Community TU Business

Keeping it real at The Reel Life

Ivan Valdez - The Reel Life

Truth: I love northern New Mexico. I love the people, the culture, the history and the food. I love the fishing. You may think of the Land of Enchantment as a desert state — parched, bone-dry country where a fish has to take an Uber to find place to swim. Not so, my friends, not so. And there’s no better place to learn about fishing New Mexico than The Real Life in Santa Fe.

It’s a great shop, owned by two great friends of Trout Unlimited — Ivan Valdez and Nick Streit. There is no dividing line between fishing, business and conservation here. It’s all one; one with the water and the land; one with family and the joy of being on the water with people you care about: Familia.

It’s a warm and welcoming place, in no small part because Ivan is a warm and welcoming guy. He’s also a guy who knows the water here. The Rio Chama, the Rio Conejos, the Rio Grande, high mountain streams or the Rio Grande Gorge — this guy and the guide staff at The Reel Life know them all. They know the fish, too. Opportunity is the name of the game here. You can fish for Rio Grande cutthroats, rainbows, browns and even some monster northern pike. And with the temperate climate, there’s solid fishing all year long.

New Mexico is blessed with a longer window of good trout fishing than other western states. Winter fishing can be great here, and many people combine fishing and skiing in northern New Mexico. Some years — when conditions are right — the Rio Grande has a spectacular caddis hatch in April. Fishing is good, even during peak runoff (May into June) on local tailwater streams. By mid-June all streams are in great condition and the best hatches of the year can be expected. This is prime time for the Chama area and the upper Brazos. The Rio Grande generally fishes best from September through November, but is great all summer in dry years.

It’s great fishing with great conservationists and great people. Check out The Reel Life — a proud TU Business member.

The Reel Life (O,G)

Ivan Valdez

Santa Fe, NM 87501

(505) 995-8114

By Walt Gasson.