With all the videos and books out there, you would think finding gold would be easy for the new prospector. Alot of how to info is really nothing more than a smoke screen to get you to buy that new wonder tool, note the word TOOL. You can spend alot of money on prospecting equipment, but if you don't find much gold now, that $500.00 tool isn't gonna help you. The pan I use in my videos I bought used for $7.00 5 1/2 years ago, so with roughly a $25-$30 dollar investment I have found 19 ounces of gold. So whats my point, well my point is, tools are for recovering gold you have already found, tools don't find the gold for you.
One of the most important things I learned early on was something almost everyone overlooks, once I figured this out it really increased the amount of gold I was finding. Almost all prospectors will tell you to look for black sand, the problem is that it's sand and it's found all over a wash and it does'nt really tell you anything. Now we all know gold comes in different sizes, nuggets, pickers, and fines, well black sand (magnetite) does to.
In the picture above you can see "nuggets" of magnetite scattered all over the bedrock, there are even some pieces wedged in the crevices. Now if you were standing on this wash and had a full view you would notice that these black sand "nuggets" seem to be forming lines or "streaks" and although magnetite is'nt as heavy as gold, gold does the same thing in a wash. Next time your out prospecting try looking for these black sand "nuggets" and be sure to sample where they pile up. If you get good at spotting these streaks you never now what you'll find.
Good luck out there,