Re: 3wt set up for 1st timer
One word of caution, rods/lines lighter than a 4wt are generally harder to learn how to cast with because there is so little weight there to load the rod. A casting instructor could definitely teach you how to cast with that rod in your hand, but the light weight of the line could make it hard to get the feel on your own. You may find yourself less frustrated if you start learning how to cast with a 9' 5wt and then move your new skills over to your small strream rod.
Another thing, if the streams you are talking about fishing are steep and full of tumbling fast water, you would probably be better off with a 9' 5wt rod anyway. The trout stream I fish the most is a fast and steep tumbler and I would much rather have my 9' 4wt than my 7' 4 wt every single time. Most of my casts consist only of the leader and 8-15' of fly line, but having a longer rod that can reach over the currents helps a ton. I am also fishing nymphs and weight under an indicator most of the time. I find this much more effective in fast water, as trout have a tough time seeing dry flies going by in turbulent water.