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Middle TN Writer

Vernon Summerlin

Hi there! I’m Vernon Summerlin. Like many, I came to Nashville to break into the music industry. After years of striving, I put songwriting aside when I sold the first two fishing articles I wrote. I was being published more than the average songwriter, and I got to fish all I wanted. Talk about being in heaven—it was like being paid to eat candy! Twenty-five years later, I’ve written/co-written 11 books, had a weekly outdoor column for Middle Tennessee newspapers, put my pen to countless fishing articles, and have been a host for three radio programs and two TV shows. I’m immersed in our state’s outdoor life and will do my best to get you outside to experience Middle Tennessee’s slice of paradise. Describe your perfect Tennessee day. Nothing floats my boat better than catching fish, or at least trying. Give me a partly cloudy day with the temperature in the mid-60s by 11 a.m. and a breeze causing a light ripple on the surface. In my “Old Man Boat” with my wife, Cathy, and Jake, the golden retriever, trolling the Cumberland River for smallmouth, walleye, striper. Where’s the first place you’d take a friend visiting Tennessee? We often take our friends for a tour of the northern end of the Natchez Trace Parkway. Each season suggests the activity we’ll include—walking the old trails, wading in a creek, picking berries, photographing waterfalls or capturing deer or turkeys on camera. If you could meet one historical Tennessean, who would it be and why? (This can be someone still living.) I would love to visit with Bill Dance and fish with him. He blazed the trail for so many anglers, inspiring some anglers to become fishing pros, some to write, some to develop outdoor TV shows. He’s always gracious, with something substantial to offer.

Stories By Vernon

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Normandy Lake, an impoundment on the Duck River, has long been known for its bass and crappies, however, in the last decade a strong walleye fishery has developed and become very popular with anglers

Duck River – A Canoeing and Fishing Odyssey

We are so lucky here in Tennessee – not only do we have lush mountains, lakes and rivers but there are loads of ways to...Read on

Celebrate and explore the world’s largest natural Catawba rhododendron garden in full bloom at Roan Mountain during the Rhododendron Festival, Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. ET, June 21-22, 2014.

They’re Throwing a Great Big Garden Party on Roan Mountain

There are some who believe Roan Mountain, with its mysterious grassy balds and natural 600-acre Catawba rhododendron gardens is the most beautiful mountain in the...Read on

Chickamauga Lake is a run-of-the-river reservoir that offers sloughs, creeks, submerged stumps, bluffs and aquatic vegetation.

Chickamauga Lake’s Big Bass Showing

Chickamauga Lake, a 59-mile long impoundment on the Tennessee River, runs through Chattanooga, Hixson, Soddy-Daisy, Cleveland, Graysville and, more specifically, Dayton. Big Bass Success Chickamauga...Read on

The Appalachian Trail crosses Unaka Mountain Road in a remote section of Unicoi County between Johnson City and Erwin that features 60-foot Red Fork Falls, the 4,500-foot Unaka Mountain Overlook and Beauty Spot. Photo by Cathy Summerlin

10 Terrific Reasons to Spend Your Vacation in the Cherokee National Forest

From breathtaking vistas at Unaka Mountain Overlook and Buck Bald to hidden coves, scenic drives, hundreds of miles of tumbling streams, dazzling mountain lakes, options...Read on

Rock Island State Park offers three ways to celebrate National Trails Day on June 7: (1) a two-mile morning hike. (2) An afternoon of beach clean up or a walk to enjoy the woods. (3) Creatures of the night with park staff. Photo Cathy Summerlin

More Than 100 Free Woods and Water Events in Tennessee

There’s an old saying that “the best things in life are free.” And that may be the case for many of us on June 7...Read on

Make your reservations by May 27 for a vacation package June 9-11 that includes meals, lodging at the park, seminars and guided tours of Burgess Falls, Cummins Falls and the six waterfalls of Fall Creek Falls. Photo TN State Parks

Fall Creek Falls State Park Outdoor Adventures

Have you ever thought you would like to grab a paddle and weave your way through a river of rapids that sets your heart racing...Read on

The Twin Arches at Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area represent one of the world’s largest natural bridge complexes with a South Arch that is 103 feet high and spans 135 feet and the North Arch that is 62 feet high with a clearance of 51 feet and a span of 93 feet. Photo NPS.

Celebrate Endangered Species Day in Tennessee

In the midst of enjoying the beauty of springtime in Tennessee, do you find yourself keeping an eye out for your favorite patch of wildflowers...Read on