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East TN, Middle TN, West 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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Tennessee Azeleas

The First Signs of Spring Are at Tennessee’s Botanical Gardens, Garden Shows and Scenic Byways

Thanks to the polar vortices that came knocking on our doors this winter, spring seems to be running a little late. At least the days...Read on

Panther Creek State Park

The Best Guided Hikes to Take in Tennessee This February

After our unusually cold January weather, it’s a good time to dust off your favorite hiking boots, stretch your legs and get a healthy dose...Read on

Andrew Jackson Hermitage

Visit a Trio of Presidents in Tennessee on Presidents’ Day 2014

For many of us Presidents’ Day is more about a three-day weekend than our three Tennessee presidents, Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk and Andrew Johnson....Read on

The Overmountain Men that settled the area around present-day Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park were movers and shakers during the 1770s who established a majority-rule government known as the Watauga Association four years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence, negotiated a land treaty with Cherokee leaders, played an important part in the expansion of settlements west of the Alleghany Mountains and influenced the outcome of the American Revolution. Photo TN State Parks

History Happens at Tennessee State Parks

There’s something of interest for everyone on a journey into the 1770s during the Living History-Militia Muster on February 15-16, 2014 at Sycamore Shoals State...Read on

Cades Cove

See the Beauty of the Smoky Mountains at Wilderness Wildlife Week

According to the National Park Service, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the entire United States with 10 million...Read on

Sandhill Crane Festival Tennessee

Flock to Tennessee for the 23rd Annual Sandhill Crane Festival

Whether you’re a devoted backyard birder or have no idea who’s making the chirps and tweets that are such a sweet part of Tennessee’s background...Read on

Bob Latendresse fishes for largemouth bass in the harbor where Johnsonville Fossil Plant discharges warm water into the Tennessee River.

Top Tips for Winter Warm Water Angling in Tennessee

Thermal pollution is the solution for wintertime fishing. So cozy up to a TVA power plant and cast in the warm water discharge. This byproduct...Read on