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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.   

Fishing Reports




Nice to be seeing it rain up in these parts! We sure needed it! Fishing in the north has been really good lately. For those of you wanting something close to Santa Fe I would give either the Valles Caldera, Rio Grande, and Pecos a try. Rains have reaaly kept our streams and rivers at great levels for fishing. If you dont mind a little drive The Upper Chama, The Conejos, Los Pinos, Cimmaron, and Valle Vidal are all fishing extremely good. Give us a call at the shop for up to the minute stream reports or if you need help with your trip.


Tight Lines,





Wow what a change of pace compared to the last three years when it comes to the amount of rain we have had. Be sure to keep an eye on the flows as they are changing daily on most streams and rivers. When the water is clear enough the fishing has been fantastic. The weather report for this upcoming week is supposed to be pretty good. Getting out early will greatly help your chances of having a good day. Give the shop a call for up to the minute reports or come on by and say hi!


Tight Lines,



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! After 5pm the dry fly fishing really picks up on the entire ranch. 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 (74 cfs) Mora River (16 cfs)

Getting into the canyon stretches to find a little solitude. The menu has changed a little bit now that the stones are gone. Caddis and small stimis fished dry dropper style will get you hooked up. If the fish are taking the dry just get rid of the dropper. Start around Dalton and move up from there. Flows are at a very nice level right now and that has produced some excellent fishing this past week with lots of risers! If you heading up on the weekend try the Mora River. Anato May's, Yodas, pheasant tails and beatis for the subsurface patterns. Get out early to avoid the monsoons. Careful of the lightning!


Brazos river

Fishing has gone back to being awesome! The public section has slowed down quite a bit with all of the pressure it has been getting. The box section and the meadow section are both fishing alot better! Golden stones, caddis, mahoganies,  and yellow sallies are what is on the menu. Give the shop a call to check the condition of the river.


Rio Chama (497 cfs below Abiquiu, (605 cfs below El Vado), (48 cfs near La Puente)

(Same as last weeks reports. Fishing hasn't changed)

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. The fishing on the upper Chama (Heron srtetch) has really slowed down with the drop in flows. Fish it really early or really late. I would also concentrate my efforts below the Heron confluence. The Seargent stretch is awesome right now. The Chama is a great river dispite its tough reputation. We have some great guides that are happy to take you out and show you the ropes.


 Rio Grande (650 cfs @TJB) (488 @ Cerro)

High and muddy! Try someplace else til the flows drop.


Jemez Area

Get out to the Guadalupe if you you don't mind the campers.Stones anr gone and it is mostly a mayfly and caddis game right now. Hoppers and ants would also be in my arsenal.  Fishing has been really good both subsurface and on top. We've have been getting stellar reports from up on the Caldera! Dries! 


San Juan River (361 cfs)

Water visibility is around 30 inches. #22-26 midge patterns such as scintillas, uv midge, bling midges, and of course red larva above Texas Hole. Beatis have been hatching below T hole after around 11. Foambacks, RS2's, johnny flashes. Dry fly fishing has also been picking up fish. Foam ants, comparaduns, Para adams.


Cimmaron river (41 cfs)

The flows continue to be at a great level to fish the Cim. Hopper droppers with beatis, micro stones, beatis, and worms. If you have never tried fishing The Cimmaroncita Ranch I would definitly give it a shot this time of year! Some really nice browns live in this stretch! 


Embudo creek (29 cfs)

Water levels have been fluctuating on The Embudo. The canyon offers a great opportunity for some excellent dry fly fishing. This classic pocketwater stream is a real treat. Take some caddis dries and nymphs, small flashy nymphs will produce fish under a dry. Call shop to see how the stream is flowing on a particular day.

Red River (80 cfs)

Down at the confluence would be a great choice right now! I have had a couple of really good reports down there. Fishing around the hatchery should be decent. It does get some pressure. Caddis and beatis nymphs fished deep have been the ticket.

The Conejos

For those of you who hit the stonefly hatch you know how awesome it was! Mayflies are out and about. Bigger yodas and drakes are what I was throwing at them last week. If things slow down try putting on a sparkle worm. Great flows!

Area Lakes:

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.

Guided Trips
Full Day Wade Trip
Half Day- Morning
Half Day- Afternoon