Captain Frank Praznik spends his days on a boat guiding people to their Happier Place: catching big fish (like red fish, tarpon, snook) while fly fishing the scenic Everglades and Louisiana Marsh.
Totally committed to his work as a full-time fishing guide, Captain Frank Praznik of Coastal Fly Fishing Adventures lives in Louisiana from August to February and then in Everglades City from March to June. You guessed it: he changes his home base according to the seasonal movement of the big fish along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico.
While growing up in Pennsylvania, Frank got to spend part of most summers in Florida by the seaside. After high school, he moved to Colorado and graduated from the University of Colorado with an Environmental Conservation Degree.
After college, Frank Praznik opened up St. Pete’s Fly Shop – a fly fishing supply store in Ft. Collins, Colorado (home of our original Happier Place: Horsetooth Reservoir). At some point, running a store and spending so much time indoors (only getting to spend time in nature and fishing during off-hours) must have not been enough… because Frank ended up selling the store and becoming a full-time fly fishing guide. Of course, another reason might have been that managing a store would simply be a waste of the incredible gift Frank has: putting people on big fish! We can both personally attest to this.
We don’t want to get into a big discussion about spin fishing vs. fly fishing or about live bait fishing vs. fly fishing. But let’s just say that salt water fly fishing requires the angler to create just the right momentum and angle to put the fly and hook right in front of a moving fish. So yeah, not so easy. (Note to self: write a “What’s so great about fly fishing anyway?” post soon!)
The fact that Frank Praznik doesn’t just know where the fish are and can take you there on his skiff, but that he’s been known to help people improve their fly fishing skills and get something on the hook, adds to his popularity as a salt water fly fishing guide. It shows that Frank has been in the fly fishing industry his entire work life!
Frank also happens to be a fun and charismatic person to spend time with. His knowledge about nature and wildlife goes far beyond just fishing – adding great insights and conversation during a break from fishing. Lastly, he also appears to have perfected the gator call – because we’ve seen him get an alligator to swim across a lake to him like a dog called by its master. We were all safely standing on a wall above the water.
Obviously, we highly recommend Captain Frank Praznik as a fly fishing guide. So if you’re interested in catching some red fish or tarpon on the fly this year, you might want to reach out to him right away, since his time gets booked up fast.
Now, let’s finally hear from Frank in his own words:
Capt. Frank Praznik – what do you do?
As a full time saltwater fly fishing guide I try to help anglers have the best possible fly fishing experience in the wildest most remote coastal areas!
Why do you do what you do?
The excitement I feel everyday searching for fish in wild places is indescribable! I’m very lucky and consider it a privilege to help people have an experience in nature that will last a lifetime!
General Happier Place category?
Being on the water at sunrise watching fish swim! Sight fishing for Tarpon and world class redfish really gets me excited! Sharing this experience with my clients is absolute magic!
Specific Happier Place locations?
Unfortunately, I can’t give specific locations! I’m very guarded and only share these areas with my clients!
What do you always bring out into nature with you?
I always try to keep my mind open and vigilant to observe a new experience through nature! It’s not only the fish but the entire ecosystem that never fails to amaze one’s soul! Traveling by skiff through the Florida Everglades or floating through a massive school of redfish in Louisiana is amazing and leaves a mark on one’s psyche; it’s like you’re going back in time!
Happier Place tips or hacks?
Always bring an open mind and a willingness to see things from a different perspective! Fish inspire that in you because they live in such beautiful areas!
A dream destination?
New undiscovered areas in the Everglades.
Words of inspiration?
Find Capt. Frank Praznik and some very big fish online:
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All photos courtesy of Frank Praznik.
Let’s inspire each other!
Have you ever gone fishing? How about fly-fishing? Tell us about your experience.
Maybe you’ve even gone fishing with Frank… what did you catch?
If you’re not into fishing, then what’s your favorite water activity?
Please leave a comment below – inspired by these questions or whatever you’d like to share or ask…