How to Spot Areas to Pan for Gold

By Dave P. Fisher
How to Spot Areas to Pan for Gold
orpailleur image by thierry planche from

Gold maintains its value, making the search for raw gold well worth the effort for hobby gold-seekers. The general rule in finding gold is this: Where it was found before it will be found again. Hobby prospectors generally pan for gold while people intent on finding gold in large quantities utilize sluice boxes and rockers to move more stream material. Whatever the method used, the gold-seeker first needs to understand where gold can be found in a stream.

Step 1

Study topographical maps of an area to learn the country and the terrain through which potential gold streams run.

Step 2

Walk along the stream bank and search out pools of water below rapids and eddies behind rocks.

Step 3

Seek out quiet water below rapids. Gold tumbles along with the swift current and then sinks to the stream bottom when it reaches quiet water.

Step 4

Dig into cracks in submerged bedrock. Gold falls into the cracks as the current pushes it along with other stream material.

Step 5

Pan for gold in pools of still water where dirt has been washed off the hillsides and into the stream.

About the Author

Dave P. Fisher is an internationally published and award-winning Western novelist and short-story writer. His work has appeared in several anthologies and his nonfiction articles in outdoor magazines. An avid outdoorsman, Fisher has more than 40 years of experience as a hunter, trapper, fisherman, taxidermist, professional fly-tyer, horsepacker and guide.