Southern Fly Expeditions Shell Beach Louisiana
Shell Beach is an unincorporated community in St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana. The community is located on the Mississippi River – Gulf Outlet Canal near Lake Borgne, 18 miles east-southeast of Chalmette. It is rather sparsely populated, though the wonderful residents of Shell Beach (actually Saint Bernard Parish) would beg to differ. Heading out of New Orleans on highway 46, the wide bodied Mississippi River is in our view out our west passenger windows. The Mississippi soon winds off to the west while we turn east heading towards Shell Beach. The flat topography is giving us a visual of marshland that indicates we are nearing Gulf Outlet Canal. We had a couple choices, put our boat in the water or view the Katrina Memorial of St. Bernard Parish or off in the distance was Fort Proctor. Both offer interesting history of the area.
The Hurricane Katrina Memorial is a shrine to the residents of St. Bernard Parish who lost their lives in the horrific storm. It dons the names of one hundred sixty three wonderful soles taken by the formidable storm. I'm postitive they are looking down with pride more so than having their names etched into the stainless steel cross, but rather for the response of the St. Bernard donating residences and Parish president, Henry "Junior" Rodriquez for the defiance in erecting the monument. You see, the stainless-steel crucifix stirred up controversy when Louisiana ACLU Executive Director, Joe Cook, opposed the erection of the cross. His objection was in the form of a letter to the parish officials stating, "Government promotion of a patently religious symbol on a public waterway is a violation of the Constitution's First Amendment, which prohibits government from advancing a religion." The response may not have been in the written form, however, a quick and curt response from parish President Henry "Junior" Rodriquez was "They can kiss my ass".
Now I'm sure there was a similar attitude at Fort Proctor which lies just off in the distance a short ways. It was built in the 1850's to protect New Orleans during the civil war or the Union Army. It was constructed under the supervision of General Beauregard and was also referred to as Beauregard's Castle. Back in 1814, the British Navy had attached New Orleans after their navy had advanced up Lake Borgne only to defeat the New Orleans Squadron of the U.S. Navy in the Battle of Lake Borgne. The smart pre-planning defense strategy to build the fort was short- lived. A hurricane hindered completion plus by the outbreak of the Civil War, the building was nearly obsolete. Improvements in artillary made the fort useless even though it was created with cutting edge building technologies for the time. They used poured concrete and iron I-Beams which is probably why it is still standing today. The fort was never garrisoned, and Union soldiers blew the levees near the fort in frustration that the magnificent fighting tool was not to be in use.
The best part of Shell Beach is the fishing. It may be a little windy at times, but it gives access to the marshland in the bay. Ripe with bull reds, it makes for a fun, action packed location to fish. Call Southern Fly Expeditions for an experience of a lifetime fly fishing at Shell Beach. Captain Brandon Keck will take you to the hot fishing spots where you will be challenged by the feisty bull reds. Book your charter today with Southern Fly Expeditions and experience fly fishing at its best.