Become a DIY gold prospector by building a homemade sluice box out of scrap lumber. Then grab a couple buckets, a gold pan and a shovel and hit the stream.
Basically, a sluice is a device that separates gold from dirt using the power of running water. While the gold rush is over (in fact it ended almost as soon as it began), there is still gold to be found out there with a combination of hard work and good luck. So here's what to do to make a homemade sluice box: first use a 1 x 6 board approximately 36 inches long for the base then nail and glue 1 x 3 inch sides on three of the sides, leaving the bottom open to drain into the pan. Buy approximately 17 1/4 x 1/4 square dowels to use as riffles that will progressively sift the sand. Give it a test drive by taking it out in the backyard, tilting it at a 45 degree angle, and running the garden hose flowing down through the top. Then add some pay dirt to see if it will capture the good stuff and push through the sand.
To take it up a notch, build a recirculating system out of a larger wooden cradle which the sluice sits in, both seated inside a bucket. With a bilge pump flowing the waste water back up to the top of the sluice through a hose then spraying out of a PVC pipe with sprinkler holes, the water and dirt and (hopefully) gold flakes will continue circulating until the sieve works its magic and you find the sweet spot.