Four years after Danny Kurttila was diagnosed with terminal bone cancer and told he had only months to live, the Riverton resident is alive and well and just became the first person ever certified as an Ultimate Angler in the Wyoming Game and Fish Master Angler program.

"I guess the chemo worked well or I’m too stubborn because I’m still around,” Kurttila said in a press release.

Last year, the self-proclaimed 'hardcore fisherman' reeled in 11 trophy-sized fish species, exceeding the number of fish required to be certified as an Ultimate Angler by the Game and Fish Department. In order to qualify, the size of each fish must rank in the top five percent for every species.

When Wyoming Game and Fish announced the program last year, Kurttila traveled around the state looking for different species of fish in the Wind River, Keyhole Reservoir, LAK Reservoir, and Sunshine Reservoir. In five months, he met the size criteria for brook trout, brown trout, cutthroat trout, largemouth bass, northern pike, rainbow trout, sauger, splake, sunfish, tiger muskie, and walleye.

He may be the first Ultimate Angler in Wyoming, but Kurttila's not done yet. His goal in 2020 is to catch even more fish.

"It is a challenge to get as many as I can from that list however long it takes,” he said.

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