But there were stormy years ahead. Even its scientific name has been a bone of contention, and the battle is still on.
Salmo trutta is the scientific name in general use today. Its common name in this country started, naturally enough, as Von Behr trout and was later called German brown trout. During World War I the Teutonic part of the name was dropped and it became simply the brown trout.
But whatever its name, the pioneering spirit has been dominant.
As steam supplanted sail, a new enthusiasm for introductions developed. In 1900 the Duke of Bedford sent the Maharaja of Kashmir a present of brown trout eggs in exchange for a gift of Kashmir stags. Brown trout eggs also went to many other parts of the world.
With this colorful history of successful establishment it seems odd that the brown trout met such fanatical opposition in this country. Certainly, establishing new frontiers is a treasured part of our own history. And the brown trout, as a courageous and rugged pioneer, should have been admired by Americans. Why then did the newcomer make sportsmen's hackles rise?
In appearance the brown lacks the vivid, speckled grace of a brook and the tapered elegance of the magenta-striped rainbow. But there is a sturdy beauty in the tawny golden body brightly dotted with red and black spots. Walton said, "The very shape and the enamell'd colour of him hath been such, as hath joyed me to look on him...."
To Walton the brown trout was simply the trout. It was the only trout he knew.
The brown trout spawns in the fall. The female prepares a nest by excavating, with powerful movements of the tail and fins, a hollow place in the stream bed about six by 12 inches.
With water temperature at 50�, the eggs hatch in 50 days.
On its first birthday, a brown trout will be from four to six inches; six to nine inches in its second year; and nine to 12 inches at the end of the third year. The male brown is sexually mature in the second year, the female a year later. A brown trout of 8 years is a veritable Methuselah.