Fishing is thirsty work. Especially if you are plying the waters in a driftboat or raft for the better part of the day. Out there with no shade, the sun beating down on you… It gets pretty damn toasty after a while. And there is no better way to cut the heat than an ice cold drink.
Of first and foremost concern to what you should drink on the river is what you put your drinks in. A good cooler is one of the most important investments you can ever make. You can’t buy the cheapy styrofoam model from the grocery store and expect it to keep ice frozen for more than an hour or so. Spend as much money as you can afford and get the best model you can reasonably afford.
Now we get to the fun part. What to put in it.
The first and absolutely most important thing you can put in your cooler (other than ice) is water. There is nothing worse than being halfway through a long float on a hot day and running out of water. Get a bunch of it. Put it down in the bottom of the cooler, where it can stay the coldest.
Beer is the classic river drink. It’s cheap, it’s easy, and it you drop it or knock it over while you’re fishing it’s no big deal. The best driftboats have had lots of beer spilled in them over the years. Get some cheap stuff to fill the cooler with, but throw in a couple bottles of a good microbrew, like Madison River’s Salmonfly, while you’re at it. Save the good stuff for the big fish.
My personal favorite beer of choice for the river would probably have to be PBR. A lot of good times have been had on the water with this beer around, and hopefully many more are in store for the future. It’s cheap, it’s pretty good, and when you set your can down on the bank it’s easy to find again with its bright colors.
Sure, you can put something fancy in your cooler, like whiskey and coke, but why go to all that trouble? Keep it simple. And enjoy.