Apr 06, 2012, 03:57 AM
First Time Prospecting - East Fork of San Gabriel River
A few weeks back I picked up a Proline hand sluice. I was planning on buying the keen A52, but the store I went to was sold out and the Proline looked comparable (with the exception of no expanded metal after the first two riffles, is that ideal? ). I didn't like how the rubber mat was so small, so I modified it:
Wednesday I went out to the East Fork of the San Gabriel River to try prospecting for the first time. I followed East Fork road until it ended (where it turns into a dirt road) and went down the switch-backing dirt road that comes off of the parking lot. I brought more gear than I could take with me in one trip (first mistake of the day), so by the time I walked back up and down again I just wanted to get started. I set up the sluice in the first section of river you come to at the bottom of the dirt road (probably the second mistake). A friendly gentleman I ran into while leaving said the other side of the parking lot, near tree roots, was better. Anyway, I couldn't seem to get the sluice box setup the way I wanted - the water level would either be too high, or the water speed would be too slow. I finally settled on a spot that had a little bit of both problems. I didn't want to dig too far from the sluice, so i started digging into the side of the riverbed (I'm sure that was a mistake too) and classifying down to a quarter inch. Since I was pretty slow it took the whole day to go through 6 or 7 five gallon buckets of classified material (fourth mistake).
From the short video clip below, can anyone tell if it looks like the sluice is running properly (I should have fed some dirt down it while I was filming, but didn't think to do so at the time)
Dirt was filling up behind the first riffle, but the other 6 riffles (where the water speed picked up a bit) didnt fill up more than an inch or so.
I've panned through half of the concentrates I brought back, and only found the equivalent of 10 or so grains of sand of gold (at least most of it I'm sure is gold), not even worth photographing. Regardless, I'm hooked.
Any general advice about the river from TNET members who prospect there (or any other advice)?
Last edited by mills84; Apr 06, 2012 at 04:01 AM.
Apr 06, 2012 03:57 AM
Apr 06, 2012, 09:52 AM
Welcome to T-net mills84...
Over 30 years ago I ventured into the East Fork of tjhe SG River...doing similar to you...now I'm a professional... commercial gold miner...
If you remember where you were parked at the end of the paved road...... walk back down stream ON THE PAVED road about 150 yards or so..and on your left, you'll see the blackened sckeleton of a cut up tree standing above the road about 10 to 20 feet up the embankment... walk up slightly to the right of that tree..watch out for rattle snakes...and you'll find a flat up there of te remains of a "hanging channel".....and figure a way to buket the dirt to the river or get water up there... but the gold is very good sized.. thumb nail sized flakes and such... screen the dirt to about 1/2 minus...Also note.. that was over 30 years ago and the rules and regulations for prospecfting the canyon may have changed some...do this at your own risk...
Look under the post "NEW SLUICE BOX---NO GOLD"... See my post about modifying your new off the shelf sluice box using Gold Hog matting instead of carpet.... Also... I have several post concerning prospecting the East Fork of the SG River under various older post on this forum... you want to read them as well if you plan to do several trips to the E F S G R....
Good luck to you...
Apr 06, 2012, 01:08 PM
"If I'd known then what I know now..."
I grew up in SoCal. Lived in Azusa for a few years even. And never knew there was "gold in them thar hills". Keep looking mills. And I'll continue to wonder "what if"