Metal detecting in streams, rivers and creeks can be very productive because not very many people hunt them. You need a waterproof metal detector, and most people prefer to stay dry. Not me. I will go where the treasure is, and I have been greatly rewarded hunting streams, rivers and creeks.
There are a few things to keep in mind when you are doing this. Always put safety first. No amount of treasure is worth losing your life. Be mindful of strong currents, deep holes, flash floods and submerged objects. One slip and fall is all it takes to send you quickly downstream without a paddle.
One of the great things about hunting these types of waterways is the vast amount of targets to be found. Streams, rivers and creeks are full of lost treasures. People have always been attracted to water, and people always tend to lose things in or around these types of waterways.
While you can easily find plenty of targets in the water, there are some things that will greatly improve your finds. You need to be able to read a body of water and understand all of the flows and eddies. It also helps to understand how heavy objects are affected by moving water. Objects in water only weigh as much as the water they displace. If you have ever tried to lift a very heavy object underwater, then you know exactly what I am talking about. Suddenly that heavy object is not so heavy anymore. This is true with heavy metal objects too.
Fast moving water can easily pick up a heavy object and move it miles downstream, but what do you think happens when the current slows down a bit? Heavier objects tend to settle towards the bottom when this happens. So you need to locate areas where water flow may be slowed by nature.
Depth, bends, submerged objects and eddies can all slow down the flow of a stream, river or a creek. These are the places where all of the heavy metal objects will settle and sink to the bottom.
I have found areas in creeks that have taken days to clean out. It all comes down to learning
how to spot these natural areas of slower moving water. Look for sudden changes in depth,
submerged objects that change the speed of the water flow and sharp bends and turns. You
should be able to see an accumulation of rocks and gravel in these areas. This is a good sign that you are in the right place!
If there were any heavy items moving downstream, they would settle and sink to the bottom in this area. This is the first place I would start hunting. This is exactly how gold prospectors read streams. Now that I think about it I need to get my gold pan out and head over to this creek.
Learning to spot eddies in the water is another excellent way to locate some great spots. Eddies are areas of water where the natural flow of water is changed dramatically. Sometimes the water may even flow in the opposite direction. Eddies appear on the surface of the water as small to medium sized whirlpools. These are good indications of where you should start hunting.
Reading an area of water can be difficult at times, but there is a very easy way to spot areas where the water slows and changes directions. Take a handful of leaves and toss them in the water. Pay close attention to how they move downstream. You will quickly see where and how the water moves downstream. You will also be able to quickly see where all the eddies and back flow areas are.
Keep the following tip in mind when hunting streams, rivers, creeks or any body of water. Any stream, river or creek that is near a well traveled road will be loaded with trash. For some reason people just love to throw their garbage in the water. I am not saying you should not hunt flowing water that is close to busy roads because you should. Just be prepared to dig up a lot of trash in the process.