By Mark Heinz, outdoors reporter
Garrett Isaacson of Rock Springs is no stranger to Wyoming angling.
“My dad was always taking me fishing since I was old enough to walk,” he told Cowboy State Daily on Monday. “Maybe even before then.”
Isaacson recently became one of only 28 anglers to earn the “ultimate angler” award from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. To do so requires catching trophy-sized fish of 10 species.
Wyoming is known primarily as a trout haven, so many might not realize how many game fish species there are here, Isaacson said.
“Actually, we do have a pretty good variety of fish species in Wyoming,” he said. “It is known for the trout fisheries. So, a lot of people like to come here for those.”
Three trout were included in Isaacson’s catch list to earn the title: rainbow, cutthroat and brown.
The other species include sunfish, channel catfish, yellow perch, crappie, walleye, largemouth bass and smallmouth bass.
Isaacson began racking up his trophy catches about two and a half years ago. That was right after the inception of the ultimate angler program in 2019.
“I just started working toward it,” he said.
Nightcrawlers worked to catch most of the fish, he said, but it was artificial lures that did the trick for bass.
As for his favorite memories on the path to winning the award, Isaacson said one particular day fishing with a friend on Boysen Reservoir in Fremont County stands out.
“We were just messing around trying to catch carp,” he said. “But then I hooked a 5-pound rainbow trout that made the trophy list.”
Boysen might have generated some good memories, but Isaacson said another of his favorite fishing spots is Glendo Reservoir, which straddles Platte and Converse counties in eastern Wyoming.
“It just has such a diverse fishery,” he said. “I’ve caught walleye, crappie, blue gill and catfish there. It’s where I caught my trophy-sized largemouth bass and yellow perch.”
Will fall’s arrival, Isaacson’s attention has turned to hunting season. But once that wraps up, he’s looking forward to fishing again, particularly with his father.
“I might try to go for the second round of 10 trophy fish,” he said.