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East 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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Nolichucky River Whitewater Rafting

Beat the Summer Heat Rafting on Tennessee’s Whitewater

For serious adrenaline surges and nearly non-stop thrills, nothing beats paddling water that’s white and fast. Outfitters on the Nolichucky, Pigeon and Ocoee Rivers offer...Read on

July 4th Fireworks in Nashville

Tennessee State Parks Feature Food, Fun, and Fireworks This Fourth of July

American Founding Father and second president of the United States, John Adams, only missed it by two days when he wrote to his wife, Abigail,...Read on

Port Royal Trail of Tears

Port Royal: A Small State Park with a Long, Tear-Filled History

In addition to fishing and science, history is one of my life-long interests. Decades of hearing family stories of the Summerlins’ hardships, adventures and triumphs...Read on

Normandy Lake Fishing Walleyes

Fishing Walleye, Sipping RC, and Munching MoonPies in Tennessee

Mmm, mmm, good! This story’s all about great tastes, Southern traditions and one of Middle Tennessee’s best spots for walleye fishing, Normandy Lake. Walleyes are...Read on

Burgess Falls Native Butterfly Garden

The Butterfly Effect at Burgess Falls State Park

OK. I admit I have a lifelong fascination with scientific research. I’m a card-carrying science buff with a B.S. in biology, stints in basic medical...Read on

Free Fishing Day Tennessee

Family Bonding at Tennessee’s Free Fishing Day 2013

I can still remember the first time my granddaddy carried me in his Plymouth along a dirt road that tracked through cotton fields down to...Read on

Fall Creek Falls Hike

Tennessee Celebrates National Trails Day

Mark your calendars! The 21st annual National Trails Day takes place June 1 and Tennessee will be celebrating in a big way. Throughout our beautiful...Read on