I started fly fishing first, in the mid-eighties, then float fishing later, in the early nineties.
I think my best pattern for the spring opener was a hares ear, with or without bead head, depending on the flow.
In the fall, my favourite pattern by far was the glow bug. Deadly.
On the occasion that I float fish, I will use a spawn bag or small worm and a stonefly dropper.