Re: Some tactical questions (trout fishing)
1. For all fishing situations, small streams especially, I have switched over to furled leaders almost exclusively. Loop to loop connection from fly line to leader, then there is a tippet ring where you can swap tippet out quick and easily. The loop to loop connection is very small so you should have no problems lightly pulling or casting the leader out of the tip. Joni and CutthroatLeaders here on the forum make some excellent furled leaders. Definitely look in to these if you haven't already, not only do they turn flies of all shapes and sizes over beautifully, they have also saved me a lot of time and money in the long run.
2. This is up to you. My buddy puts his 6-9ft deep, even if the water is only 2ft deep. It is beyond me why he does this, but he manages to catch just as many fish as anybody else. Of course he does get snagged up a lot more than normal. If the water is 3ft deep, I will put mine somewhere around 3ft and go from there.
3. From what you are describing, I would definitely go for a shorter rod, rather than longer. The Scott A4 is a pretty fast rod if I remember right. For most of my small stream fishing, I like a slower rod. It will allow you to cast with more accuracy, precision, and delicacy required for spooky trout in small streams. Bumping down to a 3wt wouldn't be a bad idea either. In my opinion, fiberglass rods are the king of the small stream world. They are slower than most graphite, allowing you to make them really tricky casts. Fiberglass also flexes more than graphite, so even an 8inch trout puts a nice bend in the rod. This year I have fished small brush choked streams more than anything, and my Scott F2 6'6" 3wt has been by my side the whole time. Having a 10 inch trout nearly double over the rod never gets old.
Just my 2 cents....