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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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Waterfront Johnsonville Historic State Park

Tennessee’s Civil War Past Comes to Life at Johnsonville State Historic Park

It’s so peaceful and pretty on the eastern shore of Kentucky Lake that it takes a leap of imagination to understand what the area around...Read on

Walls of Jericho

Enter the Walls of Jericho for an Unforgettable Tennessee Natural Area Hike

The changing seasons present us with a distinctive sense of nature’s majesty in spectacular spots like the 750-acre State Natural Area known as the Walls...Read on

Old Hickory Lake

Fall Fishing at Tennessee’s Cumberland River

I love looking at fall foliage from my boat. This is my favorite fishing season. And most excellent of all I’ve got my best girl...Read on

Events beginning in mid-October at three of Middle Tennessee’s most beautiful destinations provide new opportunities to deepen your appreciation of the world around you. Photo of North Twin Arch National Park Service.

Middle Tennessee Celebrates Its Fall Colors

It’s that wonderful time of year again when the sun casts deeper shadows, there’s a hint of a chill in the night air and our...Read on

Built in 1914, the Donoho Hotel is one of three historic hotels still operating in Red Boiling Springs. Photo Cathy Summerlin

Ten Must-See Fall Foliage Spots in Middle Tennessee

Whether you hike, bike, canoe or drive, Middle Tennessee has dazzling fall foliage displays coming soon to a spot near you. There are so many...Read on

Old Stone Fort State Archaeological Park From Tn State Parks copy

Indulge Your Passion for the Past at Old Stone Fort

Ever thought you might like to be an archaeologist? As near as I can figure, it’s a rewarding career but really doesn’t look much like...Read on

Rock Island State Park

Celebrate National Public Lands Day in Tennessee

It would be tough to imagine life without green spaces and quiet places. Our public lands enrich our lives and hold promise of the same...Read on