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.
The Reel Life will be open from 8-7, Mon-Fri, 8-6 Sat, and 8-5 on Sunday.
We've moved! Come see the new shop at 526 North Guadalupe (inside the De Vargas Mall).
We now have access to Cow Creek Ranch all season long! The ranch provides some of the best fishing in New Mexico, easily accessible from Santa Fe.
Free fly tying classes 6-8pm Thursdays. Learn the art or improve your skills. Limited vices and tools available.
The fall is starting up here in the north. Cooler air temperatures and the shorter days will lead to some fantastic fishing in the next couple of months. We have been blessed with some great rains that this state badley needed this season. The streams and rivers have been at great water levels and the fishing has been fantastic. I would still check the flows before heading out to your favorite stream or river because the can be murked up after a monsoon hits. Feel free to call the shop for up to the minute reports and information.
Cow Creek Ranch
Cow Creek Ranch continues to fish fantastic. With over 4.5 miles of private stream and 7 private lakes Cow Creek Ranch has it all for the fly fisherman. Lakes and the creek are fishing excellent with some really big fish being caught. Stoneflies, beetles, mayflies, damsels, and caddis are all flying around and the fish are eating hard! Some monsters being hooked! Fish are being caught all day long as long as you keep changing your tactics. Water is gin clear at times so dropping down to 6x is sometimes necessary. If you have never had an opportunity to fish the ranch you dont know what you are missing! Give us a call to make your reservation.
Pecos River (73 cfs) Mora River (16 cfs)
The Pecos has been excellent lately. Caddis, small stimis, beatis and hoppers fished dry dropper style will get you hooked up. This weekend will be busy up in the canyon. Be sure to get as far away from the roads as possible to avoid the crowds. Water level is perfect!
The Brazos has been really good lately. The water has been very clear up there and the fish are eating well. For dries try caddis or small stimis. I would fish with some sort of beatis dropper if the fish aren't eating the dry.
Rio Chama (400 cfs below Abiquiu, (407 cfs below El Vado), (40 cfs near La Puente)
Chama below Abiquiu is muddy but the G&F has been stocking. Try heading to El Vado instead. There has been fish stocked (Cuts) and the fishing has been great with the lower flows. Remember that the BOR increases the flows every Friday- Sunday to accomodate rafters. Hopefully this will cease after this holiday weekend. Fishing the Heron stretch has improved alot with the extra flow. Small caddis and terrestrials such as hoppers and ants are bringing fish to the surface. The Seargent stretch is still fishing great as well.
Rio Grande (344 cfs @TJB) (182 @ Cerro)
The Rio is just about ready to be had. Flows are perfect however the river is still off color. Forcast calls for clear skies the next few days so I think you should get out and give it a try. I would use beatis nymphs, stoneflies, SJ worms, and eggs to get their attention. If you have never fished the Rio during the fall you dont know what you are missing. The beatis will be flying around not to mention the beautiful colors that time of year will make for one fantastic trip.
Jemez Area (17 cfs)
Jemez area waters have been doing well the last few days. I have had great reports from the Guadalupe, San Antonio, and the east fork. Booking a reservation on the Caldera is also a great option right now. Caddis, beatis, and little hoppers would definitly be in my aresenal.
San Juan River (700 cfs)
Nice to see that there is some water being released out of Navajo! The reports that I am getting are really good. The upper river is seeing midge hatches all day long and there are fish looking up at midge clusters. In the afternoon switch to pupa and emergers. The river below T Hole has been seeing alot more beatis with all of the recent cloud cover. Definitly worth the trip!
Cimmaron river (12 cfs)
The flows have doubled the last few days to 12! At least the fish won't have to use so much sun block now. Actually at these flows you can fish it with dries. Optimum flows are 35-50. Could be a little tough.
Red River (55 cfs)
This is a great flow for the Red. I guided up there 3 days ago and it fished excellent. Fished even better with a cloud cover. Beatis, caddis larva, copper johns were all taken. Not much dry activity. A few ate some small stimis.
The fall colors that the Conejos valley is famous for are on their way. The veiws are absolutly stunning. Maylflies are still hatching up there. Fish it with a dry dropper rig and you should do fine.
Hopewell, Burns, Santa Cruz, and Canjillon have all been stocked with some huge trout. These are definitly worth a try!
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 8am. We have some great new flies and current daily fishing reports.