Did anyone mention Clouser's minnows yet :-)
(oh, and read Bob Clouser's book too)
The Clouser minnow is basically a weighted bucktail streamer. Learn how to tie bucktail streamers.
For a simple pattern, I have been tying with chenille.
I really like the flyfishohio site for smallmouth info.
Black Wooley buggers are great, but also try some of the stone fly imitations. The Montana Stone is cheap to tie.
I also recommend just buying balsa poppers instead of tying them yourself.
If you are going to fish for bass, you need to learn to spin deer hair.
And learn to tie the Gartside Gurgler.
These flies will give you a lot to work with, and are fairly easy to tie and you won't have to go out and buy a ton of expensive materials.
Eventually you should take a class to learn to tie trout flies. Not because you will be using traditional dries, but because the techniques are transferable to smallmouth flies.