Where are the smelt?

Last night, we strolled to the Sheldrake Point Winery for dinner at Simply Red with our friends and neighborfrom the Silverstrand Bed and Breakfast. Dinner was asevery Monday promises with Samantha Izzo serving upcornbread and cole slaw, ribs or catfish or her honey stung chicken, everyone's favorite (but mine as theconcept of sugar being a prominant component with the savory does not rock my world). Music this week was Mac Benford (from the celebrated Highwoods String Bandand from Upsouth playing the guitar), John Hoffman(fiddle) and Randi Beckmann(piano)(Long John and the Tights). So music was great as was the food.On the way back under a very starry sky, we noted a fellow fishing with scant results. SMELTS! When Istarted at Corning way in the early 80s, smelting was the sport at this time of the year, when folks went out after many pitchers of beer and netted hundreds ofthese tiny fish that were quickly fried and eaten all in one piece. Now with the zebra mussels, they are a rare thing....to all of our sorrow. But according to locally famed arborist "I'm a tree man", Don Hair, after a chat about the good old days of scooping out the smelt with nets--they are coming back. We can only hope!