John Warren Duncan (1948 - 2007)
"Dunc" as his friends
called him, left us on February 10, 2007 while tying a fly in his Saint John NB fly shop. He tied thousands of salmon flies
each year, once showing me an order from L.L. Bean of Freeport, Maine for 15,000 salmon flies. Like most artists, he took
pride in his work, knowing that his customers were assured of highest quality, appearance, and durability. His fly "Picture
Province", lower right in the above photo, was proclaimed the official fly of New Brunswick.
was probably the fastest fly tier that ever lived, once tying a perfect Rusty Rat in 1 minute, 13 seconds to win a speed fly
tying match. His knack for entertaining people came through in his popular fly tying demonstrations and classes, such as his
session at the ASF 1992 Conclave hosted by the St. Mary's River Association in Sherbrooke, Nova Scotia. But it was his
generosity that I will always remember him for - his willingness to help fly tiers like myself improve their skills at the
vice. His positive attitude toward life was so upbeat that I found it startling, a great inspiration.
Ralph Billingsley was a family friend in Cambellton, New Brunswick, where Dunc grew up. Ralph was a guide, angler,
and prolific fly tyer. Ralph helped Dunc learn to tie flies and they fished together. Other fly tying mentors include
Bill Hunter and the late Poul Jorgensen, both of whom tied classic salmon flies. Their influence is seen in Dunc's hairwing
salmon flies, which have a unique style and character. His flies combine new materials with traditional style, the result
being a superior fly.
His wife Anne, son John and daughters Catherine and Christine, sister
Joan and grandson Duncan survive Dunc. He was an exceptional man, a family man, a true artist, genius at the vice, and a "real