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Finally found a few flakes


Dizzy

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I've been working diligently trying to find a place in this area where I could at least have a chance to run some gold bearing material through the sluice. To be honest, I was getting pretty dang frustrated after working days on end trying to come up with a suitable stream/creek/river to prospect, and I had nothing to show for it all but a few specks of super-super-fine. I'm sure many here can relate to working all day and having nothing to show for it..it gets old in a hurry :grr01:

A friend suggested I look into one fork of the Nooksack (Nook-sack) river, and being an eternal optimist I just had to check it out. Had some free time last Sat., so I packed up the smaller A-51 sluice and my gear and headed out. It is about a 45 min. drive from home, and (to me) it was well worth the gas and effort.

After multiple times cruising the road that parallels the river, I finally spotted a faint trail that headed off into the woods and ended on the inside portion of a large bend in the river. Figured that was a good spot to check, so I grabbed my backpack (pans, lunch, water, tools) and the sluice (+buckets and shovel) and off I went.

Here's how I packed the gear up for a hike into the area:

post-25173-0-04416300-1302555570_thumb.j

The 200 yd. hike through the woods was an easy one, and I ended up right at the end of the bar:

post-25173-0-42449300-1302555564_thumb.j

I just re-added the V-Groove matting to this sluice (adhesive didn't hold the first time) and was anxious to see how it worked. This time I used extra Gorilla Glue, and then used some clear silicone to seal all the edges so water could not get under the matting. (Just glued in the V-Groove on the larger A-52 - it's drying now).

Had a difficult time setting the sluice up to run just right, even though the water flow was good and there were plenty of locations. Took a bit of work, but it was finally running properly:

post-25173-0-83558700-1302555574_thumb.j

Ran a number of test pans and came up empty...that was until I found a nice little bench that was about 4' above the current water level. Ran a test pan from it and found 5-6 small bits, each little bit was larger than anything found in the past few weeks, so that seemed a good spot to dig:

post-25173-0-97626800-1302555555_thumb.j

Classified it down to 1/4"- and then ran it through the sluice. Saw the first flakes on the new V-Groove matting just after the initial scoop of material washed down the sluice. This was taken at the end of the day (about five 3gal. buckets of material):

post-25173-0-99574000-1302555581_thumb.j

There are some little bits that can be seen on the matting, and after panning out the days concentrates here was the final result:

post-25173-0-04636000-1302555585_thumb.j

Almost didn't post this as I felt a bit embarrassed showing off such a few little flakes when, all together, it wouldn't add up to even the smallest of nuggets that many are finding with their detectors. Still, I had a fun day and enjoyed every minute of being on the river, and even if my little finds don't add up to nuthin' I've got great memories of the day and a little color to show for the effort. That's good enough in my book..... beer.gif

Mike

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Nothing to ashamed of man! its more than I can get right now ;) Glad you stuck with it and found a little, perseverence is the ticket :whoope:

Congrats!!!!!now just tel me were is it and i will be there to help you !! rssss

Thanks for posting!!

Merci boaucoup !!

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Mike Congratulations on getting out and finding some nice color!! :thumbsupanim

That kind of gold will add up fast at $3 a grain :brows: and if you keep going back you will be surprised at how fast it will add up and you might hit a nice pocket and get lot more than your gas money for a day!!!

Skip

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I've been working diligently trying to find a place in this area where I could at least have a chance to run some gold bearing material through the sluice. To be honest, I was getting pretty dang frustrated after working days on end trying to come up with a suitable stream/creek/river to prospect, and I had nothing to show for it all but a few specks of super-super-fine. I'm sure many here can relate to working all day and having nothing to show for it..it gets old in a hurry :grr01:

A friend suggested I look into one fork of the Nooksack (Nook-sack) river, and being an eternal optimist I just had to check it out. Had some free time last Sat., so I packed up the smaller A-51 sluice and my gear and headed out. It is about a 45 min. drive from home, and (to me) it was well worth the gas and effort.

After multiple times cruising the road that parallels the river, I finally spotted a faint trail that headed off into the woods and ended on the inside portion of a large bend in the river. Figured that was a good spot to check, so I grabbed my backpack (pans, lunch, water, tools) and the sluice (+buckets and shovel) and off I went.

Here's how I packed the gear up for a hike into the area:

post-25173-0-04416300-1302555570_thumb.j

The 200 yd. hike through the woods was an easy one, and I ended up right at the end of the bar:

post-25173-0-42449300-1302555564_thumb.j

I just re-added the V-Groove matting to this sluice (adhesive didn't hold the first time) and was anxious to see how it worked. This time I used extra Gorilla Glue, and then used some clear silicone to seal all the edges so water could not get under the matting. (Just glued in the V-Groove on the larger A-52 - it's drying now).

Had a difficult time setting the sluice up to run just right, even though the water flow was good and there were plenty of locations. Took a bit of work, but it was finally running properly:

post-25173-0-83558700-1302555574_thumb.j

Ran a number of test pans and came up empty...that was until I found a nice little bench that was about 4' above the current water level. Ran a test pan from it and found 5-6 small bits, each little bit was larger than anything found in the past few weeks, so that seemed a good spot to dig:

post-25173-0-97626800-1302555555_thumb.j

Classified it down to 1/4"- and then ran it through the sluice. Saw the first flakes on the new V-Groove matting just after the initial scoop of material washed down the sluice. This was taken at the end of the day (about five 3gal. buckets of material):

post-25173-0-99574000-1302555581_thumb.j

There are some little bits that can be seen on the matting, and after panning out the days concentrates here was the final result:

post-25173-0-04636000-1302555585_thumb.j

Almost didn't post this as I felt a bit embarrassed showing off such a few little flakes when, all together, it wouldn't add up to even the smallest of nuggets that many are finding with their detectors. Still, I had a fun day and enjoyed every minute of being on the river, and even if my little finds don't add up to nuthin' I've got great memories of the day and a little color to show for the effort. That's good enough in my book..... beer.gif

Mike

It's Golt' so it counts. Working placer gold with a hand sluice is like dating a hottie----getting to see a little bit more each time makes hitting the pay streak all the more enjoyable.

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Thanks all for the encouragement..beer.gif

Now that I've found decent color I need to improve my techniques for getting it out of the ground and into my pan. Started that process tonight with a couple upgrades to my 30 year old Keene A-52 hand sluice that should improve the performance.

Mike Congratulations on getting out and finding some nice color!! :thumbsupanim

That kind of gold will add up fast at $3 a grain :brows: and if you keep going back you will be surprised at how fast it will add up and you might hit a nice pocket and get lot more than your gas money for a day!!!

Skip

Thanks Skip! This spot is only about 45 min. from home, and I plan to spend as much time there as I can get away with. Spring up here usually means a load of yard work to do, and sadly this year isn't going to be any different. Still, if I can get one day a week on the river the gold will start to add up.

Good job man, I remember how it feels finding your first good spot, and now your on the trail to the good stuff. Heck I still go long spans of time doing work and not finding anything when I am exploring around, I know how that is too, good you didn't give up!

Thanks Jason...it's nice to know I'm not the only one that had a bad streak. There are so many rivers and creeks around here it took a lot of poking around before I stumbled onto this spot.

It's Golt' so it counts. Working placer gold with a hand sluice is like dating a hottie----getting to see a little bit more each time makes hitting the pay streak all the more enjoyable.

Thanks MacGump.. :thumbsupanim

Problem with dating hotties; what do you do with one after you've hit the pay streak...???

marriage.jpg

rofl.gif

Mike

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Way to go man, nice color and even us detecting guys like to get out with a drywasher or other equipment digging to see that yellow smile in the pan. I agree with Jason as well in that I still remember that first "find" in Big Bug Creek and the thrill it brought me... Thanks for the great play-by-play of your trip!

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Same spot I found my first color. Have not made it this year. Nice easy walk for this old fart. When the water drops I go upstream abit more. WPMA takes Bellingham (Whatcom Co.) Parks kids there in the summer for panning.

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Same spot I found my first color. Have not made it this year. Nice easy walk for this old fart. When the water drops I go upstream abit more. WPMA takes Bellingham (Whatcom Co.) Parks kids there in the summer for panning.

Howdy neighbor! Welcome to the forums ..howdy.gif

I was upstream (above the hatchery) last Fri. afternoon, but didn't hike too far up the canyon. I liked this place, and will be back there next Sat. morning; this time I'll be much better prepared with a larger sluice and better classifiers so I can run about 10x the material I did last week.

Drop me a note if you are heading down that way, as it would be great to meet some other locals who are also suffering with the "AU Flu".. :D

Mike

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Congrats on the satisfying results! But which end of the bar was sampled? The upstream end usually is a better bet than the downstream end. Keep up the efforts. Part of the fun of prospecting is thinking and scheming about the next trip out.

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Congrats on the satisfying results! But which end of the bar was sampled? The upstream end usually is a better bet than the downstream end. Keep up the efforts. Part of the fun of prospecting is thinking and scheming about the next trip out.

I worked as far up on the upstream end as I could get. When late Summer arrives the water levels will drop quite a bit and that will open up more space. As wa-au-nut mentioned, this is a location that is rather popular, so I'm sure there will be many others in there working the same ground. No worries though, as I doubt anyone is going to get rich off the area, but can still enjoy finding a few flakes in their pans.

Mike

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Ahhhhh what is this "getting rich" you speak of? Can we do this thing prospecting? First I gotta pay fer my stuff... :arrowheadsmiley:

I work all week long to make money, but weekends are for having fun. I told my wife when we met (she is #4) that I would never be money-rich, because the "riches" in my life had nothing at all to do with currency. We're broke, but happy; that'll do just fine..

Been a big Robert Service fan since I was a youngster, and he said it best in the last verse of "Spell of the Yukon":

"There’s gold, and it’s haunting and haunting;

It’s luring me on as of old;

Yet it isn't the gold that I'm wanting

So much as just finding the gold.

It’s the great, big, broad land 'way up yonder,

It’s the forests where silence has lease;

It’s the beauty that thrills me with wonder,

It’s the stillness that fills me with peace. "

Who cares if it's worth anything...I just want to find it....beer.gif

Mike

(edit: actually, I do care about the value, as it would be nice to at least make expenses for a trip (ie: gas). That would make #4 a bit happier, as the Tundra isn't so hot on the gas mileage, and it's near $4.00 a gallon now.)

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