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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.   

Latest News
Fishing Reports





BRRRRR!!!!!! Yesterday was cold! Weather forecasts are predicting warmer days ahead for next week. Fishing continues to be excellent at Cow Creek Ranch, Chama river, San Juan, and the Red. The spawn is winding down but the fishing continues to be really good. If you check out our Facebook you will see some of the nice browns that we have been hookin up to. Our primary focus has been the tailwaters of the Chama for our guide trips. The fish are biting out there so dont put your fly rod away yet!


Cow Creek Ranch

(No change the ranch is still fishing excelent)

What a great season at Cow Creek Ranch! Lots of big fish being caught right now. With all the warm weather we have been having the fish are still active. Hopefully this wont taper off anytime soon. I spoke with Lanier and we will be guiding the ranch full time next season. Reservations are already being booked for next year so be sure to get your spot. On a side note if you wish to reserve the ranch house with your intentions of fishing more than one day that can be arranged as well. 


Pecos River (36 cfs) Mora River (8 cfs)

As winter draws closer, the Pecos continues to get lower and colder. Much of the dry fly action is over, but there are still some baetis hatches and the occasional fish that is willing to eat a small parachute adams. Baetis nymphs are key on the Pecos right now, and many fish are getting taken on midges. Just like in our other streams, browns are spawning, so be careful not to walk through the redds and disturb actively spawning fish. Your best bet on the Pecos right now is to wait til the afternoon, once the sun warms up the canyon the fishing will pick up.


Brazos river

While it is approaching the end of season on the Brazos, fish are still feeding! The water is low and clear, so try small baetis and midges on light tippet in the deeper holding areas. Egg patterns are also always a good bet anywhere in New Mexico this time of year, and some of the larger Brazos fish might move to a well presented egg.


Rio Chama (97 cfs below Abiquiu, (79 cfs below El Vado), (43 cfs near La Puente)


The Chama has been fishing great recently! The good fish are looking for big, heavy flies. Sparkle worms, craneflies, woolly buggers, and egg patterns are the key to fooling some of the more jaded fish. The spawn was kind of spread out this season so we have been catching some really nice browns, and more of them for a longer period of time.  This is a norotiously tough fishery, but there isn't any better time to figure it out than now!


 Rio Grande 

A little high bro! Wait til it comes down under 500 at TJB. 


Jemez Area 

Its is gettin cold. Fish the streams in the middle of the day for your best chance of sucess. Dry dropper rigs are the ticket.


San Juan River

We have had good reports from the San Juan! Less pressure from anglers and steadier flows have helped fish to settle into better feeding patterns. Chocolate midges, UV midges, and tiny red annelids have been productive in the higher stretches, and there is always a chance of seeing a good baetis hatch down lower. We have been catching some really nice fish in the upper section of the river. 


Cimmaron river 

Flows are a little low at 12 cfs. If you go check the stream gage first. The water can be shut off at any time.


Red River (53 cfs)

The Red has been good to great the last few days. Nice browns and cutbows are in the water system right now. Please start looking for redds and avoid stepping on them. The beatis should be hatching especially on cloudy days. The farther you get away from the hatchery the bigger fish you will find. Beatis nymphs and dries, buggers, and eggs have been my go to bugs.

The Conejos

Man those were some amazing colors! The COnejos is still fishing decently. Fish the Meadow section with beatis and midges for your best results

Area Lakes:

No recent reports


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 9am. We have some great new flies and current daily fishing reports.

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