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 fellow Reel Lifers! This past week was one word, "EPIC"! Fishing in only a shirt (yes the weather was that good) we had many great days on the water this last week. Fishing below both dams on the Chama was great, althogh you will see far less people below El Vado. It has mainly been a midge game at both places, however it was not uncommon to catch a few on a cranefly larva as well. Alot of anglers cooming into the shop recently were saying that they were waiting for the weather to warm up, but when the highs are in the low 60's what more could you want. Pike fishing on the Rio has also been picking up, some really nice pike have been caught on our guide trips recently. Speaking of guide trips we are still offering our winter rate, which is $100 off our regular rate through February. Because of our special we are booking up pretty good, so give us a call in advance and we sure can get you set up for a great experience.
Pecos River (46 cfs) Mora River (11.5 cfs)
The upper Pecos is COLD!!!! If you do fish it try between the hours of 11-3 pm. You will have a much better experience down at Villanueva State Park. Try dry dropper rigs set up with a high floating dry and suspending beatis patterns, eggs, and worms below it. Using an indicator will bring sucess as well.
Cold. Done for the year.
Rio Chama (70 cfs below Abiquiu, (95 cfs below El Vado), (ice cfs near La Puente)
As I stated above the Rio Chama has been great lately! Weather and the fish have been cooperating nicely. We have been sucessful using Crane fly nymphs, Eggs, red larva, Jigged pheasent tails have been working. Fish 6x with your midge patterns and 5x with everything else. Remember to keep adjusting your depths according to where you are fishing.
Rio Grande:400@ Cerro, 650 @ TJB
Pike fishing has picked up on the Rio. Two biggest keys to success are the colors of the flies you use and also try different retrievals.
San Juan River 450 cfs
Flows have remained steady on the Juan. Fishing has been good out there with many rising fish to be caught. Midge fishing above Texas hole and a combination of midges and beatis below T hole. When you see the noses eating on top switch up to a fore and aft dry and a small comparadun. Lots of moss in the water so make sure your flies are clean!
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 10am. We have some great new flies and current daily fishing reports.