Back in the day, back in BG (before graphite) it seemed that nobody with any sense would fish one of our larger rivers during the Spring high water without a sinking line. And I mean a SINKING LINE as in a Cortland Wet Cell 2 as opposed to a sinking tip line by any maker.
Sinking lines get you DOWN so you can short line, tight line and high stick your brains out but still make traditional casts to swing streamers and soft hackles and such. And don't believe the conventional wisdom that these are a bear to cast because they are not. Picking 50 ft of line out of the water may be a task but who does that anyway. Most of our fishing is withing 25 feet.
The key is the length of your leader material (notice that I said "leader material" and not leader) which should be about a 5 foot section of 3x for those high water, heavy fly conditions.
These lines are cheap and you should have one loaded onto a spare reel "just in case". It has saved the day for me on the Squannacook to the EB and especially the Millers over the years.
I love bead chain eyes BECAUSE they actually look like the eyes of a large insect or crayfish plus they add just the right amount of weight to beat heavy flows. I tie them on small buggers meant to imitate dragon fly and damsel fly nymphs and they work. In fact, many years ago when I worked the shores of Wachusett Reservoir for smallmouth it may have been my top fly.
Go to a local hardware store for the beadchain.
Folks, I'm booking up this Spring for the Millers, EB, MB, Ware and the Swift. Just email me and the date is yours without requiring a deposit!!!