Fly Fishing Guide Service
Please note that due to COVID-19 new policies and procedures have been put into place for clients and guides in an attempt to provide the safest experience for everyone. Click on the link above for details.
The professional guides of High Desert Angler know the waters of Northern New Mexico like few others. Not only do they take you to where the fish are but are expert in helping you catch them. We can teach first timers of all ages in the basics and guide them to success. Seasoned anglers have the opportunity to fine tune skills and increase their knowledge. High Desert Angler has the finest and most professional guides in the region and you can be assured a great experience every time you fish with us.
New Mexico’s alpine desert environment has it all, majestic rivers, high mountain streams, tail-waters, alpine lakes, spring fed creeks and freestones. High Desert Angler also has exclusive access to miles of privately leased waters inaccessible to the general public and only made available to clients.
Contact us today or, when in Santa fe, just stop in the store to meet the staff. We are always happy to talk fishing.
Half Day Trips
Group half day trips for more than three people are available. Please call for availability and pricing.
Full Day Trips
Group full day trips for more than three people are available. Please call for availability and pricing.
Meet The Guides
Jarrett Sasser, Owner
Jarrett 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. Jarrett is a Sage Elite Pro, and Simms Ambassador.
Norman Maktima, Head Guide
Norman 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 as a competitive angler who has won medals including the individual gold in the 1998 World Youth Fly Fishing Championship in Wales,
UK and Bronze medals in 2008 at the Canadian National Championships and in 2009 at the US National Fly Fishing Championships. As a current member of Team USA Norman has helped the team to some very successful finishes over the last decade including a team Bronze medal at the 2016 World Championships in Vail Colorado. Norman is also 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.
JD Repa, Guide Staff
Embracing his passion for the outdoors and adventure, JD has travelled the world. From the Himalayans of Nepal to The Chugach of Alaska, from the jungles of India to the Silk Road of China, JD has been guiding and instructing professionally for more than 20 years in many disciplines. This depth of experience gives him a unique ability to cut through the noise and clutter of complicated disciplines and allows him to guide people in a
language they understand and in a method to which they can easily relate. Fishing since the age of five in New Mexico JD found his passion for fly fishing while living in Montana in the early 90s. After returning home to NM for good in 2016 he began guiding for High Desert Angler. He also makes a wicked Chipotle Steak Taco lunch. Make sure to request it when booking him for your next trip.
Parker Bachman, Guide Staff
Parker has been guiding for High Desert Angler since 2013. He grew up fly fishing in Northern New Mexico with his father and brother. "I really enjoy teaching people and work with anglers of varying skills. When I'm not guiding I'm working on my property in the Pecos River Valley or fishing somewhere in the Rocky Mountains."
Chuck Kuchta, Guide Staff
As a native New Mexican, Chuck's covered most of the water between Albuquerque and Alamosa. He's hunted and guided for big game across the high plains and mountain ranges of Northern New Mexico . He's spent his life as a rancher and farmer, practicing holistic land management grazing technique's around Taos and Santa Fe. He even spent a short time in Southern Florida ranching and chasing the big salt water fish, but the call of New Mexico was just too strong. This is Chuck’s 4th year with High Desert Angler after 12 years in Taos, New Mexico he brings his expertise to
Santa Fe.Outdoors in New Mexico is a way of life, and Chuck and his wife share that with their two boys. Four years with High Desert Angler gives Chuck a way to continuing sharing that way while staying on and close to the water.
Marcos Silva, Guide Staff
Marcos has been been with High Desert Angler since 2009 and been fishing since 2003. He is very knowledgeable with the waters of Northern New Mexico such as the Rio Grande, Chama, Rio Los Pinos and Pecos. He was the winner of the 2016 Conejos River Super Fly Challenge and knows what it takes to find fish
in a variety of conditions. He is a true A believer in keeping it simple and being efficient on the water. From beginners to advanced anglers Marcos can help your game on the water.
Ryan Mann, Guide Staff
Ryan grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico and learned to fly fish on the streams of the Jemez Mountains and now fishes anywhere trout can be found in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado. Ryan first started guiding for High Desert Angler in the summer of 2003 and has worked for the shop ever since. He earned Bachelor’s of Science in Geology in 2016 and is currently working on a Master’s Degree in Environmental Geology with a concentration on Geo-hydrology. Ryan’s studies are focused on the surface
and groundwater interactions and water quality within the Santa Fe Watershed. He enjoys cooking due to his past life as chef and spending time outdoors, especially when there’s a river nearby!
Wayne started guiding for High Desert Angler in 2006. His passion for fly fishing the rivers and streams of northern New Mexico began in 1998 when offered a fly casting lesson while living in Taos New Mexico. All other outdoor hobbies and interests quickly fell by the wayside. He was hooked. Wayne has taken his love of fly fishing from the Catskills of New York to the Sierras of California , from the salmon rivers of New Brunswick to the saltwater flats of Belize.if you would like a day on the water with Wayne simply call the shop and ask to fish with Wayne.
Wayne Grant, Guide Staff
Timothy Stanley, Guide Staff
Tim Stanley, born and raised in Santa Fe, is the youngest guide (20 y/o) at High Desert Angler. Fortunately he has been fishing New Mexico’s waters his entire life so there is no shortage of knowledge when it comes to fishing New Mexico. Studying Civil Engineering with a focus in Water Resource at the University of New Mexico, he plans to link his fishing knowledge with the knowledge gained from his
degree to help improve rivers and lakes around the southwest. When school is not his number one priority, you can find Tim snowboarding the southern slopes of the Rockies, photographing the world around him, or enjoying long days fishing with his friends and peers. With High Desert Angler since 2016 Tim has been guiding for five years. In Mongolia Tim was the head Fishing guide at Lapis Sky Camp. Having fished around the globe, Tim has been able to hone his traits and skills as a guide to be able to offer his clients days on the water they will never forget.
Todd Emerson, Guide Staff
Todd cut his teeth fly fishing at a young age in his home state of Michigan. Shortly after college, he transplanted to the Montana Rockies. It wasn’t long before Todd took his acquired knowledge to the Alaskan Peninsula in 2004, where he continues to guide at fly out lodges in the Bristol Bay region. In 2009 he began instructing the art of Spey casting and guiding multi-day float trips
float trips for steelhead in Washington state. When Todd, and his fiancée Sarah, took over as managers of a long time fly fishing resort in the Caribbean, their card was finally full. After working this circuit for several seasons, Todd and Sarah decided to be less transient and settled in Sarah’s hometown, Santa Fe. Todd has been enjoying the stunning scenery while fishing his drift boat down the steep-walled Rio Grande Gorge. After guiding so many seasons in “the drip”, he is truly appreciating the abundant New Mexico sunshine! Todd joined High Desert Angler in 2017.