The trials and tribulations of the annual pilgrimage to Haines, Alaska, wherein the faithful endure as many as two weeks of soul-destroying insults and mockery, loosely organized around the migratory habits of one unfortunate species of salmonid.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


Scintillating conversation. Spectacular scenery. Crackpot theories. Fine whisky. Endless taunting and mockery. And salmon. Coho (Oncorhynchus kisutch), to be precise. Lots and lots of salmon. At least, that is the theory.

It all began in the fall of 1994, when Marlon Bessie failed to catch anything during a solo trip to the famed coho runs of the Chilkoot and Chilkat rivers that empty into the Gulf of Alaska near Haines, Alaska. Despite that setback, the lack of scintillating conversation, adequately elaborated crackpot theories or really decent scotch, he returned the next year for another crack at it. Following him were various friends, colleagues and other gullible poltroons he conned into providing the missing elements. Thus was born The Program.

Now, each year, for the two weeks leading up to Canadian Thanksgiving, some two dozen rubes from across the North American continent converge on Haines to engage in relentless jibes and witty rejoinders, all designed to undermine their companions' self-confidence and take their minds off whatever it is they left behind in the real world. That and fish for salmon.

Quality control for this blog is ensured by restricting posts to Haines Program alumni (i.e., no meaningful posts allowed). Email jamesh@cyamid.net if you think you've been unfairly left out of the loop.

2 Comments:

  • At 9:46 AM, Blogger MB said…

    Seeds of the PROGRAM

    Sure there are musky odours and cocky strides now, but in the beforetimes, the dark times, the PROGRAM was an amorphous blob of primordal fish ooze waiting to be formed. Chance events took the proto-program in odd directions. But like any newborn, through fits and starts, a new life was established. Say what you will about me, or any individual, but the PROGRAM is sound.

     
  • At 10:51 AM, Blogger 2fitty said…

    Coho Mania!!!!

    As someone new to the program, I would like to thank the organizers for allowing me to partake in the festivities. I enjoyed not only the fishing, but my discussions with such fishing legends as Bessie, Boyles, and the Cryptkeeper. No fish would have been caught without tips from James, who I believe has been responsible for the decline of fish stocks around the world. I wouldn't ask for anything different (except perhaps a private change room for Duker).

    Cheers!!!

    2fitty.

    PS.......how could I lose on pocket queens!!

     

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