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Local captain to be featured on national television show

February 27, 2013
By MEGHAN McCOY ( , Pine Island Eagle

A Matlacha resident and fishing captain will be filmed for a national television show this week here on the island, which will most likely air later this summer.

While flying, Capt. Joe Harley read about the television show "Fly Fishing the World" in a magazine ad that included the host, Conway Bowman's, cell phone number for those interested in sharing a fly fishing location for the show. Harley immediately sent a text to Bowman, and received a reply once he landed.

Two years went by before he heard back from Bowman again. Once the communication resumed, dates were eventually set to film some fishing footage here in Matlacha.

Article Photos

Capt. Joe Harley

From Feb. 26 through March 1, filming will be done for the "Fly Fishing the World" television show, which is aired on the Sportsman Channel.

The show circles the globe, as Bowman, who is often recognized for his pioneering efforts in catching mako sharks off the Southern California Coast, finds stories, legends and big fish that make up some of the worlds best destinations for fly fishing.

Harley said they will spend three days out on the water to film some fly fishing.

"I am definitely very excited," he said. "Conway is really upbeat and is known for his extreme fly fishing. A good angler and enthusiastic guy."

Harley will have the opportunity to use his flat skiff boat, which was made out of wood by his best friend of more than 30 years, Mark Jones, for the filming.

"It has a classy, retro kind of look to it," he said of his boat.

In addition, his very close friend, Scott Schwartz, is going to use his boat to haul the cameras for the show. Harley said Schwartz owns and runs Florida Fishing School, which is located here on Pine Island.

Once the fishing footage is completed, the filming will continue during Harley's music gig Feb. 28 at Barnhill's Seafood Spot from 4:30-8 p.m. The crew will also film a few other places in Matlacha Friday, March 1, to feature with the footage for the show.

This is not the first recognition Harley has received for his fly fishing. In January 2001 he was featured in Fly Fishing in Salt Waters and later filmed for Sport Fishing Television out of Tween Water Resort.

"I guided the editor for Salt Water Fishing," he said.

In 1999, Harley began fly fishing after someone gave him a fly rod while working at Bailey's True Value store.

When asked what he enjoys about fly fishing, he said everything.

"It's a completely different deal than any kind of fishing," Harley said. "It's very graceful, it's challenging and a primitive form of fishing."

He said that interest eventually led him to taking people out and teaching them how to fly fish while he was working at the store.

In 2004, he began guiding for a living.

During the winter months, redfish is the focused species for fly fishing and during the spring and summer months it is tarpon.



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