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.
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!
The continuous monsoons are still keeping our rivers and streams at nice fishable levels. Getting out early will be very beneficial to you. Keeping an eye out for the flows of a particular watershed you are planning to fish is a must. The fishing has remained really good at alot of our fisheries. Feel free to give us a call and we will be happy to recommened a particular place to fish.
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 (44 cfs) Mora River (6.9 cfs)
Getting into the canyon stretches to find a little solitude especially on weekends. Caddis, hoppers. 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. I would recommened fishing above Terrero. Just seems to me that there are more fish up there as opposed to down lower. Flows are still at a very nice level right now and that has produced some excellent fishing this past week with lots of rising fish early and late. If you heading up on the weekend try the Mora River if the Pecos is to packed. Anato May's, Yodas, pheasant tails and beatis for the subsurface patterns. Get out early to avoid the monsoons. Careful of the lightning!
En Fuego!!! The public sections are fishing well again. 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 (454 cfs below Abiquiu, (605 cfs below El Vado), (34 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 (458 cfs @TJB) (281 @ Cerro)
Still a bit high and muddy but clearing up bit by bit. Might be worth a shot IMO. The last couple of years the Rio fished well throughout the summer. Flows always seemed to be in that 200 cfs level. It is nice to see the higher flows and the river flowing good for a change. Once the water clears up the fishing sould be fantastic. Get ready for the fall season. It will be an excellent time to fish this underpressured river. Alot of folks that I speak with always show alot of frustration with this river. She does have her quirky moods at times so let one of our experienced guides show you what she is all about!
Jemez Area (5.4 cfs)
The Jemez is still fishing pretty good. I would try the Guadalupe, battleship rock area, and the Valles Caldera. I am still getting great reports from the Caldera. Dry fly fishing heaven. Small stimis, Elk hairs, terrestrials, and mayfly dries have all been producing lots of fish.
San Juan River (361 cfs)
ANTS!!!! Fish are still looking up and the fishing has been fantastic! The BOR has bumped the flows up and the fish should be spread out a little more. The usual midge fare up high and a combination of midges and beatis below T-hole. If you have never tried the bait waters below Abe's you should. Not as many people and the caddis are hatching. Worth a shot!
Cimmaron river (9 cfs)
The flows have been decreased to 9 cfs!! Bummer! The fishing will be alot tougher at these flows. Still there are a bunch of fish in the water system. Ideal flows are 35-50 cfs.
Embudo creek (12 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. Fishing has been good when the stream is clear. 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 (64 cfs)
The Red has been fishing great as the stream has maintained a nice steady flow. Good reports from the hatchery all the way down to the confluence. Caddis and mayflies have been hatching throughout the day. Get out there!
Drakes!!! Reel Life Guide Isacc Dean has been telling me that the River has been excellent. Get out early though as monsoons are HATCHING every day! Fish a big green drake dry trailed by a drake emerger will produce some extra healthy browns.
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.