One man’s boyhood dream to fish all day, whenever he wants to, came true. That dream came with a price, but would he have it any other way?
Fly fishing guide Mark Engler is living the childhood dream he told his mother many years ago. “The only thing I wanted to do was hunt and fish, any time, every day, whenever I want,” he recalls.
He pauses…”My dream came true, to hunt and fish every day, whenever I want.”
Engler sought refuge from painful school experiences in the outdoors. His insecurities led him to pursue a life that has allowed him to work and live in that place that comforted him as a youngster. For 46 years now he has fished and guided other anglers in the waters of the Rio Grande Valley.
Engler’s first and truest love is fishing. Such is his devotion to pursuing that passion that it has cost him three broken marriages. “Three ex-wives. None of them liked me fishing,” he says with a note of regret. “Not one of them.”
“My third wife. Everyone thought, you know, it’s a match made in heaven.” He shakes his head and concludes with a simple, “Nah.”
But Engler has found satisfaction in sharing his love of fishing and guiding know-how by mentoring a young protege named Les. Les had heard of Engler’s reputation and sought the elder guide out, despite Engler’s “pretty intimidating mullet”.
The friendship between the two men appears to be a good one for both of them. Les gets to soak up the knowledge and skill of his mentor, and Engler has a fishing buddy who finally understands his passion and single-minded pursuit of living that childhood dream of fishing all day, every day, whenever he wants.