The Applegarth-Fales
Traveling Freak Show
April 25, 2008

Michelle (my sister) and I decided it was time to at least do an overnighter on the river in an attempt to catch that ever elusive sturgeon I've been after for two months now.  We packed up Chelle's kids and my teens and headed to a sandbar on the Sacramento River just South of Meridian.  We decided that I'd take the reins on BBQing on Friday night and Michelle would handle her world famous breakfast burritos the next day.  By the time the sun went down, camp was full!!  We had Kaleigh and her friend Jade, Tyler and his friends Ingram and Mitch, Rene and Guy (their first time away all night from baby Asa), Lis and Jason, Michelle with Owie and Lauren, and me.  We were graced with a visit from Mike but they are neck deep in hay and rice so he couldn't stay the whole night.  Throw in a boatload of drunk Russians and you've got yourself a PARTY!!


Sometimes I say to myself, "Self...why do you surround yourself with such weird people?"  And then I answer myself, "Um...because they are your children...DUH!"

I regret to say that I thought I had way better pics of the entire bunch of us.  I don't....but here's a shot of a good portion of us from the top of the hill.

So...just before dark, this rather large boat wanders into the hole we are fishing in.  It wanders all over the place coming dangerously close, in my humble opinion, to the bank for a boat that large.  We could hear the people on board talking and finally decided they were speaking Russian.  Pretty soon, the boat turns and is headed directly into the bank where Guy is fishing.  He stands up and yells at the captain in an attempt to explain that if they bring the boat in any closer, they are going to load their motor up with sand.  We hear something along the lines of (insert VERY thick Russian accent here) "Nyet!  Nyet!  Vee moos peek ahp hour freend" as they commenced running the boat up on the beach.  Apparently Mr. Hour Freend was there waiting because he appeared from behind us and ran to get on the boat.  Once aboard, the captain "fired her up" just to find out'd filled his motor with sand and it didn't work anymore.  He immediately disembarked, walked over and had a short conversation with Guy (who literally had to call a Russian friend to interpret) then passed out in the sand.  I'm changing the phrase "Party like a rock star" to "Party like a Russian".

We fished our ASSES off and weren't catching anything.  When I finally couldn't hold my eyes open any longer, I packed it in and left the teens on the beach with lines in the water.  Sometime around 1:30 am, Ty woke me up so I could watch the Asian family just upriver from us reel in their second sturgeon of the night.  At 4:30 am, all hell broke loose.  I heard a fishing bell ringing like it was being handled by Quasimodo on crack!!  I sat bolt upright about the time I heard Ty yelling at me through chattering teeth.  "Mom!  Get out here and look what Ingram caught!!"  I hustled down the hill to find Justin standing on the beach with a big old hog of a striper laying at his feet.  Tyler had slept through the bell and Justin had grabbed the pole just as it was leaving for Sacramento on the river.  He was 29 inches long and 10 lbs.  GREAT JOB INGRAM!!

Well....the fish looked big until Ty got in the picture.

Not a half an hour after Justin caught the big fish of the day, he caught a smaller striper.  Ingram and Guy were the only two to catch anything. Way to go guys!!

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