New 49ers Dredger Hits Nice Paystreak on the Klamath

 (The Klamath is one of California's "elite" gold-bearing rivers.)

Lest any of you doubt that rich placer paystreaks still exist, set your hearts and minds at ease. New 49ers prospecting club member and Klamath River suction dredger Derek Elmer is living proof that good gold is still out there waiting to be found.

Following a Hunch

A little over a month ago Derek set his dredge up over a likely looking spot along the Klamath on one of the New 49er claims. When he spotted a small gold nugget lying underwater atop bedrock, he knew he was onto something and went right to work.

Gold Concentrators
Metal Detectors

Based on what I've seen of the location, Derek was working close to shore on an inside bend where plenty of exposed bedrock was available. It's a sweet-looking spot and one most small-scale miners with some experience under their belt would've been eyeballing and wondering about. That said, it was Derek and no one else who followed up on the hunch that decent gold might be hiding at this spot. Boy oh boy, was he ever right!

Nice Haul

As he worked the bedrock, Derek began opening up cracks and crevices that were, quite literally, jam packed with placer gold. And we're not just talking small stuff either (although that came along for the recovery ride as well). You see, some of the nuggets Derek sucked up or pried from their bedrock nests weighed at least a full troy ounce! Others were probably in the quarter-and half-ounce range (see photo below). To put it mildly, this was one very nice haul.

(Only part of Derek's paystreak. Photo courtesy the New 49ers,

Dave McCracken, president of the New 49ers and well-known author, dredger, and miner calls Derek's gold recoveries a "major gold strike." In many respects Dave Mack is right on the money, especially in this day and age when good gold ground in the Lower 48 is hard to come by and strict dredging restrictions in California have forced miners to improvise. Dave Mack also believes that the paystreak Derek located is extensive and gold could be recovered from it for years. (Yep, you heard right...years.)

Who Knows?

As most of you know, I'm not the biggest fan of gold prospecting clubs per se, especially those long on the hype and short on delivering the goods. However, I don't think you've ever heard me say anything disparaging about Dave Mack or the New 49ers other than I thought memberships were a bit pricey. However, you get what you pay for in the end. Based on Derek Elmer's recent gold recoveries, the New 49er claims along the Kamath are obviously worth the money.

Who knows, if I was a little closer to my home state I might sign up with Dave Mack and bang away at the Klamath myself!

(My thanks to miner "Rattlesnake" Jim for tipping me off to Derek's find.)

(c)  Jim Rocha (J.R.)  2013

Questions? E-mail me at


    Damn I wish that was me!!

  2. I hear ya small-scale placer gold recovery in the Lower 48 I've seen in a very long time. J.R.

  3. I've been saying it since I started this crazy mining thing. there's no way it's all gone. there are good pay streaks left, you just have to find them. and that is what keeps the fire burning, I keep thinking "I need to look here" and "I need to sample there" and "if I just had some more time to run material from this other place". It's nice to have a reason to get out of the house.


    1. Well Bo, here's proof it's not all gone. Sure fired me up seeing this find and the fact that much more remains int his paystreak. Best, J.R.

  4. Wow....sometimes it shows that your gut feelings pay off. I appreciate Dave for sharing...and wish I could head to the Kalmath right now. Personally....I have not had a "run" of gold like that...but wonder how many hours he spent to get that Pan full?

    Selling the house....packing the truck...going to Kalmath River. My truck may not be as fast as "Muskrats'" pack horse....but wouldn't that be nice? Thanks to Derek and Dave for sharing.

    Goes to show there are still some good clubs out the 49'ers! Thanks Jim

  5. Knowledge and experience are one thing and intuition is another. All three are a potent combo in mining. Sure makes you want to head for the Klamath doesn't it? Best, J.R.


Post a Comment