Re: looking for the start
After much research, I got a 9' 5wt rod - it seems to be the recommendation for trout and the like.
BUT, I am just like you - just starting out. I went with the 9' 5wt and love the rod.
As far as other gear, you will need: a reel, line, backing, leader, tippet, and flies to get started (again, others more experienced will likely add to this list). I would also recommend some line nippers, a forecep-type thing for getting fish off, and a net. A fly box and something to carry all this gear in would be helpful too.
As far as flies go, it depends on where you are located - everyone recommends talking to a local fly shop.