The spinner whirled beneath the branches of the hackberry and stopped. I reared back, irritated, knowing I would have to wade in and probably go under water to retrieve it. The hole would be ruined for the rest of the afternoon. The bass fisherman in me, always looking for the ultimate weedless rig, hook points embedded in the plastic worm, rubber frog with hooks out of sight inside, was disgusted by the exposed treble on the weighted Aglia. It was just a loss waiting to happen. A great fish erupted from the hole and shot over the shallows at its downstream edge, its multihued back clear of the water, spray flying from the swing of its tail. The spinner was stuck in the deep hook of its’ upper jaw. I gaped but kept the rod tip up and held on. The commotion was outrageous, totally out of place along this placid creek. I had then a Zebco Cardinal spinning reel which was the finest fishing reel that I have ever owned. The drag fed smoothly as the trout made a long run downstream, then turned and came all the way back, snagging the line in the hackberry and burning up current. I jumped in the water and freed the line, followed him. At another cattle ford not far away, after ten minutes of watching him circle the shallows like some dramatic aquarium show, I landed him. I had never fought a fish like that, had never seen a “run,” though of course I had read about them in the magazines. The fish lay on the gravels at my feet. I had never seen a big rainbow in the flesh. I was suddenly terrified that someone had seen the fight, and I looked around wildly at the empty woods and fields. The fish gaped, its huge hooked jaws working. I quieted the shaking in my hands and popped the spinner loose, and I turned him right side up in the water, which was so cold on my hands that it seemed a miracle that such a creature could live in it. I knew that if I picked him up, he would thrash out of my hands and hit the gravel and kill himself. I knew this for a fact. His body felt as cold and hard as a stone. His tail was large enough that I could grasp it in one hand and move him back and forth, reviving him, as I had seen it done in the magazines, and as I had done with bass. I figured him to weigh at least four pounds. He swam away slowly across the shallows, turned and disappeared into the shoalwater, heading back under the hackberry. I caught this fish once more, a month or so later, and many times he followed my spinners out into the open where I could marvel at him. I called him “trout under the tree,” and many nights, lying awake in my bed, I thought of him there, hunting, drifting in the hyper-aerated wash under the hackberry limbs, powerful and alive.