Tip: Red floss *
Tail: Crimson hackle fibers
Body: Peacock herl
Tips, Tags, and Butts
* The red floss ‘tip’ on the Academy is actually positioned as a ‘butt’ in front of, and at the base of the tail in Dr. Burke’s painting. The Academy is the first of many wet flies in this collection with this particular variation between tip and butt. Many of the wet flies in Trout and the other books by Ray Bergman are recorded in the recipes as having a ‘tip’ of floss or chenille, but the painted illustrations indicate that many of these so-called ‘tips’ are positioned as a ‘butt.’
This inconsistency is herein clarified with the following definition: Technically a tip is underneath the tail and is tied in first behind the body, while a butt is at the end of the body, positioned at the base of the tail – in front of both the tip and tail. Butts can be made of: chenille, herl, wool, dubbing, floss, and tinsel.
A ‘tag’ in Bergman’s original recipes usually refers to a short tail of wool as on the Canada, which calls for a ‘scarlet tag’ listed under the ingredient heading of ‘tip.’ In actuality the Canada has no tip.
Some patterns add to this confusion by calling for a ‘peacock tag’ under the heading of tip which is not at all similar to a wool tag. Peacock or ostrich herl at the rear of a fly body is accurately defined as a butt.
All subsequent patterns with these variations have been clarified with deference to the accuracy of the painting; however, whether a ‘tip’ or ‘butt’ is used on a given pattern does not alter its correctness.