Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Outfitter / Fly Shop in Santa Fe, New Mexico

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100% Customer Satisfaction

has been our commitment since 1856. It’s who we are. If you aren’t happy with a product or service, we want to know about it. And we’ll make it right. That’s the Orvis Way.

Ivan Valdez

The Reel Life

Phone icon505-995-8114 Email iconivan@thereellife.com Link iconthereellife.com
526 North Guadalupe
Santa Fe NM 87501

Orvis is pleased to offer our travel customers access to two valuable services: Global Rescue travel membership and IMG Signature Travel Insurance℠.

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The Story

The Reel Life has been a headquarters for New Mexico anglers of over 20 years. In March of 2014 The Reel Life was purchased by Nick Streit and Ivan Valdez and the store was moved to its current location inside the De Vargas Mall in Santa Fe. Both native New Mexicans, Nick and Ivan have extensive experience fly fishing and guiding in the Santa Fe area. When Nick 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.

Sample of Typical Trip:

Trips typically meet at the Reel Life at 8 am. If you need to be picked up at your hotel, your guide will coordinate a time to do so. Some trips may meet closer to the river being fished, if it’s more convenient for the client. Some places we fish require a good amount of hiking/wading over rough terrain and some do not.

We offer on the water instruction.

If you or anyone in your party has any medical conditions that may have an effect on your day, please let us know in advance.

If you or anyone in your party has any health issues that may be a factor, please let your guide know before the trip.

What is provided to the Customer:

Full day trips include lunch. If you have any dietary restrictions, please let us know.

What Gear Should Customers Bring?

We recommend that our clients wear long sleeve shirts and long pants (not jeans) and bring hat, polarized sunglasses and rain gear. The Reel Life has everything you might need (or have forgotten) for sale or rent.

Region/Terrain Where You Fish:

New Mexico waters are as diverse as its culture. From high alpine cutthroat streams and lakes to the dramatic Rio Grande Gorge, New Mexico has something to offer anglers of all abilities and persuasions. And because of its geographic diversity, good fishing can be had 12 months a year!

Rivers such as the Rio Grande and Chama typically fish best in spring, fall, and winter. In the warmth of summer (Santa Fe is at 7,000 feet and a typical summer day is around 80 degrees), we head to the high country to fish the productive waters of the Pecos and its tributaries. In particular, Cow Creek Ranch - where The Reel Life has access to guide - is an excellent choice for anglers looking for private water and a fish of a lifetime.

Other waters we enjoy fishing in the summer are the Los Pinos, Vallecitos, Brazos, and Jemez streams. We also enjoy taking clients high into the mountains to some "secret spots" in search of native Rio Grande cutthroats.

Typical Weather by Season:

Weather in the Rocky Mountains can change fast and often, so being prepared for changing conditions will ensure comfort on your trip. Typically, summer weather is very pleasant with highs in the 70s or 80s. In July and August, NM sees its monsoon season. Afternoon rainstorms can be expected, but are usually localized and easy to work around. Fishing in the winter can be very productive and comfortable as long as folks are dressed appropriately.

Date Range

The Reel Life is open year round.

Rate Range

Full day
- 1 person $395
- 2 people $475
- 3 people $545

Half Day
- 1 person $325
- 2 people $395
- 3 people $445


Group trips and rates available. Private water available for and additional fee.

Deposits will be refunded with 7 days’ notice only. Trips will not be cancelled due to weather, unless the weather is deemed to be dangerous by your guide. Most of our clients will catch fish, but we cannot guarantee fish caught.

The Reel Life is pleased to have some of the best/most experienced guide staff in the region. Standard gratuity for your guide is %15-%20 of the guide fee.

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