abiquiu, 604 cfs below El Vado)
Flow have dropped below the Q, but the water is still way off color. 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. Nympynig crane fly larva, red worms, and tungsten jigged nymphs have been really productive for us. You will see some crowds but just walk a ways from Coops and you will have some water to fish.
Rio Grande: 43 at Cerro, 155 at TJB
Fall is upon us on the RIO!Fishng has been excellent throughout the river. Our Rio Grande Gorge overnight trips have been EPIC! Fall means the the trout will be eating beatis hard once they start hatching. I have seen a few here and there, but the fish are not keying in on them like they will soon be. Yodas, jigged hares ears, jigged pheasent tails, and micro mays have been bringing fish to the net lately. Come by the shop for up to the minute info!
San Juan River 600 cfs
This flow is perfect 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. The lower float trips we have been doing have been insane with tons of action on hoppers and streamers!
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.