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Atlantic salmon flies by Warren Duncan


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.
Dunc 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 good guy".

Bill Carpan

The Picture Province, designed and tied by Warren Duncan

New Brunswick salmon fly designated "Picture Province"

A salmon fly designated as the "Picture Province" has been designed by Warren Duncan comprising a tag of gold symbolizing the value of Atlantic Salmon to New Brunswick; a butt of green floss honouring the fiddlehead; a tail of red goose fibres to match Canada's flag indicating New Brunswick's ties with the nation; a body of cranberry red being one of New Brunswick's official colours; a rib of medium oval gold tinsel; a hackle of lemon yellow being the background colour of New Brunswick's flag; a wing of hair from the black bear and a head of black.

This fly was proclaimed to be provincial official symbol on July 22, 1993.

Fly pattern & photo from NB government's website: www.gnb.ca/cnb/logos/logos/alllogos-e.asp 

Click here for Paul Schmookler's tribute to Dunc.

Click here for Keith Wilson's remembrance.