A night to remember on the lower Caragh

In the 1970s we stayed as a family with my grandparents in Dooks in the Kingdom of Kerry looking out over the majestic MacGillycuddy Reeks.
At the time aged 13, fishing was my passion as it is today, and Dooks was a great place to pursue it.
Friends from the UK used to visit us and one of these was our local doctor, Dr.Alan Steadman who came over in the Summer of 74. Whilst he was only vaguely interested in fishing, he’d always be up for an adventure. One evening after dinner I persuaded him we’d have a wonderful night on the river bank and off we headed in search of a Sea Trout.
Complete novices at night fishing for the glorious bars of silver we parked above the beautiful Lower Caragh river by Caragh Bridge and our adventure began.
As we parked we were welcomed by the soft sound of the river flowing below us.
We started walking through the field below excitedly thinking about what lay ahead. Alan led the way and suddenly let out a mighty shriek, he had looked to step over a rock in the near pitch black and had actually stepped on a mighty Friesian heifer which lurched off unamused at having it’s
night’s sleep disturbed.
We continued on to the riverbank giggling to ourselves about what had just happened. As we started fishing on the pool just above Caragh Bridge we became more excited as the silence was frequently interrupted by the sound of a sea trout jumping out of water we could barely see. Surely one of these bars of silver would be enticed by our flies, however badly presented.
After half an hour of no success we decided to move upstream with calamity no 2 awaiting us. Alan told me he was stepping over another rock, definitely not a cow this time. His leg was raised higher and higher in the pitch black until he fell over backwards into the stream. I shone my torch on him and the rock he was trying to climb over was in fact the old railway bridge!
It was hard to suppress my laughter. It was a warm evening and we decided to fish on despite him being soaking wet.
We continued upstream and came to the Rock Pool. A beautiful sight to behold in daylight although we could hardly see it in the pitch black. On we fished with Alan at the head of the pool and me fishing the tail.
Another shriek from Alan soon pierced the soft silence. ‘I’ve hooked one’. I shone my torch on him to see his rod bending double to the point of nearly breaking and yelled at him to let it take line. He was a novice at fishing.
The fish seemed to do what it wanted and careered backwards and forwards across the pool and I was amazed that it remained hooked. I shone my torch on the water and gasped as it flashed through the beam of light and I saw it’s size. After 20 very tense minutes of tooing and froing we slid the landing net under our beautiful catch. Slid is probably being generous as that sounds graceful.
It weighed 3lbs 12oz and was a trophy to behold.
We set off home feeling as proud as punch with no further mishaps on the return journey.
We had caught a beautiful fish in the most beautiful river, one I still fish today.