The major factor in recreational prospecting is water level, especially in Ruby Reservoir. Last year one could walk along the shoreline and see red and pick up small garnets. Some filled their bottles with lots of stones if they were there for several days.
I dug and classified right on the sandy shore while my friend picked them out of the water’s edge. But the water was way down, different from this year. Gold was found in my dirt that was processed last year, but not as many stones this year along the higher shoreline. The best time to go here is in the fall when the water level is low. You will be more productive in your finds.
One person familiar with the area said anyone can prospect along the Ruby River below the dam and be very successful. Next year when I go there I will try to add that to my repertoire. There is access you can see from the road to the area. The campground for prospecting from is not really easy to see and the signage has come down. You have to work at it to find it and you don’t want to arrive in the dark like we did last year. Good facilities at the campground.
This year I went to Virginia City watched the Virginia City Players and enjoyed the old time mining opportunities nearby. Nevada City is close too. And the drive out, OH MY!!