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It's with much sadness that I write this to say goodbye to a good friend and fellow Tidal Fisher Mike Walsh (TF board name Retriever) who passed away here in Easton yesterday morning from prostate cancer. I was lucky enough to connect with Mike back in the early days when I started ChesapeakeAngler.com. Mike and I connected through the original forum on Chesapeake angler and quickly realized we had common friends and connections through Easton and Washington College.

We met up one evening in the middle 1990's to fish the Miles River and have been fishing the local waters together every since. Mike was a great light tackle angler, one of the best and had been light tackle fishing the local rivers here in the Easton area since the 1970's. He taught me how to light tackle troll tony spoons in the shallow waters long the Miles and Choptank Rivers. He loved butter bean chartreuse jigs and we always fought over the last one on the boat when our supply was low.

While we fished together often our families got to know one another and many an evening we had some spectacular cookouts with fresh eastern shore corn, steamed crabs, fresh big boy tomatoes and all the other extras you can find in an eastern shore cookout. Our families all frequented the local YMCA and we'd see each other a few mornings a week always shooting the stuff, talking about where the fish were and whatever else was going on around town.

Mike absolutely loved the Chesapeake Bay and the fishing it offered. His father Dr. Walsh started the Waterfowl Festival here in Easton and wrote a well known hunting/conservation book called the Outlaw Gunner. Mike grew up with Chesapeake and everything about it in his soul and you could get that sense each time you were with him. One of the things he and I loved was riding back home up the river in the fall and hearing the geese settling down for the evening, feeling the cool freeze on our face while smelling a freshly made fire coming out of one of the house's chimney on the river combined with the smell of fresh fall air. I'd stop over in his office downtown every week or so if we did not fish and we'd sit around shoot the stuff and that experience riding up the river in the fall was something he always loved to talk about. I'll always remember him coming home up river.

Above all that Mike was a great husband, Dad, friend and local community volunteer. He always had a smile on his face in good times and bad. He was just a fun guy to be around and he'll be deeply missed by me, this community, his friends and of course his family.

The tragic thing and lesson in his passing is that he was a really young guy in his very early 50's and with a few check ups the cancer could have been caught and likely treated to allow him to live a lot more years. Mike was in the gym and fishing just this past fall. When I talked to him over the last few months he said that when they found the cancer it was too late and he regretted he has skipped check ups the last few years. Lesson to all of us, get your check up, get tested, if you don't things can happen faster then you imagined. I would have never guessed in a hundred years I'd be writing about Mike a year ago.

Mike will be missed but I know he will be watching when I'm out there on the water and maybe I catch a glimpse of his smile somewhere in the setting sun as I head back up river.

Mike's last post on Tidal Fish was on Nov. 14, 2011 and I think you can get a sense of the Chesapeake in him:
"There is nothing wrong with the Miles or Eastern Bay. Except for the Razor clammers stripping every root of grass off the bottom and the drunks flying from Crab claw to Red eye's it still holds some nice fish if you know where they are. I've fished this area all of my life and have seen some good years and bad years. Took a couple of years off but hit it again this year with great results. If you're frustrated, please feel free to use Easton Pt. or Bellevue to launch, always more fish over there, but where ever you go now is the time. The leaves along with the smell of burning firewood and the sound of the geese while plugging or jigging can't be beat, it's an Eastern shore way of life, fill your freezer and ENJOY! Retriever"

A few pictures going back many years
Big striper Mike and Ted caught one night on a Rag Mop trolling lure, some old school lure, not sure that is the right name. But he was so psyched about this fish, made the local paper. Caught in the Choptank in the good old days




Worldwide Angler days


One of the many evenings on the Choptank


Mike, Me and Bill Goldsborough catching fish at sunset on the Choptank


The fish were not always big, but Mike always was smiling


Fishing the Wye River with Mike and his brother


Fishing the rips. Man we had some long wet rough trips back home from fishing here many times.






Mike and I each with our first stripers of 2001. Thanks Gerald for taking the pic.
 

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Damn , that is tough to hear. Sucks having to bury a good friend.

The exam for prostate cancer is not fun but wise to get yearly after age 45 or so.
Blood work is no sweat - the finger part , well try to grin and bear it.

RIP - fellow fisherman.
 

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A GOOD friend is hard to find and even HARDER to lose. It sounds like you and Mike had many things in common and shared some good times in a place where both of you loved to be. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, pictures and memories with us. Peace be with you and Mike's family. May he rest in peace............Gary
 

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Sorry to hear of your friends passing. Life is very short and we need to make the most of it. Sounds like your friend did just that. You wrote a great tribute and farewell. I know your fiend would have been proud. May he rest in peace.

Ric
 

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I am sorry to hear about your's and undoubtely many other's loss. It always amazes me how some people, or some setting, or... well I just dont know, even the faintest of smell can conjure up memories of old.

Tip of a pint to Mike

Cheers,

Evans
 

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.

The exam for prostate cancer is not fun but wise to get yearly after age 45 or so.
Blood work is no sweat - the finger part , well try to grin and bear it.
.
Skip -

I am a prostate cancer survivor. My dad had prostate cancer, so I started the PSA blood test each year when I turned 45. The PSA test, while not perfect, is a simple blood test. I had yearly tests done and kept track of the numbers. Over 7 years, the test results climbed until they exceeded the threshold for concern of 4.0. My physician referred me to a urologist, who did some additional tests followed by a biopsy. I had no worries, and thought it was just a fluke. I will never forget receiving a phone call from the urologist one evening in July 2005 -- he told me that 2 of the 12 plugs taken during the biopsy showed cancer cells. I was 52 years old and had been certain that nothing was wrong.

After some reading and talking with doctors and a neighbor who had the same deal a few months earlier, I elected to have my prostate removed. I have been cancer free for 5-1/2 years now. I will not go into any details on the surgery or recovery, but medical procedures and technology continue to improve. Had I not started PSA testing until I was 55 or older, my cancer might have grown to the point where it was no longer treatable and faced the same fate as Brandon's friend.

I encourage all the men on Tidalfish to get tested after consulting with your physician about what age makes sense to start. If you have any family history of prostate cancer, start sooner rather than later. I have met some unnecessarily-macho guys who refuse to get tested, saying they don't want to know if they do have cancer.

I wrote a story that is somewhat of a diary about my experience with prostate cancer. I will not post it here, but offer to share it by email with any TF member who wants to learn more about prostate cancer. If interested, send an email to [email protected].
 

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A best bud is always there for you when you need 'em, and even when you don't. That's why when they leave us, it's like losing a family member. Thanks for sharing those memories and a fond farewell to your bud Mike.
 

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That's a wonderful tribute Brandon. One of best friends is just starting a battle with stage 4 lung cancer against long odds. We need to appreciate every day.
 

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I am sorry for your loss... I am also happy for you to have such a great friend and fishing partner! A lot of us only wish of a relationship that you had with Mike. Just cherish the great memories, I am sure that is what he wanted!

This is a great idea Brandon... Set up a memorial charity in his name here on Tidalfish. Meybe a fish tounament towards prostate cancer research or if he has kids put it towards their college. I do not know his family situation.. maybe just get them through this financial crisis.
 

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Sorry to hear about Mike! Guys,I can relate to this more than I like to say.A year ago December,I had to have Rotator Cuff Surgery.During the Pre-Op Blood tests,they found my PSA level to be 4.24.Was put on Anti-Biotics for 30 days to rule out a Prostate Infection,Went back...PSA level 3.6.DR. says its not enough.I told Him to "Cut to the Chase" and just do the Biopsy.
Biopsy came out Positive for Cancer!After much debating on how or what treatment to do,I chose the Radio-Active Seeds after Bone and Pelvic scans revealed that it hadn't spread.I was in the latter part of Stage 1.Be aware that these tests are NOT 100% accurate.My PSA's are down to 1.3 as of a month or so ago.I'm not out of the Woods yet! Last 2 tests have read the same.They should pretty much 1/2 themselves every 90 days or so.
This **** ain't no Joke,but is one of the most curable Cancers. GET CHECKED!!!! By the way Guys..I just turned 55 last month.Must have started getting it ..late 40's...early 50's? It is a slow growing Cancer....Until it spreads to your Lymph Nodes. [Mike]
 

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Sorry to hear about Mike! Guys,I can relate to this more than I like to say.A year ago December,I had to have Rotator Cuff Surgery.During the Pre-Op Blood tests,they found my PSA level to be 4.24.Was put on Anti-Biotics for 30 days to rule out a Prostate Infection,Went back...PSA level 3.6.DR. says its not enough.I told Him to "Cut to the Chase" and just do the Biopsy.
Biopsy came out Positive for Cancer!After much debating on how or what treatment to do,I chose the Radio-Active Seeds after Bone and Pelvic scans revealed that it hadn't spread.I was in the latter part of Stage 1.Be aware that these tests are NOT 100% accurate.My PSA's are down to 1.3 as of a month or so ago.I'm not out of the Woods yet! Last 2 tests have read the same.They should pretty much 1/2 themselves every 90 days or so.
This **** ain't no Joke,but is one of the most curable Cancers. GET CHECKED!!!! By the way Guys..I just turned 55 last month.Must have started getting it ..late 40's...early 50's? It is a slow growing Cancer....Until it spreads to your Lymph Nodes. [Mike]
DITTO: Get tested and checked!!

For me it was PSA velocity. Missed "one" yearly physical...PSA jumped from 1.6 to 2.4...wait 6 mos PSA then 2.9...Biopsy positive, but caught it early. Went with the seeds 2.5 yrs ago and I'm 57.
 

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Brandon,
My condolences to you and his family. As a cancer survivor myself, I have to agree GET IT CHECKED! I have to be careful what I type as my son reads the board but it had spread to my lymph nodes. lets do a cancer fundraiser!

Jeff
 

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Brandon, I'm so sorry for the loss of your great friend. I'm sure he is smiling right now from above thinking of that ride home and the smell of firewood. I have had 2 best friends get prostate cancer within the last 2 years - one made it, the other didn't. The last one pleaded with me to get mine checked last summer until I did (turned out OK) and I pleaded in turn to my other good friends to do the same. We are all kindred spirits on this board and need to look out for one another. Take care fishing brother.
 

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Brandon,

Sorry for your loss.
 

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The Walsh family are good people and been in that area a long time. A friend is married to Mike's sister and I know Pat from the WC days. Sorry to hear about this and wish his wife and children well. That sure was a nice tribute to your friend.:thumbup:
 

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My condolences also to you Brandon and his family. It sounds like he lived a very rich and blessed life which is all any of us can hope for. It is obvious his story continues to affect/help those around by the discussion we are having about this type of cancer. I am sure you and the family have great support around to get through this time. Hang in there...

Greg
 
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