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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Buffalo River Tennessee

Take In the Beauty of Tennessee’s Buffalo River

Who wouldn’t like to spend a lazy day exploring one of Tennessee’s best-known and most beautiful rivers? I’m not talking about heart-stopping plunges through raging...Read on

Northrup Falls

Explore Tennessee’s Natural Wonders at Colditz Cove

If you’ve not yet visited Colditz Cove, one of Tennessee’s 82 treasured ecological reserves, you’re in for a treat. Located on the upper Cumberland Plateau,...Read on

The blogger's fishing partner, Doug Markham, hauled in this whopper striper below Old Hickory Dam

Fishing Nashville in the Last Days of Winter

Think of all the things Nashville is known for… time’s up. Did you think of fishing? Three major reservoirs lie within casting distance of the...Read on

River batteries at Fort Donelson National Battlefield overlook a sweeping view of the Cumberland River.

Remembering Iron Valentines at Fort Donelson National Battlefield

Simon Bolivar Buckner and U.S. Grant met while students at West Point. They met again in New York during 1854 when Grant was down on...Read on

Behind the large parking area and restrooms at Garrison Creek, a hiking trail heads steeply up the hill while hitching posts lead to a 20-mile horse and hiking trail that meanders along the edge of the woods, past pastures and beside creeks as it parallels the Natchez Trace Parkway.

Cure Your Cabin Fever on the Natchez Trace Parkway

After cold, drizzling rain and inertia kept us inside for a couple of days, a trip to the historic Natchez Trace Parkway near our Leiper’s...Read on

Bear Trace Tims Ford

Tims Ford State Park: Great Golf, Fishing, Camping, and More

The December weather was balmy when we visited Tims Ford State Park which is located on the shores of the scenic 10,700-acre lake, roughly midway...Read on

Pickett State Park has 58 miles of hiking trails ranging from easy to moderate difficulty with lengths of 0.2 miles to 14 miles.

Christmas on the Cumberland Plateau

If you’ve not yet visited the Cumberland Plateau at Pickett State Rustic Park and its historic neighbord, Rugby, during winter, you’re in for a treat....Read on