Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: West Seattle, WA
My rough answers, since I do swing with a two-hander for trout....
You're primarily trying to imitate some kind of swimming creature, which for trout are primarily insects on their way to hatching at the surface (caddis and mayflies, etc.), or food fish (fingerlings, minnows, sculpins, etc.)
Therefore, a collection of soft-hackled flies to imitate insects: Partridge and Yellow (or Orange or Green or Olive... you get the idea), soft hackles specific to the insect specie (like the March Brown Spider, or Fall Caddis Pupa); attractors like Grizzlies and Professors, Woolly Buggers, Egg Sucking Leaches (and many many others, with the Partridge and Color in this category, too)...
And my favorite: the bait fish category. I've caught most of my trout on sculpin patterns of one kind or another (Conehead Zuddlers, Zoo Cougars, Muddler Minnow and all its variations). Double-bunnies, Zonkers, Clousers, etc. are all known to be effective.
I tie my sculpins to match the local color and size. I like a rabbit-strip overwing for all that great movement, and I add lead or tungsten wire, as well as beads or cones if applicable.
I pretty much always use a tip or sinking polyleader.
When you swing, swim the fly--short tugs, pump your rod tip--think like a scared bait fish and a hungry trout at the same time!
The standard nymphs you mention are more of a dead-drift kind of fly, which can be done (awkwardly, in my experience) with a two-hander--save that for your 9' 5-weight.
A bushy Fall Caddis skated can work (so I've heard!).
What area are you fishing in?
Good luck and have fun!