Ah, split shot. Maybe for awhile they stay in a small zip lock bag or plastic tube. Eventually, for me, they are scattered in vest pockets, pontoon side cargo pouches, wader pockets, gear bags, fanny packs…….. They are everywhere. So why don’t you use a bit more when it counts…on your leader above or below the fly. If it is legal to attach to your leader (check reg’s…if not use heavily weighted flies) then pay attention to your presentation. Are you fishing the proper zone (depth) while dredging nymphs in heavier waters? Yes, you risk the hangups, break offs, lost flies/tippet and re-rigging. But, you also will catch more fish holding in tough lies.
When I shorten my line, add weight and dredge in heavier waters my catch rate goes up dramatically compared to the longer line/leader set up and lighter offering. The fish are use to debris bouncing/swirling along the bottom. Often the pattern you are using is less important than the presentation. Also, enter Czech Nymphing in the Search Blog Archives search box, upper right for how to info Cz Nymphing, which is (regardless of pattern) a good, basic start to nymph with a shorter line. Wade carefully for safety and a stealth approach.
Oh, when you do hang up, don’t go reaming up on that rod like you are fishing with your old Bi Mart cheapo rod. You can give a sharp snap or two and if you are indeed hung up then pull the line straight until the setup either pulls free or you break off. Sometimes moving up stream a bit extricates the setup from beneath the rocks it wedged under. Check your line for abrasion and nicks too.