Design and fabrication of a tunable gain equalization filter for dense wavelength division multiplexed (DWDM) signals through erbium doped fiber amplifiers (EDFA) is reported. It is based on a side-polished fiber (SPF) half-coupler block loaded with a displaceable tapered multimode overlay waveguide (MMOW). A simple and accurate normal mode analysis is employed to design this filtering device for its subsequent realization. Equalization of a typical EDFA gain spectrum in the C-band within ±0.35 dB or even less in the presence of various ITU standard C-band DWDM signal channels is demonstrated under varied operating conditions like add/drop of signals. Tunability of the filter notch is achieved through displacement of the SPF relative to the MMOW. © 2007 Optical Society of America.