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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





Things are cooling off nicely for what I anticipate will be some fantastic fall fishing. During this time of year not only will you get the fantastic fall colors you will also see many nice hatches that will get fish feeding agressively so they can put on some weight for winter. Please feel free to come by or phone the fly shop to get up to the minute reports and see what they are biting on.

Tight Lines,



Cow Creek Ranch

(No change the ranch is still fishing excelent)

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)

Still is fishing fantastic! Terrestrials, caddis, and para adams have fish looking up. Not much need to put on a dropper, if you must put a dropper use sz 18 beatis imitations. Get out there NOW!!!!!!


Brazos river

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)


The Chama's flows have been fluctuating a bit below both dams. Weekdays seem to have steadier flows. Streamers, pounmeisters, craneflies, and SJ worm are still producing fish. I have some really good reports from the Seargent area. Perfect flows, beautiful fall colors, and bugling elk! What more could you ask for.


 Rio Grande (307 cfs @TJB) (169 @ Cerro)

The Rio is on right now! Fishing has been excellent the last 4 days. The colors along the river should happen soon to go along with the excellent fishing. Fall is my favorite time to fish the Rio, no place I would rather be! Stonefly nymphs!


Jemez Area (6 cfs)

The Caldera is rockin right now. As is the San Antone and the Guadalupe. Terrestrials trailed by a micro may will produce fish.


San Juan River (604 cfs)

The Juan has been fishing alot better with the nice flow that it has been sustaining. The crowds have dissapated and the fish have been happy. The usual midge fare up high using 6x. Fishing below T-Hole has been great as well. The beatis have been emerging with all of the cloud cover and rain. Give a big hopper or an ant a try as well.


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)

The Red has been good to great the last few days. Browns will start moving into the river to start their annual mating rituals. Please start looking for redds and avoid stepping on them. The beatis will start hatching especially on cloudy days. The farther you get away from the hatchery the bigger fish you will find.

The Conejos

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.

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