Fuel for the Float | Snack Edition

As guides, we usually have those rare moments where we are able to twist another fellow guide’s arm into going out for an afternoon float after a morning trip. There is always a checklist of must-have items on the boat for a fun float: rods, flies, or beer.  What most people may forget or overlook is the snack game. Fuel for the float is just as important as finding the right fly. Inside boat bags or tossed into the cooler, there must be snacks. Everyone has there go-to, but listed below are a few of our favorites between guides and staff here at Vail Valley Anglers:

Fried Chicken

Sounds weird, trust me, I thought the same thing. But, when you think about it, fried chicken is easy to transport in the bucket it came in or in Tupperware to just toss in the cooler. Forget about utensils or napkins your fishing.  You can land that nice brown with the drum stick hanging in your teeth. You can also use that propane heater on your drift boat as an impromptu grill to reheat the chicken, but we take no responsibility for burnt chicken or hands.


Male eating sandwich on the river.
Pack up that sandwich for an easy snack.

Classic. Can’t go wrong with a quick PB & J sandwich on some wonder bread. But for you foodies out there, your choice of fillings on nice hoagie can really set the mood for an epic day of fishing.

Pretzels or Chips

Female eating pretzels on the river.
Grab a handful of snacks inbetween fish.

A salty snack with a beer chaser is a must. Pairs well with your beer of choice while you sit on the bank. Clean up is easy, just gently swing that greasy hand down to the side of your shorts or pants and wipe on the fabric. For those daredevils out there, you can consider popcorn, but wind can give you some issues on the “light” snack.

Breakfast Burrito

Okay, this snack can be consumed prior to the float on the drive-in or about an hour in after you land a few. Either way, if you roll-up to the boat ramp with a latte and not the burrito, you are going to get some looks from your buddies. Nothing wrong with a bit of a hot sauce stashed inside of the life jacket to add a little kick.

Meat Sticks or Jerky

Male eating a meat stick on the river.
Easy to share.

Homemade or a quick gas station grab. Meat sticks or jerky is easy to share by tossing them between boats. Again, if you hook up to a fish mid-bite, stash that stick like its a big ole stogie and land that thing.


Nectar of fishing gods. So many options to give you a sugar buzz mid-float. Preference to Sour Patch Kids or Red Vines. If you have a bunch of old fly pucks hanging around, they work great to help store a little stash of candy.


If you are more of the liquid only angler, then you might want to grab an extra six-pack for yourself. Usually, we have quite a few brews already on ice for the day.  Beer is a personal choice and we have a few suggestions for you here.

Leftover Pizza

Sometimes, pizza from the night before is better the next day. Grab those slices, throw them in the boat, and enjoy.

No matter your snack of choice, come prepared. Those quick floats may change to an epic day of fishing and you will need the fuel for the float. Remember to pack in and pack out all the trash of those snacks and just leave anything that requires utensils at home.

Emily Dmohowski

Float Fishing Guide and Operations Manager