Great points and questions Harry. There is a tremendous amount of gold all along the Klamath River.
Within these large and small gravel bars, both deep and shallow, are numerous flood layers along with the layers from the original dredging and hydraulic operations. With close observation and experience they become quite apparent and predictable. Each or all can be surfaces for migrating gold to come to rest. Sample, sample, sample.
The year before last I met my sons over in Trinity County for some deer hunting. They hiked into the high country wilderness while I stayed in the lower elevations. One of them killed a nice buck and left for home the following day. As I had taken a week off from work, I stayed camping and hunting.
Naturally the day after they left I killed a modest buck which required a difficult drag back to the closest road. This, with hanging it and skinning it that evening left this old guy pretty darn tired. With about 5 more days to my vacation I decided to drive to Happy Camp and hang the buck in the Kingfisher Markets cooler until I headed for home. Actually I had them cut, wrap and freeze the venison so I could stay longer.
Any way, getting back on track, I set up camp in a local Forest Service campground, right along the Klamath River, not far from Happy Camp, for a little R & R.
Next morning, with a cup of coffee in hand, I took a walk along the river. As I walked along a large gravel bar I noticed a cut bank about 3 feet high on the land side of the bar. Within this cut bank were 3 distinct layers of material deposited by past events. The bottom layer was ancient compacted stream bed cobble which I believe had never been worked. This layer is a rather pale yellowish, brown with black coated cobble. On top of this is a very distinct layer of coarse red sand which most likely was washed downstream from old timers dredging or hydrolic operations. The top layer was a grey mixed size cobble, from suitcase size rocks right on down to sand. I think this top layer was created by the 1964 flood. Truly a 100 year flood.
Opps, time to go to work. About a 45 minute drive up the Smith River canyon here in Nortthern California.