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Warren Duncan, a great Canadian, died while tying flies at Dunc's Fly Shop on February 9, 2007. Warren was simply the best fly tier that I have ever seen. He was an even finer human being.

I spent several weeks tying with the man at his fly shop on the Hickey Road in St. John, N.B. during the early 1990's. I swept the floor and sent him customers to buy his flies as he would take no money. At the end of a week of hardcore tying, video watching of dubious distinction, inhalation of second-hand smoke, shots of scotch at 1:00 p.m., pizza for breakfast, and copious amounts of caffeine I would pile what seemed like a fifth of Warren's entire fly-tying inventory--the really good stuff was behind the counter--and hand him a credit card. He would pull a volume of poetry--usually Robert Service--and place it atop the immense pile of custom-dyed hen necks and Metz saddles, floss, tinsel, deer hair, a Wheatley box or two and several dozen W.D.-tied flies, return my credit card as if I had insulted him, and tell me in no uncertain terms to get the hell out of his fly shop.

I would often stop in his shop on my way to points north. I usually brought a bottle of Glenlivet, the immediate consumption of which often placed a severe kink in my travel plans. I will miss him more than I can say, and I am actually somewhat pissed off at him for not taking better care of himself. In a world where mentors are few and far between and a game where much is held pretty tight to the vest, I remember Warren as the most talented, most generous, and most intelligent man that I have ever met in the sport.

Topher Browne
 

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That Guy in PEI.....
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Nice story Topher. He was indeed a Giant among those of us who tie Atlantic Salmon flies. I hoped to get him to sign the new book "A Little thing I Tied Myself" at the Dieppe show in March and was eagerly looking forward to watching him demonstrate. He will be missed.
Dwayne Miller
PEI.
 

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Warren certainly contributed a lot to our sport, I'm sure he will be missed.

Mitch, NFLD.
 

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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.

thanks Topher

Nick Pionessa
 

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Nick. Warren tied a green machine at the Dieppe, New Brunswick Fly Fishing show two years ago and I think it was only a minute from tying to the hook till the whip finish. It may have been a tad longer because his stories were just so damn good, but certainly not much longer. Anyhow,, one continuous clump of spun deer hair made the body and he finished it off in no more than six snips. AMAZING to watch!!! As he told stories he tied and tossed them into the crowd upon completion. The man was simply a treasure.
We tied together at the Dieppe show the first year it got going and my fondest memory of him was him signing his picture for me in Dewey Gillespies (Fly Tyers of N.B)book. There are many long since gone tyers in that book and we talked about each as he flipped through the pages and saw an old familiar face. All of the tyers at the show would also get together afterwards for drinks and dinner and those are memories I'll never forget. I was looking forward to seeing him again this spring at the show,, but unfortunatley,, that won't happen.
My thoughts and prayers are with his family.
Dwayne Miller
aka Salmon Chaser
 

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Awe

1987 I walked into a friends house(Ferris) in Douglastown NB after a 15 hour drive from Toronto just so we could fish a fresh run of Atlantics that entered the Renous River.At the table were 4 or 5 people I recognized and Warren Duncan whom I had never met...all playing a card game and drinking of course. He handed me a small fly box with about a dozen of his patterns;one being an ugly white boomber with Orange hackle. Apparently before I arrived I was the Joke because I had a reputation for being a "fly bum"...and because I was from Moncton Originally I couldn't tie a decent fly anyway(true). The party went on in my honour for many hours and after little sleep we did go fishing(Warren did not...he was on his way to the Restigoush at Cambellton) and to my absolute delight that silly boomber landed me an Atlantic over 15lbs. In fact this fish cleared the water and traveled 6 or 7 feet to devour this silly looking thing. We did become friends after that but rarely saw each other. I moved to BC in 1994 and haven't been on the Renous since but maintain my friendships with such careing people. My heart goes out to Warrens family and friends.It was he and that tantilizing that inspired me to to become a somewhat fly tier...always in Awe with dressed flies
Courtney Ogilvie
aka Salar
 

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A Sample of his Art

Here are some flies that Warren had donated to TU for auction. I had met him in NB and "fished" some of his recommended patterns, like many others I'm sure. When I saw these for auction I just had to get them, but I've never fished them. Now I can share them with others who can appreciate the mastery of the man's art.
 

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Topher,

I am sorry to hear about Warren. I have always enjoyed the stories about him that you would tell. I have always admired his flies and truly hoped to meet him one day.

Thank you Topher for teaching me Warren's tech for tying a hair wing. I use this technique often in my tying and think of Warren's beautiful flies when I do.

Peace and safe travels Warren.

Greg
 
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