County Wicklow, Sea Trout and Jameson

On a rare “non-political” note… I recently purchased an interesting looking bottle of Jameson, barrel aged in Oak Ale barrels (it doesn’t say they are Guiness, but I assume). I am sipping it, and it’s bringing me directly back to a “bucket list” fishing memory – of dubious origins that is an entirely different story – that took place in the wee hours on a private stretch of river in the outskirts of the town of Enniskerry, County Wicklow, just outside of Dublin Ireland. It was a small stretch, densely choked with vegetation, that reputedly carried occasional runs of sea trout. It was the most technical fly fishing I have experienced in my 48 years. It was in the middle of the night, with a half moon, on completely unfamiliar water. I may have had a single, subtle take during the hours that I fished. Or maybe it was a stone or branch, maybe even a fallen leaf that I failed to recognize under the pale moonlight dancing across the water. I can’t say for sure.

What I can say is that despite the circumstances that led me to this stretch of private water (it is a vintage story) with the landowner and his neighbor, I somehow earned a bit of comraderie with my reluctant host. Following our piscatorial pursuits (the neighbor had briefly hooked, then lost a fish), my host invited me back to the barn for a few belts of Jameson. All was forgiven, and a friendship had been forged.

Which brings me right back to now. On my couch, with the murmur of cable news in the background pontificating about Trump and his protesters.

This Jameson. It’s good. Not exactly the same as that night in County Wicklow, but close enough to bring that amazing night’s adventures to the forefront of my cerebral cortex.

Strange how our palate can be so remarkably connected to our memories!