Warren Duncan passed away [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Warren Duncan passed away

02-12-2007, 10:22 AM
Hi there,

I am not sure if this is the right forum to post this (moderators feel free to delete if you want) but I know at least some of you know Warren Duncan of Dunc's Flyshop in Saint John New Brunswick and his contribution to fly tying and fishing. Not sure if you have heard or not but he passed away on Feb 10. Below is his obituary from the Telegraph-Journal newspaper.


DUNCAN, JOHN WARREN - "Everyday is a holiday and every night a new years eve" - Warren Duncan (Dunc) J. Warren Duncan passed away suddenly February 10th, 2007 in Saint John. Born 1948 in Campbellton, NB he was the son of Lilian (Draper) Duncan, Chatham, NB and the late George Duncan. He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Anne (Hubbard) Duncan, Saint John; his son, John Warren Duncan (Donna), Frankford, ON; daughters, Catherine D. Allen (Aaron), Fredericton, NB and Christine E. Taylor (Chris), Frankford, ON; one sister, Joan Mahabir (Ray), Miramichi, NB; and one grandson, Duncan Richard Taylor, Frankford, ON; brother-in-law, Kevin Hubbard (Tanya); sister-in-laws, Sharon Steeves (Wayne) and Debbie Evans (Terrance) all of Saint John; several nieces, nephews and many friends. Besides his father, Warren was predeceased by a sister-in-law, Lynn Danells. Warren worked for the Irving Oil Refinery as an Occupational Supervisor for 32 years retiring in 2004. He also owned and operated Dunc's Fly Shop for over 30 years. He belonged to the Hammond River Angling Association and the Atlantic Salmon Federation. Warren loved life and lived it to the fullest. Tying flies was a passion only surpassed by his love for family and friends. His drive for conservation, poetry, writing and collecting was second to none. To say he will be missed is an understatement, only Warren himself could find the right words to express how everyone he touched feels at this time. His grandson Duncan was fortunate enough to not only have his name but also his unconditional love. He was a living legend and his legacy will carry on. Resting at Fundy Funeral Home, 230 Westmorland Rd. (646-2424) with visitation starting Monday from 7 to 9 p.m. and Tuesday from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Funeral services will be held from the Fundy Funeral Home Chapel on Wednesday February 14th, 2007 at 1:00 p.m. with interment to follow at Fernhill Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation or to the Hammond River Angling Association. To sign the memorial guest book or to send condolences please visit www.fundyfuneralhome.com

02-13-2007, 02:05 AM
Maybe 15-20 years ago I learned about the butterfly salmon fly and decided I had to have some for some upcoming salmon fishing. At the same time I learned that Warren Duncan was "The Man" if you wanted to obtain the highest quality butterflies. I don't recall all the details but doubt if I ordered more than a half dozen of these flies from Warren and that was it. And I recall how surprised I was that the price was quite reasonable. The flies arrived in the mail in a rather distinctive box with a lengthy note inside, almost the kind of note one would send a close friend. Then there were the flies themselves!! They were absolutely gorgeous. Truthfully, part of the reason I ordered the flies was to use them to try to make copies. But one look told me I would never be able to achieve that kind of elegance in any reasonable or practical time. I never had occasion to contact Warren Duncan again, partly because those delicate looking flies were so durable. Then to my very great surprise I learned that Warren was an industrial supervisor and that the fly tying was more or less a side line. One can only wonder how he found the time to fit it all in and do it so well that he managed to become the proverbial legend in his own time.

02-13-2007, 01:34 PM
This is a loss of a great fly tyer.

And like most good fly tyers, he made his living doing something other than tying flies for the simple reason that there is not enough market for well-tied flies, locally produced by a pro tyer and not an offshore, imported fly factory. Most fly fishers would rather spend less and buy imported flies, which is especially prevelent since the internet fly purveyers hit the market with their $1.00 or less flies. And most fly shops want to have many dozens of flies within a few days to a week, something an individual tyer is unable to do.

There are a few shops that buy locally tied flies, and I applaud them for doing so.

02-13-2007, 05:19 PM
my original reply on the speypages:

a great loss indeed. i tied commercially for Hunter's before their closing and Mr. Duncan supplied samples for some of the patterns. this of course had a huge influence on the style of salmon flies i tied, as they were essentialy his style. if i could only tie that well, that fast.

to me this drives home the thought that, being as generous with his talent as he was, he will long be with us.

Nick Pionessa

02-14-2007, 07:59 AM
I only met Warren a few times but each time I did he acted like I was an old friend. He also had a great influence on my tying style, especially bombers and bugs. He will be missed much.

terry walsh
02-22-2007, 06:24 PM
I briefly met Warren Duncan at a demonstration at LL Beans in Freeport Maine several years ago. I wanted advice on tying hackle on Bombers. He had about a dozen on his bench, untrimmed, he picked one up, trimmed it to perfect proportions and hackled it in perhaps 30 seconds! He was so funny he kept us spellbound, he was by far the most popular of all the tyers there. I was surprised to learn that he was a year younger than me and that he died so young. I bought several of his flies that day and they are perfection itself. terry