NFR - Gold panning while river fishing?

John Dude

Learned skills from George Dickel
I have a gold pan in the garage that I have had for years. Used it once and found nothing. Does anyone know of any casual gold panning done in the local creeks and rivers? I might try it when the fish aren't active. Ive heard the Sultan river has gold, but haven't looked into anyplace else. The place I tried once before was a creek near Liberty WA
 

JACKspASS

Active Member
I've tried it while plunking for springers. A buddy and I found a couple tiny specs, just enough to make it fun while waiting for a pod of fish to swim by. It's a good way to pass time when the fishing is slow. Bring a light weight pan and a little hand trowel. Don't be throwing names of gold producing rivers on the net either.....;)
 

Jim Wallace

Smells like low tide.
There was a dude around my area a while back who claimed that he was panning up some gold in the local streams. It could be that he was, because he would not name the streams. However, he was also a notorious liar and teller of tall tales. I'll never know. He moved away.
I have seen golden colored specks on a local stream bottom, but they were just "fool's gold." Iron pyrite or something.
 

Jake Dogfish

Active Member
Print a copy of “Washington gold and fish” bring it with you.
This serves as your hpa for most areas as well as having the regulations for the body of water you want to pan. There is gold just about everywhere, just not in profitable amounts.
 

Jiminsandiego

Active Member
I did some gold mining with a dredge in the American River (California). To get to the gold it is key to get down to the "bed rock" (the very bottom of any sand or gravel called overburden). Scrape out any cracks or crevice with a screw driver or wire brush. This will be the material to put in your gold pan. Gold is extremely heavy and will find it's way down to the very bottom until it is trapped in a "pocket" in the bedrock. Be aware that "gold fever" is real. You can pick out any "color" (specks of gold or nuggets) with tweezers and put them on a glass vile. It makes a cool conversation piece, just don't look at it too long because that is how you will catch the fever.
 

Krusty

Huge Erect Member
WFF Supporter
While panning for bit of gold is pretty innocuous (it's equivalent to the streambed disruption caused by wading), dredging is a whole 'nuther animal'.

I can't think of anything more antithetical to trout fishing ethos than dredging.
 

Jiminsandiego

Active Member
I agree with Krusty. I was using a 2"diameter dredge powered by a gasoline engine. It was definitely not the best thing for the environment and I am pretty sure it is not allowed (anymore) in California. Back in the 1800s the miners would divert the entire river to access the deeper areas where the gold accumulated. I am sure that the native trout did not approve of the California gold rush.
 

John Dude

Learned skills from George Dickel
Print a copy of “Washington gold and fish” bring it with you.
This serves as your hpa for most areas as well as having the regulations for the body of water you want to pan. There is gold just about everywhere, just not in profitable amounts.
"Washington gold and fish"? Is that a state pamphlet? WDFW publication?
 

John Dude

Learned skills from George Dickel
I've tried it while plunking for springers. A buddy and I found a couple tiny specs, just enough to make it fun while waiting for a pod of fish to swim by. It's a good way to pass time when the fishing is slow. Bring a light weight pan and a little hand trowel. Don't be throwing names of gold producing rivers on the net either.....;)
Gold in the Sultan river and the area around Liberty is pretty well known to anyone who has read state history. Plus the gold panning clubs tend to go to those 2 spots, they have mineral claims they work.


Ive heard the Sultan river has gold, but haven't looked into anyplace else. The place I tried once before was a creek near Liberty WA
 

Chad Lewis

NEVER wonder what to do with your free time
I have a buddy who's really into panning. He bought me a pan to encourage me to explore the "sport". Lucky for me, it didn't turn into full blown fever. However, it is a lot of fun to dig up some gravel every now and then and find a few pinheads. Jake Dogfish is right; you can get some gold just abut everywhere, which is fun. But the amounts are minuscule. Just keep putting it in a little vial and in thirty years you'll have enough to pay for a new fly line. I also have to say I've never combined panning and fishing. I'd never pan on a fishing trip, because fishing. I have enough trouble not fishing the few times I've gone on panning trips.
 

Robert Engleheart

Robert
WFF Supporter
I’ve fished a few streams in the California Sierra that have gold, those that do usually have claims and I wouldn’t try to pan one, miners can get pretty upset. On the north fk. of the Feather it was solid claims, I was looked at with suspicion but once they realized I was fishing and not poaching their gold they didn’t mind. A few asked what I thought of the stream, if I thought there was good invertebrates and trout life. Most seemed to be pretty conscious of the ecology to the extent they could. Definitely not a fan.
 

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