Stream Prospecting for Gold
The good prospectors know that it is not necessary to clean out every single placer that is found but to rather carefully mark the location of each location that looks like a promising area and will then go back to these spots with a bigger dredge when the time is right.
Oddly enough, what a prospector is searching for is the point where there is actually no gold at all. There is not really any way of preparing for this outcome and continual sampling needs to take place all the time. The distance between areas that can be sampled and tested can change from a few hundred yards to miles and a lot has to do with the kind of terrain, the general length of the stream, the conditions of the water as well as many other factors. The most important thing to keep in mind is to use the basic techniques of placer prospecting and search in the most likely areas where heavier minerals just may be deposited.
If you have come across one or two areas that do not have any gold in them at all after having sampled them in depth, you will need to retrace your steps going downstream. You will need to backtrack to the last point you discovered some yellow color. this area should be in between the area where you were no longer to see any color and the spot where the last color was obtained.
If you notice that the colors go away right on top of a tributary stream, the stream is then prospected upstream to see if any more color can be found. If color can be found the same process is done until the color can no longer be found.
At some point of the stream search process, the color will go away at an area where the stream does not connect. A search is done right away above the area on the left and right banks of the stream in order to see where the gold has been initiating. This search might have to go on for while up the stream due to the fact that there is no assurance the gold has been carried, but not deposited for some way.
If this is the case make sure you examine both banks very carefully and meticulously because it could be that the stream is in fact eroding a lode or permanent placer somewhere in the nearby region. Bench placers, tertiary river beds as well as veins are cut by streams and this could be the original source.
If you have searched this way and the possibility has been ruled out, the location where the gold is determined to go into the stream turns into the real starting point for the search to be done in.
The idea and purpose of the search in general is to find a lode however when prospecting for gold in many cases it will lead to the discovery of preserved and permanent placers like a tertiary river bed. In principle this is not actually a lode however due to the fact the process for finding this type of deposit is in the same exact way as it works to find a lode, we will not make a difference between these two here.