Regional Offices > Sheridan Region > Sheridan Region News > Gillette resident Jordan Rhodine is Sheridan region's newest Ultimate Angler

Gillette resident Jordan Rhodine is Sheridan region's newest Ultimate Angler

January 10, 2023
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Sheridan -

In 2019, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department launched the Master Angler program to recognize anglers who catch trophy-sized game fish in Wyoming waters. The program features three levels of challenge - master, trophy and ultimate angler. Master Anglers must catch at least one fish species of qualifying length, Trophy Anglers must catch at least five species and Ultimate Anglers must catch at least ten species. They document their achievements with photos.

Thirty-three anglers statewide have achieved Ultimate Angler status, four of them in the Sheridan region.

Jordan Rhodine is the latest resident in the Sheridan region to achieve the highest level of challenge and he shared his story with us. 

How long did it take you to catch all the species? 

I was able to get most of them fairly quickly. I got to nine within about a year and a half.  But then I got stuck on the tenth for around another year and a half, so it took approximately three years.  After catching the species I'm most familiar with first, it got more challenging to find and catch the ones I've never targeted before.  

Why did you decide to pursue Ultimate Angler status? 

Once I heard about the Master Angler program I knew it would be a great goal to get to ten, and it's awesome to have the stickers, coin, and plaque to work towards.  I wanted to test my skills to see how well-rounded my fishing knowledge is by targeting different species, and it provided a great reason to get out and explore the state. Eventually I'd like to be able to get all 24 species in Wyoming. It might take a lifetime but makes for a great goal!

The Master Angler program does a great  job to promote how diverse the fishery is all across Wyoming.  The program has gotten me out fishing for species I wouldn't normally target, in waters I normally wouldn't go to (or even know about).  But I've made some great memories exploring around the state and it's such a satisfying feeling catching a new species you're targeting.  

And with the stickers and recognition from the program, there's actual documentation of these awesome fish instead of fishing tales that fishermen can be known to tell!

Did you have a significant amount of travel to complete it? 

I'd say about half and half - I was able to get walleye, pike, and crappie at Keyhole.  Largemouth around Buffalo, and smallmouth around Newcastle so those are all quite close to the Gillette area. I regularly visit the Laramie area and was able to get my rainbow and cutthroat trout from around there.  And my catfish came from Glendo which isn't too far away.  But two of my masters, perch and burbot, came from Boysen which was the farthest I had to travel.  I had never and still might not have been there before without the Master Angler program, which promoted how much variety and quality that fishery has.  

Anytime I'm traveling across the state I study up on where I might have a good chance to find a species I don't have and it makes for great reasons to plan fishing trips to new areas.  

Was there one species that was the most challenging to catch? 

I'd say getting a big burbot was challenging because 28"+ is pretty big.  I've caught a lot of burbot over the years but only one that size!  Brook trout has also been very difficult - I've been close a few times but still haven't been able to get one, so I'm still on the hunt.

Do you have a favorite story of one of the catches? 

It would probably be the last one - my catfish, a species I hadn't fished for since I was a kid.  It had been such a long time coming to get the tenth species, and it was very memorable to have my parents, wife, and dog along to share the experience with.  After I got to nine, I was pushing pretty hard for about a year and a half trying to finish it out and was getting frustrated by coming up empty handed.  I finally decided to take it easier and make sure I was "enjoying the ride", which took some of the pressure off and helped me enjoy the tenth one even more once I got it. 


 

- WGFD -


 
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