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What river material to classify?


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I am prospecting in a river coming out of the mountains of Tennessee and find color on a regular basis. I am wondering if I should look for and have the most success classifying "small gravel and sand", "just sand", or "larger stones and gravel and sand". Most of the sand is on the bank of some of my inside turns, but I find it unlikely that gold would be mixed in. It seems like most of the "heavies" such as bigger rocks and stones mixed with gravels and stone would be more desirable even if it is under say a foot of water; that would have to be worked with a shovel and bucket before sluicing. Is it ever worth it to work some of the sandy bank that is under water only during the high waters after a heavy rain? I am wondering too if I should only work areas that are almost always under water, instead of the gravels and stone that are exposed when the water is down? Any ideas?

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You can sometimes find a lot of very fine flood gold that can add up faster than you would think in that flow sand, fine gold being so small has a harder time sinking down very deep and as Dave mentioned, sample, sample, and then work the gold wherever you find it.

A buddy of mine found around 2 grams of very fine gold in the top 6" to 8" of sand in about 4 hours in a N.C. stream over the weekend, he wasn't panning or sluicing he was running a 2 1/2" highbanker combo and long arm dredging to remove the sand/lighter overburden and he's going back later with his 4" dredge to go on down to bedrock to try to find the bigger stuff, he was quite surprised at the amount of find gold he found in the flow sand.


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