I used to tie my own, and liked tying and using the hair's ear nymph. The trick was to learn how to nymphy upstream. Not easy, but deadly.
My dad used to tie professionally, and likes to tie wooly buggers and his own patterns of streamers. He always recommends letting the streamer run down stream from you and then just hold it there, you can drop it back into those brush piles that way, where the biguns live.
For a number of reasons, I just have not been able to do as much tying in the past few months as I would have hoped I could have done. However, one thing you'll find a lot of in my fly box are chironomids. I didn't really fish chironomids much until about three or so years ago, when I really learned to fish them and since then, I've tied up a lot of different chronie patterns.
One thing about chironomids, they are a quick tie! And in places where you are allowed to fish more than one fly, they can be deadly when other patterns are not taking, especially in stillwater.
I don't really have a favorite fly to tie anymore, that's all I did in high school but would rather just fish most of the time now days. Maybe if I ever live somewhere with a winter again I'll get back into it!
I would never go trout fishing without an elk hair caddis, that's for sure! I got into tying really small midges (22-32) at one time. Challenging to tie and the fish won't let one drift past if you present it properly.