Re: cheap and effective fly tying
I'd also suggest tyers take a look for the pattern and instructions for tying the CDC&Elk, a fly attributed to Hans Weilenmann.
This fly is about as simple as it gets, once you master the methods of selecting and handling proper CDC and elk hair, and how to secure them both to the hook so the CDC 'lays" properly and the elk hair doesn't flare too much or spin around the hook once tied in.
Hans suggests the TMC 102Y style hook, and I'm 100% with him on this, but you can use a standard "100" style hook as well. And while he's a purist about the natural CDC, I tie this with yellow, fluorescent pink (both available from Marc Pettitjean) and black CDC as well for different lighting and water conditions for better visibility.
Tie a dozen or more when you tie it, they get beat up pretty badly after 4-6 fish (and that doesn't take too long to occur if you fish it right) =)