Oct 29, 2012, 10:38 AM
Has anyone had any luck detecting the clear creek tailings piles? Ive panned the creek for years and have gotten lots of color. Always been curious about the tailings and what might be hiding in them
Oct 29, 2012, 12:08 PM
Clear Creek, Ca, ? In the Redding area ? I cannot tell a lie, I have been detecting them for at least twenty years now... and yes, they did miss a few pieces, okay more than a few. TRINITYAU/RAYMILLS
Oct 29, 2012, 06:52 PM
Didnt find anything today but some junk and an axe head but it was my first time and lots of fun.
Oct 31, 2012, 09:40 AM
Are you digging past the big cobbles?
Oct 31, 2012, 09:45 AM
Good luck to you guys. It sounds like you are on the right track.
Oct 31, 2012, 11:45 AM
Hey Joe, first off let me give you some info. There are lots of tailing piles and you can hunt them all and possibly come up with nice piece of gold.
The piles that were put in place by the big monters are usually pretty tough to detect. Most of the time the rocks are larger and there is a lot of space for the smaller stuff to fall down. Over many years these piles have been washed clean by the winter rains. If you could move all these rocks and get to the bottom ground that they are setting on I have no doubt that you would find something. This is more than likely not going to happen.
The next pile of rocks that we want to look at are still in the bigger rock type group again set down by the big dredges. This time you have the same size rock but you also have a lot of debris still on top. If you look around at the other piles you will notice that there is somewhat of a pattern. In the area we are talking about there is a pile with more debris on top about every ten or so piles. You will also find that there is a lot of trash, iron, bolts, nuts, on these piles. The big dredges ran X amount of yardage and then shut down for recovery or repair. When you are working with Mother Earth the rocks always win and the dragline/dredge must be repaired. I have never done very well at these piles other than a lot of trash.
To me the very large piles are out for detecting.
Now, in the Clear Creek area you will find many, many rows of smaller tailing piles. Most of these are north of the Clear Creek road. Do not confuse them with the handstacked piles higher up on the hill. These piles are about five to six feet high and there is a pattern in which they laid down the material. We are out of the realm of the larger river eaters and getting into the ground that was too shallow or to far for them to reach. This where the Doodlebugs came into play. They could stake off and work the shallower ground all along the edges of the goldfields. In our area you will find these types of wind row stacks all over.
Look at these smaller piles the same way as the big ones and you will see patterns of operation. If you learn your local geology and know what rocks you are looking at on the tailing piles you will be better off in the long run. By being able to identify rocks you will know if you are in a heavy pile or not. A heavy pile to me is one that came right off the bottom hopefully near the pay streak. You will see hematite, magnetite, stained quartz, green soda rock, and maybe even some broken pieces of bedrock. These are the piles you want. You will still run into trash but if you have very good VLF that has a very good discrimination mode and you know how to use it then you are ready to hunt.
I have found single nuggets on some piles and I have found multiple nuggets on other piles. I have found larger nuggets and I have found crumb piles. You probably want to know what larger and crumbs are. My largest nugget off of one of these doodlebug piles was a really ugly, gnarly ironstained piece that hit right at four ounces on the scales. I have found many piles with crumbs scattered all over, something must have happened to the recovery system. One day I walked away with a vile full of crumbs that was just under an ounce. Not one piece went over three grains and there were lots of pieces that were sub-grain. That day stands out to me because all I dug that day was gold, not one piece of trash. I have to tell you also that digging that many small pieces was actually labour. I did enjoy it though.
Remember that this area has been gone over with detectors for the last twenty or so years. However, if you do your research and talk to property owners there are still a lot of these piles to be located. I hope this helps, Thanks, TRINITYAU/RAYMILLS
Oct 31, 2012, 12:57 PM
Great information Ray. I would assume you identify hand stacked piles by the lack of soil between the cobbles and maybe their location? I find a few cobble piles over here on the Smith, but I believe most, if they were here, have been broken down by more recent major floods.
Joe?s Cabin Vacation Rental in the heart of Redwood Country
Oct 31, 2012, 06:00 PM
I actually live on the creek. Basically from the s turns by the new fish viewing park to horsetown park is all in my backyard. So everything on south side of creek is easily accessible. There is so much area for me to go through it's unreal. I am looking into getting the Garrett infinium LS, is that a good unit to start with?
I appreciate all the help and info!
Oct 31, 2012, 06:57 PM
I picked up a Gold Bug Pro thanks to it pretty much being in the top 3 VLF detector range.
What put me over the top to buy it is what TrinityAu had to say about it.
If you want to try mine out I dont mind coming out, I am up that way all the time anyways, its only a few minutes from here.
Oct 31, 2012, 11:35 PM
You've had some great replies, and Ray really knows about dredge piles--he's answered some of my questions in the past. If he says the Gold Bug Pro is the way to go--I'd believe him. I've never used one, and I've never used the Infinium. I spend most of my time using Minelabs, but I'm always open to new ideas if they'll help me find more gold, especially in trashy ground.
Originally Posted by Joedirt530
All the best,
Nov 01, 2012, 02:05 AM
Thank you guys for the kind words. I have to go with Lanny as I have always had a penchant for using what works. I too also use my trusty modded 3000 along with the GB Pro. and between both units I am usually satisfied that I have gotten what was in an area.
A bit more about tailing piles. Years ago I detected an area that a friend took me to. This area was over in the Sierra. We had detected for two days and both of us had about three to four pennyweight of hard earned little nuggets. The area we were hunting was an old pit. This pit was full of original rock stack and most of it was quartz. You almost had to wear sunglasses at times because it was so bright when the sun was out hitting the quartz. We were about to head out on our last day, it was about three in the afternoon and I got one more hit behind a very large quartz boulder. I was using a White's Goldmaster, the best there was back then. This boulder was about two feet long and maybe twenty inches tall and wide. It looked like a big potato. It was laying against a two foot high rim of bedrock. I stuck the coil under the boulder again and moved around a bit more than the first time. That Goldmaster made so much noise that it vibrated in my hand. I figured oh heck, a big piece of trash. The problem was that when I tried to null it out is was a positive signal both ways. I called my friend over and had him check it out. The same thing happened to his Goldmaster and he tried to null it out. We sat there for a minute and then he told me the rest of the story about this pit.
This pit had the distinction of handing over some nice quartz and gold specimens. These pieces of gold and quartz ranged in size from a few pennyweight of gold to multi ounces of gold in quartz. There was also chromium balls in some of the quartz which sounded off on the detector real good.
I did not think much of it as my signal sounded like it was in the ground behind the boulder. My buddy said we have to move it so we can see. We both sat on the bedrock rim and rolled the boulder away from us and out onto a clear spot. I then took the detector and went over the ground but there was no signal. My friend said go over the boulder and I did. I started on one end and got an odd signal. It sounded like a loud background signal with a quick and sharp signal at the same time. I looked at the boulder and there was a piece of gold about half the size of a piece of rice. I said alright, now how am I going to get that out ? My buddy said go over the rest of the boulder and when I did the Goldmaster just screamed in my hand. He was getting excited and I really was not thinking too much. I went over it again and tried to null it out. The signal was still positive both ways. At this point I figured with my luck I had found one of those chrome balls locked up in quartz. My friend said to take a break and he would walk back a few hundred yards and get a sledge and a facemask from the truck.
When he returned I donned the facemask and started beating on the boulder. That was one hard boulder and after about thirty minutes the boulder finally broke in half. I put the detector back over the two pieces and found that I only had one giving me a signal now. Within twenty minutes I had the one piece broke open and was able to see what was giving such a loud signal. I had three pieces of quartz each about the size of a football. I reached for one and cut my hand on a fresh broke piece of quartz. After wrapping my hand up we got back to the rocks. I just about lost it when I looked at the first rock. It was full of little wrinkles of gold, the entire rock. All three pieces were the same. We packed everything up after making sure there were no signals left and headed for home.
It took a few days and I got a specific gravity test done. The total amount of gold in all three rocks came in at 7.2 pounds. I was told to have it cut into slabs which I did.
This is a different type of hunting on tailings or rock stacks, not quite the same as dredge piles, but the end goal sure was reached. I thought I would share it with you guys. The only thing that still gets me mad is that I never got one picture of any of it. There were no cell phones back then with cameras. Thanks, TRINITYAU/RAYMILLS
Nov 01, 2012, 02:46 AM
That is a kickass story Ray, I love how beautiful quartz/Gold Specimens are.
Nov 01, 2012, 10:35 AM
Wow! That must have been an amazing time. I have an opportunity to buy a gold bug 2 for pretty cheap. Should i just buy a brand new pro or a used gb 2? I plan on detecting just about everyday. Mainly around the tailings and dried creek beds. Lots of bedrock in the creekbeds, also lots of trash square nails, old spikes, pick heads etc
Nov 01, 2012, 11:28 AM
Joedirt530, check your PM's and give me a call, TRINITYAU/RAYMILLS
Nov 01, 2012, 02:45 PM
If you can get the GBII cheap I would figure it a good buy, otherwise take a stroll down to the Miners Cache off of Cypress and talk to chip in there.
He wont let you leave the store after you buy one without helping to teach you how to use it (if your new to it.) Chip is a great guy with tons of great information.
If you get one from Chip he throws in a $15 dollar coil cover and an $8 dollar Jobe treasure scoop, I traded my scoop in for store credit to buy something else because I already had scoops.
Also if your thinking about buying from online places that package a ton of stuff in with the detector, I wouldnt bother, its cheap, dollar grade stuff that isnt worth the trouble to have.
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