Gold is Where You Find It

Produce more gold by looking where others don't

The Tertiary Gravels Spread Gold Everywhere


Above. Working the high mountain rivers with a wetsuit and a bag of tools produces good gold.

I spend most of my time sniping under water. I look for the places which aren't obvious for gold, or were passed over by the old timers because there should have been no gold there. When I find one of these spots I work it very thoroghly. My tools include a mask, snorkel, msall sledgehammer, chisel and some fine tools for working the little cracks. The secret to finding more gold is to bust open the cracks. Even the smallest of cracks can produce some nice gold when you open them. I've found gold inside the cracks which is far bigger than the crack itself

For cleaning out the cracks I use a pair of tweezers, some needle nose pliers and a turkey baster which I've modified with a copper tube to suck up the gold and keep it in the bulb.

I've found some of my best gold running contrary to what people say. A condition I look for is a depression in the bedrock running at an angle across the river, not straight across, but running almost, but not quite parallel to the river. The gold seems to drop out at the top and work its way lower and often you can find quite a collection of it. It doesn't have to have a crevice, or even a real steep drop, just enough to break the watter pressure and drop the gold.

I've had some great days with this approach. One day I hit a boil hole behind a boulder and started working it. I've found the boil holes on the right hand side of the river, as you go down stream, will collect more gold than boil holes on the left hand side, and this particular boil hole was on the right hand side so it warranted a closer look.

A big boulder was sitting on top of the boil hole, which was behind another much larger boulder. The boulder was about 8' across by 16' long and 4' thick so I wasn't moving this with the tools I was carrying. I could work around it. I took three ounces from around that boulder in an afternoon and worked it again the next day and took another four ounces from it. Who knows how much gold was under the boulder, but I planned to find out.

That week I paid to rent a tow truck to hook a cable and winch up to the boulder. We got the boulder moved, but only after paying the tow truck driver a thousand dollars to get his truck back in there and move it. Dreams of hundreds of ounces were in my head as I watch the boulder slowly winch out of the boil hole. Once the boulder was moved and the water cleared I hopped back in the hole thinking I'd be scooping gold up by the handfull. I only got another ounce from under the boulder, which paid for the tow truck, but it certainly what I was hoping for.

When I'm running a dredge I can do a consistent ounce per day, sometimes better, sometimes worse, but every now and then you hit a pocket, crevice or boil hole we all hope for.

For those who are just beginning prospecting or dredging, or for those of us who are trying to find more gold than what we are, my advice is to not always follow advice. Gold will sometimes run contrary to what you've read or been told. Work carefully and persistently and you'll hit it. There's a lot of gold out there, and I'm not going to get all the gold from my claim before I have to quit dredging, and my claim is only one of hundreds I know of which will produce good gold.

The real secret to finding more gold? You have to get out there and do it. It's not going to knock on your door. I hope someone younger, with a golden gleam in their ey will pick up where I left off and discover the excitement of gold mining. It's not just about the money, and when you have days which produce several ounces you're not thinking about what you can buy, you're just thinking about the gold.