Ron James has had some great catches before while he’s gone out fishing, but he’s never landed something quite so unique as what he came across in February.

The High River man was out walking his dog in an area east of Okotoks on February 10 when he spotted a large sandstone boulder with scales embedded in it.

“It’s something that doesn’t come along every day, and I guess this didn’t because everybody was excited about it. They were more excited than I was,” James says.

Staff from the museum arrived four days after the find and brought a crane to take the specimen to their facility in Drumheller to be analyzed.

James says they told him it was an ancestor of the gar fish, which is still around in the United States.

The fossils are about 60 millions years old.

He doesn’t know how long it will take for the fossils to be uncovered from the sandstone, but when they are, he’ll be anticipating the plaque crediting him for the find.

With files from Kevin Fleming