The winter is dying down and spring is starting to wake up.
So far, it has been a dry winter here in Northern California. The winter storms that create the high runoff required to move the large river gravels, never materialized. The high water during the winter storms redistribute the gold threw out the river systems. As prospectors, we depend on this natural winter cycle to provide us with this annual restocking of gold.
Unless we get some large storms in the next month or two, we will have to deal with trying to find gold in areas that have been worked several times last year.
I would recommend spending some time in the next month or so doing your research. Try to locate new areas to prospect as a bit of insurance if the rains don't come.
Even though this year may not be a good one for the gold, every trip out, is a day spent in the great outdoors and that is better than gold anytime.