Welcome to my site! I have over 12 years of experience guiding my home waters of New Mexico and southern Colorado and would love to take you out on the many gorgeous rivers or lakes in the region. I welcome all walks of life and am excited to share my passion for fly fishing with you. Check out my photo gallery to get a sense of what a day on the water with Artful Angler looks like.

Guided Fly Fishing in Northern New Mexico

Santa Fe - Taos - Chama - Navajo Dam


  • Half, full, and multiple day fishing trips

  • Float fishing trips

  • Hike and fish

  • Fishing and wine tasting

  • Cultural tour / fly fishing

    This website is full of information so feel free to browse around. Call me with any questions, my contact info is on the bottom of every page. I do not publicize my fishing spots but if you want to know what rivers are fishing well you can call me up and I will fill you in. You can always book a trip by clicking the link on the top right of each page.

Everything you need to fish for the day will be provided for you

  • All Equipment Provided

  • Hand Tied Flies and Tackle Provided

  • Snacks, Lunch and Drinks Provided

  • Transportation Provided

Personalized Fly Fishing Adventures

Upper Rio Chama

Artful Angler specializes in environmental education based fly fishing trips. Whether you are a first time angler getting your feet wet in the sport or a hardcore trout bum looking for big fish, Artful Angler can arrange a personalized experience for you. Depending on experience level, some of the day will focus on the fundamentals of tackle, rigging, casting, and presentation of the fly. However, there will always be time to discuss the fascinating riparian (river) or lacustrine (lake) ecosystem we will be immersed in. Entomology (bugs) is integral to the fly fishing experience and you will come away with a basic understand of the life cycles and habits of the various aquatic invertebrates that live in the water we fish.  As your guide I, Jake Clemens, will inform you of conservation efforts that protect our fisheries. Artful Angler aims to not only catch a few fish but also educate. This is a 99% catch and release only operation. I strongly believe that minimizing impact by proper handling of fish and leaving fish in the river is the one of the best ways we can conserve our fisheries.

Artful Angler operates out of Santa Fe, NM and runs trips out of Santa Fe, Taos, Chama, and Navajo Dam (San Juan River). I offer both walk and wade trips and float trips from a drift boat. I also offer fully customizable trips at no extra charge for people wanting to experience more than just fishing. Here are a few ideas -

  • Stop by a local winery or brewery

  • Grab a bite from a classic old burger joint

  • Take the High Road to Taos Scenic Byway and learn about the rich cultural history of the area

  • Stop at an authentic, high quality New Mexican food restaurant

I was born in New Mexico and I grew up tromping around the area. I understand that fishing is as much about the overall experience as it is about simply catching fish.

“The great charm of fly-fishing is that we are always learning”
— Theodor Gordon

Fly Fishing New Mexico

When people think of New Mexico, sometimes they think of it as Arizona’s hairy unkempt little brother. Their preconceptions lump Santa Fe and Albuquerque in with desert southwest cities like Tuscon and Phoenix. When you mention fly fishing New Mexico, especially for trout, they often look at you in disbelief. Although there is some truth to this notion and the southern part of the state is part of the Chihuahan desert, the northern part of the state looks up at snow capped 13,000 foot peaks of the Sangre de Cristo mountains, the southernmost extent of the Rockies. Two other large mountain ranges dominate the landscape trapping water from passing storms and helping nourish the arid lands below - the Jemez mountains and massive San Juan mountains. Local anglers don’t mind these common misconceptions because they keep the thousands of miles of cold water rivers and streams suitable for trout uncrowded. Fly fishing New Mexico will undoubtedly send you into stunning country and you are likely to find the quality of the fishing is on par with more well know areas in the west. Fly fishing New Mexico has its own unique intricacies and knowing what river to fish at what time of year as well as having an understanding of the basic ecology of each river system is very important for success.

The major rivers for fly fishing New Mexico are the Rio Grande, Rio Chama, and San Juan River. Each river has numerous smaller tributary streams with its own distinct character. From high alpine lakes, to backcountry creeks, down to lower elevation rivers, fly fishing New Mexico has a tremendous amount of diversity and offers something for all types of anglers.

Permitted and Insured -

Artful Angler operates under under permit on the Santa Fe National Forest, Carson National Forest, Bureau of Land Management, New Mexico State Parks, and the state of Colorado. At a minimum we are trained in First Aid / CPR and are fully insured. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.