Our guides are experienced instructors, friendly people, and knowledgeable about northern New Mexico. You're invited to drop by the store and meet the guide staff.
Even beginners can enjoy fly fishing successfully. With the personalized help of a professional guide, the basic skills to enjoy fly fishing may be acquired by a novice in a short time. More experienced fly fishers can enjoy improving techniques, and exploring New Mexico waters with confidence.
Catch and release fly fishing is strongly encouraged. High Desert Angler supports conservation of wild fish by returning them to the water.
We offer guide trips throughout the year—if you are planning a cold-season trip (late September through early May), having the proper clothing is especially important.
Rates. A full-day guide trip includes lunch, beverages, terminal tackle, and any rental equipment needed.
Public Land one person wade trip: $300; Two for $350
San Juan River trips (3-1/2 hours from Santa Fe): please inquire.
Half-day trips are available: please inquire.
Children under 12 years old must be accompanied by an adult.
A valid New Mexico fishing license is required. A one-day non-resident license costs $22.00.
Guided access to private property may be arranged in advance at an additional premium.
About your guide. Our guides are personable, experienced and knowledgeable about fly fishing, the outdoors, and the Santa Fe area. They are all certified in first aid and CPR. Should you have any questions, or particular desires for your day, please ask your guide.
As with other service providers, tipping your guide 15-20% is customary if service meets your expectations.
Southwest Fly Fishers is an equal opportunity service provider operating under permits from the USDA Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management.
Reserve a guided trip in advance by calling High Desert Angler, 988-7688. Please allow at least 72 hours advance notice to assure availability.
Meet the guide at High Desert Angler. Guides normally meet clients at 8 am. Introductions, outfitting with the proper rental equipment, including waders and boots, purchasing fishing licenses and getting an orientation for the day’s activities may take up to an hour.
Travel to the fishing destination. Destinations are chosen by the guide based on fishability and weather conditions, as well as on the client’s stream type preference. Travel time is 1–2 hours. Client transportation by client’s own vehicle is strongly encouraged. The guide will transport fishing equipment, supplies, spare outdoor clothing, first aid kit and lunch supplies.
Prepare to fish. The guide will get all the equipment ready for the day while clients put on their fishing gear. A casting lesson will follow if necessary.
Fish! Your guide will provide whatever fishing supplies and attention you should need to enjoy your fishing day. Beginners will learn basic skills and how to “read” water to locate fish, abilities necessary to become a successful fly fisher.
Eat lunch. Lunch and drinks will be provided by your guide. A picnic lunch by the water is one of the most relaxing parts of a fly fishing excursion. Lunches are not provided on half-day trips. (If you have special dietary restrictions, please mention them when making your reservations.)
Fish more! Your guide can provide more advanced fly fishing instruction if you wish, or simply direct you to the “fishy” spots. Your guide is an experienced outdoor professional who can point out other features of interest, giving you the opportunity for a personalized introduction to New Mexico’s diverse environments.
Return to High Desert Angler. At the end of the day, it’s time to pack up and head back to the shop. Payment for the day is usually made at High Desert Angler at the beginning of the day. We accept MasterCard, Visa, Discover, American Express and personal checks. You also may wish to browse the store for items for your outdoor excursions!
Although this describes a typical day, we are happy to customize a trip to your own needs. Please feel free to call, visit or e-mail with questions about what we can do for you.
The following is a list of strongly recommended items for your safety and comfort.
Sunscreen for high-altitude protection
Hat with visor
Polarized sunglasses for eye protection and to permit superior vision on the water
Warm sweater and waterproof rain jacket (mountain temperatures are cooler and weather can change rapidly)
Comfortable, warm clothing. Warm socks are essential as mountain water is always cold.
Non-absorbent nylon pants or polypropylene long johns, if available, are best under waders.
Change of clothing, including socks, in case of getting wet.
Jarrett Sasser was born in Austin TX, and raised in the surrounding hill country fishing the creeks, ponds and lakes with his Grand father Bob Arbogust. Bob still talks of the first fish Jarrett caught all by himself at the young age of three. Almost 20 years later, Jarrett started guiding with High Desert Angler in 1994 under the direction of Jan Crawford. He remained the head guide until 2001 when he bought the High Desert Angler from Jan and started his family. As a fly shop owner, husband, and father of three he works in the shop most days and can be found guiding all over Northern New Mexico and hosting trips around the world throughout the year. Jarrett is a certified FFF casting instructor and certified FFF guide, he is on the pro-staff for Simms fishing products, and Ross reels. Private casting and flyfishing instruction is available by appointment.
Norman Maktima (senior guide), Norman Maktima has been guiding for High Desert Angler since 1997. He started fly fishing when he was 7 years old and has developed a passion and career over the 22 years spent on the water.
Growing up on the Pecos River set the stage for Norman’s fly fishing accomplishments. In 1998 Norman, along with the US Youth Fly Fishing Team, traveled to Wales, UK for the 1st annual World Youth Fly Fishing Championship and finished in 2nd place, with Norman winning the individual gold medal. Then in 1999, he accompanied the US Youth Fly Fishing Team to Ireland as an assistant coach. In 2001 he was selected to be on the Fly Fishing Team USA and traveled to Sweden to compete in the World Fly Fishing Championships. In 2004 he competed in another World Fly Fishing Championship, this time in Slovakia.
Currently Norman is still a member of Team USA, traveling throughout the country competing in regional competitions. In 2008 he placed 3rd in the Canadian National Championships. Also, in April of 2009 he organized the Southwest Regional Fly Fishing Qualifier. Recently, in October of 2009 he finished 3rd in the US National Fly Fishing Championships and helped his team place second. However, Norman’s experiences are not limited to competitive fly fishing.
Norman has traveled and fished in saltwater chasing bonefish, tarpon, redfish, snook, speckled trout, etc. Even at home he spends time searching out non trout quarry, refining his skills in pursuit of carp, pike, and bass.
Along with fly fishing, Norman has become an accomplished fly tyer. In 2009 two of his dry fly patterns made their debut in Umpqua Feather Merchants long list of fly patterns, earning him a spot in Umpqua’s list of signature tyers. Norman also teaches fly tying classes at High Desert Angler.
Norman’s goals as a guide are to teach any skill level angler how to fly fish and/or improve their fly fishing technique. Norman has learned that not all anglers are the same so he has developed teaching techniques to fit a wide range of individuals. Along these lines Norman is more than willing to learn from clients as well. Norman’s longevity at High Desert Angler has earned him a long list of returning clients and is booked well in advance. If you wish book a guide trip with Norman schedule your trip soon and request Norman as your guide.
Everett Groseclose grew up fishing the small streams on the eastern slope of Northern New Mexico’s Sangre de Cristo mountains. After a lengthy career traveling the world as a journalist, editor and corporate executive, he returned to New Mexico to pursue his lifetime passion of fly fishing. He soon became a guide for High Desert Angler. The 2008 summer season marks Everett’s eighth year as a High Desert Angler guide. Today he considers himself a small stream specialist, but is equally at home fishing streams of all sizes, including the fabled San Juan. Everett’s special interest is teaching less experienced anglers the finer points of fly fishing.
Ed's then roommate and friend Jarrett Sasser, almost literally had to twist Ed's arm into going fly fishing with him. That was back in 1994, and one time was all it took. Being born and raised in Santa Fe gave him a deep love of the local mountains. As often as he could, he went backpacking, rock climbing and mountain biking all over them. But since that spring day in 1994, every decent day-off and weekend was spent with his dogs and a fly rod re-exploring his backyard-the mountains of northern New Mexico.
As Ed's proficiency with a fly rod became evident, he started guiding under Jarrett for former High Desert Angler owner, Jan Crawford in 1997. He worked as a fly fishing guide in the summers and as a snowmaker and groomer in the winters. This ideal lifestyle enabled Ed to spend almost every day in the place that gives him his lifeblood-the mountains of northern New Mexico. Jarrett bought the store from Jan in the spring of 2001. Shortly thereafter, when store manager Bill Orr went back to his true calling of teaching, Ed took over in the store. "I found it difficult to be a good guide and really learn the retail side and do it a good job at that full time" says Ed. So he's taken a backseat to many of the excellent guides we have referring to them as "rockstars".
A devout pike hunter and trout fisher, he still loves the mountains. But since the days off is less and vacation time is precious. He now chases fish that live in saltwater with a fly rod. Spending time on a beach, chasing roosterfish, and not wearing shoes for a week is his perfect vacation.
He and longtime friend and fishing buddy, Frank Smethurst won the 2007 Conejos Superfly. It's a fly fishing tournament "I enter into every year because it's so damn fun and I get to see a lot of buds that I haven't hung out with in along time".
Ed's passion for fly fishing is clear, but he also enjoys making the High Desert Angler the premier shop that it is today. Customer service will always be the hallmark at our store. "If there is anything I can do for you, send me an e-mail"