Ultrafast lasers are becoming increasingly widespread in science and industry alike. Fiber-based ultrafast laser sources are especially attractive because of their compactness, alignment-free setups, and potentially low costs. However, confining short pulses within a fiber core leads to high intensities, which drive a host of nonlinear effects. While these phenomena and their interactions greatly complicate the design of such systems, they can also provide opportunities for engineering new capabilities. Here, we report a new fiber amplification regime distinguished by the use of a dynamically-evolving gain spectrum as a degree of freedom: as a pulse experiences nonlinear spectral broadening, absorption and amplification actively reshape both the pulse and the gain spectrum itself. The dynamic co-evolution of the field and excited-state populations supports pulses that can broaden spectrally by almost two orders of magnitude and well beyond the gain bandwidth, while remaining cleanly-compressible to their sub-50-fs transform limit. Theory and experiments provide evidence that a nonlinear attractor underlies the management of the nonlinearity by the gain. Further research into the mutual, pulse-inversion propagation dynamics may address open scientific questions and pave the way toward simple, compact fiber sources that produce high-energy, sub-30-fs pulses.