Re: Trout and minnows
They can be great, especially for big browns this time of year as they do their spawning thing, and can be a good choice fishing for big fish in pools and lakes, and are a good bet when fishing high off colored water, and can be a good option in smaller sizes for streams when there isn't any insect activity going on.
some stuff I've had a little luck with:
Big black muddler minnows size 4 for big browns in Oct, land a good big trout fly for lakes, pools, swinging in big rivers and high water, or night fishing. I like to fish them unweighted on a sink tip with a short leader.
Most times everything else is fished on a floater with a 9' leader:
White Zonkers to imitate winter killed shad at tailwaters below dams
Shushan Postmaster, Black Nosed Dace, are good imitations for smaller baitfish in streams in the NE, and stuff like Emerald Shiners are good for GL tribs, as are smelt imitations around lakes and their feeder/outlet streams in the Finger Lakes, Maine etc.
Lil Brown/Brook/Rainbow Trout a series of 3 flies are good for cannibalistic browns in small streams with natural trout reproduction. Mostly for browns and rainbows.
Muddler type stuff, Zoo Cougars etc. good big fish imitations where sculpins are around
Mini muddlers size 12, are a good go to fly for beginners on small streams that can't cast. They can drop just it down stream and swing or twitch thru runs.
Attractor type stuff like a Mickey Finn can be good for Landlocks, as well as stockers, and I've had some luck with a Trout Fin for Brookies.